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  1. #1
    Road Dawg
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    Question Dew Claw removal?

    Hello! My family just adopted an 8 week old Great Pyr puppy (technically she's almost 10 weeks now as we've had her for a couple), and at her first vet appointment the vet mentioned that we should consider having her dew claws removed, as they are flimsy and can get caught in carpet (which we don't have a lot of, mostly hardwood floors) and crusty snow. We live in Maine so we definitely get the crusty snow in our yard from the ice and I've spoken to people who have both had them removed from their large breeds and also have not had an issue. My husband and I do not want to change her, they make her so unique, but I also don't want her to injure herself. Any thoughts??

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar
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    Is your vet familiar with the breed? Typically pyr double dewclaws are NOT removed unless there are some abnormal growth issues with them. Pyr double dews are not like the single dewclaws on other breeds. They are attached much more firmly and is a boned digit. The single dews on other breeds tend not to be supported by bone Thus to remove the double dews on a pyr would require real surgery.

    Is there a risk of ripping those dews out if they are not removed... sure, there is a risk. But stealing TexasKat's example... there is also a risk of me catching my pinky toe on something and rip that off when I walk (and I've come close a few times... ouch), but it would never cross our minds to remove our pinky toes. The pyr double dews are actual toes and really it is very rare that they are caught on something and ripped off. This is a very specific breed trait and not something that should be removed for a not very high risk of injury. Particularly if your pyr is really a family pet and not left out with livestock without human contact for days at a time, then I really don't see a real good reason to have the double dews removed.

  3. #3
    Road Dawg
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    Our vet seemed to know about the double dewclaws, probably not as familiar with the breed as there aren't many in our area. He felt around them on her foot and said they were connected by a tendon or ligament not bone, and it wouldn't be an issue.. but yikes!
    Sara

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Chi_gal's Avatar
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    Removal of these is a surgery, Jewel is right in that it is like removing a toe. Is your vet saying the dew claws are not firmly attached? They can be floppy (our dog's dew claws are floppy and pretty large but definately attached and he's never had any issues with them running, hiking, playing, etc.).

    Edited to add, as I just saw your response, can you get a second opinion? I would make sure they weren't attached to the bone before you had the pup go through the surgery.

  5. #5
    Road Dawg
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    I think he meant it as he thinks they aren't a bone digit and can be ripped easily. I know my husband is absolutely against doing it and I'm just about there too, I just wanted to know what other great pyr owners thought and if it had been recommended to them. Other than that he's a wonderful vet, although new to us.. Daisy is technically our first puppy as a new family and she's definitely not having any issues running around
    Sara

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) TexasKat's Avatar
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    Actually your pup may get better use of double dews than those of us farther south. In snow, they help Pyrs walk on snow by providing a larger surface area. Even though they don't touch dry ground, they will in the snow.

    One of my Pyrs has "loose" dew claws and one has very firmly attached ones. NEITHER has ever had any difficulty with them. I don't recall hearing any Pyr owner here having trouble with them. Gypsy lost a nail once, but it was a front foot dew claw that was the issue.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Davey Benson's Avatar
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    I agree with your husband...
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Davey Benson's Avatar
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    Terry had them removed from Murphy..... (there was some issue with them)

    at 10 weeks old, the puppy is still pretty undeveloped. Growth plates need to fill in yet, and the dew claws which may appear to be "un-attached" may grow in more as the puppy matures.
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tsunibear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Benson View Post
    Terry had them removed from Murphy..... (there was some issue with them)
    If I remember correctly Murphy's dews weren't attached to any bone and just had a muscle and vein attaching them.

    Missy had hers removed before I got her but, she is also a mutt and the lady did it because, she is a mutt and most people getting a mutt don't want to keep up with them.

    Now in my experience as a groomer most Pyr's dews are attached to a bone, tendon and have the vein. You can feel the bone even on the "loose" dews for the most part. Loose dews on a Pyr have a bone that they are attached to but, it usually isn't as big as a Pyr who has a firmly attached dew.

    If it were me I would get a second opinion because, it's possible that your pup has dews like Murphy but, it is also possible that your vet doesn't know what he is talking about.

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)
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    I'd definitely get a second opinion. Most of all, I'd wait until she's older, and has had time to grow. If you plan on getting her spayed, I'd wait until then so she only has to go under anesthesia once. Plus, you'll know for sure if they're attached by bone or not by then, because she'll be much bigger, and will have a good amount of her growing done.

    My lab has a completely detached dew claw on her back left paw. Her right paw doesn't have a dew at all. She's almost ten, and has never had a problem with it, even though she's spent a lot of time running in grass, carpet and sand, climbing on rocks, etc... Because hers is completely detached, I would have no problems in removing it. However, you don't want to remove her dews unless you know for SURE that there's something wrong with them. I like the analogy of removing our pinky toes because they might one day get caught on something.

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