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View Full Version : Can I have my dog's dewclaws removed?



Snowy Celandine
03-01-12, 02:53 PM
As title, can I legally have my dog's dewclaws removed?

Clava
03-01-12, 02:58 PM
I know puppies ones can only be removed in the first few days of life, I imagine they can be done for medical reasons (if causing damage) - ask your vet.

springer1021
03-01-12, 03:08 PM
If it's done when they are born/few days old it's a straight forward procedure as the dew claws are loose, however once they are an adult dog it's a different matter and is like having a toe amputated.

Spudlet
03-01-12, 03:09 PM
Section 5 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 covers mutilations. It says:

(1)A person commits an offence if—

(a)he carries out a prohibited procedure on a protected animal;

(b)he causes such a procedure to be carried out on such an animal.

(2)A person commits an offence if—

(a)he is responsible for an animal,

(b)another person carries out a prohibited procedure on the animal, and

(c)he permitted that to happen or failed to take such steps (whether by way of supervising the other person or otherwise) as were reasonable in all the circumstances to prevent that happening.

(3)References in this section to the carrying out of a prohibited procedure on an animal are to the carrying out of a procedure which involves interference with the sensitive tissues or bone structure of the animal, otherwise than for the purpose of its medical treatment.

Permitted mutilations are covered by The Mutilations (Permitted Procedures) (England) Regulations 2007, and as far as dew-clawing goes, it says:

Persons who may carry out permitted procedures5.—(1) Any procedure permitted under regulation 3 may only be carried out by a veterinary surgeon or any other person permitted to carry out that procedure under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966(1) or the Veterinary Surgeons (Exemptions) Order 1962(2).
....
9.Removal of the dew claws of dogs
An anaesthetic must be administered except where the dog is a puppy whose eyes have not yet opened.

So basically, yes looks like they could come off but it would be a vet job.:)

YasandCrystal
03-01-12, 03:15 PM
The vet suggested they be removed from my patterdale's back feet when he went in for castration as they can get caught and cause a problem. I had them removed but maybe wouldn't have done had he not been going for an op anyway

smiffyimp
03-01-12, 03:25 PM
It was common practice many moons ago, but now I think unecessary unless dogs are working. IMO same rule as thumb as docking tails. My retriever has never caught his and he looks after them himself, and he is in an out of the scrub all the time. My setter had hers removed at birth (not by me!) and it was done for show purposes - looks neater - this I disagree with.

mik
03-01-12, 03:29 PM
I had mine dogs removed from her back legs when she was sterilised, she was a rescue case, about 2 years old I think. The bones were not attached and she kept catching them. They healed really fast and she can now hunt rabbits wherever she pleases. We are in Spain, so maybe that makes a difference.

Faro
03-01-12, 03:50 PM
A friend of mine has a 4 year old greyhound/whippet lurcher who still has his hind dewclaws, and they are forever getting caught - particularly when the dog brakes to a sudden stop from a sprint. His owner (who got him from rescue about 2 years ago) is umming and ahhing about having the dew claws removed by the vet - He has no idea what it will cost because we're not sure how the dewclaws are attached (bone/ligament or not at all) therefore the vet can't give an exact price. There are also the added complications of the anaesthetic with sighthound types, because of their low body fat/mass. But in this particular dog, and the frequency of him re-injuring, we all agree it needs to be done - so it really is a matter of weighing up the pros and cons here.

Having seen (and personally cleaned up the blood several times) what my friends lurcher suffers with his dew claws, I personally am very pro having them removed at birth and am really glad that my own 7 - 8 month lurcher had his removed at that time.

Front dew claws however, I see no need to have removed.

Snowy Celandine
03-01-12, 05:00 PM
Thanks everyone for the info :) Will ask my vet if she thinks it's a good idea. Didn't want to ask her to do something illegal, hence the question. My youngest whippet girl has caught her dewclaw again for the fourth time and it is hanging off and it was bleeding a lot but stopped quickly after I applied pressure with a gauze pad. It is annoying her and she's trying to bite it off and whimpering when she catches a sore bit :( She's always been fine once she's trimmed it off herself and it has always healed up ok but it would be better if she didn't have to repeatedly go through this.

My other whippet girl had her dewclaws removed as a pup she's had no problems like this.

Interestingly, it's the front dewclaws that she catches. Not sure what she's doing to cause the injuries although, obviously, as a whippet she runs like the wind and is always exercised off lead and allowed to run around the field. She's got brilliant recall and always comes to tell me if anything is 'strange' including holding her paw up when she's hurt it.

Devonshire dumpling
03-01-12, 05:03 PM
No problem with vet doing it under general anaesthetic, I had my boys done with another routine op x

splashgirl45
03-01-12, 05:09 PM
my old lurcher was continually catching her hind dew claws even though i kept them trimmed very short. i had them removed when she was spayed as she had almost torn one of them off and it would have taken ages to heal. both of my current dogs only have front dew claws so i assume the back ones were removed when they were pupplies which i am very happy about because of my previous experience.

Spudlet
03-01-12, 05:16 PM
Funnily enough I know a whippet that had the same problem. She had the claws off recently, felt pretty sorry for herself but is now up and at 'em again :)

splashgirl45
03-01-12, 05:19 PM
interesting.....mine was a whippet cross border collie.....sadly no longer here,lost her at 15 1/2 and even though i have 2 dogs , she is still missed...

