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Discussion Starter #1
So i know there is a massive debate about dew claw removal in puppies. Im more interested in my pup. Shes 7mo old and still has hers. The seem to flair out and shes always biting at them. They haven't got caught on anything and have never bled but due to the flaring im wondering if it would be best to have them removed.
 

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If they're really bothering her, talk to your vet. It would be a relatively simple, painless procedure if they're very loose.
 

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If they are only loosely attached, or if they have they are not tight enough against the paw and have the potential to get caught on obstacles and ripped off, then I'd go ahead and have them removed when. If they are functional then leave them be dogs do use them for different things. If you do not have them removed make sure to keep the nail trimmed.

All About Your Dog's Dewclaws - The Dogington Post
 

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I'd ask your vet.

Some dew claws are floppy and attached barely by a flap of skin. Rear dew claws are often like this. They are easily removed.

If the dew claw is attached by bone, then that's a different situation. Most vets will NOT remove front dew claws on a dog that old because it is a more painful procedure, as it involves amputation of the toe. They generally won't unless it breaks.

You can see if your vet would be willing to remove them or thinks it's warranted based on his evaluation of how well they're attached.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well they seem to be attached pretty well. There is the flap of skin but when you feel the nail it is connected to something that runs into the leg itsself. Not really sure how to describe it.
 

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Well they seem to be attached pretty well. There is the flap of skin but when you feel the nail it is connected to something that runs into the leg itsself. Not really sure how to describe it.
It's probably a normal dew claw then.

I'll see if I can get a photo of my border collie's rear dews. There is absolutely no bone attaching them. He's got the claw and pad at the end, and I believe the last segment of bone, but then nothing. I opted not to remove them even though the vet did offer to do it during his neuter. So far so good, he is 4 years old now. They've caused us no issues.

It's not normal for them to have floppy dew claws in the front. They are generally attached. And even attached, they usually do have some flexibility to avoid injury. They are actually important in herding breeds because they dig into the ground and help provide traction on tight turns. They help your average dog gain traction during play, and can help if you plan no doing sports with your dog like agility or disc. There is also some speculation that they help dogs get traction on ice if they fall through a frozen lake, and help them pull themselves out. A lot of dogs are also observed using their dews to help hold items like bones while they chew. Which is kind of minor. But does show that they are aware of their dews and their functionality.

There is also some research out there that suggests removal of front dew claws is linked to early development of arthritis in the wrist. Which does make sense because it is an amputation, so you are changing the structure of the wrist. This may not be quite as much of a concern in pet dogs. But it is in active dogs that may be putting a lot of impact on their wrists.

So all that said, my first instinct is usually to discourage removal. Especially at the age of 7 months. I personally won't even buy a dog from a breeder if they remove dew claws when they're pups. I've been working at a vets office for a year now and have never seen our vets remove front dew claws on anything but 3 day old puppies. They usually discourage it if an owner asks. As far as injuries go, we do occasionally see ripped dew claws. But it's just the nail that breaks off. It's not that bad. They usually heel fine on their own. We probably see more "normal" claws get broken, one of the 4 that touch the ground. I've also personally never seen a broken dewclaw, as in, the bone is broken. But I have seen plenty of normal digits get broken. So injury is honestly not something that is THAT big of a concern. Some people will really blow it out of proportion to justify having them removed when a litter of puppies is 3 days old.
 

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The Vet in our area will not remove dew claws. I was glad when I got Kris that they had not removed her front dew claws as I have read articles on it and it can impact their soundness if you are doing sports with them and I am doing Agility with her. On my little Shih Tzu x Maltese, their back dew claws are usually just attached by a bit of skin and are a nuisance when you are clipping them and the nail grows in a very tight circle so has to be clipped more often than their other nails. I have never had them removed though and they have never caught them on anything. Right now I have only one of them with back dew claws and she is nine years old and never had a problem.
 

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Does she act like they are bothering her? I don't think she should be biting at them all day if they aren't bothering her.

Beaucerons have double dew claws that are firmly attached. Many do agility, SAR, bite work, etc. with 0 issues.

