Re: A Flick of The Wrist, By Chris Zink (dewclaws?)
Tammy, I saw Mer's holistic vet/chiropractor today and asked her.
She said that she's seen the article and has talked to Chris Zink herself about this. She agrees with me that some of the stuff that Dr. Zink writes up is a little odd, but says that she believes Dr. Zink is right on the mark with this. My vet has a dog that doesn't have dew claws that's her agility dog and she has seen that her wrists have been weakening over the years. She does a lot of motion/flexing/rotation work on her dog's wrists to keep them as healthy as possible.
(She showed me how... basically, it's just working on range of motion to keep the wrist nice and loose. She had showed me for Zamboni, who had osteoarthris from her advanced age... simply little flexing and bending at the wrist that we did every day or so)
She said that the reason for the breakdown is that on really sharp turns (like agility dogs do), the wrist flexes sideways so much that the dogs are actually using the dew claw to brace the wrist. She suggested that I watch my GSD -- who has his dew claw -- when he's tearing around the yard and watch his front paws -- I should be able to see it.
Without the dew claw for support, the internal wrist structure has to bear all of the force itself. There is no external brace. So the wrist breaks down more quickly.
Finally, she said that she has discussed this with orthopedic surgeons who poo-poo the whole theory...
Whew! I think that's everything we talked about. I tried to rush home and type it all before I forgot!
I'm meeting with our surgeon tomorrow about Mer's knee. I'll try to remember to ask him what he thinks about this too. (My vet said she hasn't discussed this with my surgeon, so we're curious what he has to say.)