If the cat is going to be given up, the lesser of two evils is declawing the cat. A: Yes. Dewclaws rarely cause problems for pets, but the subject tends to come up at this time of year when blankets come out of the attic when the first cold front arrives and dewclaws hang in the fabric. The caps are put on with surgical adhesive and the cats usually get used to them within a day or two. You’ll hear stories that cats start biting more or develop litter box problems, but there’s no evidence of it even after numerous studies. The removal of dew claws is recommended in Australia if there is a chance of injury due to loosely hanging off the paw or undergoing a procedure of standard level where general anesthesia is used like De-sexing etc. Never a problem even with the rear dew claws. But I think it really boils down to cats are born with claws and they should keep them. One of the puppies became an all-breed BIS winner even with dew claws. When I first started breeding, i always had them removed. Dew claws are found not just on dogs but on other mammals as well as birds and reptiles. 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 procedure is usually done on puppies under the age of five days and timed to coincide with other methods such as neutering and spaying. When the pads are cut in half, the cat can’t walk on them without discomfort. It points out that declawing is entirely elective, saying it is the veterinarian’s obligation to provide alternatives to the procedure. Q: So it's better to declaw a cat rather than get rid of it? Overgrown dewclaws – people forget to clip them 2. That’s what cats put their weight on. There are also those vinyl nail caps for cats (aka soft claws). Thus the name. So if you cut their claws, they just want to sharpen them more. Recovery from this type of surgery can be painful and fraught with complications. Pain management is an important part of any procedure. Q: Can declawing lead to any medical complications or problems? When somebody brings us a kitten, that’s one of the things we talk about - how to train them to use a scratching post. Conversely, if there are no bones present the only challenge is ligating the blood vessels prior to removing the claw. If your dog suffers from extreme damaged or broken nails, claw cancer or fungal nail infection, etc, of course, your vet would recommend nail removal as the best option. Dog dew claws are often removed for cosmetic reasons, but very often it is to avoid painful injury in the long run. None of the common amputations (ear cropping, tail docking, dewclaw removal) are required in Border Collies and the dewclaw removal is really the only one … Dew claw removal is much simpler in puppies as the … Your email address will not be published. The removal of a dog’s dew claw is controversial, illegal in some countries and generally an elective procedure.. More often, though, the policy says it should not be done, but if a vet determines it’s medically necessary, it’s OK to do it. Some pet owners elect to have the dewclaws removed surgically to control ingrown nails and pet-inflicted human injuries. Some surgeons prefer to bandage the surgery sites, some prefer to leave the site open to the air. If not trimmed regularly they can grow in a circular fashion and penetrate the toe pad immediately above the nail. Facts About Dog Dew Claw You Should Know. On the rear legs the challenges are similar if all of the normal structures are present. The procedure is performed by a veterinarian in puppies up to five days old, during an emergency when injury occurs, or when the canine is undergoing a spay and/or neuter procedure and going under general anesthesia. In a non-neonate patient, dewclaw removal involves surgical amputation of this digit. The pad is intact; all the soft tissue is there. The major risks are those of bleeding (hemorrhage) and postoperative infection. Then, again, spellcheck doesn’t know “spellcheck”, either! A dew claw injury is even more prevalent in dogs because unlike other nails; they do not weaken or wear down.Dogs do not use claws (or dewclaws) when they walk. Some breeds of dogs routinely have the dewclaws removed within a few days of birth. Declawing cats is an emotionally charged and hotly debated topic.Both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Academy of Feline Medicine stress that owners should be educated about both the procedure and its alternatives. On the rear legs they may have one, two, three or no bones. As dewclaws don’t reach the ground they fail to wear like other pet toenails. The number of dew claws that you need to have removed will affect the cost of dew claw surgery, as will the complexity of the operation, which will be affected by how much muscle and bone is attached to the claw. The American Academy of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) goes even further by saying it strongly opposes the practice, which is considered a major surgery. It is the only nail found in the animal's ankle region or above the front of their feet. On the front legs the phalanges are often positioned tight to the radius bone, so it can be challenging to dissect behind them to access the blood vessels for ligation (to prevent bleeding). Required fields are marked *. While here she wanted to show me how she did the dewclaws on her new litter of puppies, and see if she did them correctly. A: No, it’s not appropriate for obvious reasons. Dog owners should plan on being with their dog during the recovery period, as dogs often will not stop licking the removal site. It’s very effective. The price of dew claw removal … The worst scars I have from thirty years of practice have come from dewclaws. 