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BlacknTan

Dew claws. What is the current thinking?

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BlacknTan

So, Our Gordon pup is now turning four months. She's doing great. But, she still has hew dew claws. It's far too late now for easy removal, and I'm not going to have them surgically removed, so i suppose it's a moot point. But, dew claws have always caused me (the dog) far more trouble than any benefit that I can see.

The breeder left them intact on purpose. He related the story of one of his males falling through the ice on a frozen pond, and was able to extricate himself because of the dew claws. Maybe... maybe not. Dogs on the ice gives me the willys anyway. I've had dogs nearly tear them off in the woods.

 

So, it makes no difference at this point, but what is the current thinking? Stay, or go?

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mschaefer

I've heard more often lately, that removing them can cause arthritis/joint issues later in life.  Not sure if this is an old wives tale or not, but a guy that used to post on hear a lot has mentioned seeing a difference in his dogs between those with them removed and those who don't.

 

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Brad Eden

I have no idea really about dew claws. All my bird hunting dogs have had dew claws removed. Our new Cav Luna has hers (and she is very active, thinks she's a Springer like her big brother Cash)and they grow long and curl back and cause her pain. So we have to keep an eye on them. My understanding is that studies and actual field situations have shown that water dogs like labs and Chessies should have them because if a dog falls through ice they assist by gripping ice and helping the dog pull itself out of the water. I suppose that would potentially help any dog for that matter that fell through the ice. Hopefully the UJ vet contingent will offer their advice here.

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gunsrus

All of my dogs have had them removed .........until I got my youngest Setter , Tuukka from Berg Bros almost 4 years ago . The chatter on the board at the time was more in favor of leave them be . Not a big deal but I do have to remember to cut them when doing the other nails . 

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duluthUPLAND

My setter from Northwoods Bird Dogs has them in as is their policy. When asked about it, they provided me their thinking on the matter and later wrote about it on their blog below. No issues for us so far, lets hope it stays that way.

http://northwoodsbirddogs.com/what-about-those-dewclaws/

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E.Young

I've got one with 'em and one without. They're close to the same age. I'm glad to not have to trim them on the one, but trimming isn't any trouble on the other. I'd just assume have them removed, but it isn't much of an imposition from where I'm sitting. 

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BlacknTan
39 minutes ago, duluthUPLAND said:

My setter from Northwoods Bird Dogs has them in as is their policy. When asked about it, they provided me their thinking on the matter and later wrote about it on their blog below. No issues for us so far, lets hope it stays that way.

http://northwoodsbirddogs.com/what-about-those-dewclaws/

 

 

Thanks for the link. A good read. Points I had never considered.

 

And thanks to all who responded..

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Dogwood

I will state that the quoted statements from Dr. Zink are utterly untrue in the real world. But then again she's a research vet not a clinician so I'll cut her some slack. Weird that they quoted her in that regard.  I've never, and I rarely use the word, observed orthopedic injuries in dogs related to dewclaw removal. It is commonly done in many different dog breeds to this day.

 

However, if you keep them trimmed I see no reason to remove them unless they are repeatedly torn/injured. Then off  they go.

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Dakotazeb

I've had bird dogs for over 40 years.  Springers, Labs and Brittanys.  All my dogs have had their dew claws removed and I have never observed any joint or any other issues that may have been associated with dew claw removal.

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Natty Bumpo
34 minutes ago, Dakotazeb said:

I've had bird dogs for over 40 years.  Springers, Labs and Brittanys.  All my dogs have had their dew claws removed and I have never observed any joint or any other issues that may have been associated with dew claw removal.

 

AGREE with DZ. We've had Britts and FBECS for 50 years; all have had dewclaws removed, as was customary back in the day with all manner of hunting dogs.  None have had any lameness's associated with this procedure. Done at the same time as tail docking.

 

I have seen two cases of torn dewclaws practically ripped off in gnarly cover; one was a minor inconvenience and the other resembled a goat rodeo. Happened a mile+ from the truck and with no bandage material handy. >:(

 

 

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Urban_Redneck

5 tendons attach the dew claw to the leg, I doubt our maker would have gone to the trouble of engineering such a construct if they didn't serve a purpose.

 

In my opinion, cutting parts off a dog to avoid injury has diminishing returns.

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blanked

Booting dogs with dew claws is a PITA

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Dogwood
1 hour ago, Urban_Redneck said:

5 tendons attach the dew claw to the leg, I doubt our maker would have gone to the trouble of engineering such a construct if they didn't serve a purpose.

  I wonder why then for instance, as an example, all male dogs/humans/mammals have nipples?

Quote

 

In my opinion, cutting parts off a dog to avoid injury has diminishing returns.

 

Kinda like tail docking?

 

Seems to me that it would make a whole lot more sense structurally and functionally if all 5 digits were at ground level, no matter how they got there.  While you're at it, kindly add a 5th to each rear paw as the extra strength and traction would come in handy.

 

Not trying to be sarcastic, but in nature form doesn't always follow function or the lack thereof.

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Urban_Redneck
6 minutes ago, Dogwood said:

  I wonder why then for instance, as an example, all male dogs/humans/mammals have nipples?

Have you had your nipples removed?

Kinda like tail docking?

I'm up in the air when it comes to tails. It is likely my next B d'A will come from a country that has outlawed tail docking.

Seems to me that it would make a whole lot more sense structurally and functionally if all 5 digits were at ground level, no matter how they got there.  While you're at it, kindly add a 5th to each rear paw as the extra strength and traction would come in handy. 

Obviously, none of this is up to me. You might do well to look up the guy who invented the six toed cats in Key West to fulfill your wish list.

 

:)

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dogrunner

The dogs I have had with dew claws have ripped a couple off while running in the woods. I don't find it to be a big deal, it bleeds some but they keep running and eventually they grow back, they don't seem to bothered by it. 

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