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Dew Claws

Dew Claws

Postby Gertie » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:50 pm

A friend of mine recently picked up his E. pointer pup and found that the breeder had not removed the dew claws. Why on Earth wouldn't they have that done?
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Sharon » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:52 pm

I haven't found that to be a common procedure. Many believe the dew claw is the fifth toe leading to better balance /firmness on the ground. When kept trimmed, I've never found the dew claw to be a problem.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby shags » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:25 pm

Dr. Chris Zink did some work on how dewclaws are an advantage to canine athletes, and how removing them can cause a twist of the carpal area when the dog's running. Continued twists can cause problems like arthritis. I believe Dr. Zink has articles available online.

FWIW we've never had a problem with dewclaws left on. But then, they weren't loose or allowed ro get long so others' mileage may vary.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Gertie » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:36 pm

Maybe there are some geographic differences to consider before removing them. We have a lot of nasty volcanic rock and I've heard of dew claws being ripped off that resulted in a nasty injury with a lot of bleeding. Guess I always assumed removinbbthwmbwas standard practice to avoid that scenario. Interesting...
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby blanked » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:15 pm

It's a real PI the A if you have to boot dogs with dew claws. I have been fighting it
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Sharon » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:35 pm

You mean boot as in "put on a boot" I'm assuming. :)
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Dakotazeb » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:45 pm

I've had hunting dogs for over 40 years. Every dog I've ever had has had it's dew claws removed. Never had any issues. I personally would not want the dew claws left on.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Moulders Farm » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:22 pm

As a breeder I always had them removed at birth my vet would only remove them with in 2 days of age or it would be a majer operation if removed at birth or with in 2 days I never had a problem , but they can cause a lot of trouble if left on getting hung in furniture or in a fence several other places that will cost the owner a lot of money and the dog lots of pain if they have trouble , The main reason a lot of breeders do not do it is its a lot of trouble taking them to the vet ,at birth if you do not know how to remove them properly and another expence paying the vet
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby birddogger2 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:46 pm

I've had dogs with and without dew claws.

Never had a problem with them and never had a problem with a dog without them.

I do check them periodically and trim them, just as I trim the rest of the dog's nails. I try to keep them trimmed off about as close as I can and round off the nail with a Dremel.

I do not routinely use boots on my dogs as it is not necessary for the terrain I hunt or train on. On the occasions I have had to use dog boots, I do agree that it can indeed be a PIA to work around them with things like Lewis Boots.

The only time I ever had a problem with a dog's toenail was when a dog charged out of their crate, caught a front foot toenail in the gap between the truck bed and tailgate and ripped it off. That WAS a mess and put the dog on the DL until the toe healed up. The nail was a little long, but it probably would have gotten caught if it was trimmed. Lesson learned. I now take the dogs out of the kennel and make them stand on the tailgate before releasing it. One toenail in about fifty years of messing with dogs. Not so bad, I think. Stuff happens.

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Re: Dew Claws

Postby greg jacobs » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:49 pm

Quite a few of the versatile guys are leaving them on. They say the dogs learn to use them to climb out onto the ice. I've also heard that it destabilizes the tendon. In 45 years I've never had a hunting dog that had them.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Up North » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:45 pm

Worked with a 18 month old setter that had its dew claws. On the third day in the woods it ripped one off. I would not get a dog for myself that had them.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby JONOV » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:04 pm

My dog has them. The breeder said he'd never had an issue with his dogs having them cause problems, so never saw a reason to screw with Mother Nature. I talked to a veterinarian that said he went back and looked at injury data...20% of injuries to the toes/claws involved a dewclaw. So, no worse than any other digit.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby CCBIRDDOGMAN » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:41 pm

They aren't a problem until they are a problem. Then you have a problem that could have been easily avoided.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby cjhills » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:55 am

JONOV wrote:My dog has them. The breeder said he'd never had an issue with his dogs having them cause problems, so never saw a reason to screw with Mother Nature. I talked to a veterinarian that said he went back and looked at injury data...20% of injuries to the toes/claws involved a dewclaw. So, no worse than any other digit.

So, by removing the Dew Claws you remove 20% of the injuries.....Cj
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby birddogger2 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:34 pm

CCBIRDDOGMAN wrote:They aren't a problem until they are a problem. Then you have a problem that could have been easily avoided.


Not so easily avoided if you get the pup at 7-12 weeks of age and it has the dewclaws still on.

From my perspective, there are things about a prospective puppy that are much more important than whether or not it has dewclaws. If the pup was bred the way I want and showed me that it had the physical attributes, personality and temperament I was looking for, whether or not it had its dewclaws removed would be inconsequential to my decision. Just one man's opinion.


Jonov - I wonder of the vet you spoke of had any data on just how long those injured dewclaws were? I for one have seen many a dog with dewclaws that had not been trimmed back in months. If you don't trim the dewclaw...of course it is going to be at greater risk of getting hung up on something. That is a no brainer, IMO, and should be part of the inspection and grooming routine. We (should)check ands treat for cuts, ticks, abraded pads, seeds in eyes and other stuff. Overlong dewclaws are just one more thing on the list.

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Re: Dew Claws

Postby ymepointer » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:52 am

I agree with Ray. I have had both and of the opinion now that it really is unnecessary to remove them, not sure if it impacts them to remove or not.
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Dew Claws

Postby Shellottome » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:01 pm

I dock and remove dew claws the same time. 3 days old.


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Re: Dew Claws

Postby greg jacobs » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:03 pm

birddogger2 wrote:
CCBIRDDOGMAN wrote:They aren't a problem until they are a problem. Then you have a problem that could have been easily avoided.


