Re: Nail trimming question
Karen, it's unclear what your vet was responding to, but V's nails typically should be trimmed about once a week. There's not enough friction or contact with the ground, even on city streets, to wear down the nails enough in lieu of trimming. I'd ask him again for clarification, and if he clearly states that nail trimming isn't necessary, I'd find another vet.
I also strongly disagree with the concept of over trimming, there is a limit to how far you should trim, you run the risk of hitting the quick, (a blood vessel in the nail itself), which is both very painful and results in profuse bleeding. If you're trimming once a week and you're taking the tip off you're fine, I much prefer to leave more on and minimize the risk of hitting the quick.
There are three devices to trim with, the dremel, the "Pliers" and the "Guillotine" all of which sound far more medieval than they are, and all have their advantages and disadvantages. I use the guillotine, which is basically a loop that fits over the nail, and with a squeeze, pushes a razor across the nail, slicing it off. It's the least frightening and quickest, and I find it most effective. The Dremel allows more precision as it grinds, which is slower. However, the noise and the extended vibration freaks the dogs out, before they get used to it there's this control aspect that I think is unnecessary.
Again, if you shine a bright light on the nail, you can see the quick inside, and if you use the guillotine, you can easily place it so it doesn't hit it. Have some styptic powder just in case, it'll stop the bleeding, but nipping the tip is fine.
Lastly, nail color coordinates with coat color, neither of which change much...darker coated V's have darker nails, and vice versa. Lighter nails make it easier to see the quick, however.