Now that lockdown is easing and we are seeing a wider variety of cases it is interesting to see what conditions are popping up. We are seeing our normal range of illnesses along with an awful lot of annual vaccinations as we play catch up for the last three months. What has surprised me is the frequency with which we are seeing a relatively routine issue – overgrown nails. After a few months of people not being able to get their dogs’ nails clipped quite a few are having issues and need to seek veterinary help.

The need to clip dogs’ nails varies hugely – the vast majority of dogs have nails that wear naturally when they walk and never need them clipped. However, a few have nails that do not wear down naturally and these need attention, very often this can be done by the owner or a dog-groomer, but if the dog is particularly uncooperative then owners have to seek our help.

This got me thinking, I know that at the moment lots of people are getting puppies in lockdown and this is the ideal time to get those puppies used to nail clipping – not that puppies necessarily need their nails trimmed but if you have a puppy this is the time to get them used to you fiddling with their feet. Even if you just pretend to cut their nails now – get your young dog used to letting you do things to their feet and then reward them with a treat. Believe me, once a dog hates having their nails cut, they will hate it for ever and that means trips to the vets, this could be avoided by getting them used to the process at a young age.