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shippers
25th November 2008, 08:32 AM
We took 8 week old Lois to the vet yesterday evening for her check up and vaccination. The vet checked her over and discussed hereditary problems in the breed. I'm glad she is doing well and perfectly healthy. The vet mentioned something about Lois's back feet and that she has (i think) extra toes? She mentioned the nail might grow inwards if it isn't kept very short and that they could actually take the toe off when she is spayed? This sounds a bit scary to me :confused:. Has anyone ever heard of this? Other than this she is fine :lotsaluv:

Shelli
25th November 2008, 09:44 AM
Did she maybe mean her dew claws? Its kinda like their thumb ( I'm sure someone else can explain it better :rolleyes:)I know some people choose to have them removed. I've never heard of them having extra toes *runs to count Ollies toes* :eek:

sins
25th November 2008, 10:07 AM
It does sound like dew claws. I wish Daisy's had been removed as they can injure their eyes when rubbing their face with those claws.Very often they're quite loose and can be removed very easily when they're under general anaesthetic.They can also be very firmly attached and then the easiest thing to do is just keep them trimmed as they can grow inwards and get infected.If it is dew claws it's nothing to worry about, a perfectly normal part of dog's anatomy.
Sins.

Brian M
25th November 2008, 10:13 AM
Hi Shippers

I bet she will be fine ,just think of the advantages shes got over us ,more grip when she goes Ice Skating and more toes are a big plus when shes counting .:)

diddy
25th November 2008, 10:40 AM
Dew claws are usually on the front. The only other 'extra' toes Ive actually seen have been on a cat, where it is an extra thumb on the front paws. His name was, of course, Thumbs:):) Usually the dew claws are removed soon after birth, but our Bobby (18 months) has his.

Karlin
25th November 2008, 05:55 PM
They have dew claws on all feet, naturally as far as I know -- mine have them on hind legs. Increasingly many cavalier breeders (and other breeders) do NOT remove these. Bruce and other breeders had a recent discussion on this here -- Sandy might comment as she posted I believe -- many have seen litters decline right after having them removed, often without anaesthesia. They actually cause very few problems in reality and in some breeds like pyrenees the show standard is to leave them! Basically removing them is a full amputation of a digit so imagine removing the finger of a baby and how that would have an impact on that child and how long to recover and you get a sense of why breeders increasingly don't remove them.

If the vet is talking about dewclaws I wouldn't touch them. If there is indeed an extra toe I'd also not remove it unless there's evidence of a serious problem. An extra toe would just be a genetic mutation (many cats for example have extra toes, it is endemic in some populations) but is always possible.

Karlin
25th November 2008, 06:00 PM
Ok checked an old thread and see Sandy posted that most cavaliers only have front dewclaws naturally, but that some lines also have rear dewclaws. I def have rear dewclaws on at least three of the dogs -- I think one does not have them on the rear. I've never had a problem. Some hunting dogs do get problems with tears and so they remove them.

*Pauline*
25th November 2008, 06:10 PM
I would leave them. Don't forget to trim as they don't wear down like other nails. Also take care when pulling on boots if your dog wears them.

shippers
25th November 2008, 06:20 PM
Thanks for all your replies it's very helpful to know what other people's dogs have. I think the vet must have meant dewclaws but as Karlin says it's like having the digit removed. It involves an anaesthetic and stitching up the wound. I'll need to discuss it with the vet. It is strange as Sally doesn't have dewclaws on her back paws. I checked as soon as we got back from the vet with Lois.

shippers
25th November 2008, 06:22 PM
Hi Shippers

I bet she will be fine ,just think of the advantages shes got over us ,more grip when she goes Ice Skating and more toes are a big plus when shes counting .:)

Brian this made me laugh! :rotfl:

brotymo
25th November 2008, 06:54 PM
Pixie had front dew claws, none in the rear. Bandit and Lizzie both also have front dewclaws, but no rear ones. My collie and my malamute mix are the same way, so that must be the more common configuration. My vizsla had his removed when he was a pup, so he has none, but I can't see where he had any on the rear either.

Margaret C
26th November 2008, 10:12 PM
Pixie had front dew claws, none in the rear. Bandit and Lizzie both also have front dewclaws, but no rear ones. My collie and my malamute mix are the same way, so that must be the more common configuration. My vizsla had his removed when he was a pup, so he has none, but I can't see where he had any on the rear either.

All dogs are born with front dewclaws and it is not uncommon for some to have back dewclaws
Many breeders remove them all when the puppies are a few days old.

There are different thoughts about this practice. Vets are not keen to remove dewclaws, but I have to say that it does prevent problems that can arise when the nails, which as Pauline says, do not naturally wear down, become hidden by fur as the dog grows older.

It is not unknown for forgotten and neglected nails to grow round & pierce the dog's skin.

Cavaliers & Japanese Chins often have back dewclaws. They are usually removed as they are often large & can stick out in an unsightly manner ( Not recommended if you hope to show the puppy )

The back dewclaw pads can sometimes be loosely attached to the leg by a thin thread of skin, and it is then difficult to hold the pad still enough to be able to cut the nail.

I have never been able to remove the dewclaws on puppies I have bred, too scared that I may hurt them, but I do worry when I sell a puppy with all the dewclaws still intact and I do make sure that the new owners are fully aware they must keep them trimmed

Margaret C

Dublin
27th November 2008, 04:59 PM
Ok checked an old thread and see Sandy posted that most cavaliers only have front dewclaws naturally, but that some lines also have rear dewclaws. I def have rear dewclaws on at least three of the dogs -- I think one does not have them on the rear. I've never had a problem. Some hunting dogs do get problems with tears and so they remove them.

Thats really interesting - Sparky has rear dew claws but Cass (my JRT) naturaly dosn't.