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My vet had suggested removing Shadow's dew claws as she is ALWAYS chewing on them... they're bloody and sore quite often. I've tried bitter apple spray and everything and it hasn't stopped her. She chews them at night when I'm asleep =/ Any opinions? Any one else's dog a dew claw chewer?

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Dew claws are strange things! My old dog had dew claws that hardly were connected to her body at all - there was a very thin flap of skin, and then the round claw part would literally flop around, hanging by that thread of a skin.

 

However, she lived 14 years and never got them caught in anything or injured.

 

No advice about the chewing, obviously. :rolleyes:

 

Mary

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Are these front or back dewclaws? If they're back, I'd have no hesitation about removing them, front I'd think a bit more about but since they are obviously bugging Shadow and are injured and reinjured over and over, I'd probably have them removed.

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If she's consistently bothering them and irritating them, I would probably have them removed, front or back. Usually I'll only remove back dew claws, but I've never had a dog chew at a front dew claw unless there was already an injury there.

 

In most cases, having the rear dewclaws is pretty routine and the dog usually recovers pretty well. If the bone is more firmly attached - as opposed to the dew claw being "floppy" and loose - it can be a bit more invasive and a longer incision.

 

Front dew claw removal can be more problematic. If that's the case here, I would DEFINITELY advise you to use an E-Collar after the surgery until the sutures are ready to come out. Some dogs even need the E-Collar with the rear ones, but you should consider it mandatory with the front unless you want to have it resutured after a day or two of her picking at them, especially since she's already shown that she's drawn to the area.

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Seems I'll need to try something else... $275 extra for her dew claws to come off, I nearly died. Not sure what else to try tho... maybe vet wrap over them and spray that with bitter apple? Arg.

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$275 extra for her dew claws to come off, I nearly died.

 

And $175 for the e-collar? I'm afraid to ask how much this vet charges for the spay. :rolleyes: Is this the only vet in your area, or could you possibly price around and think about going elsewhere? I think if it was me I'd be weighing my options.

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50 minutes per claw seems like a very long time for a BC puppy to be under anesthetic. Doesn't seem like it would take that long to declaw an entire cat. BTW, our last pup had a problem with one claw on her left foot that either didn't come in right or was jammed or torn as a very young puppy. Our vet removed the claw and put 4 stitches in that toe while she was being spayed and he charged us nothing! Did say it came out easier than he expected!

Barb S

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If Shadow "only chews them at night when you are asleep", have you considered putting an e-collar on her at night?

 

I did see the comment above about "$175 for the e-collar" and am not sure what that's referring to. Our Bute was just neutered and his e-collar was $14US. After the first night (and I had to put him in his crate so I could sleep), he slept in it peacefully through the night.

 

Do you have any idea how this bad habit started? Sometimes, all it takes to overcome a bad habit is consistency in preventing the behavior for a few weeks. Once she's gotten the dewclaws irritated, the chewing and fussing will just continue, making the situation more painful and irritated, and on and on.

 

If you can break the cycle (and there isn't some other underlying reason for the behavior), you might be able to overcome the problem. What have you tried to do so far?

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Price really depends on the individual dewclaws. Declawing a cat is a pretty easy procedure. Just a snip, snip, snip, kind of thing. Dewclaws can be a lot harder to remove if they're more attached, so they can take a lot longer. 50 minutes per dewclaw...well, that does seem excessive. Hopefully it would end up being cheaper than the estimate. A lot would also still depend on if these are front or rear. I don't think it's been mentioned unless I missed it.

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I did see the comment above about "$175 for the e-collar" and am not sure what that's referring to. Our Bute was just neutered and his e-collar was $14US.

 

That was in reference to a price quoted in another message by Shadow's Mom (re: sizing Shadow). Apparently a huge deposit is required on e-collars from that vet.

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Have we figured out if we're talking fronts or backs?

 

The different prices for vet services can be amazing. I asked for a quote to have Alex's REAR dews removed at my regular vet. It was over $600! (and this was for unattached, floppy, not connected to bone, rear dew claws) I ended up taking him to the vet that our rescue uses, who came highly recommended (otherwise I wouldn't have considered her), and it came to just under $200 total.

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Oops.. its her front dew claws. They estimate 50 minutes as the claws are perfectly formed and well attatched.

 

She came from the breeders with this habit, and I correct her everytime I catch her doing it, but so far it hasn't stopped. Going to try a light bind with vet wrap for a few days and see what that does. I suppose its like the human habit of chewing fingernails.. maybe I need doggy-mittens LOL

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If she's licking on them as a fixation for a neurosis, then doing surgery on them is just going to stimulate this more. Instead of raw dews, you'll have a lick granuloma.

 

You need to figure out why she's licking, before doing anything.

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Maybe try looking up methods for stopping kids from sucking their thumbs? Obviously the methods will be non-toxic, but I know some of them utilize some nasty tasting stuff that might help curb her habit.

