Friday, June 17, 2011

A Nail Saga: The value of being prepared!

The foster buns at Petwerks enjoyed an intensive spring cleaning of their area this morning. Well, I wouldn't say enjoyed; they consider us messing with their stuff not fun. They are so particular. Andy, a gorgeous grey and black angora, had been cleaned and re-set up, but had been moved to the side so vacuuming and wall-wipedowns could be done. He was showing his displeasure with this affront -- he takes his area being moved as a real inconvenience -- by thumping and running around on WALLS. He's kinda like that. Sweet, but... sassy.

I'd checked on him one moment, and just a few moments later Shane says, "OMG Amy come here quick there's blood! Lots of blood! Andy's bleeding!"

Calmly I approach (that's what years of experience with situations has taught me) and sure enough, there are many, MANY specks and smears of blood in Andy's area... which had not been there a few moments ago. "It's a toenail, I bet," I say, remembering the time long ago when Dinkum got a nail caught in the carpeting, ripped it off and went about his business without any indication there was a problem aside from the half-dime sized spots of blood he was leaving on the cream colored berber carpet in the living room.

"There it is!" says Shane, pointing to a completely full nail lying in the middle of Andy's area... with no indication whatsoever of how it was caught and separated from its owner!

The poor guy had lost the nail down to the quick, which clearly explained why he was bleeding.

As Shane held Andy, I quickly located the toe that was nail-less, and applied pressure with a clean paper towel. Looking after about 60 seconds, the bleeding was slowing. In a situation like this, the bun's movements walking around, and the shaking and flicking they will do of their foot removes the clotting blood which would seal the wound and stop the bleeding all on its. As a result, a minor issue can bleed more than you'd expect.

As there wasn't an open wound, direct pressure would likely have stopped the bleeding, but stypic powder would do the job more quickly and for sure. We applied a pinch of that to the toe, applied pressure again, and I was able to bring away a clean paper towel after another 60 seconds. Andy enjoyed some cooing and pampering, then was returned to his space as spring cleaning resumed.

Being prepared with a simple little product -- MediStyp Styptic Powder 1/2 oz -- allowed us to go from something that looked like a murder scene to a problem solved in under 3 minutes! One little tub of it is all you'll need for years, but when you need it, you need it and you're so glad you have it! (Keeping track of it is the challenge; at home and at Petwerks we have a little bin where we toss all the important care items such as nail trimming scissors, styptic powder, first aid supplies, etc.) so they can be found quickly.

1 comment:

Dustbunnysmom said...

Thanks for the great post on how to deal with a nail loss crisis! Of course, it would be with an angora :) My four are constantly having issues and just trying to keep from worrying on a 24 hour basis is something I just haven't mastered...even after being a house bunny mom since 1970! I am going to link this to our Pet Care Veterinary Hospital blog as I think our rabbit people will enjoy it! Thanks a million (and with no thumps from me!) Karen