Dew claw bleeding

lily316December 19, 2011

This is the second posting I've made in as many days about my dogs. This concerns the other one. Ziggy just turned four last week ,and I've had him since he was six months old. He's a rescue from Petfinder..a Boston Terrier, Sheltie mix. Picture a black and white Boston with a long tail and pointy Sheltie face. He is a very athletic dog, 25 pounds of pure muscle and is totally obsessed with balls. He's even on the doggie park calender as July's boy doing a high leap for a tennis ball. They're his favorite but he likes soccer balls too. Two weeks ago he came up to me at the park dropping his ball at my feet, and I noticed blood on his white paw. He was bleeding from the dew claw. I took him home and washed it and he was fine. But Saturday he was racing around the park catching balls and then I noticed blood on both paws. Took him home again and washed them off. They aren't swollen or didn't bleed much. In fact, if he didn't have pure white paws I wouldn't have seen it. My other dogs I 've owned were a greyhound and Afghan hound , the fastest dogs around, and they never had this problem. He doesn't limp or wince when I shake his paw. I certainly don't want to amputate this claw. I was told to wrap a bandage around both paws when I take him to the park. Any other suggestions? I don't want to deprive him his greatest joy in life...chasing balls.

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Have you been to the vet? It may be partially removed already and isn't getting a chance to heal. The stopper pad is also one of those 'catchy' appendages which can sometimes be ripped. I see some dogs with dew claws that stick out at an angle and just so easy to catch on things. They don't serve any purpose. You can have the dew claws removed if they're causing trouble and he's under anesthesia for another procedure. Only one of my dogs has dew claws, and I do wrap them with vetwrap if she's coursing or running anywhere but in the back yard.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 6:26PM
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Just rereading and saw your note 'wrap the paws'. You only have to wrap the ankles where the dew claws are.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 6:28PM
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Thanks Cynthia. I didn't literally mean paws but meant ankles. Where do you get vet wrap? Petsmart? Or can I used the kind of clinging wrap I used on my own leg when I had a cut? I know you have greys, and I wondered why they don't routinely have them removed when they're young if they will be racing.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 7:39PM
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Forgot to answer your question. I did not take him to the vet. Neither claw is sticking out, you can put pressure on them and he doesn't flinch and they look completely normal. But I'm not going to risk them getting caught again.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 9:04PM
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our sheltie Forrest came to us from rescue with his dew claws removed, they must have been torn or large, they removed them when he was neutered, along with a face full of porcupine quills. He has little scars but I'd rather that then him get them torn up over & over again, he runs around like nut!

This dog got himself stuck in a wood fence trying to catch a squirrel.....I can see how he could have torn up his dew claws.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 11:00AM
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I had a lab once with dew claws that stuck out, and one day he just ripped one almost off. At that point we had them removed. Most dogs do fine with dew claws but a really active dog that likes to run with dews that stick out will get injured and IMO if they are getting injured then it's a good idea to get them removed, problem solved. If they are bleeding then he is catching them when he runs and he will have at least some pain from that and in the future he will likely tear them away.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 6:52AM
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Most common cause of bleeding from that area is a broken nail. Sometimes it can be hard to see if it is only cracked. If it bleeds over and over you will need to have the nail cut (usually at the point of the break).. not an amputation (rarely if ever needed), but a bit painful for a moment since it usually means cutting into the quick. It will grow back quickly. A cracked or broken nail will rarely heal and can be a chronic source of pain and aggravation for your dog. Good idea to get it checked out. Good thing is even nails totally ripped out usually grow back.

You just need to keep the dewclaws trimmed regularly as they do not wear down the way other nails do and can easily over grow and become dangerous 'hooks' and get injured easily.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 1:47PM
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