Oscar here. Everyone loves their puppy's paws. Some people even choose to get a puppy paw print tattoo to express their deep love and affection for their canine companion. But next time you're home, take a look at their cute little paws. Now travel a little bit farther up the inside part of their forelegs. OK now stop! What do you see? If my instructions weren't too confusing, you should be looking at another single nail affixed to a paw pad of sorts. These nails are called dewclaws and to be totally honest, they serve zero purpose. You might not have even ever noticed them because in the grander scheme of things, they are a completely irrelevant part of your pet's anatomy.
What they are responsible for however, is frequently getting caught on everything and anything because of their random placement and stick-outy nature. They're kind of like the equivalent of a huge hangnail that just never goes away. So last week, when a pup came in for a second time with the same ailment—basically, his dewclaws had gotten caught on something which caused them to tear a bit—the doc said enough is enough and recommended surgical removal.
Though it may seem like an extreme reaction to such a seemingly benign body part, there's not much prevention that can be implemented into helping pups not get their dewclaws stuck and tangled so Dr. S. frequently has humans coming in with their poor pets and their injured paws. Bottom line, if you have a pet with dewclaws that are causing more harm than good, it might be worth considering their removal.
Til' next time,