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Thread: Dewclaws

  1. #1
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default Dewclaws

    What are your thoughts on dewclaws? Leave 'em or remove 'em? Criteria and justifications?

    I think we're going to get the rear dewclaws on our new lab (now officially christened "Maggie") removed as they are non-functional (loose & floppy). The fronts are functional, so we'll leave them. Too bad the shelter performed the spay before we got the dog as it would have been easier to have our own vet do both procedures at the same time.
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    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default rear?

    since when do dogs have rear dew claws......i may just be an idiot but i thought only front ones were normal....then again i dont' get out much....i left the dew claws on my beagle......i figure every coyote, fox or wolf out there was born with em then they were there for a reason....she does use them too ....like little hands....kind of like a cat
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default

    Not all dogs have them, some have a pair, and some have them on all fours. I believe it is limited to certain large breeds.

    My golden had his removed by the breeder while he was still in the litter. She did that as a routine operation on all her goldens. Before that, our aussie-lab had non-functional dewclaws on the rear that were very large. Had those removed during the neuter operation. Our terrier-mutt didn't have them on the rear, but has them on the front. They were left on as they are functional.
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    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default i checked this out

    after i posted that first comment i had to get to the bottom of this...and yeah you are right...certain larger breeds do have rear dewclaws and some have double...i spent a good hour and a half looking at stuff about it online......learn something new everyday
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Member rrjfish8's Avatar
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    Default

    remove them all. If not it will just cause trouble in the long run. when a dogs leg goes threw some ice or has a large branch go along side it, it will rip and take a long time to heal.

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    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default Agree w/rrjfish8

    All my dogs' dew claws have been removed, except for the dachshunds and the house mutt.
    If you are going to be running your dog in the field much at all, there is potential for them to be ripped off. Mine have always been done when they were wee little pups. Usually when getting tails docked or early shots etc.

    It is interesting to think about wild canines, they all keep their dew claws. I wonder how often they are damaged? Are they typically tighter to the leg as a genetic/hereditary evolutionary factor? What is the purpose for these appendages?

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default

    I've never had the fronts removed, but I've yet to have a dog with non-functional front dewclaws. As long as they are firm, tight to the leg, and they move along with the other toes when the dog flexes and extends the paw, is there really any good reason to mess with them? I suppose it will in part depend on what kind of work you're doing with the dog.
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    Member thelast2's Avatar
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    Default

    I am debating having them removed on my lab as the breeder didnt do it. I asked the vet just today about it and she said in her 25 years as a vet she has never seen one ripped off. Not saying that it doesnt happen, as I have heard of it, but might not happen as often as many think. My understanding is that if it does happen it is extremly painful and takes awhile to heal, so that is definitly a consideration in the choice. I think im going to have it done just to avoid the posibilty as i know the dog will be in the swamp and woods.
    Jesse
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  9. #9
    Member thelast2's Avatar
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    Default

    One thing I failed to mention in my original post.
    I asked the vet just today about it and she said in her 25 years as a vet she has never seen one ripped off.
    Is that most working dogs have had them removed thus definitly reducing the likelyhood of the vet seeing a dog with them ripped off.
    Jesse
    HR SHR JR's Gunny Dog "Ermey"
    SR JR's Marsh Mangling Mindy
    SR JR's LNR Thicket Thrashing Trixie

  10. #10
    Member rrjfish8's Avatar
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    I worked for a vet in iowa for 5 years in high school and we had a few dogs come in with their dew claws ripped none all the way off but done hunting for a good while, all were pheasant hunting dogs. I also had a friends dog get it caught in her carpet. the % of eather of these happening is low but it is a bloody mess and dew claws have no use so I choose to remove them.

  11. #11

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    i remove them i have had alot of litters of puppies i remove them after 3days does not harm to the puppy. On the tails we have aussies and will use a rubber band at birth and in 3-4 days the tails fall off. We also have had alot of litters of chowalias i dont the spelling not my breed but we have on right now that was a only puppy and is 9 weeks old and is 1 pound it it had dewclaws on all four feet and his sister did too that we had lost year

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default

    Not to change the subject (ok, too late), but I personally dislike the practice of docking tails. They used to do that with certain working dogs where the tail could get caught up in harness lines, etc. Unless the dog is going to be working in such conditions, there is no justification for it. Our Aussie had his tail and it was a great looking dog with that full tail. Shepherd breeds just don't look right with docked tails.

    So, those who remove dewclaws... do you differentiate between front and rear? I've only worried about the rear and have never had the front removed.
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  13. #13

    Default

    Dealing mainly with retrievers. I've had retrievers in training here that have had them and then those that had them removed. I work them pretty hard and can only recall two or three times where a dog had injured a dewclaw. The injuires didn't require any special attention.
    So , I would say........as long as they are tight along the leg and not floppy and sticking way out. I wouldn't be concerned. Of course with my own retrievers I prefer them removed.

    As far as tail docking. Can't speak for every breed....but it deals with the tail structure. Like pointing breeds for example. There tails naturally are long and skinny. They have a high risk of spraining them all the time or if not actually breaking them. After several sprains they heal back all crooked. So to prevent this the pups are docked right after being whelped.

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    I have a short hair without a docked tail and still with dewclaws. What a mistake. She will bite at her dew claws after alot of field running, like they hurt or something. During cold water swims she gets limp tail it either a sprain or strain. After this happens shes done for a couple of days. no running no playing just lays there and no one can touch her tail. So next time dew claws and tail are gone.

  15. #15
    Member Huntress's Avatar
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    We had a dog rip off the same front dewclaw twice in one year...It happens more than your vet leads on...

    With our breed, fronts are left on. Rears are always removed.



    Quote Originally Posted by thelast2 View Post
    I am debating having them removed on my lab as the breeder didnt do it. I asked the vet just today about it and she said in her 25 years as a vet she has never seen one ripped off. Not saying that it doesnt happen, as I have heard of it, but might not happen as often as many think. My understanding is that if it does happen it is extremly painful and takes awhile to heal, so that is definitly a consideration in the choice. I think im going to have it done just to avoid the posibilty as i know the dog will be in the swamp and woods.
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