I am in dire need of advice. I have a 6 yr old yellow lab (Bubba) and he has a dew claw injury on his front paw. We went to the vet and the Dr. cleaned it up and gave him some antibiotics on Friday. He re-injured it again in the house somehow this Sunday and the dew claw nail is now broken in half, still on, but looks like the claw is at a right angle. He injures his front dew claws about every 6 months ... and it has become a painful problem for him. The vet, although she does not like doing it, recommeded that we go ahead and take it off surgically. I was ok with it ... as it is painful for him since this does happen every 6 months or so ... and to fix this one, they will have to cut the claw in half and that would be extremely painful!!! But I started to doing some research on-line and most ppl are against it and I did not realize how PAINFUL it is to heal. Most of the negatives were towards cosmetic reasons, but if there is a legitmate and occuring issue with the front dew claw, should I get it off? Also, since he will be under anyways, do I have the other front one as well ... since they both have been problems ... I don't know what to do? I want to fix it long term so he does not have to be in pain every couple of months, yet I do not want him to go through an expremely painful procedure. What would you do? thanks, any insight would be appreciated especially from ppl that have had this done b/c it was an on-going problem.
Both my girls had theirs removed when they were just itty bitty pups. If it's causing that much of a problem, I'd say go ahead and take them off. Is it just one he injures or does he injure both?
My brother's dog tweaked his dewclaw pretty good a few years ago, but never had it removed. They now keep the nail well trimmed and he hasn't had any problems.
"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hi ... yes, he has problems on both and we keep them pretty short. I talked to another Dr (2nd opinion) and he agreed that it should be done. They can manage the pain with meds if it becomes a problem, but usually they heal fine. And to have dew claws injuries from time to time is very painful in itself. At least this way, he will not have to go through this again. I added a dental cleaning to the procedure so he is not going to be happy camper when he wakes up, but it is a great opportunity to have that done.
I was looking to have this done to Simba, but my vet said unless absolutely necessary, no. Major surgery and hard on the dog. Tape (ace bandage) the declaw when going outside to protect it.
It's not the destination, it's the journey!
My aussie has the same problem. Her one dewclaw has had the nail removed several times and has not come back. We have problems with her left dewclaw nail every 4 months or so. The last time we went to the vet she removed the nail and gave her antibiotics. I try to keep it very short with the dremel and keep an eye on it. Panda hates going to the vet for this. So, usually she removes it herself within a day of injury. I keep it clean and put antibiotic salve on it and keep a close eye on it. Her dewclaws have been a real pain. However, my vet steered me away from removal due to the painful nature of the surgery and she stated that sometime they have difficulty healing.
If he's injuring himself that often, you are asking for a major infection, don't you think? I'd vote to have them off, and just for the record, I normally would not say that if the dog was past 3 days old, but it sounds like this poor dog has been thru enough pain. Get it over with!
Someone on RTF (retriever training forum) I think, had their older dog done and recovery went quite well. You may want to do a search there. Anne
Thank you for your help and suggestions. After much thought, my wife and I decided not to do the surgery tomorrow. We would just take him to the vet again and have them clean it up and just be really careful with his front paws. The thought of having major surgery like that for his leg/bones ... was not a chance I wanted to take. I think, I hope this is the right choice.
Take care everyone! And thanks so much.