What is Styptic Powder?

Piercing a blood vessel when cutting a dog’s nails is a common reason for using astringent powder.

Styptic powder is an antiseptic clotting agent most often used in pet hygiene. Much like a hemostatic pencil, made from alum, the powder stops bleeding when blood vessels constrict. Most pet caretakers and veterinarians keep it on hand. This powder is most often used on dogs, cats and birds and is a good product for pet owners to keep on hand as well.

Dog caretakers use antiseptic powder when they cut an animal’s nails to close them.

Dogs and cats have blood vessels in the center of their claws. When nails are trimmed during cleaning or routine 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 astringent powder to this type of seemingly mild injury can not only stop the bleeding but also make it easier to trim in the future.

Styptic powder is most often used on dogs and cats.

The styptic dust causes the vessels to constrict even more in the claw and also clots the blood. Not only does it control bleeding from over-trimmed nails, it helps prevent bacteria from the surrounding area from entering the bloodstream. This particular first aid agent is not only useful for accidents while clipping the nails of dogs and cats, but also for the beak of birds. Veterinarians also use it to control bleeding from other external injuries.

A veterinarian can use astringent powder to control bleeding from a pet’s external injuries.

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To use the astringent 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 rather pour the powder into a separate container for ease of 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.

Veterinarians and pet owners can use astringent powder 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 isn’t a difficult task, it’s wise to get proper instructions on how to trim the claws and beaks from your vet or handler before trying at home.

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