Today I took my puppy Bonzo to the vet’s to get his claws trimmed because he panics when he sees the clippers and the claws were too long. It took 2.5 hours to get them trimmed.

If you haven’t heard of Bonzo before, he’s an Australian Working Kelpie (as opposed to a Show Kelpie), and he will turn 9 months on the 24th. That’s him in the picture.

They had been warned that he might need sedation, so they had a shot ready when they figured out it was needed. That shot didn’t do anything. Bonzo was full of adrenaline, and he is stubborn. So they gave him a refill. That didn’t take fully either. Every time he heard a sound, he was up on his feet. After two hours, he still wasn’t down, so they gave him a third. He still got up, bouncing around and freaking out when they held his paws and brought out the clippers. So in the end, they had to put him under with a short-term anesthetic.

They said they had never given a dog that much dope for trimming claws, and they had never seen a dog standing on all four, jumping around after three shots. In his case, it’s probably the adrenaline counteracting the drugs. Next time, they say he’s getting a stronger starter shot, so we can avoid this.

Other than that, he’s perfectly healthy and perfectly fit. Not an ounce of excess fat on him. At 9 months old, he does weigh more than the average adult male of his breed (he’s at 25,5 kg (56.2 lbs) now and the average for a fully grown male is 21-23 kg (46.3-50.7 lbs)). But that’s probably because his father’s a big boy too.

Since we got home, he’s been sluggish, but that’s to be expected after that amount of drugs. He’s doing fine, and his claws are a lot shorter now. We’re going back for another trim on the 21st of January.


  1. Jan Kearney

    Hi Linda – wow that sounds like a bit of a palaver for a nail trim! Luckily our dog hasn’t needed to be sedated, althogh nail trimming isn’t her fav thing.

    • Linda Ursin

      I’m doing my best to desensitize him, but it’s taking time. This is the only solution right now. I hope it works out differently next time, since they’re giving him a higher start dose.

  2. Bren

    Awww poor Bonzo! As you know Titan and I went through a bit of a huff with his nails for a few months. Thankfully, the vet techs were able to bully him into allowing them to do it now. I muzzle him and he goes off with the girls. They have done it 3 times now and this past time they said he only growled once. I don’t like the sedation method especially cause Titan’s nails grow so quickly. Good luck Linda!

    • Linda Ursin

      Yes, I remember. Bonzo doesn’t growl or anything, he just tries to get away. Any force only makes him worse, so I’m going the desensitizing route. I hope Bonzo won’t have to be put under anymore, that the calm down shot will be enough next time. I will continue getting him used to have his feet handled, so that we can cut the nails ourselves as soon as possible.


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