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Old March 28th, 2010, 08:44 PM
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Stinkycat Stinkycat is offline
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Puppy limping - dew claw infected

Hey all,
I made a post awhile ago about my puppy and a sprain. Well it's been on and off, whenever she's at home she's fine, once we go out she limps after she comes back in. Well just today we noticed her dew claw on the side she's been limping is BIG time red and swollen (X's 3) and WILL NOT let us touch it and to think of the past she always flinched a bit when touching her toes but I thought she just didn't like me touching them cause I clip her nails and she hates it! I've never hurt her clipping her nails either, I leave space inbetween the outside and the nerve.

She's limping pretty bad and I've put hydrogen peroxide on it and we've cleared it out, there was scabs and gunk in it, since then she's not limping as bad.

Could this have been what was wrong the whole time???? Should I have them removed when she goes in for spaying?
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Old March 28th, 2010, 09:12 PM
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If it's infected that bad you should have her seen by your vet, who would probably want to put her on antibiotics to help clear up the infection.

Is the infected dew claw on a front foot or a back foot? It's quite common to remove rear dew claws, especially when the pup is already put out for spay/neuter surgery. The rear dews are often not well attached to the leg and sometimes tend to flap around a bit and can get caught on things more easily. Front dew claws however are usually well attached and are a functioning toe/claw. Their purpose is to help stabilize the dog during fast stopping and turning (i.e. agility, disc, flyball etc.) Removing the front dew claws removes that stabilization and can lead to a higher risk of sprains in a dog that is active in those type of sports. There are some people who do have reasons for removing them (i.e. sled dogs often have them taken off so that booties don't chafe where the straps would put pressure on those claws, but sled dogs travel in a straight line, no skidding around so they're less at risk for spraining other toes). If you're thinking about having the front dew claws removed you should first consider what you're going to be doing with your dog and talk it over with your vet.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 09:14 PM
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Is there an actual pus filled infection there or is it just red, swollen & sore?

If there is a true infection she should have it cleaned & wrapped by the vet. Depending on how it looks the vet may want to xray to rule out slivers/splinters

Is she licking it?

Dogs have an instinctive behaviour to lick wounds, even if it's just a sore muscle or sprained ligament they will wash the area that's hurt, sometimes to the point of irritating the area even more than before.

A properly fitted E-collar so she can't reach her food, vet-wrap or a sock on the foot will all help to stop her from direct contact with the area to allow for healing.

Dew claw removal is major amputation surgery at this point in her life, and I doubt it's necessary.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 09:47 PM
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It's the front paw and there is no puss, but it's very red and swollen..

She has been licking at her leg/paw for the last week or so.

I will be taking her to the vet, they weren't open today and she's not in need of an emergency.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 09:53 PM
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Sounds very familiar - several years ago my dal x bumped his front foot coming up the stairs & started licking that foot and wouldn't leave it alone, he ended up w/it swollen, red & twice the normal size. Xray confirmed it was just soft tissue inflammation from excessive washing.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 09:57 PM
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You can also try soaking the foot/dew claw in some warm salt water if she will let you. It may help to draw out any possible infection and will help irrigate any unseen wounds.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 10:31 PM
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Update:

Took her for a 15 min nice warm bath, she's limping 50% less.

Could this dew claw have caused the limping from the beginning? She started limping after going to get a tennis ball, she puts on the brakes and rolls her paw in all weird ways.
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