Our First Unexpected Vet Visit

We had our first unexpected vet visit this summer. While reading up about getting a dog (before we had any) I read a lot about the cost of a dog. I wanted to make sure we could afford one before we brought a dog home. It was clear to me from reading articles that the biggest factor in how expensive or affordable a dog is, is how often they require vet care. For example, my neighbor is a vet tech who adopted a bulldog last fall when she was 8 weeks old. She was backed into with a lawn mower and has had a few variations of cast on her leg since then. She also jumped down off of a bed and hit the side of a dresser (or chest?) and injured her jar so she had these elastic wrap things around her mouth for a while. Being a vet-tech, she had insurance on the dog but they still paid over 6,000 in vet bills! It would have been much worse without the insurance.

So, I consider myself really lucky that we went an entire year of having both Frank & Beans before we had an emergency & that our emergency was really quite small. We don’t have a washer and dryer hookup at our apartment and our bedroom ceiling leaks when it rains really hard (have I mentioned that I am counting the days until our lease is up? Ugh..) anyway, it rained hard twice in one week so both sets of fitted sheets that I have for our bed got wet. So we opted to sleep on the bed without a fitted sheet for a night until we could get to a laundrymat. The dogs sleep in bed with us.

In the middle of the night I sit up straight in bed because Frank lets out a yelp like I have never heard before. I am in that weird half awake state of confusion and I can tell that he’s kicking his leg frantically. So we turn on the light to discover that Frank is stuck to the bed by a piece of thick thread. Ryan runs and grabs scissors to cut him lose. We eventually realize that his nail got caught in the top layer of the bed and he must have yanked his leg so hard that it cracked the nail. Somehow, the thread of the top of the mattress wound up running through the crack on his nail but his nail was still  fully attached. The crack as high enough on the nail that I was afraid to try and cut it myself so we promptly made a vet visit. Here is what the nail looked like with the material from the bed running through it.

dog nail injury

I’m sharing this story for two reasons. One is so that others will learn that this can happen to your dog – it’s important to keep a sheet or mattress pad of some kind over your mattress. But it’s also likely that it would have been prevented if we kept his nails really short. Frank submits to having his nails trimmed SO much better at the vet than he does at home, so we used to take him in monthly to have it done but his nails would get long before the month was up. It’s a good idea to have them trimmed more often.

Have you ever had any accidents with your dogs nails?

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