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Dogs have three toes and a dewclaw. The dewclaw is located just above your pet’s paws on the side of his foot. Most dogs have them on their front feet, but some dogs have them on all four feet. It is very important that you monitor the health and wellness of your pet’s dewclaws. When your dog is a puppy, you will need to make sure the dewclaws are growing properly. In adult dogs, you will need to monitor the claw for injuries. This is especially true if your dog likes to dig. The dewclaw will also need to be trimmed just like the other claws on your pet’s feet.
Dewclaws can be attached via a bone, but most often, they are simply attached with a bit of skin and some connective tissues. Since they are not well-attached, they can easily become snagged and rip off or tear. This is very painful for your dog.
You should get your dog’s dewclaws removed if they:
Our veterinarian can help you decide if dewclaw removal is right for your dog. The best time to remove dewclaws is before they are fully formed. The surgery can happen as soon as your puppy is a few days old up to a few weeks old, and it is no more painful or difficult that permanently removing a fingernail.
If your dog is not spayed or neutered, we recommend getting the dewclaws removed at the same time as the spay/neuter surgery. With this option, your dog only has to undergo anesthesia once for both surgeries, and it is typically less stressful for your dog to have both surgeries performed at the same time.
If your dog is older, we can still easily perform a declaw removal surgery. This does require that your pet go under anesthesia.
After your pet’s dewclaw surgery, we may need to bandage your dog’s paws. This keeps the area clean and prevents the stitches from coming into contact with objects. We may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. Though, antibiotics are prescribed on a case-by-case basis.
When your dog is ready to go home after the surgery, we will give you instructions on how to care for your dog, any limits on activities and what to look for in case of an infection. You will also want to discourage your dog from licking or biting the surgery sites.
To schedule your dog’s dewclaw surgery, call our office at 780.989.5595.