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Removing Dewclaw?

May 26th, 2004, 02:12 PM
I have a 4 month old Shih-tzu bichon X puppy, and I am wondering if I should be having her dewclaws removed when I spay her? Does anyone have any opinions?

May 26th, 2004, 02:15 PM
My pup's dewclaws were removed when he was young - along with his tail docked (he's a boxer). My mom has a Chesapeake Bay Retreiver, and his dew claws were removed when he was neutered - the vet recomended it. I read that the dew claws and rip very easily and that it can cause your dog alot of pain! I'm sure someone will know more about this and will reply shortly. I would have it done, but that's just me!

May 26th, 2004, 02:19 PM
All a matter of choice. I had one of my goldens done, the other not. The reason being is that the dewclaw removal for my older one was worse than the spay. SHe bugged and bugged with the stitches etc. and they got infected. I said never again. I'll take my chances. So far, not one problem with the younger one. You have to make the decision.


May 26th, 2004, 02:30 PM
A friend of mine has 2 Bichons,2 years old,and a bichon/Shih tzu puppy also,never had their dewclaws removed...... :D

Lucky Rescue
May 26th, 2004, 02:52 PM
If the dewclaws are hanging by a thread of flesh and are very loose and floppy, it's safer to remove them.

If they are firmly attached, I certainly would not have this done as it is very painful for the dog. Just keep the nails on the dewclaws trimmed.

Bill & Bob
May 26th, 2004, 03:16 PM
Definitely keep them trimmed if you are going to leave them. Bob still has one of his. A while ago he was really running fast at the park while playing with another dog, and came back to me with blood all over his leg. Ripped the nail right out of the claw. Hasn't grown back yet, not sure if it will. His adrenaline was so high at that point, it didn't seem to bother him. He licked for a while, but that stopped pretty quickly once it stopped bleeding. Lots of blood though at the beginning. Got all over my leg, feet and hand too when I inspected. That drew some stares from people on the way home. Can't imagine what they thought we'd gotten up to.

If they are hanging loose, I'd get them done like LR said. A friend of mine had almost everything done when his dog was neutered. Tattooed ear, neuter, and dew claw all at once. Just like humans, it's never a good idea to have to be put under general anaesthetic unless necessary. Don't know if I'd advocate for so much being done at once, but your vet will tell you whether they'll be a real problem or not.

My vet said they should be ok, but to watch out if they are running through long grass or crashing through the woods as Bob enjoys to do.

May 26th, 2004, 03:29 PM
Any time after the age 5 days removing the dew claw is considered an amputation. If this was my dog...I would have it done at the time of the spay. I have seen far to many medical hassles from leaving them on. Especially in the smaller breeds. Now, if a dog was over a year in age my opinion would differ, given the breed type of course.

May 26th, 2004, 06:22 PM
My dog has his dewclaws still, and has never had any trouble with them.

May 26th, 2004, 06:25 PM
Okay, forgive my stupidity but dumb question.... what exactly IS a dewclaw? LOL

May 26th, 2004, 07:13 PM
Oh ok, my dog still has those. Never knew it was an option to have it removed. After what age do you not have to be concerned about this? I have never heard of looking to see if it is thin or dangling. He is a yr, is he past this stage or is this something I will have to check forever? Hmmm "dewclaw" who knew? LOL Is there a purpose for this claw?

May 26th, 2004, 08:41 PM
See Shan, all a matter of opinion! Have fun deciding! Isn't it great seeing so many different viewpoints? Thats what this forum is all about. Let us know what you decide.


May 26th, 2004, 09:53 PM
Never had them removed from any of my dogs. Always keep them trimmed and never had a problem! As LR says if there is danger with injury/infection because they are not attached solidly then I would remove. Otherwise, nature decided them to be there! :D


May 27th, 2004, 07:59 PM
I have 3 poochs....One is a Shih-tzu crossed with a Poodle and maybe with some Terrier, the other is a Pure breed Shih-Tzu and the last one is a Labradoor Retreiver.

The only one that still has her dewclaws is Emma (the cross).

As a groomer the only concern that I have is when grooming a dog you have to be extra careful when clipping with the clipper not to cut it.

But otherwise I'd leave it alone...unless they have problems with them IE infected toe nails(Ingrown).That's what my Vet told me hope this helps,


May 28th, 2004, 05:19 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies, I am still unsure what I am going to do. The fact that it is considered an amputation sort of scares me a bit...I dont want to put Annie through more pain than I have too. However I dont want them to cause trouble in the future. My family also has two other dogs (a bichon and a bichon/shih-tzu cross) that havent had the dew claws removed. They have had no problems and they both run around our farm all the time, so maybe I am just being paranoid. I just want to take the best care of Annie as I can. I am taking her to the vet at the end of June for her rabies, so I think I will get his opinion as well. Annie developed a cherry eye at 9-10 weeks and has already been through surgery once (and she is just 4 months!), so all I want is for her to be happy and healthy!!! I will let you know what I decide!

June 1st, 2004, 09:21 AM
Good luck with your baby I wish you all the luck! Let us know what you decide. It is something to think about "Do I do I not" it is up to you and your vet. Good luck! :D