What is Styptic Powder and How do You Use it?

Styptic powder is a handy tool for pet owners, but many don’t know how to use it! Here, we’ll explore the many uses for styptic powder and how to actually use it when your pet has an injury.

Styptic powder can be purchased online or via your local pet supply store, in the grooming and care section. This powder serves three basic functions:

  1. It stops bleeding by promoting clotting;
  2. It contains a topical pain relieving agent; and
  3. Some varieties have antiseptic properties that serve to kill bacteria and prevent infection.

This handy powder, which should be included in your pet first aid kit, has a number of applications involving bleeding, including:

  • Minor cuts and scratches
  • Incisions
  • Freshly-docked tails
  • Freshly-cropped ears
  • Broken blood feathers in birds
  • Bleeding nails (due to a broken nail or a nail that was clipped too short.)

To use this powder, pinch a bit from the jar and apply it to the area that’s bleeding. Alternatively, for bleeding nails, pour a bit into the cap and dip the nail into the powder.

You will need to re-apply the powder as the blood rinses it away — this is the key to its effectiveness. It typically takes three or four applications (every 15-20 seconds) until the bleeding stops. It’s especially handy for nails, where you cannot effectively apply pressure to stop the bleeding, along with other areas like incisions, where the area is too painful or fragile to apply pressure. The pain relieving agent also helps to dull the pain, making it particularly handy for broken nails or nails that have been accidentally cut too short or “quicked.”

It’s important to store the styptic powder in a dry location and you must be sure to close the lid tightly as the powder is really sensitive to moisture and it will form rock-hard clumps if it’s exposed to humid air or moisture.

See our related article for additional tips on handling a pet’s broken nail or a nail that has been clipped too short.

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Mia Carter is a professional journalist and animal lover. Her furry family members include 6 dogs and 12 cats. She is also a feral cat colony caretaker. Carter specializes in pet training and special needs pet care. All of her animals have special needs such as paralysis, blindness, deafness and FIV, just to name a few. She also serves as a pet foster parent and she actively rehabilitates and rescues local strays and feral kittens.

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