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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21430
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have discovered my dog has injured or been biting her dew

Resolved Question:

I have discovered my dog has injured or been biting her dew claw. What needs to be done ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Poor Bracken!

Now an initial trauma is the most likely cause for her signs here. Dogs very rarely chew their dew claws for no reason but if broken or pulled (which is very painful), we can see them chew and lick the uncomfortable claw. The dilemma with this is that this behavior usually leads to bacterial infection getting into the damaged tissue.

In regards ***** ***** approach, you administering pain relief is a good start and should keep her comfortable overnight (which makes this a less urgent issue). Further to this, once the medication has reduced her soreness, you will want to carefully examine the claw. If it is cracked, loose, or broken; she will need her vet to remove that left over claw under sedation tomorrow (so its best to withhold any more food until she is seen, in case a sedation is required). In the meantime, if she is amenable, you can bathe the claw with warm salt water (1 tbsp salt to a pint warm water) to flush out bacteria already present, dry it thoroughly, and put a light bandage (or sock) over the claw to prevent her from licking it. Alternatively, if you have a buster collar on hand, this could be put on to protect her from further damaging the area or introducing infection. And if the claw does need to come off, her vet will also be able to cover her with antibiotics to prevent infection.

Overall, when a dog chews a dew claw, nail damage +/- infection are highly suspect. If she doesn't have any signs of damage, then she is a lucky lass and you can consider treating with the pain killer for a few days with strict rest until she settles. Otherwise, if the nail has been broken, then do consider the above supportive care alongside the pain relief for tonight, with a view to having her to her vet on an empty stomach in the morning to remove this for her and stop the discomfort she will be experiencing.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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