Spudlet
03-01-12, 05:21 PM
It must be very painful for them, after all think how much bending a fingernail back hurts :(

CAYLA
03-01-12, 05:24 PM
It is alot less painful to have them removed under anaesthetic than the pain of having them half torn off frequently, not to mention the risk of infection that comes with that injury, lurchers are certainly more prone due to low turning when running. All mine are off, some where already off some off when castrated/spayed and some removed by me (hard dogs):D when they have literally been hanging off.

Snowy Celandine
03-01-12, 05:55 PM
Yes, my young whippet runs so fast that sometimes she meets herself coming back :eek: She must catch the dewclaw on something but be turning so quickly that she just rips it half off :(

Bosworth
03-01-12, 06:24 PM
My old lurcher bitch whippetx labxgreyhound had them taken off when she caught one badly and looked like someone had tried to murder her, blood everywhere. and it would not stop. So i took her to vet , he put her under and removed both fronts, she didn;t have any backs. Floddens were removed as a pup. Poppy has hers but as a hairy lurcher her's are not exposed.

cinnamontoast
03-01-12, 07:30 PM
It is alot less painful to have them removed under anaesthetic than the pain of having them half torn off frequently, not to mention the risk of infection that comes with that injury

I second this big time. Bear was very sore when he tore his fore dewclaw and the leg puffed up to four times it's size because an infection set in. 500 later, that's one dew claw resolved, 2 more to worry about. My lot don't work but that's the second nasty dew claw injury I've had.

I definitely advocate the removal of all dew claws, fore and hind.

EAST KENT
03-01-12, 07:40 PM
It depends on the breed really,but strong dogs such as bullbreeds are far better having dews off as two day olds,foxhounds are almost always done as whelps.But then working terriers have front dews left on ..for climbing shafts underground,and racing greyhounds are also left intact.ALL hind ones need removing,they are usually just a flappy skin attachment anyway.
It is quite a big op to have done on an adult though,but better than recurrant injury.
Must say my puppy buyers are always incredibly thankful their puppy has had them removed.

haycroft
03-01-12, 08:09 PM
yes you can have them removed but its more of a bigger deal once adult unless they are causing discomfort and been advise by vet to remove

im a whippet owner, one of my whippy had dewclaws and she kept ripping them..very painful and sore

in the end had to vet wrap them if she done any free running which prevented them getting ripped and also make due you keep nail as short as possible

my other whippys has had them off while being pups(i race and course)
dew claws are a pain some may argue that they help to grip the ground while running which i disagree
if i ever bred whippys i would have dew claws taken off

as some has said it depends on the breed

Kyo's Mum
03-01-12, 08:40 PM
I have left the dew claws on my lurcher (he has two on the front) and definately staying on my Beauceron (he has two on the front and two on each hind, six in total)!

Word of caution, friend had them removed from his Great Dane, dog had loads of infections post op. At two he had to decide whether to have the leg amputated or dog destroyed, vet advised a GD with a fore leg missing would not be a good ides, especially as the other foreleg was great following the de-dew clawing and he had the dog PTS at 2, heart breaking :(

cinnamontoast
03-01-12, 08:50 PM
I have left the dew claws on my lurcher (he has two on the front) and definately staying on my Beauceron (he has two on the front and two on each hind, six in total)!

Word of caution, friend had them removed from his Great Dane, dog had loads of infections post op. At two he had to decide whether to have the leg amputated or dog destroyed, vet advised a GD with a fore leg missing would not be a good ides, especially as the other foreleg was great following the de-dew clawing and he had the dog PTS at 2, heart breaking :(

Think I'd be suing the ass off the vet! :mad: It's not a huge op and there are some ridiculously strong antibiotics out there like Metrodazinole, used to combat MRSA, for God's sake. :mad:

CAYLA
03-01-12, 09:32 PM
That is a risk with operations, it can certainly be due to neglectful vet care but I have also seen a good few owners not adhere to the vet/nurses instruction in regard to keeping the elizibethan collar on, making sure the dressing does not come off, giving prescribed medication, resting the dog appropriately, attending all check up's. All has to be factored in.
Not that I am saying your friend did this and that is indeed a very sad outcome and if negligence was there action should have been taken.

dressagedreamer
03-01-12, 10:54 PM
I always have my litters dew claws removed I have seen to many nasty accidents with them ripping. My jack bitch ended up having hers off after having them stitched for the fifth time!! she kept ripping them on brambles when she went rabbiting

Kyo's Mum
04-01-12, 08:05 AM
It was very sad about my friends dog. He did everything as instructed but the infection got into the bone covering (osteomylitis) and it also damaged the lymphatic supply to the leg (which has a major role in the bodies own defence mechanisms), but sadly the dog lost the fight. We advised him to go after the vet as they had charged him an absolute fortune for sorting out their mess!! But he was broken at the loss of his dog. Needless to say he has not had the dewclaws done on his new puppy.

Antibiotics are not the cure all they are often proported to be, and many of them are now old and can be ineffective due to overprescribing in all mammal groups. Vancomycin which used to be the Domestos of the antibiotics is now ineffective against some strains of bacteria.

I personally choose to believe in the bodies own power to heal it's self, keeping wounds clean with freshly made saline, and allowing the area to breath. I have had bad experiences with elizabethan collars (more to do with the dog wearing it than the premise of the collar) so I simply but essential lavender oil on the area of the wound if they are fussing about it. Lavender is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial and all my dogs haven't liked the smell so they stop fussing with the wound.