Dewclaws are kind of similar to thumbs on humans. The main difference is that, unlike our thumbs, they lost their purpose over time and are now plain useless. If your pup hasn’t had his removed yet, or is even born with extra dewclaws, you are probably wondering if you should have them removed.
The dewclaw was quite helpful for the ancient dog. It helped canines climb or hold objects such as the dead animals they were snacking on, but for a modern dog, this purpose is no longer crucial.
Dewclaws are attached to your dog’s leg by some loose skin.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons describes it as “a nail, skin and connective tissue with no skeletal articulation.”
The problem can appear if the dewclaw catches on something. In these cases, it can easily rip away and become a painful, bloody mess which will most likely require a visit to your vet, and hours, if not days, of calming your poor buddy down.
Removing The Dewclaws
Not all dewclaws are dangerous. It can depend on the breed. If your ball of fur still has these, talk to your vet about whether it is necessary for your dog to have them removed.
However, you might have missed the window of opportunity. If they weren’t removed when your puppy was a newborn, you can have it done at the same time as spaying or neutering, but later it can become a problem, so contact your vet immediately if you have any doubts.