I adopted two labs through Wetland Retrievers last fall (thanks Baron & Cathy!). One is destined to be a family dog, but the other will hunt. My question is: Both dogs still have dew claws. I talked with the vet about having them removed on Rudy (the hunter), and they seem to be a little hesitant due to the fact he's 18 months old and the trouble associated with caring for the wounds after surgery. I know there's a risk associated with not removing them, especially for upland work. My prevous lab's dew claws had been removed when I got her.
Thoughts? comments? Should I have them removed, or let sleeping dogs lie, so to speak?
Taking off dew claws isn't that big a deal. Most dog breeders remove them on pups at about 4 days old. Vets that deal with sled dogs take them off all the time. Caring for the dog post-surgery is the same as for any other surgery...antibiotics, hygiene and preventing the dog from working on the stitches, maybe with a surgical collar ("satelite dish").
I hate dew claws....they tend to be fishhook shaped and nasty sharp. Sure, they can snag on something and get torn, but, worse, when a dog with dew claws jumps up on you, they HURT...tear your flesh or clothes, rip your gear...and they have no use. For sled dogs, wearing dog booties is a non-starter unless dew claws are removed. All my sled dogs and border collies have had them removed...and the retriever I looking for won't be allowed to have/keep them. I don't even like to handle dogs with dew claws.
German Shorthair Pointer
I have a german shothair. Took them off. No issues, ever. Before Katie had issues with them getting caught. Not anymore. Just my 2 cents....