Not so easily avoided if you get the pup at 7-12 weeks of age and it has the dewclaws still on.

From my perspective, there are things about a prospective puppy that are much more important than whether or not it has dewclaws. If the pup was bred the way I want and showed me that it had the physical attributes, personality and temperament I was looking for, whether or not it had its dewclaws removed would be inconsequential to my decision. Just one man's opinion.


Jonov - I wonder of the vet you spoke of had any data on just how long those injured dewclaws were? I for one have seen many a dog with dewclaws that had not been trimmed back in months. If you don't trim the dewclaw...of course it is going to be at greater risk of getting hung up on something. That is a no brainer, IMO, and should be part of the inspection and grooming routine. We (should)check ands treat for cuts, ticks, abraded pads, seeds in eyes and other stuff. Overlong dewclaws are just one more thing on the list.
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Thinking CC was talking about the breeder taking care of it in the beginning.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby birddogger2 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:41 am

greg jacobs wrote:
birddogger2 wrote:
CCBIRDDOGMAN wrote:They aren't a problem until they are a problem. Then you have a problem that could have been easily avoided.


Not so easily avoided if you get the pup at 7-12 weeks of age and it has the dewclaws still on.

From my perspective, there are things about a prospective puppy that are much more important than whether or not it has dewclaws. If the pup was bred the way I want and showed me that it had the physical attributes, personality and temperament I was looking for, whether or not it had its dewclaws removed would be inconsequential to my decision. Just one man's opinion.


Jonov - I wonder of the vet you spoke of had any data on just how long those injured dewclaws were? I for one have seen many a dog with dewclaws that had not been trimmed back in months. If you don't trim the dewclaw...of course it is going to be at greater risk of getting hung up on something. That is a no brainer, IMO, and should be part of the inspection and grooming routine. We (should)check ands treat for cuts, ticks, abraded pads, seeds in eyes and other stuff. Overlong dewclaws are just one more thing on the list.
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Thinking CC was talking about the breeder taking care of it in the beginning.


I'm sure he was. However, if you don't know about the litter until after it is born, or do not see them until they are seven weeks old...there ain't much you can do about it. The reality of the situation is that most often, the prospective puppy buyer has no opportunity to influence whether the puppy's dew claws will be removed or not.

I know there are folks who wait for a year or two for a pup from a certain kennel and/or a certain breeding. I honestly think those folks are in the distinct minority.

I suspect that breeders who do not routinely remove dew claws will have to have them removed by a veterinarian. I wonder how many of the folks that are on those waiting lists would pay to have the dewclaws removed for the entire litter, so they could be sure their pick will not have them.

It, I think, comes down to whether the presence of dewclaws is a dealbreaker for the rest of us.

Do you walk away from an outstanding litter or an outstanding prospect that seems to have all the attributes you are looking for in a bird dog because of the presence or absence of dewclaws?

That is a personal decision and choice.

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Re: Dew Claws

Postby cjhills » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:14 pm

We remove dew claws on all puppies. With GSPs it is routinely done at 2 to 4 days. Most of our puppies are sold before they are born if somebody would want dew claws left on their puppy we would do it but that would mean we make the pick at two days and the purchase price would need to be paid in full.
I do not see why you could not do just the opposite on a pointer puppy from a breeder who did not remove dew claws. I see no reason why you would need to pay for having the whole litter done.
Personally, I find dew claws a needless PIA. But, I never gave a lot of thought to the long tail dogs. I suppose it is a little issue to take them to a vet to have them removed and I do not know what they would charge to remove them on one puppy. About $8 per puppy with the tails....Cj
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby polmaise » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:30 pm

Gertie wrote:A friend of mine recently picked up his E. pointer pup and found that the breeder had not removed the dew claws. Why on Earth wouldn't they have that done?

Your friend was obviously over the moon with the pup then . :wink:
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Gertie » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:32 am

polmaise wrote:
Gertie wrote:A friend of mine recently picked up his E. pointer pup and found that the breeder had not removed the dew claws. Why on Earth wouldn't they have that done?

Your friend was obviously over the moon with the pup then . :wink:


Not sure if that was sarcasm or not but yes, he's thrilled with the pup (excellent breeding). The dew claw thing just took him a little off-guard. Reading through comments here, elsewhere, and some related articles, it sounds as though there is a legitimate argument to be made for leaving them on. Always good to learn.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Urban_Redneck » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:43 am

cjhills wrote:
JONOV wrote:My dog has them. The breeder said he'd never had an issue with his dogs having them cause problems, so never saw a reason to screw with Mother Nature. I talked to a veterinarian that said he went back and looked at injury data...20% of injuries to the toes/claws involved a dewclaw. So, no worse than any other digit.

So, by removing the Dew Claws you remove 20% of the injuries.....Cj


It's like cutting a dog's nuts off to avoid testicular cancer :D

I read there are 5 tendons that attach to the dew claw, obviously our maker feels they have a purpose.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby OldDixieDown » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:32 pm

Do no harm. We don't remove tonsils or appendices from humans when they're born. We wait until there is a problem.

Dewclaws are still around after millennia of selective breeding and millions of years of evolution in the wild among far greater stress on a dog than hunting. They are not vestigial. They make ground contact and there's tendons attached to prevent torquing of the leg that contributes to arthritis.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Firelight » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:43 pm

https://youtu.be/r4XflsMEk-k

Sorry for just a link but I couldn't figure out how to embed the video directly into the post.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby greg jacobs » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:54 pm

As a gsp owner, that made me tense just watching it.
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