 

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If they are firmly attached then chances are a vet will refuse to remove them. If they are floppy and are at risk of getting caught and ripping off, that's another story. Just as @TiggerBounce said, most vets will take off hind dewclaws but will refuse to remove front dewclaws because they are essentially a dog's thumbs. This makes front removal an amputation which will cost more and can occasionally cripple some dogs balance/ability later in life.
 

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If they're really bothering her, talk to your vet. It would be a relatively simple, painless procedure if they're very loose.
This is not true.. Dew claw surgery is a major deal and the recovery takes forever. Even if they are not attached! The risk for infection is high.

We had Zoe's rear dewclaws taken off as they were not attached and floppy. It was just like any other major surgery. The dogs have to be put all the way under anesthesia and the recovery is a lengthy and delicate process. You have to make sure the dog does not lick their incision and they can't get their bandages wet. It took over a month for her to completely heal and we had to do bandage changes daily, vet re-checks, and I had to wrap her legs in plastic every single time she went out into the grass to potty or for walks.

I do not agree with removing attached dewclaws. Both of my current dogs have their front dew claws and all of my previous dogs have had theirs. We've never had an injury to an attached dew claw.
 

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I have had my Bernese cross make her front dewclaw bleed when she walked in snow that was really crusty but it healed up with no problem. It did not make me think she needed them taken off.
 

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This is not true.. Dew claw surgery is a major deal and the recovery takes forever. Even if they are not attached! The risk for infection is high.

We had Zoe's rear dewclaws taken off as they were not attached and floppy. It was just like any other major surgery. The dogs have to be put all the way under anesthesia and the recovery is a lengthy and delicate process. You have to make sure the dog does not lick their incision and they can't get their bandages wet. It took over a month for her to completely heal and we had to do bandage changes daily, vet re-checks, and I had to wrap her legs in plastic every single time she went out into the grass to potty or for walks.

I do not agree with removing attached dewclaws. Both of my current dogs have their front dew claws and all of my previous dogs have had theirs. We've never had an injury to an attached dew claw.
I've had no less than three dogs get their dewclaws removed well into adulthood, due to injury or irritation. Sammy had his rear dewclaws done as a 10 week old puppy. It took them the standard 10 days of stitches in to heal and then it was finished, no fuss no muss, no infection. I'm sorry your dog took longer to heal.

This isn't an issue of front dewclaws not bothering anything, OP's dewclaws are apparently enough of an irritant to the dog where the dog is chewing on them herself. It is better to have them surgically removed than have the dog rip it off.
 

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Dogs usually chew on their feet/toes if they're suffering from allergies or a fungal infection. Suggesting dew claw removal for licking is sorta jumping the gun as it likely has nothing to do with the claws provided they aren't injured. I've seen plenty of dogs sort of idly pluck their dew claws for no reason other than they're bored. But they're not going to rip them off doing that lol.
 

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That WOULD be why my initial post was 'if they're really bothering her, TALK TO YOUR VET'

I'm not telling them to get a pair of hedge clippers and have a go at it themselves here.
 

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I've had no less than three dogs get their dewclaws removed well into adulthood, due to injury or irritation. Sammy had his rear dewclaws done as a 10 week old puppy. It took them the standard 10 days of stitches in to heal and then it was finished, no fuss no muss, no infection. I'm sorry your dog took longer to heal.

This isn't an issue of front dewclaws not bothering anything, OP's dewclaws are apparently enough of an irritant to the dog where the dog is chewing on them herself. It is better to have them surgically removed than have the dog rip it off.
I never said she shouldn't have the surgery but I took issue with you saying it's a simple procedure when it's not. I worked at a vet clinic and tons of dogs had trouble after dew claw surgery, the majority of them were attached dew claws but like I said the risk of infection is high and after care has to be strictly followed.

If your dogs healed great with no worries, you got lucky.
 

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My gsd mix has all of his dew claws. I've had him since he was two months old and my vet said to not bother unless it becomes an issue. Three years later, this summer, he had a small issue. His front two caught on something, cracked and bled but after a week, back to normal. No vet, no nothing needed. So, in my opinion, I'd leave them and avoid the potentially unnecessary surgery.

If you plan on fixing your dog, I read somewhere that the best time to do dew claw removal is at the same time of a spay/neuter.
 
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