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Dew claws are the "thumbs" on the inside of their front paws.
I think it is done to reduce the risk of them being caught on things and then causing the animal pain. I personally don't agree with it, like docking tails or cropping ears, but it's something that's pretty common.
Lexi's dew claws are intact, she's not had any problems with them.

This may not seem related but all my cats have their dew claws and have never hurt themselves either.
 

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dew claws are the little nails that are like the thumbs, our gundog had them removed when he was small and we had to have our shnauzers removed when he was a pup but he was really poorly after and kept chewing at the bandages. Tyson still has his and i am not cgonna get them removed unless they cause any discomfort to him , the vet we used to go to said they should always be removed but our new vet thinks the opposite!! :wave:
 

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Our old Toby used to wash his face with his paws ( as do all of mine) he was doing this then suddenly screamed and screamed ,he had caught his dew claw in his bottom eyelid, it was awful but i undid it for him and he was fine thankgoodness.
 

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I always see things about dew claws and knew what they were but I don't understand why people have them removed. It would seem catching the nail on something could apply to any of their "fingers".

Cooper has his. I wouldn't even consider removing them. OmaKitty has all her nails. I cut hers, just like I cut Coopers. She actually sits nicer for me than he does, crazy dog.
 

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sullysmum said:
Our old Toby used to wash his face with his paws ( as do all of mine) he was doing this then suddenly screamed and screamed ,he had caught his dew claw in his bottom eyelid, it was awful but i undid it for him and he was fine thankgoodness.
OUCH :shock: :shock: ew I can feel it now
 

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Hmmmm...Ruby Tuesday has both front AND rear dewclaws. Is that wierd? :shock: They are tricky to cut - She is three months old...If I want to have them removed, when is the best time? (besides at birth which obviously didn't happen.)
 

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let me say something about the risk of infection and dew claws. this is going to be tricky for me to explain cause i'm horrible at "teaching" so i'll do the best i can....

when the dew claws are floppy and incomplete more than likely they aren't even attatched to the bone on the inside which makes removal necessary (in my opinion and that opinion of many vets) cause those are the types of dew claws that can get caught on something and ripped off, and it's a BLOOD BATH!!!!!!! heck any of the nails getting caught and being ripped out is a blood bath but with the dew the whole dew claw itself rips off (from the skin not the nail bed.) so since they aren't attatched to the bone there would be none of that infection. however, as with any surgery site there still is a risk of infection where the claw itself was removed, just like with a spay and nueter site....

i hope that was clear enough.....

i wanted to ahve chiwi's removed but they are complete so no worries. plus i keep her nails cut nice and short.
 

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Cooper said:
Let me see if I understand ... dew claws can be either attached to the bone or unattached?

If they're attached, do vets recommend they still be removed in most cases?
yeah some are what we call incoplete meaning they are stupid and shouldn't be there lol cause they aren't really attatched to anything. you could really tell if they aren't they are floppy.

vets don't recomend removing the ones that are attatched and complete. it's almost the same as docking tails and ears, it's for show really. we had this big ridgeback puppy, he went for his nueter and the owners wanted the dew claws removed while he was under (dog was like 9 months old) and when it came time to take his stitches out it was such a pain! he would stay still it took 4 people just to remove simple stitches and we blamed the dr lol and he said hey not like i wanted to remove them. in that dogs case it was for the owners and his appearance nothing more as the dews were complete.
 

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Cooper said:
Let me see if I understand ... dew claws can be either attached to the bone or unattached?

If they're attached, do vets recommend they still be removed in most cases?
if floppy they can be, but its my understanding that the risk of infection goes up as they get older. 3 days old is best for removal
 

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Dewclaws are usually more of a concern on large active dogs such as labradors or pointers, where they may be out hunting game etc and get them caught. My previous next door neighbour had a lab puppy who got both hers caught and litterally ripped them mostly off. The remainder had to be removed and sewen shut by the vet.

If they are done within days of birth the bone has not formed or hardened yet so its just like removing a small piece of flesh and usually only require a stitch. A vet usually wont remove them on an older dog unless there is some concern with them.

Beamer & Fritzy still have theirs, Kosmo does not. Just a breeder preference. Personally, I'd would have them all removed because the nail is hard to trim and grows faster then the rest I find.
 

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BeamerFritzyKosmo said:
Dewclaws are usually more of a concern on large active dogs such as labradors or pointers, where they may be out hunting game etc and get them caught. My previous next door neighbour had a lab puppy who got both hers caught and litterally ripped them mostly off. The remainder had to be removed and sewen shut by the vet.

If they are done within days of birth the bone has not formed or hardened yet so its just like removing a small piece of flesh and usually only require a stitch. A vet usually wont remove them on an older dog unless there is some concern with them.

Beamer & Fritzy still have theirs, Kosmo does not. Just a breeder preference. Personally, I'd would have them all removed because the nail is hard to trim and grows faster then the rest I find.
i think the reason it seems they grow faster is cause they don't wear them out while walking on them like the other nails.

i've seen a couple small breed dogs (a min pin, a chi and a rat terrier) have their dew claws torn cause of them getting caught, it's mainly a large dog (working dog.hunting.herding ect) concern but it also happens to the lil guys too. good point about the emoving them at a few days old, i wonder why dome of them never harden and become complete. i just ahd to do the anils of a great pyrenese and on both his back feet he had 2 incomplete dew claws, 4 dew claws in the back altogether. and let me admit i hate cutting the incomplete ones!!!!! it freaks me out cause of the floppiness!
 

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I know this is an old thread, but I want to say this about dew claws. There's a lot of research that's been done saying that the removal of dew claws has been associated with arthritis in dogs later in life. They should only be removed if they're a problem and/or if they're getting caught on things
 

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Both of my chi's (RIP) got their front dew claws caught on something. Gads, the blood was terrible. One of them chewed off the bandage and the dew claw during the night, and the other one cost me $100 for minor surgery and bandageing. I personally hate them. Clipping, dremeling etc is a real pain. You have to do it a few days after birth though. Sue
 

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I don't really agree with removing an appendage that I've seen dogs make good use of with my own eyes! My girl would have quite a time with her Kong Genius if she didn't have those dew claws. If they aren't fully formed that's one thing, but if they are then they should stay.
 
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