Removing claws from the dog is termed the same process as in cats, an onychectomy. For one, declawing cats is a preventive measure, so it does not embark on destructive scratching. In dogs, the process may be more detrimental, and that answers the question. Dog owners should not declaw their pets. During the declawing process, the vet removes the endpoints for each of the digits. It would be comparable to an individual removing the ends of your toes just so that your nails can stop growing.
The Structure of Your Dog’s Paws
From a structural perspective, your dog’s feet are similar to human hands and feet. They have such things as metacarpals, metatarsals, and phalanges, but the main variance point is that your dog’s paws are scrunched.
Unlike the human nail structure connected to the phalanges because of connective tissue, the dog’s nails come directly from the bones. It means the dog’s nails generally generate when they are cut. For this important task, using any of today’s best dog nail grinders.
Dog declawing, though, would change the way your pet shifts its weight because it is akin to removing the ends of your toes.
What are Dewclaws?
Dewclaws are what the breeders call the dog’s thumbs, and depending on which breed, the animals have these on the front leg. Only in rare cases would you find them on the rear legs. You should be able to wiggle it, but you would feel the bones connecting it to the leg.
However, the question is whether dewclaws have the same purpose as the claws do for dogs and whether it is possible to remove them. When dogs run, their front legs bend in such a way that the dewclaws do touch the ground. The dewclaws are there for extra grip during high-speed running, and they apparently help your dog climb trees.
Considering these important uses, it would not be wise for pet owners to remove the dewclaw unless there is a good reason. That entails injury or disease. Rarely your pet can develop a cancerous tumor, and removing the dewclaw is the only thing that makes sense .
A more common scenario is that the vet may remove the loosely attached dewclaws to prevent injury cases. However, these injury incidences are still a bit low, so it would probably be done when the dog is neutered. Some dogs have their dewclaws removed regularly for aesthetic reasons, but this should be done if the dog is very young.
When It Is Okay to Declaw Your Dog
Sometimes the dog’s nails can develop infections . It may present in them having difficulties walking about, or the nail can have an abnormal color. Several things may lead to what you would call nail bed disorder or an infection .
Bacterial and fungal infections are the most common culprits in these cases though it can be more serious. For example, cancers and tumors may also present as nail bed disorders. In each case, the veterinarian would determine the diagnosis and how to proceed.
How to Go About Declawing the Dog
If the veterinary advice is to go ahead and declaw the dog because of a condition such as infections or diseased structures, it should be okay to proceed, but even then, the procedure would be done by a medical specialist. Firstly, the dog is put under anesthesia, and the veterinarian will surgically remove the problematic nail as well as the bone.
They will dress the area, and the dog should be observed overnight to see what happens. Before you are allowed to go home, the vet will also determine the discomfort levels to see the level of pain medication needed during the recovery process. Considering it is akin to removing a metatarsal, phalange, and nail, it would be good to keep the dog’s weight on that paw for days until they regain their strength.
Alternatives to Declawing Your Dog
Dog claws can still be a nuisance, of course, because they tear up the furniture, but there are less severe friendly means of reducing their effect. For one, you can just clip the nails. Trimming the nails is not akin to doing the same for your own nails, as dogs hate being held down for that. There is also a specific approach to avoiding tissue damage.
There is a set of nerve endings on each nail which is known as the ‘quick.’ Cut in front of it, so the dog does not feel pain or experience disuse damage. The goal is also to avoid sharp edges, so you would have to feel the result.
Another approach is dog’s nails grinding, which is probably more comfortable. You can even use a rotary grinder, provided it is at the slowest speed. It is usually less stressful for dogs though it takes a bit more time than clipping. Learn how to use dog nail grinder properly.
Can you declaw a dog?
It is not recommended to do so because a dog’s claws are a part of the bone structure, so it would be the same as having to cut off the end of your toe. Nail infections are more likely to happen when you declaw the dog.
Do vets still declaw dogs?
Most veterinarians will not perform a declawing procedure unless there is a significant reason for them to do so. That entails infections or tumors which leave no other recourse.
Is it okay to declaw a puppy?
The removal of the joints at the end of the toe, which is what happens in declawing dogs, can lead to arthritis in the long run. They can also develop other deformities, so it would not be advisable to declaw a puppy.