Patterdale Terrier Puppies-Docking Tails and Removing Dew Claws

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We have had two litters a couple days ago- this morning was the morning of Day 3 and that’s the day where we dock the tails and remove dew claws.

Randi demonstrates the procedures on a pup in this video as well as collecting DNA samples for genetic testing with Animal Genetics.

Why Do We Dock Tails And Remove Dew Claws?

(From the internet)

“Historically, tail docking was thought to prevent rabies, strengthen the back, increase the animal’s speed, and prevent injuries when ratting, fighting, and baiting.

Tail docking is done in modern times either or prophylactic, therapeutic, cosmetic purposes, and/or to prevent injury.

For dogs that work in the field, such as some hunting dogs, herding dogs, or terrier dogs, tails can collect burrs and foxtails, causing pain and infection and, due to the tail’s wagging, may be subject to abrasion or other injury while moving through dense brush or thickets.

Bones in the tail can be broken by impact in the field, causing spinal injury to the tail, or terriers can become stuck underground, necessitating being pulled out by the tail, in which case the docked tail protects the dog from spinal injury or trauma.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (the largest veterinary professional organization in the United States), disputes these justifications, saying “These justifications for docking working dogs’ tails lack substantial scientific support.

In the largest study to date on tail injuries in dogs the incidence was 0.23% and it was calculated that approximately 500 dogs need to be docked to prevent one tail injury.” In many breeds — but certainly not all — the dewclaw has traditionally been removed in the first few days of a dog’s life. In some breeds, the removal is thought to improve appearance for the show ring. In others, it’s done to prevent possible injuries, such as being damaged while a hunting dog works through brambles. (Some breeders remove declaws themselves, but this is a task more appropriately handled by a veterinarian.) If dewclaws aren’t removed in the days after birth, the next opportunity is typically at the same time as a spay or neuter.

If a puppy has torn or otherwise injured the dewclaws before that time, it’s certainly worth discussing their permanent removal to prevent re injury. “

As for Dew Claws they have no real purpose but in adult dogs they constantly get hung on things while hunting and injured- often just hanging by a thread of skin.” You wouldn’t think this would be THAT painful but I’ve seen it lame a dog for weeks and cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Some people leave them- we remove them for this reason alone.