Canine nail fungus is a fungal infection that is caused by the fungal microorganism Blastomyces dermatitidis. This is a common procedure for certain breeds. Because they are hidden, owners are less likely to notice until the infection is really bad. Removal may be advised for deformed or poorly attached dew claws; or you may elect to remove them from a sporting dog, who might rip one during a chase. If you notice excessive swelling, pus, or bleeding, it might mean you need to take an additional trip to the vet’s office. Front dew claws also support the wrist, thus preventing injury. But front dew claws don’t just fulfill one job in the average dog’s life. Walking with a Lifted Paw – If your dog is reluctant to use one of his/her paws while walking, a dew claw injury is one of the primary suspects.. Staggering – It is perhaps the most explicit symptom of dog dew claw injury. Your dog's likely to lick the site if one's removed, and that can impede healing and possibly cause irritation or infection. Dewclaw removal is most easily performed when the dog is young, around 2–5 days of age. Finally, if your dog has been treated for a dew claw injury, you’ll need to examine her bandages daily (or as often as the veterinarian recommends) for signs of infection. As a preventative measure, it makes a certain amount of sense. Dew Claw nail bed swollen, red, infection? There are many antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal medicines available for the infections. Often dew claws can be overlooked during routine trims leading to ingrown nails and infections. The answer is yes, but first, one needs to differentiate between removing dew claws, and trimming dog nails. If you think that your dog’s dewclaws could be causing more problems than good, discuss the possibility of removal and other options with your veterinarian. Tumor or infected dew claw? The following are some gestures that can point towards a dog dew claw injury. These problems occur so infrequently, however, that removing healthy front dewclaws to prevent them makes little sense. The more compelling argument against removing dew claws from dogs, though, is that there is evidence that the dew claws serve a purpose. Our vet is closed until Monday. Recovery from this type of surgery can be painful and fraught with complications. In most cases, your vet will administer pain medications and antibiotics if needed to prevent infections. So, if you remove the dew claws, there will be muscles in your dog’s legs that will atrophy due to lack of use. The fact is that dew claws on the front legs are attached to functioning tendons. In particular, most dogs have vestigial thumb toes higher up on their legs with a claw, known as the dew claw. Recovery time until removal of sutures can take up to one week. The dew claw is actually a digit rather than just a claw, and the removal of dew claws is thus far more complex and painful than simply trimming the dog's nails, which does not cause the dog … As of today, the dew claw pad is swollen to almost twice the size of the other dew claw pad. Otherwise, dew claws are best left alone. The dog was put on antibiotics for 20 days. She has been licking it--sometimes for hours at night. Lets take a look at the pros and cons of dew claw removal, and what dew claw … For traumatic dew claw injury requiring amputation, costs can vary between $300-1000 depending on the size of the dog and veterinary clinic. Because of the position of the claw, it can get caught and torn, causing infection and pain to the dog. This can also lead to infection, which may or may not be serious. The removal procedure is done on puppies who are up to five days old so they won’t have to go through it as they grow older. Plus, there’s chicness of infections or overgrown and ingrown dew claw nails, which makes grooming a bit more of a hassle. Dewclaw removal is not routinely required in older puppies and dogs. We took him to the vet, and they said it was an infected dew claw. No Need for Trimming. With an adult dog, they will always be put under a general anesthesia to prevent the dog from moving around during the procedure. This cost adds approximately $150-300 to the cost of de-sexing dependant on veterinary clinic. Front dewclaws: All dogs are born with a dewclaw on each front leg. Infections – just like regular toenails, the dewclaw can get infected. We usually advise dew claw removal if there are repeated incidents of dew claw damage and or infections that are causing pain and suffering to your pet. Adult dogs shouldn’t go through the procedure unless the toe became injured or damaged from the claw. Electively removing the dew claws has the potential to cause stress, pain or infection after to procedure and/or during recovery. The location of the dew claw on the foot allows it to provide additional balance and traction for dogs in motion. The tendons are attached to muscles. The claws become sharp and hook-like and are easily snagged. IS this something I can treat at home (with antibiotic ointment for example) or does she need a vet visit? The argument for dew claw removal is that, as they are vulnerable dangling at the side of the paw, they might get caught and tear. I've seen plenty of dogs sort of idly pluck their dew claws for no reason other than they're bored. The argument for removal states that dewclaws are a weak digit, barely attached to the leg, and thus they can rip partway off or easily catch on something and break, which can be painful and prone to infection. Removing dew claws is considered cruel and barbaric by some, and a necessary evil by others. In older dogs, removal of dew claws is commonly done at time of de-sexing and is a significant surgical procedure. Some breed standards call for the surgical removal of the dewclaws at severals days of age to prevent this very problem. Because of that and because some dogs are prone to getting them caught or torn — which can cause a dog extreme pain and risk infection — the AKC calls dewclaw removal one of the "safe and standard animal husbandry practices designed to protect the safety and welfare of dogs." Many believe they would rather their pet risk imbalance rather than the worse pain of a tearing claw. Rear dewclaws: Some dogs are born with 1, 2 or