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Niko split a claw in half

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
The other night, Niko and I were playing with his favorite fishing pole toy when he skidded something hardcore against the carpet, I could hear the sound of his claws digging in. The next thing I know, he's no longer interested in playing. I look down and I see.. a claw. At first, I thought it was a whole claw, but when I inspected all his toes, he still had all of them. I was so confused (and worried!) After a better look, I realized he had split his claw in half. I can't possibly explain how it split, so I found a picture of a claw and shaded the part that came off in red.


There was no blood when he lost it, and he's not limping, but I'm worried. I don't believe the quick was harmed, but I can tell by the way he goes to climb up on my chest that he's not putting all his weight down on that particular foot. He still wants to play, but he'll start to run around and the moment he needs to skid to a halt on the carpet (how he broke it in the first place), he just does a little hop and lays down. He's been incredibly mooshy and clingy, which he usually is anyway, but now it's even moreso. I feel so bad, 'cause he's obviously uncomfortable and just wants to snuggle.

My question is.. will the claw grow back properly? Is it kinda like how we humans can break fingernails below the line- it smarts for a while, but it's not serious? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 9
Geez, I really don't know what to tell you, I've never personally (err, my cats) experienced this kind of thing. Now even though your picture is pretty clear (it's a darn good one, by the way! LOL).....you aren't mistaking what you saw with the fact that cat's claws shed right? -- the outer layer of the claw (called the husk)....which you'll often find lying on the floor (looks like the side-view of a claw). But you definitely don't mean this, right?

http://www.felinefuture.com/health/clawsofthecat.php

Have you compared the side-view of this claw to another one, just to ensure there really is something wrong with it? If there's one thing I've learned over the years, be it human or beast...if you find something strange, compare it another of the same parts..........look for symmetry.......(or Asymmetry).

If you're sure part of the claw is missing, I'd take kitty to the Vet and see what Vet thinks. funny no bleeding.

Might be a good idea, too, given kitty's rambunctiousness (hehe), to clip the tips of all claws.........to at least help reduce this kind of thing from happening again?
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_food_lady View Post
.....you aren't mistaking what you saw with the fact that cat's claws shed right?
Newp, I checked his foot quite a few times in various light to see just what the heck happened and it's not a husk. I thought that at first, but you can definitely tell it was physically split and not simply shed. I wish it were the case, though. I guess a vet visit will be in order (and he was just there not too long ago for his yearly- poor thing). Unfortunately, I'll have to wait till Monday as my vet is closed on Fridays for some odd reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_food_lady View Post
Might be a good idea, too, given kitty's rambunctiousness (hehe), to clip the tips of all claws.........to at least help reduce this kind of thing from happening again?
Well, I regularly clip his front claws, but he's usually VERY adamant against allowing me to touch his back ones. However, just before I wrote this post when I was double checking on how the claw was severed, he actually let me trim them without a fuss (I didn't mess with the broken, of course). Mebbe he realizes "Ohh... /this/ is why momma wants to clip my nails!"
post #4 of 9
Here's a good article I found when googling "cat claw injuries".....It talks about torn claws, etc

http://petcare.suite101.com/article....juries_in_pets
post #5 of 9
from the above document:
"“In more severe cases, where the nail is cracked along its length, or if the break is right down to the bone, a de-shelling procedure will be necessary. Due to the amount of pain, we typically put the pet under for a few minutes while we remove the dead portion of the nail, leaving only the live portion that’s usually contained inside the nail. Within several days, a new nail will begin to grow, but in the meantime, bandaging is required to avoid contamination and we also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection, along with pain medications, as this is very painful for a while afterwards.â€"
post #6 of 9
The fact that there was no bleeding is a good sign. That suggests that it's probably the nail only that was involved. And if he's not limping, probably no pain.

You might try clipping only the very ends if it's sharp and catching on things (not near the quick, only the end parts you'd usually trim). But otherwise I'd let it resolve itself.

My cat managed to rip a whole claw out earlier this year, and it bled. I kept an eye on it to see if it was growing back normally, and sure enough a new one grew fine.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
The fact that there was no bleeding is a good sign. That suggests that it's probably the nail only that was involved. And if he's not limping, probably no pain.

You might try clipping only the very ends if it's sharp and catching on things (not near the quick, only the end parts you'd usually trim). But otherwise I'd let it resolve itself.

My cat managed to rip a whole claw out earlier this year, and it bled. I kept an eye on it to see if it was growing back normally, and sure enough a new one grew fine.
My sisters cat did a similar thing once, but she was bleeding so they took her to the vet. The thing I remember the vet being worried about was infection, so I would keep an eye out for that. The vet also warned that if the claw continued to break that she might need that claw removed, but she healed up just fine & has never had a problem again.
post #8 of 9
I was concerned about that too, so I put some antiseptic cream on it at the beginning.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses, guys.

Li'l Update: I managed to get a few more looks at his nail and in the process, snipped off the itty bitty sharp end on that particular nail. He didn't even flinch. After I did that, he seemed even more comfortable and started bouncing around, jumping on things, and no longer favors his other hind leg while climbing on me. He also let me wash his paw off and put a little ouchless antiseptic on the claw itself.. which was a complete shocker, 'cause he hates ANY form wetness on him. He doesn't seem to be having any issues in the litter box, either, and boy am I thankful this didn't happen with one of his front paws, thems be his diggin' claws.

I'm gonna see how the next few days go and decide if I'll take him to the vet on Monday. Normally, there wouldn't be an issue, but money is /very/ tight around here and my vet is mad expensive.. I mean, when I dewormed him, they charged me $9 per pill of Drontal, when most people, I hear, only pay $4-$6 per pill. :/ They may be pricey, but Niko actually likes his vet and lets her do whatever she wants to him- and they all love him to bits, so that's a plus. Can't put a price tag on a great bedside manner, especially after how he was treated at his first vet's office.
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