One problem that many people have with cats is that they can wreck the furniture and carpets through scratching with their sharp claws. As a result, some cat owners have their felines declawed so that they do not damage the furniture and to avoid being scratched themselves.
However, when it comes to dogs, many do not even entertain the idea of declawing despite the fact that dogs can also damage furniture, flooring, and injure people because of their claws. If you are wondering whether dogs can be declawed, the answer is yes, they can. However, declawing in dogs should not be done for reasons other than medical ones, such as infections that are affecting the paws.
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Signs Your Dog May Need Declawing
If your dog has a medical condition such as an infection in the nail beds, declawing may be an option. It is important to look out for signs that your dog may have this sort of infection so that you can take him to be checked by the vet and appropriate treatment can be arranged which may include declawing depending on the severity of the condition. If your dog seems to be walking with difficulty, limping, or refusing to walk, you need to make sure you check all of his paws for signs of any infection. This could include swelling and redness around the claw area.
If you notice that your dog’s feet are swollen or red around the nails, you need to make sure that he is taken to the vet's as soon as possible, as this will generally cause a lot of pain and discomfort. You may notice that your dog is withdrawn, whining, and aloof. These are all signs that he may be in pain and suffering. Make sure you check each of his paws because it could be just one paw that is affected, not necessarily all of them.
You will notice certain signs that your pooch may have a medical condition that affects his feet and nails, and this is often displayed in his body language. Your dog will generally be subdued and withdrawn as a result of the pain but some may show aggression because of how they are feeling. His tail and ears may be down and you may notice him limping or struggling to walk as a result of the infection. You may also find that your dog shies away from going outside or for walks despite having no problem with it in the past or spends a lot of time licking his paws.
There are various additional signs that may indicate that your dog has an infection that could warrant having him declawed. He may be off his food as a result of his discomfort and you may find him hiding away rather than being in the midst of the family, as this is something that many cats and dogs do if they are unwell.
Some signs that your dog will show if they have hurting paws include:
- Ears drop
Other signs to watch out for are:
- Acting Withdrawn
- Hiding Away
- Tail Down
- Redness and Swelling Around Claws
- Licking Paws
The History of Declawing
Over the years, the topic of declawing both dogs and cats has become a very controversial one, with many stating that it is cruel while others think quite the opposite. Some pet owners do have their cats declawed because of the damage and injuries that they can cause, but this is not deemed a good enough reason to have the procedure carried out.
According to reports, declawing of cats was started by dog fighters in the 20th century and then became used by veterinary surgeons. Naturally, this led to the topic of the declawing of dogs. However, even today the topic of declawing cats and dogs remains an extremely controversial one.
Dogs should only ever be declawed if they suffer from certain medical conditions that cause them pain and discomfort in their feet. Research carried out over the years has shown that there are a number of possible causes for this sort of infection, and under certain circumstances, declawing may be the most appropriate action to improve quality of life for your pooch. Many have come to see it as being as unethical as procedures such as docking the tail or clipping the ears - unless it is deemed necessary for medical reasons.
The Science of Declawing
Some people believe that declawing involves just the removal of the nail and it is as simple as that. However, this is a painful procedure and would be akin to a human having their fingers removed at the first knuckle.
It basically involves removing each of the animal’s toes at the initial joint, which is essentially amputation. This is why this procedure is considered so unethical and cruel other than in situations where the animal would suffer without having this procedure carried out. Because of the pain that it can cause, dogs should never be declawed simply for the convenience of the owner – only ever for medical reasons!
Rehabilitating Your Dog after Surgery
If your dog does have to go through the declawing procedure due to medical problems and infections, it may take him some time to get back on his feet. This is because this is a major procedure that causes a huge amount of pain and discomfort. You should never expect your dog to be walking or running around as normal after having this sort of procedure carried out, as it can take a number of weeks for him to recover.
Once recovery begins, you may have to go through a ‘rehabilitation’ period where must you coax your dog into walking for small periods of time and only as far as he is comfortable to go. Make sure you take the process slowly, as you don’t want to cause more damage by trying to push him too far and too fast. The pace should be easy and this is so that your dog can get used to walking again – this time without the claws that he has been used to since he was a puppy.
Different dogs will recover at different paces after this sort of procedure, and getting used to walking again will also vary from dog to dog. You need to be mindful that this will be a very different experience for your dog because of the declawing, and although he should get used to it over time, it is not something that most will become accustomed to overnight.
You can start off by giving your dog gentle walks around your garden to begin with, but make sure he doesn’t overdo it. If you are concerned about when to let your dog start walking properly, you can speak to your vet, who will be able to carry out checks in order to better determine this.
Reacting to Your Dog's Surgery
Speak to the vet for advice regarding walking him.
Keep a close eye on his paws.
Take things slowly!
Give him adequate time to recover.