What is your opinion on dewclaws?

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What is your opinion on dewclaws?

Postby PinTeal » Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:10 am

The breeder had them removed but one grew back. The breeder said let her know how much it is going to be to get it removed...but she said it does not have to be done and all will be okay. We got a call later on and she said she talked to her husband and she said bring the dog back, get another one....or you can have your money back. It is not possible to bring a puppy into the house for almost a week and then give her back...so that is not an option. I hope the breeder will follow through on her innitial word.

Anyhoo, we have always had our huntin pups claws removed and a friend from work that just got done with her schooling said "Yes, get them removed if you are going to work her. I have seen dogs come in with them ripped off." I have had a lot more "get it removed" than I have "it will be okay," so I want your input.

To get it removed I have to wait until she is at least 4 months old so they can put her completely under to remove it because putting her under now is "too risky" (7 weeks old).


Thanks!

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Postby Mr. 16 gauge » Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:45 am

Have them removed....nothing bleeds like stink more than a dewclaw caught on brush!!!!
Do you plan on having the dog spayed? If so, then maybe your vet can do that procedure at the same time and save you some money.....just a thought. I had some skin growths removed from my wife's poodle when I had her in for a dental cleaning; saved me a few bucks.
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Postby texan68 » Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:07 am

never got em removed, and have never had a problem.
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Postby gsphunter » Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:19 pm

You'll probably get about a 50/50 response from people. Like texan said, he's never had a problem with his, but what if there is a problem. That's what I think about. You could have it removed on an operating table with very little pain to the pup and not have it get infected and really do damage. Or you could have something on a hunt do it for you, and chances are it won't be as nice as on an operating table.
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Postby choclab » Sun Oct 16, 2005 4:46 pm

If dew claws were meant to be cut off the good lord would have made them with out em'. Leave them on I say. I have never had a problem with them. I think dew claws give extra traction when they run full bore. Maggie uses hers to hold on to stuff all the time also.
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Postby h2oknine » Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:14 pm

Remove them

only if they are less than 2 days old
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Postby lars » Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:39 pm

get them removed!

especially if there is already one out.
life is alot easier when they are declawed, they dont get caught on brush and your partner isnt out for half the season cause it's bleeding or got infected.
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Postby ActionPoint » Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:28 pm

Get them removed! Some dogs will never have a problem, but trust me, if one gets ripped off or torn it is an absolute bloody mess and they will tend to be a nagging and re-occuring type of injury once it happens. It's a good preventative procedure to get done on any dog that works hard and encounters alot of brush and obstacles. The dew-claw may never give your dog problems but when your dog is bleeding and squeeling like a pig, you'll wish you had them removed.
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Postby terryg » Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:55 am

choclab wrote:If dew claws were meant to be cut off the good lord would have made them with out em'. Leave them on I say. I have never had a problem with them. I think dew claws give extra traction when they run full bore. Maggie uses hers to hold on to stuff all the time also.


if the good lord wanted a toe to be on the dog he would have put it on the foot, not the side of the leg :laughing: :laughing:

it is a vesitgal appendage, serves no purpose and can cause severe damage and lameness.

that being said, do not put the dog out just for a dew claw. risk v. benefit appraisel.

when the dog has to be put under for something else have it done then. in the mean time hope you are the dog are both lucky!
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Postby toby199 » Mon Oct 17, 2005 1:53 pm

if the good lord wanted a toe to be on the dog he would have put it on the foot, not the side of the leg :laughing: :laughing:

it is a vesitgal appendage, serves no purpose and can cause severe damage and lameness.

that being said, do not put the dog out just for a dew claw. risk v. benefit appraisel.

when the dog has to be put under for something else have it done then. in the mean time hope you are the dog are both lucky![/quote]

Ditto :toofunny:
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Postby Rat Creek » Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:50 pm

The problem as I see it is the original removal was not done properly. I had this happen with our GSP. I agree that there was no way to just bring the dog back. The dew claw will probably become a problem because it won’t grow in properly after being damaged the first time. You will need to have it removed. Our vet said the earlier the better because the tissue is soft, but gets hard in a couple of months.

