Corgis are typically born with front dew clothes at the very least. However, these claws are often removed when the Corgi is young. Unlike some other early appearance changes, removing dew claws is largely done for safety reasons.
Dew claws aren’t “true” claws. Instead, they’re detached, meaning they aren’t joined to the bone. Instead, they’re just attached by the skin. They aren’t particularly useful, as the dog cannot use them like their other toes. However, because they aren’t very attached, they risk getting caught on something and being pulled off.
While this doesn’t lead to a severe injury, it can be painful for the dog. Plus, there is always the risk of infection. Instead of risking the dew claw getting pulled off, many breeders and owners decide to have them removed when the dog is still young. Because a vet does this procedure, it is less painful and has a lower chance of infection.
With that said, many people still choose to keep the dew claws on their Corgi. Sometimes, they don’t get around to getting them taken off. Other times, the owner may not feel like the risk of them getting pulled is high. Usually, dew claws are always removed from working dogs, as there is a higher chance of them getting damaged. However, companion animals don’t always get them removed.
Should You Remove Dew Claws on Corgis?
This is a controversial subject and a very personal decision. Only a few decades ago, most dogs had their declaws removed. However, in those days, many more working dogs and even companion animals spent more time running around outside. Therefore, there was a higher chance of the dew claw getting damaged or ripped off.
It is common for veterinarians to remove these dew claws when the puppy is spayed or neutered. In these cases, the dog is under anesthetic, and therefore, the pain from the procedure is quite low.
While dew claw injuries do occur, they are relatively rare. Still, many people consider the risk of injury high enough to qualify for such a low-risk surgery. Whether or not you think it does is up to you. Many people do get their dog’s dew claws removed. However, many others do not.
What is the Purpose of a Dew Claw on a Dog?
Dew claws are not all the same between breeds. In some breeds, they do have a purpose. When a dog runs, the dew claw does come into contact with the ground. Therefore, the dog can get extra traction when running. However, this is only true when there is a bone in the dew claw. Otherwise, the dew claws flap around and don’t do much.
Corgis fall into this latter category. Their dew claws do not have bones in them. Instead, they’re just attacked by the skin. Therefore, this appendage doesn’t do anything.
It is thought that this extra claw was more useful earlier in the dog’s evolution. In all likelihood, a recent ancestor of the dog was a climber, similar to a cat. The dew claw would have helped them climb trees. However, eventually, dogs stopped climbing and became faster on the ground. The dew claw moved up the leg to give the dog more speed.
Today, very few dogs actively use their dew claws. One of the most important uses today is in artic breeds. In this case, the dog can use their dew claw to grip the ice if they’ve fallen through, helping them climb back up. Very active working dogs may also have some uses for their dew claws. For instance, when a dog runs over uneven terrain, the dew claw may help them maintain its balance.
However, for most dogs, dew claws do not serve any purpose.
How Painful Is it for a Dog to Have Dew Claws Removed?
In the vast majority of cases, some anesthetic is utilized when removing dew claws. Because there is no bone in a Corgi’s dew claw, removal and recovery should not be difficult when an anesthetic is used. (Of course, this is different in other breeds with dew claw bones. In these cases, removal can be much more painful, and the dew claws are much less likely to get injured.)
The exact anesthetic utilized can vary. This procedure is often done when the dog is getting spayed or neutered. Therefore, the dog is under anesthetic and won’t feel a thing. Recovery is often fast and easy, especially when you consider that these dogs are typically given pain medication.
How Late Can You Remove Dew Claws?
You can remove a dog’s dew claws at any point. There is no age cut-off. A local anesthetic will often be used if it is done outside of another surgery (like spaying or neutering). However, a dog may need to be put under general anesthesia if the vet is afraid they won’t cooperate during the procedure. Many different medications can be used to ensure the procedure goes smoothly, and your vet will know which options will work best for your canine.
Even if you choose not to remove your dog’s dew claws when they are younger, it may be required when they are older. The dew claws may become infected or otherwise injured. Often, dogs don’t have as much “feeling” in their dew claws as other parts of their body, so it is common for them not to exhibit pain in that area. This allows infections to go on for much longer than they would in other parts of the body.
Getting a dog’s dew claws removed as an adult is often more invasive than when they are a puppy. Puppies often have their dew claws “clipped” with a local anesthetic. Older dogs must usually undergo some stronger anesthetic.
For this reason, it is often recommended to remove them earlier if you are planning on removing them. There is no reason to wait, and it is much easier to perform it on puppies.
Corgis do have dew claws on their front feet. However, their dew claws do not usually have bones within them. Therefore, they are often removed at an early age. This procedure is done with either a local anesthetic or during a more serious surgery and general anesthesia (like during a spay or neuter). Therefore, while Corgis are born with dew claws, your Corgi may no longer have them.
If the dew claws are left on, there is a chance that they will get caught and be ripped off. Therefore, it is often recommended that these claws be removed early.
Featured Image Credit: fokin.vlad, Shutterstock