what are duclaws for?
our shih-tzu was just given her summer cut and I spotted these claws on her legs. I had never noticed these on my prior dogs. Wondering what purpose they served. Thanks.
on Jul 2nd 2008
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A dewclaw is a vestigial digit of the paw of many mammals including dogs. It grows higher on the leg so that in digitigrade species, when the animal is standing, it does not make contact with the ground. Dewclaws can be used to lightly grip bones and other items that dogs hold with the paws. There is also some debate as to whether dewclaws should be surgically removed. The argument for removal states that dewclaws are a weak digit, barely attached to the leg, so that they can rip partway off or easily catch on something and break, which can be extremely painful and prone to infection. Hunting dogs for example, can easily tear the dewclaw when running in overgrown vegetation. Dewclaw removal is usually done when the dog is a puppy, sometimes as young as 3 days old, though it can also be performed on older dogs if necessary (though the surgery may be more difficult then).
Candi answered on 7/2/08. Helpful? / 0
Most dogs that I have ever known have had due claws. Both of mine have them. An old wive's tale says that dogs with due claws are resistant to a snake's poison.
The due claws can be pretty useful. My dogs use them to get a better grip on things.
Gray Dawn Treader answered on 7/2/08. Helpful? / 0