After I finished posting last Tuesdays Tip, I realized that I had a few other tips that I forgot to mention.
I am usually conservative with my first cut on a nail.
I would rather work the nail back slowly then cut a quick.
With this particular dog it was very easy to tell how far I could cut, so the
first cut was perfect.
I don't usually stop there.
I like to smooth out the edges, but not all dogs will accept a nail file.
I use my regular nail clipper to take off the sharp edges.
I go back to the nail and slightly angle my nail clipper over one edge of the nail and clip off just the sharp edge.
I am not taking off anymore length.
Then I clip the other side, and the top of the nail.
I do not get much off, just the sharp edges.
If the dog will allow, I file the nail smooth.
If you clip the sharp edges off first, filling can be very quick.
All that I need to do is a quick tap all around the nail to make it smooth.
I tap the sides, bottom and top of the nail.
(For the last two pictures, I turned off the file to get a better picture)
The purple lines are the three extra cuts I make on the nail after I have taken it as short as I can.
The sharp edges of the nail on the left have been clipped off, but the nail still looks a little messy.
A little tap with the file and the nail looks nice and smooth.
The filing only took seconds because I had already cut off the sharp edges.
I was once told by another groomer, not to worry about filing the nail too short, because if you hit the quick the speed and heat from the file would stop the blood...bulls**t.
I rarely use the file to shorten a nail, except on my own dogs.
For customers dogs, I just use the file to smooth the edges.
I also do not force any dog to have their nails filed.
I tell customers that I will file the nails if their dog lets me.
While we are on the topic of blood.
I did mention blood didn't I?
I have always been amazed when I hear another groomer talk about a bloody nail that they could not stop from bleeding.
I have to say that that has never happened to me, and I clip the nails as close to the quick as I can get them.
I also have a very good track record of not bleeding many nails.
The only reason I buy new Kwik Stop is to keep it fresh.
When a nail bleeds, I clean the nail first with a Baby Wipe.
Then, with one hand I press the Baby Wipe to the nail to help stop the bleeding.
With the other hand, I pour a little Kwik Stop into the lid of the powder container.
Then I dip the nail into the Kwik Stop in the lid.
Next, I do one of two things depending on the dog.
I either press the nail against the bottom of the lid and hold it there, or...
...I take my finger and put firm pressure on the bottom of the nail and Kwik Stop until the blood clots.
The Yorkie pictured is elderly, and every other grooming I seem to hit one quick on her nails.
Her nails are heavy bleeders, but I have always been able to stop the bleeding quickly.
I clip all of the dogs nails after the bath, so I use Baby Wipes to clean up.
They work great.
There is no evidence of a quicked nail when I am done except for the yellow Kwik Stop on the bottom of the nail.
I have also found that some Kwik Stops are better then others.
Some I have used don't stop the bleeding at all.
This is what I use.
It has always worked for me.
If I have a nail that I am worried might open later, I give the owner a tiny plastic zip lock bag (found in the jewelry isle at Wal-Mart, or any craft store) with a little bit of my Kwik Stop in it.
I also show the owner how to apply it if needed.
One last tip.
Do you know the dogs that let you clip the nails on two or three feet and then all of the sudden start biting for the last one or two feet?
I have a fair number of them.
I have found that if I clip one foot at a time, and then maybe scissor that foot and leg before I clip the nails on the next foot, that the dog has time to calm down between feet.
This way,the anxiety of clipping the nails doesn't have a chance to build, so that by the time you get to the third or four foot, the dog wants to eat you.
This technique has worked really great for me.
If I see the lip quiver or a little show of teeth, I quickly finish the nails on the foot I am clipping,(talking to the dog calmly the whole time) then I stop and rub and praise the heck out of the dog with a baby talk voice.
I have found that this almost immediately relaxes them.
I know, I know, people think that I am crazy.
Just ask my family.
It works for me. :)
Clip nails, praise, scissor the foot, then clip the nails on the next foot, repeating the process.
It does work.
On a side note.
I am still working on redesigning my website.
I have run into a little confusion with PayPal.
I'll figure it out.
On a more happy note.
I got a new Camera for Christmas.
It finally came yesterday.
A new SLR, no more point and shoot.
I have gone through 3 point and shoot digital cameras in 4 years.
The one I have been using most recently has been acting up for a couple of months.
I can't wait to start taking pictures of dogs with this camera.
I just have to figure it out first. HaHa
My old camera had a lot of lag that causes me to miss a lot of nice shots.
I hope to post even better pictures soon.
Happy Grooming, MFF