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'Tis the Season of Torn Toe Nails

Gotta love Minnesota in the winter.  Massive temperature fluctuations, snow, ice, bonding with your neighbors over getting cars unstuck (I actually enjoy this one). We get to chip feces out of our yards to avoid a massive poop-melt in the spring, and try to convince our furry friends that eliminating outside is still a good idea.  

On a more positive note, local frozen lakes become massive off-leash dog parks, everything is crisp and clean, skijoring becomes a commonly heard word, and Huskies, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and other snow-loving breeds can be seen lounging in snow-covered yards.  

As a veterinarian, I equate the cold season with the season of broken, or torn, toenails.  The “perfect storm” of long nails, frigid temps, and poor footing, create excellent conditions for broken nails on our canine friends.  Warmer seasons bring with them more time outdoors for most dogs, Mother Nature acting as a natural emery board, keeping nails shorter and less prone to trauma, as well as higher humidity, keeping our hands, and their nails, less prone to cracking.  Dog paw walking free

Those dogs that appreciate and even thrive in colder weather, subject themselves to an unseen threat, the broken toenail.  Slippery surfaces and brittle (often longer than normal) nails combine to cause undue stress to the nails when grasping for better footing.  This commonly results a nail that cracks/breaks/tears somewhere between the tip of the nail and the nailbed. This cracking severs the blood vessel and exposes the nerve that run through the middle of the nail (the “quick”) causing significant bleeding and pain.  

The most common sign of a broken nail is abrupt bleeding from one or more feet after playing outside. Many dogs limp on the affected leg and others lick the foot excessively.  Exposure of the blood supply along with licking can make a broken toenail prone to infection. If an infected nail is left untreated the bone that supports the nail can become infected, creating a more serious situation.  

February- The Exotic Shorthair

History of the Breedexotic shorthair free

Exotic Shorthair cats are a cross between an American or British Shorthair and a Persian.  They were originally created in the early 1960’s and formally recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association in 1967.

The Exotic Shorthair cat has been nicknamed, the “lazy man’s Persian”.  The reason being is that the Exotic Shorthair has the temperament and conformation of a Persian, but because their coat is short and dense, instead of long and prone to matting, there is a lot less upkeep. 

Exotic Shorthairs tend to be gentle, calm, and playful.  They will follow you around the house and then cuddle in your lap when you settle in.

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We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.


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Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Directions to Our Clinic
(612)925-6297 Fax
(612)568-1405 Pharmacy

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