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Thats what I'm trying now, I thought yesterday that thats exactly what shes doing... sucking her "thumbs". Last night I bound her paws with vet wrap... BAD idea, its latex and I'm highly allergic. I have some nifty rashes today LOL. Oops! Next I will get some socks and figure a way to keep them on her, maybe get knee highs and attach them together over her back... hmmmm. I REFUSE to let her keep doing this! My BFs dog used to do the same thing when she was a puppy, apparently she grew out of it, but I want it stopped now.

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And $175 for the e-collar?

 

Silhouette, I'm pretty sure that Bayou's "E-Collar" refers to an Elizabethan collar, the cone that goes around their necks so they can't get to stitches, etc., not an electronic shock collar. The Elizabethan collars are found in many pet supply stores now, and are cheap.

 

Bayou, if I'm wrong, please correct me!

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Silhouette, I'm pretty sure that Bayou's "E-Collar" refers to an Elizabethan collar, the cone that goes around their necks so they can't get to stitches, etc., not an electronic shock collar. The Elizabethan collars are found in many pet supply stores now, and are cheap.

 

Bayou, if I'm wrong, please correct me!

 

Nope, that's exactly what I was refering to.

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Silhouette, I'm pretty sure that Bayou's "E-Collar" refers to an Elizabethan collar, the cone that goes around their necks so they can't get to stitches, etc., not an electronic shock collar.

 

I was also referring to an Elizabethan collar, I don't know how it became mixed up with an electronic collar (the price I guess?). Shadow's Mom said that an e-collar from her vet would cost $175, which later she said was the deposit for a $15 plastic collar. (That was all on the other thread, "Sizing Shadow"). Let's just say that when I read the price I was "shocked" (without the use of any collar!) :rolleyes:

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dogs don't lick with no reason, so what is it?

 

I've had one dog with a lick granuloma on the hind leg that resolved when a clever vet gave her pain medication for a pulled tendon. Then with some rest and a sock over the wound - which because it was icky drew an occassional lick too - and she was well.

 

Are the dews attached right? have they been pulled away from the leg and tramatized? some dogs skin them on gravel, then start licking and the cycle begins there.

 

Do she have grass allergies - evident by chronically reddened skin and fur on her feet? If so an antihistamine can help - check with your vet.

 

I'm not even going to go back and look to see who suggested a electronic collar - good grief! Talk about creating a nuerosis...here doggie, you leg hurts, so I'm going to make you hurt to stop messing with it :rolleyes:

 

And Elizibethan collar is fine for now - and if you are with her a simple sock over the foot, secured with tape.

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Lenajo just made some good points that I was going to make, but I'll go ahead anyway. I have an obsessive-compulsive dog. Before I adopted him he had surgery for a lick granuloma on one foot. He also obssesively circles. After I got him, he stopped the licking, but then a couple of years later I noticed pink spots about halfway up his front legs and suspected he was licking (saliva stains the white hair pink). So I started watching him very closely, and sure enough he was licking his foreleg. My first thought was, "Oh no, here we go with the obsessive behavior again." We tried Clomicalm to see if it would alleviate the licking behavior and it did not. But there was also another issue--a sort of weird hacking cough, like a cat trying to bring a hairball, that he would do while running his circles. I had to convince my vet that I was not talking about kennel cough (and this is why I encourage folks to record odd sounds their pets make before heading to the vet so there's no guessing or misunderstanding about it)--I really suspected some sort of allergen, since it only happened when he was circling and kicking up dust. Then we started to treat the cough with Temaril-P (the P stands for prednisone), and the leg licking stopped. It seems that the corticosteroids we were using to treat the coughing also relieved whatever itchiness was causing him to lick his forelegs. And that points to some sort of allergic reaction as the actual basis for the licking. I am further convinced that the root of his problems was a local allergen as he no longer makes that weird cough, even when kicking up dust in our new location (since moving from the eastern part of this state).

 

So, like Wendy pointed out, sometimes licking and chewing isn't the result of obsessive behavior but is in fact the result of underlying pain or allergy issues. It can of course be expensive to track these things down, and to be honest if it hadn't been for Farleigh's weird "cough" I may not have figured out the leg licking, but maybe Lenajo's and my experiences will help you find the root cause of the licking/chewing and fix it. (I also agree that if Shadow is already worrying that area, removing the dewclaws will leave a wound that will be even more "enticing" to chew and lick.)

 

J.

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I think there's a lot more confusion regarding "e-collar" these days. To me, it's always meant Elizabethan collar, but I know a lot of people have started calling electronic/shock collars "e-collars". I assume it's to get rid of some of the negative association with the term "shock" collar, which obviously doesn't sound good.

 

I think that trying to break the cycle of licking is your best bet right now. An Elizabethan collar when you can't watch her (at night or when she's home alone, even in a crate) and then some kind of nasty tasting stuff to put around the area at other times. A sock might work too, but those can be tough to keep on the dog. If you use tape, use a stretchy kind (elasticon is the name I know) and make sure it's loose enough to not cut off the circulation. I think she'll pull a dog bootie right off.

 

Also keep in mind that any E-collar will need to be long enough so she can't reach her front feet. Keeping a dog off the front feet can be trickier than keeping them away from any other part of their body.

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