View Full Version : Question about dew claws...

18th January 2006, 11:08 PM
What is everyone's opinion on dew claw removal in Cavaliers? Is it recomended or not? Does it look good or bad for the breeder if they don't have them removed?

18th January 2006, 11:29 PM
I had always removed them. THEN - the last litter looked a little off-- so I didn't. They had a bit of a bug. Sandy

18th January 2006, 11:51 PM
Mine have them which is the norm here. Taking them off is considered fairly controversial in Ireland and the UK and there have been proposals to ban this (as well as tail docking). If it is done it is supposed to be done before the pups are two weeks old and preferably much earlier, with topical anaesthesia, though some will argue "puppies don't feel it". This used to be the argument for circumcision without anaesthesia as well -- babies don't feel pain, really... icon_yikes My vets don;t like either docking or dewclaw removel (and declawing cats is actually illegal in the UK and Ireland). So attitudes to a range of those kinds of things are bit different.

I grew up with a Great Pyrenees, a breed with huge front and back dewclaws where they cannot be removed if observing the breed standard. Our dog never had any problem at all with them and she was into everything, everywhere; we lived up in the California coast foothills. Now and then, some dogs do tear them however.

Here's a post from one board:

I do the dews and tails between 5 and 10 days old, but it can be done at 2 weeks. I prefer not to do it that late however.
But I would like to say there is NO real reason to do dew claws. I have never seen one tear that was kept clipped. In my opinion it is just cruel, and I personally hate doing it. I have done a lot of puppies and I am re-thinking doing it at all. The more research I do the more I am convinced it is not needed!

I recently read a great article in the whole dog journal that really got me to thinking. God gave them 5 toes for a reason. like he gave us thumbs and little pinky toes..I don't think it would hurt us to have them removed, we would get used to it..Just like dogs do.

But if you have an older dog with dew claws, just leave them alone, that would be like taking off a thumb to you or I.. They are used to having that extra toe. If you keep the nail clipped it's not going to tear, probably wouldn't anyhow.

My dad was a hunter and had many hound dogs, they always had dew claws! He hunted them in dense woods and NEVER had them tear. People tell you this is done for their safety, it just isn't true.. People honestly just do it for no good reason because it has been done forever..

19th January 2006, 12:37 AM
Well --- i've seen some awful tears. If the dew claws are not connected by any bone and just "hanging on" by a bit of skin, then I thinkn they're better off w/o them. And better to remove them in a less traumatic way than have them ripped off. Not to say that having them clipped off as puppies isn't traumatic, though...

19th January 2006, 01:23 AM
Cedar has dew claws on her front legs, but not her rear. She just didnt have them. When researching this very issue, I read somewhere that dew claw removal was recommended for cavs on their front legs to avoid eye scratches/tears since their eyes are so large and easily damaged. I talked to my vet about it when we first got Cedar. He didnt seem to be bothered by her having them, but he said if we wanted to remove them when she was fixed, that we could do it then. We chose not to; so far we havent had any problem.

If you feel you want dew claws removed and your breeder did not do it before the pup came to you, I would talk to your vet. If you wanted them removed, be sure to do it when the dog is under anesthesia.

19th January 2006, 08:55 AM
In New South Wales tail docking has just been banned but there is nothing much about dew claws. I did ask my vet but he too said that they are there and unless really necessary shouldn't be removed. He explained how they are attached and said that sometimes there are complications when they are removed so he didn't recommend it unless there was a necessity.
Julie and the girls

19th January 2006, 10:02 AM
As Karlin says it really isn't thought of over here in UK and most of the websites don't mention anything of the sort for Cavaliers.

You have just got to make sure that they are not to long, so they don't catch the eye. If they do have sleepers then I do normally wipe these away with a warm damp piece of cotton wool.

Think that they are only supposed to be on front legs.

19th January 2006, 01:57 PM
Thank you for all of your replies on the issue. My cavalier DOES have her dew claws and she recently had a litter and I DID NOT remove their dew claws. The vet said it was not nessesary for this breed, only for hunting dogs or dogs that require a tail docking. I personally didn't want to put them through the pain of doing it. If they are 1 day old or 2 years old, I feel that they do feel the pain. My cavalier has not had a bit of trouble with hers, I don't trim them because they aren't long. She is also very active. Again thank you for the relpies.

19th January 2006, 04:46 PM
In cavaliers, most seem to be born ONLY with front dewclaws. There is a line of cavaliers that seems to have one set of rear dewclaws. <I believe there are some breeds that have double dewclaws.
If you have seen them tear <Rory mentioned> They tend to rip badly. A friend saw a lab tear one up the limb and she will always remove them because of what she saw.
When you have this done as pups, they heal fast and in a couple of days seem fine. To do this to a an older dog is a much bigger deal. Sandy

22nd January 2006, 02:39 AM
Audrey has her front ones. Two months ago she ripped one and we discussed removing them with my vet. He suggested a couse of antibiotics and soaking in epsom salts. He said the surgury was harder than one would think. Audrey healed and is okay now.

23rd January 2006, 03:11 PM
Dudley's breeder removed them.
If their is a chance of them tearing, I would hate to see the pain I am glad that my breeder removes them.

30th June 2006, 02:50 AM
I would highly not recommend having them removed from an adult dog. I did have them removed from an adult dog once and he was in so much pain and refused to walk for a few weeks. I do however always remove them from my Crested puppies (at 3 days). They most of the time don't squirm or cry until the quick stop is applied.

30th June 2006, 02:55 AM
In the puppy classes I assist, there's a terrier mix who has dew claws that stick out and flop about terribly. I can see how they could easily get caught and rip.

Cedar's are really tight close to her legs. It makes it harder to trim them, but it certainly keeps them out of harm's way.