even double dewclaws on the rear legs. Here are some pros and cons to take into consideration: Advantages … When done at the same time as the spay/neuter, some dog owners have indicated that the recuperation period for the dew claw removal seems to take longer and be more stressful for the dog than the spay/neuter surgery part of the surgery. Broken dew claw treatment varies slightly, as your veterinarian may recommend complete removal of both of the dew claws if injury occurs to one. Dog Dew Claw Removal. This can lead to infection and/or be quite traumatic for the dog. My 14 year old dog's flesh surrounding her front dew claw appears red and swollen. There are many treatments and home remedies available which can help your dog with curing the nail bed and dew claw infection. The ran tests and found all white blood cells, meaning an infection. Some breeders choose to electively have the dew claws removed during the first five days of the puppy’s life for aesthetic appearances, especially in full breed animals. Although the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages, it is best to speak with your vet before making any decisions regarding the removal of your dog’s dew claws. However, there is a lot of argument stating that even if it looks useless, the dew claw might still serve a purpose. My 8 year old male golden retriever has a large, swollen, red mass exactly where his dew claw is. The dew claw is actually a digit rather than just a claw, and the removal of dew claws is thus far more complex and painful than simply trimming the dog’s nails, which does not cause the dog any pain at all. My dog has been licking his back dew claw the past few days and we just realized he must have snagged it on something and ripped the nail. Dogs usually chew on their feet/toes if they're suffering from allergies or a fungal infection. As soon as removed, the location is sewn with sutures, and medication is put on shield the injury. There are issues related to dew claws such as ingrown dew claws, overgrown dew claws and dew claws being torn. This claw is often found away from his paw up further on his leg. I can see the quick exposed at the base of the nail and the nail looks like its hanging off. In rare cases, a dog’s dewclaw may be severely injured or develop a disease (e.g., a cancerous tumor) and removal under those circumstances would certainly be in the dog’s best interests. Some dogs’ dewclaws are merely a flap of skin with a toenail attached, but many dewclaws are a fully-articulated bony digit. Otherwise, dew claw removal is not necessary, and it should be done only if it is necessary for your dog. Dew claw removal is routinely done on some breeds of dogs to improve their appearance in the show ring (removing dew claws on races like Great Pyrenees automatically disqualifies them from the show ring). This health problem is often seen in sporting and working dogs (and is more often seen in males than females but the reasons for this are unknown). The surgery itself is simple and in most cases requires general anaesthetic. Especially with very loose sitting dew claws, this might be beneficial. To keep a dog from slipping on a floor or getting its claws stuck in cloth, the nails must undergo regular trimming. The skin around the dewclaw is decontaminated and also cleaned to stop an infection during the operation. In a non-neonate patient, dewclaw removal involves surgical amputation of this digit. However, if you feel the dew claws impact your dog’s wellbeing and risk causing an injury, you should discuss the option of surgical dew claw removal with your vet. In such cases, they can be preferred to be removed. Dog dew claws are often removed for cosmetic reasons, but very often it is to avoid painful injury in the long run. Removing the dew claw is a subject upon which many people are divided. Using medical scissors, the veterinarian will cut through the skin, muscle mass, and the bone in order to remove the entire toe. Maintaining your Labrador dew claws . In conclusion the best long term solution for your dogs might be to have their dew claws removed but this decision should be made between you and your vet taking into consideration your pets circumstances. NOTE: Dew claw removal involves removing the entire toe, not just the claw, and the cost may increase if the toe is firmly attached.. The Pros & Cons Of Dew Claw Removal: Know The Facts. Since the dewclaws of our canine friends typically do not make contact with the ground when exercising, they do not wear naturally like the other nails. Removing the dew claw. 3. Think about grass with drops of dew on top: As a dog prances through the field, the claw higher up on the leg catches the dew on the top of the blades of grass — thus the term “dewclaw.” Front and Rear Dewclaws. The procedure is usually done on puppies under the age of five days and timed to coincide with other methods such as neutering and spaying. This is a bloody and painful injury. The dew claw removal procedure. Lots of breeders of hunting breeds puppies cut their dewclaws at the age of week to exclude injuries in the forest during hunting season. When you get your dog’s dew claws removed, you won’t have to worry about trimming or clipping them. Treating a Broken Dew Claw on a Dog. Torn off – probably the worst thing that can happen, dogs can catch their dewclaws on things and actually tear them off. If this dew claw is ignored during regular claw trimming, it can become too long and pose a few different problems. The affected dog will seem to struggle with his/her stride because walking aggravates the pain. A dog's dew claw is the claw that is completely separate from all of the other claws on his paw. However, if the puppy is younger than five days old, then a local anesthetic will be given and general anesthesia won’t be used. Suggesting dew claw removal for licking is sorta jumping the gun as it likely has nothing to do with the claws provided they aren't injured. If you decide to visit your vet, then, first of all, he/she conduct a physical exam and take a small part of the infected area for further examination. As with the fingernails of humans, dogs' nails are constantly growing. After healing, your dog will be able to run and walk just as before.