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Discussion Starter #1
Every pup I have ever owned came with dew claws already removed, however, Zoes are not. We are an active outdoor family and the chances of Zoe tearing one in my opinion is good, and something I would like to avoid. As a former vet tech I have just seen too many torn completely off, hanging, or split and know how painful and costly that is after the fact so their definitely going, but when? She is 12 weeks now and won't be spayed until two, but is this developmentally a bad age to have this done, and if so when is the best time?
 

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You do mean the back leg dewclaws?
Those are usually done at a couple days old if they are there.
I was stupid and had Onyx's front ones removed(vets advice, they curled outward) when she was spayed. They must have seen lots of retriever/bird dogs, and it is standard procedure there.
I kick myself for being talked into it. I'd rather take my chances on a tear.
The recovery of the dewclaw removal was harder than the spay. If you are planning on having this done, do it when the dog won't get the vetwrap wet constantly...I had to change it almost every time Onyx went out, we were in a rainy weather pattern.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was planning on having them all done since she will be hiking and climbing trails with us often, and the front claws are usually the ones torn first which is my concern. I know not every dog tears them, but its horrific when it happens and usually results in the others being removed anyway. I've never had a dog with any- is it uncommon for the front to be removed?
 

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All my dogs have had front dew claws. I haven't had a one removed and have had no trouble. 7 dogs. We hike & trail ride almost every weekend. My dogs were all active dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Upon further inspection Zoe has no back ones just front ones...is this normal I thought all breeds had them?
 

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I've never had a problem with the front dew claws and never had a dog with rear dew claws. If anything my dogs seem to have used the front claws occasionally. I'd leave the front ones on, i know some vets (especially old school ones) sell dew claw removal hard, but there's no need.
 

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The breeder will remove the rear ones at just a day or two old~if the pups are born with them(some even have double rear).
I think the fronts are like thumbs, and the dogs use them.
In hunting breeds, they are removed because of the field running/ and the possibility of injury is greater(probably standard protocol that should be changed)...but herding and other work that a GSD does can be just as hard. Very seldom do I read about injuries from the dewclaw getting ripped.
 

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some Dal breeders remove the front dew claws, the breeder I got my dogs from does not. If you keep the nails very short so as they dont snag on anything, they shouldnt be a problem.
 

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You do the rear dewclaws right when they are born. It's NORMAL to not remove the front ones at all.

Most of our GSD's never have problems with their dewclaws. In fact they use them when they run and turn. There are even studies saying dogs with front dewclaws removed show more arthritis and wrist problems as they age.

If I were you, I'd NOT pay for an expensive surgery that (chances are) is completely unnecessary. All the police dogs and Schutzhund dogs you see, they have THEIR dewclaws. And I hike the crap out of my dogs and they have their dewclaws.

Same talk on pedigreedatabase, and one thread has a link about the wrist issues in older dogs if you REMOVE the dewclaw.

http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/bulletins_read/263693.html
 

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Discussion Starter #10
She wasn't born with the rear ones at all and I do keep their nails short, but it freaks me out she'll tear one. I'm going to read up though I don't want to hinder her or cause more serious future problems by removing them.
 

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Both my dogs have their front dewclaws and I hike them all the time and have never had an issue - everything from long walks to climbing rocks. They even seem useful at times for extra traction.

Before this thread I never even heard of removing front dewclaws, seems like it'd be a pretty painful and have a long recovery period from the procedure because they are generally quite well attached - bone and tissue/tendon.

Back dewclaws are often removed because they just sort of dangle there and are easy to have ripped off. The only breed I've seen left with them consistently are Great Pyrenees, which have double back dewclaws. Most of the time the backs are removed if they have them and the fronts are left.
 

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I've never removed front dewclaws on a GSD... no reason for it really. If I had a JRT who was an obsessive digger, and there was a high likely hood of him catching a claw I'd consider it.
 

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I had Bo's rear dew claws removed, they were useless hanging there by skin but never would remove the front ones and never have my dogs were all active never an accident either..
 

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Do all dogs have them? As far as I know my breeder never removes them but Nikon doesn't have rear ones. He has torn a claw but it was a regular one in the middle of the hind foot.
 

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Originally Posted By: LiesjeDo all dogs have them?
No. Most dogs do not have rear dewclaws. They happen in all breeds from time to time, and in some breeds more than most, but they are still more uncommon than common. Especially in GSDs. We've never had any rear dewclaws in our litters, and talking to other breeders they rarely if ever see them either.

Rear dew claws in GSDs should be removed shortly after birth.

Now front dew claws are the opposite. They are always present in GSDs. I can't think of a breed where front dewclaws aren't always there, though there may be one. Some breed standards call for front dew claw removal and it is generally practiced in some breeds, but not GSDs. In GSDs, front dew claws are left intact.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We'll be keeping them in it seems my vet wouldn't want to do it this late in the game anyway so weekly nail sessions should keep them out of the way we hope. Thanks for the links and advice it was super helpful!!
 
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