I can see red dots inside the cut portion of my dog's nails (not to mention the hang nail).

Does this mean that the vet cut them too short?

Not sure if this is normal, or if I need to find a new vet.

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2 Answers 2


The nails should not be cut through where there's a blood supply (where it is pink or red). It's an indication that they have been cut too short.

There's also nerves in that part of the nail and it can be painful.

Not all vets are equal, unfortunately and some have a better skill and ethical devotion to animal welfare. I'd recommend finding a better vet.

From Washington State University.

Clipping Your Dog's Claws

Light colored claws are easier to cut than dark claws as the blood vessels and nerves that supply the claw, called the quick, are easier to see.

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Cut the claw to within approximately 2 millimeters of the quick.

If you cut into the quick, the claw will bleed and the dog will experience pain.


After trimming:

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As you cut the nail deeper, you will see a homogeneous gray to pink oval (3) starting to appear at the top of the cut surface of the nail. Stop cutting the nail at this point as additional cutting will cut into the quick.

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As you can see here, they stop cutting as soon as any pink or red is seen.


As a groomer these look perfect. This is exactly how short we are taught to trim nails. Right where the quick hits the nail so there is a little dot in the center. There is no such thing as “too short” other than quicking the nail. But this is not the case. Quicking a nail is painful for the dog and does cause bleeding. We use styptic powder in these cases which stops bleeding immediately. Since I see no signs of styptic powder in this picture I can confidently say this was a trim well done!

The “hang nail” is not a hang nail. When trimming the top layer of the nail can flake off. This can be removed by just simply pulling it off. It would be easy and painless. There is no possible way to leave a “hang nail” or a half cut nail after trimming a dog's nails.

  • Though I agree with you that the nails were trimmed well enough (+1) with the exception of one which was too close, styptic powder isn't the solution to the pain of cutting into the quick; it only stops the bleeding. The pain persists until the quick dries and shrinks away from the wound. It is as if you had part of your nail torn off; the bleeding wouldn't last long, but the pain would last for at least a couple of days. Jan 2 at 23:24

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