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Re: Take the dew claws off, or not?

The Ryman Setters Forum Forums Health Take the dew claws off, or not? Re: Take the dew claws off, or not?


A few years ago I started leaving dew claws on my litters.  I had come across Dr Zinks writing and it meshed with my overall sense that natural is often (usually?) better.  I think dew claws are there for a reason and serve a purpose, even if it is a small purpose.  I have hunted setters for 46 years and have never had a dewclaw injury on my dogs.  

I have heard others say that they have experienced dew claw injuries – being torn or ripped – but I do not know what breed they had.  I have seen dogs of some breeds such as GSPs that have large, floppy dew claws that just looked like they may be more prone to injury.   A friend with one of my dogs reported some abrasion on her dew claws after days of hunting rough grass in Montana but it was not problematic and I’m certain that the dew claws were not the only area abraded after days of good hunting.  

Before puppies go home I send a variety of educational articles to the buyers and I include Dr Zinks article and photo regarding dew claws.   Only once have I had anyone say that maybe they would have them removed when the dog was older and I quickly launched into educational mode and they realized that would be unnecessary and traumatic.  

The potential boots issue is a valid point.  I suggest using vet wrap under the boots to first secure the dewclaw and reduce abrasion.  I also wonder if the innertube-type of boots might eliminate that problem. 

Good topic and discussion, thanks.  I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one considering the topic.


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