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. Dewclaws are unnecessary toes on the backs of dogs’ legs. When I took him to the vet she told me if I wanted them removed at this time it would be best to wait till I get him neutered and they can do it at the same time, so I thought cool I have some time to think about this. However, it can increase significantly depending upon the complication of the injury or disease. Most of the pain comes from the trauma to the soft tissue. When present on the front legs they almost always have three bones, called phalanges, just as our fingers and pets’ other toes have. So it’s like cutting the tip of your finger off. Useful during movement. Kitten Care -- From Adoption to Kitty-Proofing Your Home, Cat Grooming: Brushing, Bathing, Nail Clipping, and More, Cat Nail Clipping: How and When to Cut Cat’s Nails, Feeding Your Kitten: Kitten Food and Treats Basics, Weaning a Kitten from Mother’s Milk to Solid Food. Some breeders remove dewclaws on 5-day-old puppies, using local anesthetic and sedatives. And the hardest part is that you have to trim your cat’s claws before you put them on, and most people can’t trim their cat’s claws. But the glue has to be applied properly. We left them on and he was hunted at least 60 days a year on waterfowl and lots of upland. When they dig into human skin they can be very painful. Dewclaws rarely cause problems for pets, ... Surgical removal is a delicate, tedious procedure. Removing Dew Claws: Combining Procedures 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. How long does it take a cat to recover? Drew Weigner, Atlanta veterinarian and a past president of the Academy of Feline Medicine, offers his perspective on the topic. Letting your cats outside after they’ve been declawed would be cruel because they can’t defend themselves properly. You could think of a dew claw as sort of a thumb. In the latter case a claw and toe pad simply hang from skin, like a drop of dew. 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). When you do that, right underneath that is the pad, and you actually cut that right in half too. So the cat is walking comfortably very quickly because its pads are fine. Those on the side of removing declaws believe it’s better to remove them than to have to worry about all the problems they can create, such as: 1. A: Any surgery involves some degree of pain or discomfort. By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the WebMD, Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter. While it is a simple procedure, owners should not attempt dew claw removal on their own, as complications can occur and proper precautions should be taken. But the majority of declawings are due to social issues -- where cats are being destructive and tearing up furniture. It grows high up on the leg. But it won’t grow back properly and that can cause abscesses. Laser declawing has been shown to have a lower rate of claw regrowth as well as certain short-term and long-term issues (e.g. Dewclaws are functionless first digits (toes) on the inside of the front legs of most dogs and cats, and on the rear legs of some individuals. One of the most preferred treatment and successful method vets uses in saving dogs who suffer severe cases of Nail bed infection or Toe Nail diseases such as Fungal nail disorder, Tumor or cancer is Dog nail removal surgery.. 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. Therefore, owners have to be committed to keep the cat indoors for the rest of its life or to find a family that can do so. What Is the Typical Postoperative Care After Dewclaw Removal? The Procedure of Removing Dew Claw. Removing dew claws is considered cruel and barbaric by some, and a necessary evil by others. But it’s much less successful with adult cats. A breeder stopped in for some advice on her dam that was running a temperature after four days and a hard whelp. And they can’t walk on them comfortably for weeks. But if it keeps the owners from giving up their cats, euthanizing them, or making them outside cats, I think it’s a realistic option. There are people whose immune systems are suppressed or the elderly on blood thinners who can’t be exposed to the bacteria on a cat’s claws. There are many other arguments you can make for this -- the pain they go through, the complications after declawing. A closer look at the controversial procedure. In 5-day-old puppies, surgical scissors are used to remove the claw, which is not securely attached yet and sutures may not be required. And if it’s not performed properly, the claw can grow back. There are alternatives to declawing, and I think everybody, including veterinarians, look at declawing as a last resort. I know the United Kingdom has, and so have Australia and New Zealand. The Dew claw ligament has probably developed and hardened and surgery would be a pain so I hear. using the bathroom outside the litterbox); however, short-term and long-term problems still happen in many cats, most importantly those associated with pain and missing out on the instinctual fulfillment of scratching. With cosmetic declawing, which is much