Have you ever taken a moment to get a good look at a dog’s feet? When you do, after counting off their nails you’re going to notice that extra little nail on the upper and inner side of the foot. This is called a dewclaw, and if you are wondering ‘do Dachshunds have dewclaws?’ then the answer is yes.
Dachshunds do indeed have vestigial claws, also known as ‘dewclaws’, and despite what you may have heard, they do use them quite often. Today we’ll discuss dew claws as far as what they are for, why your Dachshund has them, and whether or not it is okay to have them removed.
Let’s talk about Dachshunds and their dew claws!
What Exactly Are Dewclaws?
Vestigial claws are those extra claws that you see on a dog’s foot, located high on the instep and isolated from the rest. While they look like they are useless, this is actually not the case. Your Dachshund can use those dewclaws for a number of things, including holding objects, climbing out of things, and navigating slippery surfaces of making a quick turn when running.
Dewclaws also provide a little additional support for the wrist joints. Dewclaws that are attached to the bones do indeed provide usefulness for your dog. While we don’t fully understand the function of the variety that are attached only to skin and located in the rear feet, for many dogs they prove useful.
There are cases, however, where the read dewclaws are best removed and we’ll discuss these shortly.
Why Do Dachshunds Have Dewclaws?
Mostly you are going to notice your Dachshund using their dew claws in gripping or during playtime. When your dog is running, its legs flex quite a bit and those dewclaws can assist with traction for standard running and even for small leaps.
Front dewclaws are used the most, but things get a little cloudier with rear dewclaws. Rear dewclaws are often removed from Dachshunds if they are located inconveniently and might cause injury. Some owners may also have them remove purely for cosmetic reasons, though this is not required or recommended unless your vet advises that it will be beneficial to your dog.
Do You Remove Dewclaws On Dachshunds?
Front dewclaws are used regularly and as such, these should definitely not be removed unless there is a deformity that might cause your dog injury or in the case where a disease or damage requires removal in order to ensure that walking is not impaired or potentially going to be a problem with the dewclaw still in place.
When veterinarians do remove them, it is typically because there is a double dewclaw, attached to the skin rather than bone, or if the dewclaws are attached loosely enough that they could be a potential source of a painful injury in the future.
If you are considering removal of the rear dewclaws for dog shows, this is typically done at a very young age (typically with pups under 5 days old!), though in some shows this may actually disqualify your dog. Without vet recommendation, however, we really can’t recommend having them removed in good conscience so be sure to bring your pup in for a consultation.
There is also a pretty solid reason for making sure that the dewclaws you are considering removing are not attached to the bone.
As they provide joint support, removing dewclaws can increase your dog’s chances of carpal arthritis, but only if the dewclaws are attached to the bone. Removal of dewclaws that are only attached to the skin should be fine but it is best done when your dog is very young and only after your vet has checked the claw to make sure that it may be safely removed.
Some Final Words On Dachshunds And Dewclaws
Today we’ve taken an in-depth look at Dachshund dew claws and what you need to know about them. When it comes to dew claws and removal considerations, you never want to remove the front dewclaws because your dog is definitely going to use them. They help to provide stability with running and jumping, and they also help with climbing.
Furthermore, the removal of a bone-attached dew claw can increase the chances of arthritis in the future. That said, provided that the dewclaws are only attached to loose skin, they may be safely removed, but you should bring your dog in as a puppy so that your vet can inspect the vestigial claws and if they are deemed unnecessary or unsafe, then removal may be done.
This way your dog won’t miss them and you’ll know for sure that having them removed is okay, because you’ll be doing it the right way… with your vet’s expert approval!