Jump to content


Photo

What to do with Dew Claws?


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Murray Momma

Murray Momma

    Member

  • Registered Users
  • 46 posts

Posted 11 March 2013 - 01:59 PM

Murray's nails have never really been a problem as we walk him enough they wear down. However, the dew claws are brutal! He's getting into a habit of playing with my feet when I am standing in the kitchen cooking/cleaning/not paying attention to the puppy and will wrap his paw around my leg, put a toy between my feet, and start batting at me like a cat (he may have has some inspiration from either one of the felines in the house). While this is cute, the dew claws have resulted in a number of scratches on my feet/ankles which have bled. I've looked at trimming them but the point is pretty flush with the thicker part of the nail. They're white so I know that if I do cut them, I can avoid the quick. I guess I'm probably expecting nails like the cats with a more defined point. Is there a rule of thumb on the dew claws? Should I have them removed?

#2 Flamincomet

Flamincomet

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 375 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Washington

Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:29 PM

No need to remove them, invest in a dremel and teach your puppy to let you grind its nails. Not likely to hit the quick, and it will make their nails smooth.

#3 rushdoggie

rushdoggie

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 1,965 posts
  • Location:Vancouver, WA

Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:44 PM

Yep, just trim them like any other nail.

f84d543e-e476-430d-b76a-da3c85c28501_zps

 

Training is a journey, not a destination. If you think you’ve arrived, you’ve already missed out.
Denise Fenzi


#4 workindogs

workindogs

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 986 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:48 PM

As you stated, playing with your feet and climbing up your leg (and making you bleed!) is a bad habit.....you need to correct him and make him stop. You shouldn't be considering dew claw removal...you need to improve his manners and get some respect from him.
I only remove rear dew claws (and only shortly after birth)...the front dew claws are well attached and part of the structure of the foot. A front claw would only be removed if it was seriously injured or torn. Dew claw nails need trimming just like the other claws...sometimes more often because they don't get worn down.

Elizabeth
with Ross, Soot, Craig and Hattie
Steadfast Stockdogs
Oregon, USA


#5 Sue R

Sue R

    Bark less, wag more

  • Registered Users
  • 11,073 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Bruceton Mills WV
  • Interests:Stockdogs, horses, chocolate

Posted 11 March 2013 - 03:25 PM

As you stayed, playing with your feet and climbing up your leg is a bad habit.....you need to correct him and make him stop. You shouldn't be considering dew claw removal...you need to improve his manners and get some respect from him.
I only remove rear dew claws (and only shortly after birth)...the front dew claws are well attached and part of the structure of the foot. A front claw would only be removed if it was seriously injured or torn. Dew claw nails need trimming just like the other claws...sometimes more often because they don't get worn down.

Spot on advice. Train him and don't consider unnecesary (and counterproductive) surgery.
Sue Rayburn - Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, but not the brightest firefly in the jar.

Celt, Megan, and Dan

"When the chips are down, watch where you step."

"The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything." - author unknown

#6 rushdoggie

rushdoggie

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 1,965 posts
  • Location:Vancouver, WA

Posted 11 March 2013 - 03:55 PM

Do the Dew(claws)? M. Christine Zink DVM, PhD, DACVSMR


Do the Dew(claws)?
M. Christine Zink DVM, PhD, DACVSMR
I am a vet that works exclusively with performance dogs, developing rehabilitation programs for injured dogs or dogs that have had surgery as a result of performance-related injuries. I have seen many dogs now, especially field trial/hunt test and agility dogs, that have had chronic carpal arthritis, frequently so severe that they have to be retired or at least carefully managed for the rest of their careers. Of the over 30 dogs I have seen with carpal arthritis, only one has had dewclaws. The others have all had them removed.
If you look at an anatomy book (Miller’s Guide to the Anatomy of Dogs is an excellent one – see figure below) you will see that there are 5 tendons attached to the dewclaw. Of course, at the other end of a tendon is a muscle, and that means that if you cut off the dew claws, there are 5 muscle bundles that will become atrophied from disuse.
Those muscles indicate that the dewclaws have a function. That function is to prevent torque on the leg. Each time the foot lands on the ground, particularly when the dog is cantering or galloping, the dewclaw is in touch with the ground. If the dog then needs to turn, the dewclaw digs into the ground to support the lower leg and prevent torque. If the dog doesn’t have a dewclaw, the leg twists. A lifetime of that and the result can be carpal arthritis. Remember: the dog is doing the activity regardless, and the pressures on the leg have to go somewhere. They can be absorbed by the dewclaw, or they will move up and down the leg to the toes, carpus, elbow, and shoulders.
Perhaps you are thinking, “I never have had one of my dogs have carpal pain or arthritis.” Well, we need to remember that dogs, by their very nature, do not tell us about mild to moderate pain. If a dog was to be asked by an emergency room nurse to give the level of his pain on a scale from 0 o 10, with 10 being the worst, their scale would be 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Most of our dogs, especially if they deal with pain that is of gradual onset, just deal with it and don’t complain unless it is excruciating. But when I palpate the carpal joints of older dogs without dewclaws, I almost always elicit pain with elatively minimal manipulation.
As to the possibility of in juries to dew claws. Most veterinarians will say that such injuries
actually are not very common at all. And if they do occur, then they are dealt with like any other
injury. In my opinion, it is far better to deal with an injury than to cut the dew claws off of all dogs
“just in case.”
Posted Image


f84d543e-e476-430d-b76a-da3c85c28501_zps

 

Training is a journey, not a destination. If you think you’ve arrived, you’ve already missed out.
Denise Fenzi


#7 Gideon's girl

Gideon's girl

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 1,549 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, USA
  • Interests:BCs, Gideon and Micah and a token JRT just to keep me humble.

Posted 11 March 2013 - 09:02 PM

If you don't want to dremel your dogs nails(personally, I love it), then get the heavy duty nail files they use for acrylic nails and just file his dew claws with that.

#8 Murray Momma

Murray Momma

    Member

  • Registered Users
  • 46 posts

Posted 15 March 2013 - 06:54 AM

Thanks everyone! I love this forum. :)

We're working on correcting the pawing at my legs/feet behavior with sitting and waiting like a good dog for the toy to be thrown instead. So far, it's slow going but he has been making progress. My husband is a mechanic and has a Dremel. I think filing will be his job. he has a great attention to fine details. I tried to use a regular nail file and Mur thought it looked like a great chew toy. He's an odd dog!

#9 Root Beer

Root Beer

    It's a Dean Dog Adventure!

  • Registered Users
  • 6,393 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Pennsylvania

Posted 15 March 2013 - 07:49 AM

Thanks everyone! I love this forum. :)/>

We're working on correcting the pawing at my legs/feet behavior with sitting and waiting like a good dog for the toy to be thrown instead. So far, it's slow going but he has been making progress.


One thing that might help you is the Mat Work from the program "Control Unleashed". Once the dog absolutely loves lying on the mat, you can start to use the mat to train calm at times when you are doing things like working in the kitchen, etc.

Something to consider . . .

Kristine
And Dean Dog, Tessa, and the Bandit
In Memory:  Sammie, Speedy, and Maddie

 

Tessa's Training Blog - Our Training and Experiences in Musical Freestyle, Agility, and Rally FrEe

 

Tessa+Snooker.JPG



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Copyright: All posts and images on this site are protected by copyright, and may not be reproduced or distributed in any way without permission. Banner photo courtesy of Denise Wall, ©2009 CDWall. For further information, contact info@bordercollie.org.