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Reasons to Remove a Puppy's Dewclaws and the Cost of the Removal


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.

Why Have a Puppy’s Dewclaw Removed?  

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 for the dewclaw surgery, out of pocket, was $121.00.

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 from dewclaw surgery…

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.

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