Friday, March 27, 2009

Do the Right Thing

Dewclaw removal was something I did not do the last litter and was not sure I'd do this litter but ultimately decided I would. I'll be honest, I just like the cleaner leg. Deb, a friend who has Pulis, came over to lend a hand and although she'd never done such a thing she was a great assistant.




This was the first time I'd removed dewclaws without my parents there to supervise - eventually a girl's gotta fly on her own right? It was a simple process but I changed the technique from how my parents do it. They use a small pair of scissors but I couldn't find them at any store so I used the clamp method.




Hold out the puppy's leg, press the vein above the dewclaw to stop the blood flow, slip a Kelly clamp under it nice and tight to the leg and then quickly clamp it shut and lock it. The puppy squeaks a bit but it's a pretty swift process. Then I snipped the skin with sharp scissors and the nail fell off(apparently you are supposed to be able to just scrape the nail off with your fingers but whoever said that never tried this on a thick skinned Ridgeback puppy). Tapped some styptic powder onto the incision, waited a minute and released the clamp. There was very little blood and the whole litter went to sleep quickly in their warming box.



It took us some time to work out a good technique and a bit of trial and error but the over all result was a success. They are all scabbing over nicely and some of the snips are so clean there will be hardly any scarring.





There are arguments that the dewclaws are used by the dogs, that they are an all natural breed ... whatever, I prefer the look and I do it for my own edification. Although, if the second puppy we did had been the first he would have been the only! He was a squirmer and squirmers bleed!

5 comments:

Taja said...

I'm all for the naked legs, myself! I've seen some horrible dewclaw-catching-catastrophes that have made me wary of keeping them on large dogs. lol

S&K Weich said...

I see what you mean about the dewclaws. I've never had a dog without them, but I can appreciate the look of a sleeker leg on a Ridgeback. Thanks for posting that. Now I'm educated, and agree with you wholeheartedly. The babies look fantastic!

Kathryn said...

Rory likes his dewclaws just fine thanks. Me too. Stubby thumbs to hold those chew-bones. :)

The Boss Bitch said...

Maybe I remove them because of an unspoken fear that those thumbs will one day be put to nefarious use ....

Taryn said...

That is the only thing I wish was different about Rifka, but mostly because her feet aren't as tight as they should be anyways and the dewclaw makes them look even longer.

Halo looks happy with this litter so far!