Archived Message
Rotary tool: DANGER!

by Donna Skaggs

I have two tiny maltese and do all of their grooming myself. I had read in the archives under Dew Claws about a handy rotary tool for trimming dogs nails. I bought one of the tools from Sears and spent several weeks getting my dogs used to the sound and sensation of the tool. This is a tool that has an emory tip that spins at a high speed sanding off the nail. I was doing this to my 10 mo. old Tucker who trusted my every move when suddenly in a split second the tool had caught up his tail and ripped out half of the hair. He was in great pain and couldn't hold his tail up any more so I took him to the vet. His tail is BROKEN in two places and may have to be amputated if it doesn't heal. I don't blame anyone but myself. I was ignorant of the danger. My Tucker is afraid of me now. It will take a lot of coaxing but I hope he will forgive me. PLEASE do NOT use these tools on your long haired breeds. Donna Skaggs


Donna: Sorry to hear about Tucker we hope he is better soon.. I use the Rotary tool on KoKo and Shayna and once while trying it on Shayna's dew claw I caught her hair and pulled some out. It scared me more than her. I have since had her Dew Claws removed and only use this tool on their front paws. I file their rear nail by hand. I am very careful to pull back the hair and use the slightest amount of pressure. It works best when their feet are wet and the hair is pulled back. It is a skill and takes some time to get good at it. But it works far better than cutting. Neither KoKo nor Shayna will let me cut their nail.

Donna, I'm so very sorry to hear of your experience. I hope your puppy's tail can be saved. Sharon

What a terrible thing for both you and Tucker. I'm sure, in time, he'll get over his fear with lots of love from you. Accidents happen, and you must feel awful but just think of how many others you have helped by posting this important message. I'll say a little prayer that he is soon wagging that tail real soon.

I am deeply saddened to hear about Tucker's accident. Misha and I will be praying for Tucker. I know its hard, my baby has been very sick and has been in the care of her vet for 8 days now. She has recovered and is coming home this weekend. I know that I found great comfort and support from this group of caring people. We wish both you and Tucker a speedy recovery, be patient he knows you love and care for him.

Thanks for all the kind words. Tucker has already forgiven me-bless his heart. The vet shaved off most of his tail (what was left) to facilitate easier clean up of his rear end since he can't lift his tail up. It can't be splinted and the best thing for him is not to move it so it will heal. The fact that he is young may go in his favor. Time will tell. His tail used to be proud and fluffy. I am saddened by it all but some of my own last words have always been "It could always be worse". I am fortunate that Tucker and Lydia are robustly healthy in every other way. Tucker is MY baby. He is the product of Lydia's first breeding and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I'll keep you posted on his progress.
-Donna Skaggs

Donna, I am so sorry about the accident. I know when accidents happen, we always say "if only".But I know from slightest accidents like stepping on a toe or pulling hair that our little ones are very forgiving. They realize we feel so horribly and sense our caring for them. So try not to be too hard on yourself. I'm glad to hear that Tucker is a bit better.

One question I have is, I wonder if professional groomers use that rotary tool? I've never heard of it before and it sounds too dangerous.

Good luck to both of you in the healing process.
-Sandy in Michigan

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