September 5, 2014

Should you remove the dew claws or not?

Here’s what you need to know about your dog’s dew claws, including when (or if) you should have them removed.

A dew claw is similar to a thumb – complete with a toenail – but it grows a bit higher up on the paw than the rest of the toenails on that paw and it never comes in contact with the ground.{{more}}

If your dog has dew claws, then you’ll want to pay extra attention to them.

This is especially important during the puppy’s first 6 months of life, because you need to make sure that they’re growing properly and not getting in the way during your dog’s regular activities.

Does Your Dog Have Dew claws In Front? Back? Or Both?

The majority of dogs have dew claws on their front paws.

Some dogs also have dew claws on their back paws.

Dew claws on the back paws are fairly rare for dogs in general, but somewhat common in certain breeds, including rottweilers.

Why Dew Claws Might Need To Be Removed

Rest assured that most dogs with dew claws do just fine without having to remove them.

But sometimes the dew claws are not “properly attached”. They may also “dangle” or “hang”, or just get in the way during the normal course of playing and walking.

Not to mention the fact that dogs with dew claws who also like to dig a lot, will sometimes irritate the dew claw, or even break the dew claw bone (not all dew claws have bones).

This could also happen when reaching through a chain link fence or something similar.

If the dew claws on your dog’s front or rear paws seem to easily get caught on things, then they could easily rip off – which would be very painful for the dog. In this case, you should talk with your vet about whether or not to have the dew claw(s) removed.

How and When To Remove Dew Claws

Most dog owners who opt to have their dog’s dew claws removed, have it done at the same time as the dog’s spay or neuter surgery. That way, there is only one time going under the anesthesia, only one period of time for recovery, only one visit to the vet.

Dew claw removal involves removing the entire toe, not just the claw.

Many breeders choose to remove dew claws on puppies in the first week of life, because soon after birth the dew claws are more like fingernails than appendages. At that young age, dew claws can be removed relatively easily and only a stitch is required.

For further information, contact: Dr. Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd. Tel: 456 4981