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Is Dew Claw Removal Necessary?

Tan dog paw with dew claw visible

Dew claws can be considered as extra thumbs of canines that help them to stabilize wrist joints at high speeds as well as on slippery surfaces. When we talk about dew claw removal, every dog doesn’t need to go for this procedure. This is because these claws only need to be removed when there is a serious injury or disease. Read on to know some useful details about the removal of dew claws.

Is Removing Dew Claws Cruel?

Removing any body part is a cruel act unless it is necessary to protect the life of that being. Similarly, dew claw removal is also a cruel act if it’s done without any emergency. The is particularly true for front dew claws because dogs use them for several important purposes. For instance, canines need these claws to stabilize themselves in fast running games or on slippery surfaces.

Normally, these claws don’t create many problems for the dogs and should not be removed. However, in some rare cases, they may get sternly injured or acquire a dangerous disease. In these situations, it won’t be cruel to remove these claws for the goodness of your dog.

Rear dew claws are generally removed because they are loosely attached to the dog’s paw. As a result, they can cause different injuries or diseases. Therefore, many owners prefer to get these claws removed at an early age.

How Late Can You Remove Dew Claws?

Vet/ Nurse holding bandage pressure to dog paw in surgery

There is no specific time frame to remove the dew claws of a dog. They can be removed at all phases of a dog’s life, but it’s better to remove them immediately after birth. The dew claws of new-born puppies are loosely attached and can be removed easily. This is why it is recommended to go for this procedure as early as possible (if you have to).

When a dew claw removal is done within a few days after the birth, only a small surgery is needed. In most cases, the vet will only numb the foot of the dog with local anesthesia.

On the other hand, a dew claw removal in the later stages of life will need proper surgery. It is a painful procedure where general anesthesia is used to operate the dog. The most likely causes of a late dew claw removal are a serious injury or a life-threatening disease.

Can Dew Claws Grow Back?

Tan dog paw close up of long dew claw

A dew claw can grow back after the surgery (removal) if its root is not removed completely. If that’s the case, the dew claws can come back within 2 to 3 weeks of the surgery.

The nails that grow back like this can be extremely harmful to your dog in the long run. This is because the possibility of them growing in a distorted manner is considerably high. Therefore, you should always remove the dew claws completely or don’t remove them at all.

Do Dew Claws Hurt Dogs?

Pad side view of dog paws with dew claw visible

The dew claws of a dog can hurt him/her in many ways if they are too long. Just like other dog nails, they can get caught in grass, carpet, and even furniture. This results in the breaking or tearing of the dew claw that can be very painful for your pup.

In addition to these injuries, trauma to dew claws can also lead to some serious diseases, like infections and tumors. The dew claws of some dogs are hanging from their wrists at the time of their birth. Such claws should be removed as soon as possible because any kind of delay can be harmful.

How Much Does Dew Claw Removal Cost?

White dog paw with stitches where the dew claw has been removed

The average cost of dew claw removal is around $30-$40. However, it can increase significantly depending upon the complication of the injury or disease. Likewise, removing the dew claws of large pups can cost more than declawing smaller breeds.

The price of dew claw removal can also change from one vet to another. Mostly, the surgical cost will be minimum if your pooch only needs a little skin cut to remove the nail. In these procedures, only a small area of the dog’s feet is numbed.

The surgery will become more expensive if the dew claw (with bone) has to be disjointed from the leg. In such cases, you will also be charged for general anesthesia and bandaging, in addition to the surgical fee.

Are All Dogs Born with Dew Claws?

White puppy sleeping on floor with paws facing the camera

All dogs are born with front dew claws, but some of them also have these claws on their rear paws. The dew claws on the front paws are attached to the leg by bones and muscles. Unlike them, rear dew claws are only affixed by a weak piece of skin. This is why rear dew claws are much more susceptible to injury than the front ones.

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