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Skylar will be getting spayed soon (late oct, early nov)
The vet mentioned that I might want to get both of her back dewclaws removed at the same time. My mother is a groomer and said it would be a good idea.
I know they can get caught on stuff and tear, but should they be removed?
Would you get them removed, why or why not?
I'm leaning more towards getting them taken off, but I don't want to do something if its not the best thing for her.

thanks!
 

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Most people remove the rear ones as they are usually very loose and can catch and tear. If you are having her spayed, I would do it then.
 

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Front dew claws are normal and on GSDs are typically left on. Rear dew claws, in the rare case when they are present, should be removed. So yes, I would remove them. Usually if they are there they are removed by the breeder within the first couple of days. If that wasn't done, I myself probably wouldn't schedule surgery just to remove them unless they were causing a problem, but if the dog were already having surgery as is the case here I would certainly have them removed at that time.
 

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OP, did the vet say how long recovery is and if they use stitches? I have been contemplating this for my puppy. He has one very floppy rear dew claw.
 

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My understanding is removing the rear floppy ones is very quick and easy, with just a stitch or so needed.
 

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Our breeder never removes dew claws, front or back. They are firm believers in the all natural look. Uschi has them all the way around and seems to really use the back ones, so I never considered removing them. In the rear the dew claws are very close to her other toes and when she's got her weight on her hips they come in contact with the ground. Cosmetically, they're a little odd but no problems and the vet said it wasn't necessary to remove them now. I think it depends on how developed they are- Uschi's are actually like another digit not just a flap of skin and nail so it would be major to remove them, like removing a toe. We live out in the woods and she's never had any problems getting them caught on anything, I asked the vet if they should be removed when she was spayed and he said no so I didn't. I like how it sounds as though she's wearing slippers when she walks on the tile floor.
 

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My GSD Ben had his rear dewclaws removed during neuter surgery 9 yrs. ago. My regular vet was unavailable, and the vet I chose instead, well.... huge mistake! I was furious when I saw the 4-5 inch long incisions on the inside of Ben's rear legs. Ben's rear dewclaws were the floppy kind, attached just by skin. So the size and depth of his incisions was completely unnecessary IMO. It was almost impossible to keep the incisions dry, and they did end up getting infected. Came to find out that the vet who removed the dewclaws was new and hadn't done many dewclaw removals. (ya think?!) The vet's office ended up paying for all Ben's visits and resulting care for the infection, and he did recover just fine. You can still see the scars though.
So my advice would be to definetely get the rear dewclaws removed, but ask how experienced your vet is at doing the procedure. And if they can do it with the laser. Also ask how deep they think they will have to go and how large the incisions will be. Saline solution IV bags can be a good way to keep the incisions dry when your dog has to go out in wet grass, rain, etc. They're much more durable than any kind of plastic bag, I got them from the vet - after the fiasco they were more than willing to give them to me. I cut the tops off and held them on with a rubber band, and took them off as soon as he came in of course.
Did I mention that I never used that vet office again after Ben healed?
Edited to add: I was told the rear dewclaws needed to come off because the chance of a young active dog ripping them off (painfully and with a lot of blood) was very high.
 

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Like I said, my vet said just the opposite- let them stay unless a problem develops later on. And my dogs are running through brush and woods every day without any problems. Sorry you and Ben had to go through all that pain for something that should have been so simple.
 

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Removing dew claws is illegal in my province, as is tail docking and ear docking. I remember when I law came out breeders were pissed.
 

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Removing dew claws is illegal in my province, as is tail docking and ear docking. I remember when I law came out breeders were pissed.
They're just jealous their dogs' ears don't stand naturally! ;) (I come from Boxer land) While the nubby tails are very convenient, things are put on an animal for a reason... just because we find them ugly or they break and get injured isn't really an excuse IMHO to just lop it off.
What if the dog uses their dewclaws for something we're not aware of? I don't think I agree with having it taken off because it MIGHT get injured.
 

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Well, even with all the problems Ben had with his rear dewclaws being removed, I would do it again. IMO, rear dewclaws are cumbersome and kinda funny looking, not to mention more of a pain at nail trimming time. And I've seen lots of dogs doing lots of activities; but have never seen any with rear dewclaws. Not one dog. So, it must be uncommon for a dog to have them in the first place, therefore in my mind, they must not be needed. Front dews= not a problem; rear dews= weird. So sorry, I have to respectfully disagree with the above posters. If I ever got another dog with rear dews, I'd have them removed.
 

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Interesting to read up on dewclaws. The front ones tend to be real toes and used.

Another Look at Dewclaws

Dew claws
The fronts are definitely real! I watch Eva dreaming and all five of her front toes on both feet clench and relax. Interesting to see the dew claw move, but it's got a tendon to it for sure and I think it's used for gripping, etc. when they are running and turning.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Removing dew claws is illegal in my province, as is tail docking and ear docking. I remember when I law came out breeders were pissed.

I live in Nova Scotia, wonder if its illegal here? The vet said when skylar was 9 weeks (4 months ago now) that they were too floppy and should come off if i wanted them to.
 

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Just my personal experience- I'm glad the breeder left Uschi's. She has very developed rear claws and they're more like another digit, so at this point it would be a significant surgery. Maybe she's unusual but she uses them a great deal. My husband would prefer they had been removed because they are rather odd looking. I love the way they sound, like she's wearing slippers.
 

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I live in Nova Scotia, wonder if its illegal here? The vet said when skylar was 9 weeks (4 months ago now) that they were too floppy and should come off if i wanted them to.
Ouch... your Vet said that at 9 weeks? Is it possible to know that at that age? Ive never heard of a Shepherd getting ears cropped... is that normal?
 
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