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Dew Claws....Remove or no? #7551123 07/08/19 02:51 PM
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takemking Offline OP
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Wanted to solicit some feedback on this topic. I'm currently working to obtain a new puppy. My retrievers are used solely for duck hunting and companionship. My most recent lab had her dew claws intact. It was not what I had intended, but the breeder did not practice removal. Over the course of having her I noticed how important dew claws are to agility, climbing (in and out of pirogue), and gripping. Never once did I encounter an issue. I'm now looking to have my next puppy with dew claws intact as well. It seems that maybe this is becoming more common practice, however all the breeders I've discussed the matter with have been somewhat surprised. No one has been against it, but it is somewhat difficult having to make a pick within the first 3 days. What are your opinions on dew claws? Any advice on things to consider when looking at a puppy so young? Obviously I will be relying heavily on pedigree and size but any additional thoughts would certainly be helpful.

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7551153 07/08/19 03:37 PM
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They came with the pup and I leave them there. Never been given reason to regret.

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7551181 07/08/19 04:09 PM
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I have versatile dogs. One has the dew claws, the other had them removed. I have never had an issue with the one that has them. The one that had them removed always got bloody and sore at the bump where the claw use to be when I hunted her for upland game. I saw no difference in duck hunting.

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7551299 07/08/19 06:34 PM
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I had one almost rip a dew claw completely off. I want them gone or Im out on that pup. Just my personal preference. Too easy to remove at birth to deal with the possible issues that may come up. You may never have an issue but when/if you do, it's usually pretty bad. I didn't think it was ever going to stop bleeding. Happened at home too, wasn't even in rough country.


Originally Posted by bill oxner
Haven't had it in years but never spit any out.
Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7552892 07/10/19 11:31 AM
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Most breeders of performance labs still remove dew claws. The reasoning is because if not trimmed they can get caught on something and get ripped off.

Recently there have been some studies that show that removal can cause carpal injuries. There is also a video out showing how dogs use there few claws to help get out of holes in ice if they happen to fall through.

I'm on the fence about it. I most likely will have Dee claws removed on my next litter but I'm not 100% sure yet.


Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7552937 07/10/19 12:56 PM
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Boot them with and without and see for yourself. To me they are much easier to boot without.


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7553310 07/10/19 08:24 PM
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Thanks for all the input guys. BradyBuck makes a good point on injuries that occur when dew claws are removed. One thing that really stood out to me from the health perspective was discovering veterinarian M. Christine Zink of Johns Hopkins University believes that the entire front foot, including the dewclaws, contacts the ground while running. During running, the dewclaw digs into the ground preventing twisting or torque on the rest of the leg. Several tendons connect the front dewclaw to muscles in the lower leg, further demonstrating the front dewclaws' functionality. There are indications that dogs without dewclaws have more foot injuries and are more prone to arthritis. Zink recommends "for working dogs it is best for the dewclaws not to be amputated. If the dewclaw does suffer a traumatic injury, the problem can be dealt with at that time, including amputation if needed."

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7553334 07/10/19 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by takemking
Thanks for all the input guys. BradyBuck makes a good point on injuries that occur when dew claws are removed. One thing that really stood out to me from the health perspective was discovering veterinarian M. Christine Zink of Johns Hopkins University believes that the entire front foot, including the dewclaws, contacts the ground while running. During running, the dewclaw digs into the ground preventing twisting or torque on the rest of the leg. Several tendons connect the front dewclaw to muscles in the lower leg, further demonstrating the front dewclaws' functionality. There are indications that dogs without dewclaws have more foot injuries and are more prone to arthritis. Zink recommends "for working dogs it is best for the dewclaws not to be amputated. If the dewclaw does suffer a traumatic injury, the problem can be dealt with at that time, including amputation if needed."



Check out my litter coming this winter or early 2020 in the puppy classifieds.

Last edited by BradyBuck; 07/10/19 08:59 PM.
Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7553336 07/10/19 09:00 PM
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Be sure to trim them. They become ingrown quite easily and the resulting infection can be problematic.

