The dog had a little mishap one night last week. As we were going out for our usual late walk, she slipped on the steps and ended up ripping out one of the nails from her back right paw. I didn't know that at the time; she was shaken up but didn't cry out or make any sort of noise, so I steadied her, made sure she could stand and walk, and we went on our way.
When we got back to the house I saw that she was leaving spots of blood on the floor, so I woke the Mrs. and she cleaned and bandaged the dog's paw. It was the start of the long weekend and we didn't know if our vet was even open on Saturday. There's a 24-hour animal hospital not far away in Woburn, but she didn't seem to be in any significant pain or distress, so we decided not to go, at least not right away.
We had the ramp made for the dog this past winter, but she only uses it to go up the steps and has shown no interest or need in using it to go down. I felt very bad about her fall, because if we had gotten her used to going down the ramp, she probably wouldn't have slipped. Given her age, it's very fortunate that she didn't break a leg. The next day we started acclimating her to going down the ramp, and she's already used to it.
Through the weekend we took care of her paw, putting a sock over the bandage and securing it with duct tape so she couldn't lick it or otherwise mess with it. We even put a plastic bag over the sock when it rained Sunday night. Our biggest concern was the possibility of an infection, so yesterday we took her in to the vet. The wound has started to heal as it should, we got some ointment to put on the paw, and the nail may or may not regrow. Ultimately the dog will be fine, which is a tremendous relief.