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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Nail Trimming / Quickstop
Last Post by BB at 3/25/2007 1:43 PM (10 Replies)
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User is Offline Theresa Moan
Nashua, NH
254 posts Send Private Message
10/12/2006 8:22 AM

Last night we were giving all of the buns a nail trim, and Mike accidently cut the quick of one of Mabel's toes and it bled so much!

She didn't give a reaction, so we just finished up the rest of the toes.
Our old bottle of quickstop was crusted together and no longer a powder, so we couldn't use it.

We tried holding a paper towel on the toe and applying pressure, but the blood just kept dripping!

It was scary.  I felt so bad.

We couldn't get it to stop bleeding right away, and we didn't want to keep tramatizing her by holding her in such an awkward position (cradled against my stomach with her arms and feet facing out) so we put her back in her cage.

She immediately bled all over the floor and ran to her corner litter box.  She stayed very still for a long time.  She must have been in pain.  We tried giving her cauliflower (one of her faves) and fresh hay in front of her nose.  She refused to eat, which is so unlike her!

I guess my questions are:

1.  How important is using quickstop when nailtrimming?  Does it have some sort of local anestetic to help with pain?

2.  Was Mabel in severe pain that we caused?

Thanks for any advice.   I feel like a bad bunny mom.

PS. She had started eating eventually and seems Ok today.

User is Offline rasputin
3 posts Send Private Message
10/12/2006 9:35 AM

Hey Theresa!

I'm no expert and pretty new to the sight, but i volunteered at a vet clinic when i was a teen, and what they told me to do if i had no quickstop to use on an animal, believe it or not, was to use flour! I do this myself for my rabbit and my two cats, and it works like a charm. I have no idea whether quickstop has any painkiller in it, but they don't seem to suffer too much. I think it's more the bleeding and the shock of the pain when you do hit the quick that bothers them, my animals all sulk a little too when i cut a little too far, but they get over it, and once the bleeding's stopped they seem to pull themselves back together and feel fine. I've never seen them babying their toes or excessively upset about it. The flour stops the blood flow, and i don't worry too much if they decide they need to lick their "wound", I prefer it because it's natural and safe. Hope it helps!


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
8990 posts Send Private Message
10/12/2006 9:22 PM

AWW, Theresa, you are definitely not a bad bunny mom.   This happens to everyone - otherwise quikstop would not be a popular product. 

As Rasputin suggested, flour can be used.  Also, you can use cornstarch.    There are also just plain styptic powders you can buy, but many of them, like quikstop, do provide a medication that helps with pain.

From what I have heard, It is painful but  to what extent, I do not know.  Rabbits are really good about hiding pain, so it's hard to really tell.  Some bunnies don't even seem to notice, while others pull away and even squeak.   The fact she wouldn't eat did show she was stressed - was it due to severe pain? I can't know for sure,  it probably hurt a bit, and that alone probably just made her need to settle down.    But don't worry, rabbits are always fine afterward.  Just be sure to keep on her nail to make sure it continues to heal properly.

And again, don't be hard on yourself!   All owners who have pets with nails  will probably go through this at some point.

User is Offline Theresa Moan
Nashua, NH
254 posts Send Private Message
10/13/2006 2:30 AM
She seems ok now... I hate nail trimming! It's so traumatizing for everyone!
Mabel is very good about being handled too.
That is the thing with dark bunnies - you can't see the quick so it is easy to cut.
I wish Petco or Petsmart would offer the service for bunnies as they do for dogs!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
8990 posts Send Private Message
10/13/2006 9:55 PM

Many times rabbit rescues will offer this.  Otherwise, a vet can do it.  

A tip for dark nails is to use a flashlight to highlight the quick.   I have to use that for Rucy's dark nails or I'd never be able to trim them.

User is Offline Fiver
Lakewood, Colorado
22 posts Send Private Message
3/25/2007 8:47 AM
We know this is a fairly old topic but we are having trouble starting a new one. We were told that the software for this site will be updated again at the end of the month and perhaps the problem for us will be solved. But for now we will tack our question on to this topic. It deals with nail trimming. We have a couple of bunnies, male and female, not quite a year old. We have been to the HRS Bunny Tune-up class and got the information on nail trimming. The problem we have is that our rabbits, particularly one of them, really don't liked to be picked up and held - at all. And they both hate anyone or anything even getting close to their feet. We have tried the trance technique which works on the female, but the male is completely rebelious. We give our rabbits a lot of freedom. They have the run of the upstairs all day long. The upstairs has a lot of very short carpeting. Their nails don't look or feel to us like they need trimming although it has been several months since they were last trimmed. We wonder if they are not keeping their nails fairly short by all the running around they do. They are very active. The male had his nails trimmied when he was neutered last November. The female we got from HRS in December. We think she had her nails trimmed a short time before we got her. We have heard that the reason to trim their nails is to keep the nail from developing a hook. We see no indication of this. We have also read that it is unwise to pick up or stress a rabbit unless it is necessary. In addition, we heard that rabbits differ in how often they need their nails trimmed. The question we have is, when is it really necessary to trim their nails? Can they develop long nails without a hook which can still break (similar to a human's) and cause problems? Rabbits in the wild keep their nails trimmed by all their activity and digging. We are thinking about building a digging box as another activity for them and to help keep their nails trimmed. Can all this activity negate or reduce the need for trimming nails? If it only reduces the need to trim their nails, how do we know when to trim them?