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7553708 07/11/19 06:33 AM
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My bird dog has them. If wolves have them.......good enough reason for me. Kidding. Sort of. I don't really understand with the logic of being pro removal. Pretty sure evolution is a better determinant than one time my dog had its dew claw injured. Crop their tails and ears too?

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7553771 07/11/19 12:04 PM
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I got all of my dogs as pups so I got an early look at the dew claws. Two were fine with dewclaws tucked in tight. Sparkey had the kind that poke way out so I made the call to remove them. They would have eventually caused a big problem. He does not seem to miss them.


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Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7553937 07/11/19 03:52 PM
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I too believe they serve a purpose but will continue to remove them as common practice. Unless more information can convince me otherwise. My position primarily comes from my experience working at a vet clinic through college. I do not want to sedate my dogs if it can be prevented. If the dew claws aren't removed at birth it requires sedation to have them removed at an older age and for most or all subsequent injuries to them.

Unfortunately animals do not come with medical records, I witnessed multiple animals that did not wake up from sedation over a 3.5 year period. Otherwise healthy and rare considering the number of animals that we treated but it is a possibility. If there were to become a direct link to UCL tears or frequency then I am all ears. However at this point those injuries seem to be linked to genetics and accidents.

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: bill oxner] #7554288 07/11/19 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bill oxner
Boot them with and without and see for yourself. To me they are much easier to boot without.

Originally Posted by bill oxner
Boot them with and without and see for yourself. To me they are much easier to boot without.




Bingo

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: blanked] #7554391 07/12/19 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by blanked
Originally Posted by bill oxner
Boot them with and without and see for yourself. To me they are much easier to boot without.

Originally Posted by bill oxner
Boot them with and without and see for yourself. To me they are much easier to boot without.




Bingo


We are taking retrievers used primarily for duck hunting. Very rarely would you boot if ever.

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7554440 07/12/19 02:48 AM
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I'm in the remove camp. When they are a problem, they tend to do it at the most inopportune time.


Originally Posted by Phil Robertson
Don't let your ears hear what your eyes didn't see, and don't let your mouth say what your heart doesn't feel
Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7554586 07/12/19 01:14 PM
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I vote remove them. When they're a problem - they're a problem and very painful. Plus most people don't keep them trimmed like they should.

I have one lab with them and one without. Zero difference in performance.

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7554783 07/12/19 06:08 PM
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I raised two litters of pointers. I removed all the dew claws when they were one day old. I cut them off with poultry shears. Breeders of pointing dogs with short tails get them removed when the tails get docked.


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7554821 07/12/19 06:55 PM
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Remove.


Tigger
If it isn't white it is not a birddog.

KC
Lying is lying. Don't bitch about one doing it and condone another. That's called hypocrisy.
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Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: bill oxner] #7555445 07/13/19 07:15 PM
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Tigger speak truth.

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7555777 07/14/19 04:00 AM
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I'm closer to 60 than 50 now and have had dogs my whole life. While I've owned hunting/working breeds, I've not used the dogs for those purposes - just family members. I've never ever removed dew claws and not had any issues. Won't start now. But then I have a doby girl with long tail and floppy ears too smile

Earl

Last edited by Earl; 07/14/19 04:01 AM.

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7555782 07/14/19 04:17 AM
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My lab uses his dew claws all the time. I would never think to remove them.

Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: takemking] #7560364 07/19/19 09:50 PM
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NEVER had a problem with dogs that have had removed, hunting the briars in S.W. Mo, have had dogs tear them off horribly


hold on Newt, we got a runaway
Re: Dew Claws....Remove or no? [Re: ntxtrapper] #7560969 07/21/19 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ntxtrapper
My lab uses his dew claws all the time. I would never think to remove them.

[quote=ntxtrapper]My lab uses his dew claws all the time. I would never think to remove them. [/What does he use them for
Scratch his [censored] or pick his nose


Tigger
If it isn't white it is not a birddog.

KC
Lying is lying. Don't bitch about one doing it and condone another. That's called hypocrisy.
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