Do Cavapoos Have Dewclaws – What Are They?

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The short answer to the question “do cavapoos have dewclaws?” is yes!

But why do they have them and why do some people choose to have their dog’s dewclaws removed?

You will find the answers to those questions and many others below.

What Are Dewclaws and Where Are They Found?

Your dog’s dew claw is the toe and nail that sits higher and separately from the rest of their toes.

You can think of it like a dog’s thumb, though they aren’t exactly comparable.

All dogs have dew claws on their front feet and some even have on their rear feet (those can cause the dog trouble but we’ll go into that further down).

A few breeds are prone to double dewclaws which are exactly what they sound like, two toes and nails in the normal dewclaw spot.

Why Do Cavapoos Have Dewclaws?

Long long ago, the ancestors of what we know as the modern dog used to climb.

Their dewclaws gave these canines added grip when moving up trees and steep surfaces. But, back then their dewclaws were not where we now see our pet’s dewclaws.

As canines evolved and moved away from climbing, the dewclaw moved away from the other toes and further up the leg.

Should dewclaws be removed

In its current position, the dewclaw acts to stabilize the dog’s wrist joint and can add traction when turning sharply on smooth surfaces.

Another interesting use for dewclaws is for dog breeds that originate from frigid climates and run the risk of falling into freezing waters.

Their dewclaws can help them grip the ice and claw their way back out whereas a paw without a dewclaw would have no traction.

Why Does My Cavapoo Not Have Dewclaws?

All dogs have front dewclaws so if you’ve noticed your dog does not have any, they have most likely had them removed.

Many dog breeds do not have dewclaws on their rear legs and this is completely normal.

In fact, it is often considered abnormal for the majority of breeds to have these and it has likely been passed on from further up in their bloodline.

Should Dewclaws Be Removed?

Due to the function that front dewclaws serve, they should not be removed unless medically necessary.

This may be something like a severe injury that requires removal but a veterinarian will likely try their best to keep the dewclaw.

As for rear dewclaws, these are more likely to cause your dog problems as they can be more easily injured.

But with that being said, the risk of injury is low and unless the dewclaws are loosely attached, the surgery can be invasive and is not considered needed.

If your dog has a very active lifestyle in areas that have a host of potential injury sites (think of places like dense forests where your dog is jumping over and through lots of vegetation), you can chat to your veterinarian about whether the safest option is removal.

How are dewclaws removed

How Are Dewclaws Removed?

They will either have their veterinarian perform the removal (which is recommended) or they will do it themselves at home.

Sometimes dog breeders will remove rear dewclaws of a puppy anywhere from 3 to 5 days of age.

If a veterinarian is doing the surgery, the dog will be put under local anesthetic and the dewclaws will be removed with a scalpel.

As mentioned above, loosely attached dewclaws are much easier to remove and stitch up whereas rear dewclaws that are attached to the bone are much more difficult.

If the dewclaws aren’t removed when the puppy is very young, most people wait until the time comes for the puppy to be spayed or neutered.

This way, the veterinarian can nip them off while the dog is already under anesthetic.

Once the dewclaws have been removed, it will be around 2 weeks before your dog is fully healed.

This is generally if the removal is done when the dog is older and the surgery required sutures. The sutures will be removed from 10 to 14 days and your dog should be back to their normal self.

During this time, bandages are often placed over the site to stop infections getting in and try to get your dog to not bug the wound.

Some dogs will need to wear a cone to stop this.

You will want to keep a lookout for any unusual discharge or bleeding and swelling.

These are signs that something is not healing great and to be safe, consult your veterinarian.

Injured dewclaw

What To Do If Your Dog Injures One of There Dewclaws?

In general, dewclaw injuries are rare but they can happen (especially with an injury prone dog).

Injuries to a dewclaw can be the nail being partially ripped off, completely ripped off, split, infected, or otherwise broken.

A dog’s paw is not exactly the cleanest location and this means that any injuries to this area are highly prone to infection.

Also, since your dog will be affected every time they try to move around, pain near their paws can be incredibly uncomfortable for them.

If your dog has managed to injure their dewclaw, the safest course of action is to take them into the veterinary clinic.

That damaged nail can either be professionally dressed and bandaged with antibiotics administered if needed or the nail can be removed.

Your dog will also really appreciate the painkillers that the veterinarian will prescribe!

Conclusion To “Do Cavapoos Have Dewclaws”

Front dewclaws are an important feature to your dog’s paws and have evolved to be just where they are today.

Rear dewclaws on the other hand are not as common.

If you are undecided as to whether or not you should get your dog’s dewclaws removed, chat to your veterinarian to make an informed decision.

Looking after the health of your Cavapoo is of paramount importance. They can suffer from ear problems which can be avoided – caring for Cavapoo ears

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AUTHOR

Irma Bense is an experienced dog owner with over 43 years of experience with dog showing, dog breeding, dog training and general dog ownership. Her love for spaniels also includes the Cavapoo, a wonderful mix breed between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Presently she is the proud parent of two Cocker Spaniels, Charli and Bailey and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Tucker.