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2443 posts Send Private Message
3/25/2007 9:37 AM
generally bunnies should have their nails trimmed every 4 - 8 weeks. if they're not trimmed the nails can get caught on things like carpet and snag or break which is very painful they potentially can even pull out the entire nail. so, it is important to trim them fairly often. One thing to keep in mind is that bunnies have a quick (kinda like a blood vein) in the nail and the longer the nail grows - the quick grows out. as you trim the nail down, the quick will recede back. so by keeping your buns nails trimmed, the quick will stay short and therefore less likely to get caught and bleed.

it sounds like trancing hasn't worked so far. Have you tried the bunny burrito method? it sometimes helps if the bunny can't actually see you clipping the nail. if you feel like you're unable to do it yourself, check with your HRS since they likely do nail trims. Our rescue does nail trims and I take my three bunnies in, since I figure I'd rather have them mad at someone else than me!

the digging box may help keep them short, but it won't negate the need to trim the nails.

it's actually a good thing for your bunnies to get used to being held for reasons besides getting nail trims or going to the vet. i try to pick up my bunnies at least every few days and then offer a treat. it makes it much less traumatic, and hopefully teaches them that being picked up doesn't equal impending doom.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline Fiver
Lakewood, Colorado
22 posts Send Private Message
3/25/2007 11:13 AM
Thanks for the response. I still have a question about how long is too long. I hope I am not being obnoxious with all these questions. (Relatively new rabbit owner.) You said that if they get too long they can get caught on things. How does this happen if they don't develop a hook? As I stated earlier, we are not aware of any hook being developed. Does the nail develop cracks along its length which can snag? How do you know the nail is too long if it has no hook or no sharp pin point? Both of our rabbits have nails that are straight and somewhat blunt on the end. Apparently there is a criteria for determining it is time to trim nails since you and others have specified a period of time that is appropriate. ie. How do you know if it the proper time is 4 weeks or 8 weeks or a few times a year? Also, do house rabbits not dig (even if given a digging box) as much as rabbits in the wild to keep their nails short? Thanks for the help.

User is Offline wendyzski
Chicago, IL
1316 posts Send Private Message
3/25/2007 11:28 AM
I was told that the nails shouldn't stick out much further than the fur on their feet.

Pepper's nails are of the thick blunt type.  But they can still catch in rugs or when the rabbit is running around - twisty binky jumps can get the nail caught in something and pulled out or broken.  It's never happened to her but some of the buns on one of my newsgroups have had this issue.

I trimmed Frisco's nails last night - he's my foster bunny.  His were badly overgrown - most of them had hooks and some seemed to have been broken off at the tips.  He has teeny feet - he's a dwarf dutch - and he wriggled while I was wrapping him up in the towel but all in all was a lot less fuss than Pepper is.  Even the shelter has trouble with her when I bring her in on spa days.

It is a good idea to get your rabbit used to being handled for basic stuff like nail trims and meds.  Pepper had a bad ear infection shortly after I got her and had to have eardrops 3x a day for more than a month, and it was pretty traumatic for both of us.  There were a lot of "My bunny's gonna HATE ME!!!" posts on here from me.  But I sucked it up and did it for her own good.  Now she still needs it once a week, and still hates it, but once I get her secured she stays pretty still, and as soon as I let her go she runs right back to the kitchen because she has learned that she gets a treat for being a good bunny.

User is Offline Fiver
Lakewood, Colorado
22 posts Send Private Message
3/25/2007 12:08 PM
Thanks for the response. This is good information, just the kind of thing I was looking for. I wonder what other people have to say about the nails not being much longer than the fur on the feet.

I checked our rabbits, and the fur still covers the nails. In fact the all the nails are hard to see.

As you can see I am watching the website closely for any responses. If we need to trim these nails, we need to get moving.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
8990 posts Send Private Message
3/25/2007 1:43 PM

Check out our  maintenance section and then scroll down to nails area.   We have taken a picture of the nail and then drew a "cut line" so that you know exactly how far away from the quick you should be.  Some bunnies have longer hair (like my Bailey) and using the hair as a guideline can't work for all bunnies.  If you have a problem with seeing the quick due to the hair, then you can wet their feet. That helps push the hair back so you can see the full nail.

Nails that grow too long can get snagged as well as it is uncomfortable for a rabbit.   I  have also been told that nails that are too long can contribute to sore hocks because the bunny has to lean more  on his/her hocks.   I don't have any scientific evidence to confirm or deny that, but that is just what I heard. 

There are a few places where a rabbit can get a nasty infection, and one of the places are when the toe nail is torn off -  It can go unnoticed and an abscess can develop.    And abscesses are nasty aggressive little things with rabbits.  

Rabbits nails do wear, but usually not fast enough, and because many are rug bound, the nail can form a sharp point.  That also puts them at risk for injuries from snagging.

As far as how often, it really depends on the growth cycle of your bunny, and the exercise and the floor, etc etc.  So just check them every month.  They may only need trimming every couple of months, some may need less, some may need more.

If you find that because his nails haven't been trimmed often, that the quick has grown long, you can get it back to normal by just making sure to do monthly trims even if it just needs a tiny trim.

Let us know how it goes!

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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Nail Trimming / Quickstop

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