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Thread: Dew claw removal?

  1. #1
    hugo_elsa is offline Junior Member
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    Default Dew claw removal?

    hi all. My husband and i own a beautiful little Shih Tzu who is just over a year old now but she has had problems with her back dew claws and they have been growing at an alarming rate and almost grow into her foot. last month we took her to the vet for her annual check up and he checked her claws. Tonight however, i checked them and one is pressing right into her toe! poor baby! it must be very painful for her, even though she has been running around playing with her groodle brother all day. first thing in the morning i am taking her to the vet but am thinking of having these dew claws removed. it was only a matter of weeks ago that the vet checked them and they have grown right into the foot in that time. What is the general feeling about dew claw removal? any idea of cost? what about recovery time?

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    Beloz's Avatar
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    My old dog had a dew claw removed after she almost ripped it off (hunting dog, got injuries after getting carried away quite frequently). It wasn't overly expensive - bearing in mind that you can see your bank balance drop when the vet even glances at your pet! But from memory, I think they didn't even use anaesthetics for a reason I forgot now. Probably because it was only one and it was already half ripped off anyway. The anaesthetics will add a couple of hundreds no doubt.

    My dog recovered really quickly from it, I remember. Didn't seem to bother her much at all.

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    All our working dogs have had their dew claws removed to prevent injury, our newfies never seem to have any, so no problem

    It is often done when the dog is being desexed or has any other procedure done to safe money. we did have one of our kelpeis done with local aneast, he tolerated it really well. would depend on the dog. I would say if you have problems clipping the dogs toenals it would need a quick anaestetic, if happy and quiet a local may be enough
    Last edited by newfsie; 12-30-2011 at 09:12 AM.
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    If the only issue is them growing fast just trim them more often. Removing dewies from an adult is painful and recovery can take a while, no need to cause the dog unecessary pain when all you have to do is be a little more vigilant.

    Our Shih Tzu was the same, his dew claws actually curled and headed back towards his leg. We just bought the scissor type nail clippers rather than the guilotine ones and trimmed them weekly.
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    Beau's Avatar
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    I've never encountered hind dew claws before, are they like the front ones? like a functioning thumb, or just like a floppy skin flap with a nail? ( probably sound like a total d**k here lol). I would probably have them removed if its a skin flap thing.
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    It will depend on the level of internal attachment. Rear ones can be quite superficial, or fully attached like front ones normally are.

    If they are fully attached it is a full digit amputation which can either go quite simply or require a deeper dig to fully remove which will take a few months for a full recovery. If the digit isn't fully removed it can regrow which is problematic as well.

    My vet has told me it rates as his very least favourite surgery as it can be intense and traumatic.

    Hopefully your girl's ones are more supericial and it would be nice and simple.

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    Hyacinth's Avatar
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    Hugo elsa

    My dog doesn't seem to have any at the back. Lucky me I suppose.

    She uses the ones at the front like thumbs so I wouldn't want to get them removed unless she smashed them. I just get an emery board nail file from time to time and sand them back when we're watching telly or relaxing on the couch. Treats help, as does waiting for her to be ok with letting you muck around with the paws.

    This website gives you detailed instructions about nail trimming. Note for the furry pawed, it helps to put a pantihose sock over the paw so the claws stick through and the hair doesn't.
    How to Dremel Dog Nails @ DoberDawn.com
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    Fun fact - the Chinese believed that Shih Tzus born with all 4 dew claws were a lucky omen.

    Love the pantihose tip, never thought of that before!

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    As said above it all depends on how attached the bones are. If the 'toe bone' isnt attached to the rest of the foot bones and it is just encased in skin then it is simply a matter of local or general anesthetic, cutting through the skin and stitching which is not a major surgery.
    If however the bone of the rear dew claw is fully connected to the rest of the foot bones it becomes another toe and that becomes major bone surgery as it is a full amputation. Amputations require a general anaesthetic and as they need to scratch and drill through the joint to seperate the bone the risk of infection is significantly higher than if it was just attached by flesh.
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    My kelpies obviously only ever had the soft, no bone involved version.
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