What is styptic powder?

Puncturing a blood vessel while trimming a dog’s nails is a common reason for using styptic powder.

Styptic powder is an antiseptic coagulating agent most often used in pet hygiene. Like a hemostatic pencil, made from alum, the powder stops bleeding when the blood vessels constrict. Most pet sitters and veterinarians have it on hand. This powder is most often used on dogs, cats, and birds, and is also a good product for pet owners to keep on hand.

Dog handlers use antiseptic powder when clipping an animal’s nails to close them.

Dogs and cats have blood vessels in the center of their claws. When nails are cut during routine cleaning or care, they can easily be cut too close to blood vessels. Surprisingly, when cut, these blood vessels can produce an alarming amount of blood. Applying styptic powder to these types of seemingly minor injuries can not only stop the bleeding, but also make trimming easier in the future.

Styptic powder is most often used on dogs and cats.

The styptic powder causes the vessels to constrict further in the claw and also coagulates the blood. Not only does it control bleeding from over-trimmed nails, it also helps prevent bacteria from the surrounding area from entering the bloodstream. This particular first aid agent is not only useful for dog and cat nail clipping accidents, but also for bird beaks. Veterinarians also use it to control bleeding from other external injuries.

A vet can use a styptic powder to control bleeding from a pet’s external injuries.

To use the styptic powder, simply dip the affected paw or beak into a small bowl or container with it. Do not submerge the area in the powder container, but instead pour the powder into a separate container for easier application. Only a small amount is needed, just enough to cover the affected area. It usually stops bleeding on contact, but if bleeding continues, apply light pressure to the area and reapply the powder. If the bleeding is uncontrollable, see your vet.

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Veterinarians and pet owners can use styptic powders to control bleeding caused by external injuries.

Styptic powder is available at any pet supply store and can be found along with other pet first aid products. While brushing is not a difficult task, it is advisable to get proper instructions on how to trim the claws and beaks from your veterinarian or caretaker before attempting it at home.

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