Why We Had Our Dog’s Dewclaws Removed and How Much It Cost

June 9, 2012

Dog Health

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I should have taken a picture of Blue’s dewclaws before today so that you can see them, but if you have a dog, then you’re probably familiar with their little thumb.  A dewclaw  commonly grows high up on the dogs foot/leg, never touching the ground when they stand.  I learned that the rear dewclaws are removed when puppies are really young, because there serve no purpose.

I checked and Rodrigo and Sydney have their front dewclaws, but no rear dewclaws.  I’ve never noticed this until now.  Well, Blue’s rear “thumbs” weren’t connected like his front dewclaws (they were floppy).  They were just hanging loose, flopping around with a little nail.  Because of this, the rescue group offered to pay for the procedure to have Blue’s dewclaws removed.

Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, A Novice With Moxie, Sydney, Petsmart, Paws

Why?  It’s better to have them removed instead of risk having them ripped off…

Because they could get ripped off in play and you should see Blue and Rodrigo rumble about in the yard.  Rodrigo has 50 pounds on Blue, but Blue keeps up with him.  I couldn’t imagine what it would be like at the dog park.

Being proactive saved Blue a lot of pain and save us from a big vet bill (i.e. Emergency Vet) if they were ripped off during play (what if we weren’t home?)

The cost of Blue’s dewclaw removal…

Motley Zoo was generous enough to cover the cost of the dewclaw removal, their bill included a Rescue Group Discount.  The below is the cost were we to pay out of pocket.

  • $39    Exam  & Office Visit
  • $85    General Anesthesia Induction
  • $68    Inhalation Isoflurane
  • $15    Surgical Pack Fee
  • $12    Surgical Supply Fee
  • $101  Dewclaw Removal Surgery
  • $22    Polyflex Injectable (antibiotic)
  • $39    IV Catheter
  • $23    IV Fluid Therapy
  • $22    Hospitalization
  • $44    Bandage (really?)
  • $20    Simplicef (prescription)
  • $15    Rimadyl (prescription)
  • $55    Laser Surgery Fee (we elected to pay extra for laser surgery)
  • $560 TOTAL

Since Blue was going to be at the vet, we asked them to take care of his boosters and rabies vaccinations as well…

  • $22    DHPP Vaccine
  • $22    Rabies
  • $22    Bordetella
  • $66   TOTAL

Our total cost, out of pocket, was $121.00.  This is what happens when you work with a reputable rescue group.

 

If you’re wondering about this procedure, I recommend that you chat with your vet to find out what they recommend.  What convinced us that this was a good idea was that we’re preventing a potential accident.  When Blue is fully vaccinated, he’ll be at the dog park with the big dogs and I’d hate to see him get hurt and have a fun outing turned into painful memory.

Blue’s recovery…

When I picked Blue up, the doctor shared that they all fell in love with him, because he’s so sweet (he really is).  He was so excited to see me that he whizzed all over the floor (oops) and I got loads of puppy kisses (ahhh, puppy breath).  We were looking forward to a sleepy puppy when Blue came home.  We got Blue.

We were able to remove the cone.  He responds to “leave it” when he starts biting his foot.  We’re changing his bandage once or twice a day and he has medications that came home with him that he takes with peanut butter.

He’s fine.

If you have any questions about dewclaw removal, please feel free to ask in the comments below and I’ll ask one of many respected veterinarians and update this post with their response.  Thanks!

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4 Responses to “Why We Had Our Dog’s Dewclaws Removed and How Much It Cost”

  1. Anish Says:

    We had one of Pontouf’s dewclaws removed last year after years of issues. If I had the $, I would have had both done at the same time. Also, with an older dog (she’s 10) we had the option of having her teeth cleaned at the same time while she was under! I think it was around $600 for the one. I wish you had written this post a couple of years ago!!! ;)

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    • Kimberly Says:

      We were giving our dogs raw bones for their teeth, but had to stop when we got the puppy. He can’t have the bones until he’s 8 months old. Now I’m looking for something else – ahhhh, how we love our dogs.

      Kimberly
      Twitter:

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  2. Lesh Says:

    This is a great topic! 2 of my dogs have dewclaws and 1 does not. Besides growing rapidly, we haven’t had any issues with the dogs who have dewclaws so we have had no reason to remove them.

    Surprisingly the problems have been with our dog who had no dewclaws. They were removed as a puppy and we didn’t have a single issue until he was about 6. The nubs that were left after the puppy removal were always these soft pads. One day the nub on his left paw just fell off. No bleeding, no issues..it just disappeared. No problem.

    A couple years after that we noticed that the nub on his right paw was starting to swell and he was licking it a lot. He had licked an open wound in the numb that had swelled to the size of a kidney bean or so. When we took him to the vet the DR said that when the dewclaws are removed as puppies the bone can still grow and at times can become infected…this is what happened to our dog. Unfortunately, some dogs can also develop cancerous tumors around the infected bones. Thankfully, this was not the case for us.

    The vet did surgery to remove the final bone that was in the dewclaw area. It was a very tough healing process because my dog wanted to lick/eat at his stitches. We had to put a sock on his foot each day and wrap his entire leg. Everything healed fine though and now he is perfect. His paws look like he wasn’t even born with dewclaws, no nubs, just smooth.

    So the whole point of my long winded post was that even dogs who had dewclaws removed as puppies could still have problems as adults! :)

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