less traumatic, and presently the rule of thumb, you use a tiny curved blade to go in and dissect out the claw and the tiny piece of bone. Medically, sometimes you have to remove a claw if the claw is damaged beyond repair or if it has a tumor. Kramer did not have his dew claws removed when I got him at 7 weeks, the breeder did not see the reason for it. Some breeds of dogs routinely have the dewclaws removed within a few days of birth. A: They truly have looked at these issues and found nothing. There is some debate as to whether dewclaws should be surgically removed. Almost all dogs naturally have dew claws on their front legs, and some have them on the back, as well. It involves removing the entire toe, and if the breeder doesn’t get it right, there can be a bad outcome. Cosmetic declawing heals much faster, usually within a week. Thus the name. 4. And, if you’re going to start letting your cat outside because it’s a destructive cat, you’re probably better off declawing it and keeping it inside because it will live considerably longer being an inside declawed cat than an outside cat with claws. A: There are a couple of good reasons. Spellcheck doesn’t even know it. Q: Isn’t declawing cats illegal in some other countries? Therefore, removal of the dew claws will affect the major muscles attached to those tendons. A: If that’s the only option, absolutely. Surgical removal is a delicate, tedious procedure. In the distant past, cats were normally declawed using an instrument with a sliding blade, almost like a guillotine, and it cut a straight line through the joint between that little piece of bone and the next piece of bone, which is much bigger. Think about the reasons cats scratch: to stretch and to sharpen their claws. Some complications can result in the need for additional surgery. Likewise, removing the dew claws of large pups can cost more than declawing smaller breeds. Dewclaw Removal Procedures and Aftercare. Q: Will declawing change my cat’s personality? There is a ligament associated with each dewclaw, which must also be incised. The American Academy of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) goes even further by saying it strongly opposes the practice, which is considered a major surgery. 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. After dewclaw removal, the surgery site should be inspected daily for signs of redness, discharge, swelling or pain. See your pet’s doctor if your pet has had difficulty with dewclaws ingrowing, snagging or just to learn how to trim the nails. My Aging Cat Seems Irritable. I’ve had people glue a few toes together. Removing dew claws from dogs is often done, but there’s a lot of debate surrounding the issue. In some breeds, dog dewclaws may be removed to give the leg a smoother look. That’s what I really hate. A: One is training, which is primarily for kittens. All rights reserved. Q: Many people are opposed to declawing. Dewclaws can also be misused as a means of grasping owners’ arms and legs. Trimming nails, if you do it weekly, can help if the problem is scratching people, but it won’t stop a cat from damaging furniture. Some countries have banned declawing due to ethical concerns. The dew claw is the claw that most dogs have on the inner portion of their lower leg, little ways above the rest of the paw. A: They both say about the same thing. Depending on the practice, this cost is around $30–$40 per puppy and up. But it can be done long-term if done properly. Some of these countries ban it outright. Anesthesia And Surgery In Older Pets: A Dutchess Update, Clean Dog and Cat Ears Weekly To Prevent Ear Problems, Update on Brindle, Lost Ten Years, And Tristan, Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The dew claws offer extra support to your Lab’s legs when your dog needs to turn quickly while running at a high speed. They can be used successfully. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. The risk of dewclaw injury also may prompt dewclaw removal. Q: Are there good reasons to declaw a cat? 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. You have to remove the claw, and you have to remove the little piece of bone that the claw grows from. Why? If you don’t, the claw will try to grow back. The procedure requires general anesthesia, so candidates must have preanesthesia laboratory testing of blood and urine, just as people have before anesthesia and surgery. Q: Can I allow a declawed cat to go outside? Ingrown nails – often, the dew claw is very close to the skin, making it easy for it to get ingrown 3. Q: What is the actual procedure involved in declawing a cat? Infections – just like regular toenails, the dewclaw can get infected. They last about a month. It’s certainly the most minor procedure with the fewest complications and it offers decent benefits. Duct tape (not the metal type) works better than vet wrap but a pain to remove. The less you remove, the better, and that’s where the differences in techniques come in. If you purchased a puppy from a reputable breeder, dewclaw removal may have been done when the … In the latter case a claw and toe pad simply hang from skin, like a drop of dew. Lets take a look at the pros and cons of dew claw removal, and what dew claw surgery involves. 2. There’s no two ways about it. Complications, such as infection or regrowth of the nail, are possible.
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