What are dew claws and why do they need to be removed?
I have a Yorkie puppy and I've heard that when they are real young, they should have their dew claws removed. What are dew claws?
- papawLv 71 decade agoBest Answer
Dew claws on a dog are equivalent to a thumb, or a big toe on a human, except on a dog they are 2 - 3 inches up on the side of it's paw / leg. They do no damage, but some people like to remove themwhen they are small so they don't get snagged and torn, but it's OK to leave them. Just remember, since they don't touch the ground, the nails will grow longer quicker, so you must be sure to keep them trimmed.
- SamanthaLv 44 years ago
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A dew claw is that claw that is halfway up the forelegs of your dog. When he/she stands the claw never touches the ground.... and therefore it is essentially functionless. It is what is called a vestigial digit.... kind of like the appendix being a vestigial organ.... it has no function and can safely be removed without harm to the animal (except for the removal of course). Rear dew claws... which most dogs do not have.... are often removed because they have very poor muscle attachment to the leg. In hunting/working dogs... they are almost always removed because they can become snagged... and can basically be torn off by the dog when it is in the field (which is a BIG problem.... and should answer the first Answers question as to WHY this is done.) Front dew claws usually do not NEED removed.... they are better attached generally.... and the only reason to do it (other than the rare case when the dew caw is in badly injured) is aesthetic. Some vets will not remove a well attached front dew.... just because there is no reason to most of the time. P.S. My dog likes to scratch his snout with his front dew claws.... so they aren't COMPLETELY without a function.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Dew claws are the first of five digits and represents the thumb. In the dog they are not really needed and generally become an annoyance. It is recommended that they are removed when the puppies are a few days old or at the time of desexing.
Some dew claws are attached with a joint and some are only attached by flesh.
If attached by flesh they are more at risk of catching them on something and either damaging it or ripping it off.
If they are securely attached and aren't bothering the dog I would not risk having an anesthetic just to remove dew claws. You just have to remember to clip them regularly or they can become overgrownSource(s): Veterinary nurse
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- Tyra DobeLv 41 decade ago
A dew claw is like the dogs thumb (only useless!) on the front paws and sometimes on the hind legs as well (bad bred dogs!)
It is the claw that sits half way between the paw and the dogs elbow. The claw is useless to the animal and can get caught and damaged very easily.
I had a kelpie who caught his dew claw and it ripped up his leg about 2 inches and broke the bone beneath. It caused him much pain and the vet ended up removing both when the dog was 9mths old so that he wouldn't do it to the other claw at a later stage.
If done by a professional it shouldn't bother the dog too much and should heal very quickly.
Enjoy your little yorkie :)
- JeanneLv 71 decade ago
They are a toe, like a thumb....on the inside of the foot, up a little higher than the paw....if left on, the nail can grow around and back into the leg before the owner may realize, and they do get caught on things. Like carpet or bedding. They are usually removed at 3-4 days.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
A reputable breeder would have removed them when the dog was only a few days old. Now you will have to spend the money and have a surgery done. They are removed for numerous reasons. I would go back to the breeder and try to get them to pay for this. This is what happens when you buy from an unreputable BYB.
- Greg CLv 41 decade ago
I think they reside on the mid to lower leg and they get caught on stuff and tear.
- 1 decade ago
Dewclaws are similar to your thumbs. Most breeders remove them when they are 3-5 days old. They say it's not used toe so they remove them so they won't get stuck on rugs and break the toe itself. Which I think is unnecessary pain for the puppies. I work for an animal hospital and I hate when I have to assist the doctor when he remove them. Now if they have dewclaws on their hind legs I would remove them because more often than not when people bring their pets to the groomers they oversee the dewclaw and don't trim them. What ends up happening is that the nail grows too long and can curl into the skin which is more painful.