I think we paid a few hundred dollars to have it done after the fact, at about 4-5 months. That is when we realized it was going to be a problem. It can be a tricky operation. If you can get the breeder to give you your money back or pay for all or part of the procedure, I think that would be fair.
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Postby gsphunter » Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:42 am

The good lord put them there on wolves (dogs forefathers) and all wild animals to bring down running prey. Ever watch the Discovery channel? Sorry but I'm a sucker for that channel. When predators catch up to their prey, they swing there front paw at the prey's hind quarters and try to snag them with the dew claw and pull them down.

As far as traction, I don't know how other people's dogs run or where their dew claws are but mine are nowhere near the ground. They are about and inch above the very rear of the pad.
Last edited by gsphunter on Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lars » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:53 am

yeah, I don't get the whole "better traction at full tilt" B.S.
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Postby Rat Creek » Tue Oct 18, 2005 1:12 pm

The way I look at it is if we leave them alone, they may evolve into a full functioning thumb. When that happens the dog may be able to drive you to the club and load your gun for you, and of course, give you a thumbs up when you make a good shot. :thumbsup:
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Postby waterfowler82 » Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:53 am

With my first lab I had them removed at about 6 months when he was neutered and we had some problems. He ripped off the bandages the first day (even with a dog-cone) and then proceeded to rip out the stainless steel sutchers (sp?) the used to hold the wound closed. He ended up swallowing so much of the bandaging that you could see a wad in his colon when they x-rayed him (as well as several shiny stitches). The vet said that if he couldn't pass the wad of bandaging on his own they'd have to open him up to remove it, fortunatly he was able to crap it out...
I didn't have them removed from the dog that I have now. I'd prefer the breeder do it when a dog is just born, but after that (especially with labs that chew on EVERYTHING) I'm not willing to put the stress on the dog and risk more problems. Good luck...
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Postby harvey1b » Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:53 am

this topic keeps coming up and we have discussed it several times.

Scientific research shows that sporting dogs use their dew claws like tumbs when make tight turns. Taking them off can lead to injuries such as torn ACLs. In conclusion: Do your hunting buddy a favor. . . LEAVE 'EM ON.
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Postby terryg » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:09 pm

harvey1b wrote:this topic keeps coming up and we have discussed it several times.

Scientific research shows that sporting dogs use their dew claws like tumbs when make tight turns. Taking them off can lead to injuries such as torn ACLs. In conclusion: Do your hunting buddy a favor. . . LEAVE 'EM ON.


what "scientific study" was that? if you wish to use scientific data to back up your statement, please be specfic. thanx!
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Postby harvey1b » Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:42 pm

here ya go

http://netpet.batw.net/articles/dewclaws.html

and since you asked for my reference I would like to see where you got your information that

it is a vesitgal appendage, serves no purpose and can cause severe damage and lameness.


thanks,
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Postby lars » Fri Oct 21, 2005 3:54 pm

Harvey, I dont know how many "tight turns" your dog makes- unless its also an upland dog- but I have never seen a lab make a tight turn of any kind in a swamp.
All that I have experienced from leaving them on, is blood all over from tromping through the weeds all day.
no offense to anybody, but I just do not see why its such a BIG DEAL to get it done when they are young, and prevent the entire headache. THEY DONT SERVE A PURPOSE- and anybody who thinks their dog uses them, other than holding on to your favorite pair of boots for chewing on, then notify me as to what they use them for!?
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Postby choclab » Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:10 pm

Thanks Harvey1b :salude: :thumbsup: your ok my friend.
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Postby harvey1b » Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:21 pm

lars,

I do a bit of upland hunting and have seen my dog make plenty of tight turns chasing a pheasant that had legs when it hit the ground after being shot, or just following a scent trail, or even catching a wounded goose in a corn field.

Did you read the article I posted? I have read a supporting article in Gun Dog or a similar publication, but it was so long ago I can't find it and is why I haven't used it to defend my point. If I may shed some light on this mystery article without being able to site it, it suggested that the dogs also use their dew claws for climbing out of the water and over obstacles, in a method similar to what you suggest in chewing your boot.

