What to do about the dew claw? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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What to do about the dew claw?

When I was drying Max's paw tonight before coming in, he yelped and wanted to nip at me (poor boy -- he never does that!). I looked down and his dew claw is at almost a 90 degree angle with his paw. I looked around it a bit -- VERY SENSITIVE, and VERY bloody up in that area where the nail goes into the paw. I can't tell if the nail has been pulled out in a weird way, or if the nail itself if kinda broke/bent, but not clear through.

He goes out in the yard and runs in circles barking at the birds and the planes, and I suspect that he caught it on something. I think it started a couple of days ago, as he has been licking that paw a bit.

Okay, so now, about 20 minutes later, he is walking on it, playing on it if I let him, and completely leaving it alone.

So, let's say he hasn't torn it out, but it's kinda bent, and probably hurts when it gets banged. What would the vet do with that?

So, let's say it's a bit torn out, what would the vet do with that?

He keeps smelling it (the blood probably?). We have an acupuncture appointment on Tuesday -- I'm not sure there is anything they can do?


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post #2 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 01:10 AM
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Re: What to do about the dew claw?

If you brought him to my work, we would try to clip or pull the nail shell off and tell you that it will hurt him for a couple of weeks.
Kind of a bummer.
Its just like bending your nail all the way back or breaking it really low. Try not to bang it. You can wrap it. It will eventually fall off.
The nail may actually hurt him more if you don't have it taken off. It will continue to get stuck on things.
Poor boy. Nail injuries make me cringe.

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post #3 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What to do about the dew claw?

Crumb, looks like I need to bring him in then. I suspected that would be the case.

I hate having to take him to a vet that is not his typical vet. He's always good with the vet, but they always worry about him, wondering if he should be muzzled, etc., (he's a butthead with other dogs in the waiting room) and they typically don't know that I *don't* typically let techs or vets take my dogs to the back without me there, and then I have to be assertive, etc. etc. etc. And I always have to dodge the vaccination question too. Way too complicated.

ETA, where are my manners -- thanks for the info, I really appreciate it!


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post #4 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 01:34 AM
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Re: What to do about the dew claw?

Hey, I work for a vet! And I know Sheps! Its why I love them and nobody else wants to touch them!
You could try wrapping it if he'll leave it alone. If he'll behave enough, you could pull it off and then use a stypic powder for any blood that might flow. (generally there is not very much. And this hurts for that split second)
You can also try to clip the nail as far down as you can get. This might prevent it from getting caught up on anything.
Good luck and may his toe feel better soon!

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post #5 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What to do about the dew claw?

Thanks! I'll see if I can get in to look at it later tonight. The absolute worst case is that it doesn't get looked at until Tuesday. If I sense that he is hurting, I will bring him in. I have a feeling that this has been there awhile now that I think of it -- it's just been aggravated by his recent "bark at the plane" this evening. Doofus.

Planes and motorcycles drive him nuts. I often wonder if it was the flight out here from Oklahoma when he was bought as a pup (we didn't have him as a pup ).


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post #6 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What to do about the dew claw?

http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/...p?imageid=8337

Okay, so here is a pic of a dew claw removed. This length is just about where the split in the nail is on Max's dew claw. If you look on the inside of the Max's actual nail, it splits even closer to the body -- where it is split, you can see pink fleshy stuff, and you can tell it was bloody before he licked it clean. Max's split on the inside looks right next to the skin.

I'm afraid to wrap it tonight -- I'm afraid of forcing it into an uncomfortable position. But he does keep snagging it, particularly when he gets up on the coach. Duh, then don't let him get up on the couch......


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post #7 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What to do about the dew claw?

Okay, I put a guaze over it and gently wrapped it in Vet Wrap for the night. We have an appt at 4.


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post #8 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 09:21 PM
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Re: What to do about the dew claw?

Lakota almost tore his off, The legiments that attached it to the leg were so stretched, the nail was almost pulled out. I opted to have both dew claws on the front legs removed. I wouldn't have had them removed but his was just flopping on his leg and I and the vet figured if he tore one lose it would just be a matter of time before he did the other one. Besides I didn't want him to be lopsided (giggle). I posted pictures of him in his sweat bands with his basketball in him mouth wondering why I wouldn't play with him.

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post #9 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What to do about the dew claw?

LOL -- sounds like a great pic!! I know what you mean about symmetrical -- I worried about that when Max had to have a canine tooth removed. But I left him lopsided

The crack in the nail didn't go all the way around, so they had to lightly sedate him in order to get that piece off. No mention of actually removing the thing entirely -- I'm glad, but if it happens again, might have to think about it.

While he was sedated, they also drained a sebaceous cyst that keeps filling up but won't open. With any luck, it won't refill.

Man, late Saturday afternoon at the vet's office. It really is a different world than the times that I"m usually there. Talked awhile to someone who just got their Pomeranian puppy yesterday - they bought him off the internet from Missouri He was a very very sick puppy -- they are not sure he's going to make it.

Isn't Missouri one of the big puppy mill states?


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post #10 of 107 (permalink) Old 01-12-2009, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What to do about the dew claw?

If the quick was exposed for an extended period of time (open and bleeding), can it get infected and cause an infection in the toe/paw?


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