Do you have any support for your claim that dew claws are worthless? The author of the article I sited suggests that leg injuries are just as common with or without dew claws. I am not trying to insite an emontional arguement and I am sorry to hear of you experience with your dog. If you do have a reference it would be nice to read. I think it would be helpful to myself and everyone else who is interested to see both sides of the issue presented in arguements based on scientific evidence. That way we can all make an educated opinion. Everyone seems to have their own opinion and until I see hard science I am not ready to change mine.

Thanks,
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Postby MoTriples » Fri Oct 21, 2005 5:04 pm

I didn't see where any actual research was cited or conducted. It looked more like a stated opinion with nothing to back up the idea. Not saying it's necessarily wrong. But it's not anymore scientific than my vet writing a one page letter on how he feels dewclaws should be removed. Remember that many of these online pet info sites have different agendas than hunters and much different reasons why they do or don't support certain procedures on animals. Many of these "experts" simply want to do away with any manipulation or altering altogether. Whether it be tail docking or ear cropping or dew claw removal. Just because your dog has not had it's dew claws removed, it doesn't mean you have to justify why it wasn't done. For some it's really a non-issue, they'll never see any difference or advantage to having them removed or not removed. I have not seen any advantage performance wise to a dog having them. Whether in the field or during trials your not going to see any difference until a dog that has dewclaws gets one ripped.
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Postby lars » Fri Oct 21, 2005 5:24 pm

Matt, I have no scientific evidence supporting my claim.
I stand on grounds of having labradors my entire life and I have had ones with, and without dew claws.
It is my opinion only, and I dont feel the need to have someone elses evidence to support me.
By the way, I didn't say that they are necessarily worthless- as in every dog alive shouldn't have them- rather that I have ONLY had problems with NOT having them removed, stating that they serve no real purpose!

MoTriples has a fairly good point- if I understood correctly
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Postby IBBoykin » Sat Oct 22, 2005 10:27 am

I work for a vet and it is actually strange, but most of the labs we see that are used in hunt tests and/or for hunting, in most cases have all their dew claws removed. It is the labs that have become "yard dogs" that still have them.
We see very few dogs with injuries to dew claws. Of the ones we do see, it is mainly in the instances where the dew claws are not attached, they are free hanging. These have a high incidence of getting ripped or torn.
The Attached dew claws, we just do not see that many problems.
Me personally, I would have them removed. A dew claw can grow back, many times it is mutant in that it might be ill shaped or much smaller than normal. If you are having the dog spayed/neutered, have this dew claw removed at that time. Another good time to do this is if you have a dental done of the dog on the dog. Either time it will save you on the anesthesia cost. What I am saying is, since the claw is a regrowth, if no problems like an infection or something exists, then wait till sometime when the dog is going to be sedated and have it done then. You do not have to race out and get it done right away. The procedure on top of one of these other electives is a very inexpensive addition.
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Postby harvey1b » Sat Oct 22, 2005 10:45 am

I realize the article I posted previously was a weak arguement and not entirely convincing. This has gotten me fired up and in the spirit of getting a definitive answer I've been doing some research. From what I can find in my short search, the veterinary science community is not very concerned with sporting canine dew claws.

I did find an article in Dog World by Caroline Coile, PhD. The official source is: Dog World; Jul2005, Vol. 90 Issue 7, p18-19, 2p, 1c

While there is no hard data to back it up and it is more of a discussion paper, there is a section in this article dealing with the dew claw debate from which the following excerpt was taken.
Should you do dews? Most shorthaired show dogs have their front dewclaws (which, technically, are not dewclaws but simply first digits; dewclaws are just the ones on the rear legs) removed simply to achieve a cleaner line to the leg. Dogs can snag and rip out dewclaws when running, so many breeders also do it to prevent injury. The propensity for injury seems to depend on how floppy the dewclaws are, with those that fit more snugly being less likely to snag. Many owners of performance running dogs contend that the front dewclaw is an important part of a dog's running gear. They point out that these digits are attached to muscles and ligaments that, when cut, no longer have a point of attachment, potentially weakening the wrist area. They also point out that these claws contact and grip the ground when running and turning at speed. The jury is still out on whether removing them is for better or for worse.


I think the last sentence clearly points out that neither side has a stronger arguement in the debate. Take from it what you want. If anyone else has a better reference it would be great to see. Until then it seems to me that either side of the arguement is equally valid.
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