Why Is My Dog Pulling At His Dew Claw?

“Why is my dog pulling at his dew claw all the time?” One of our readers wrote-in about this peculiar problem, and we decided to check if there was some reason behind it.

The simple answer is no, your dog isn’t trying to remove his dew claw—he’s scratching an infection that’s caused by an injury on his dew claw or paw.

Infections happen when a gunk from the footpad gets stuck between two fur layers. As a result, the bottom of your pet’s foot will become very itchy and uncomfortable if he tries to scratch at this spot. He might bite at it in severe cases, which is quite painful and dangerous.

Why Is My Dog Pulling At His Dew Claw

What is a Dewclaw?

The dewclaw is not a toe that helps your dog walk, but it is a finger-like extension on the front of the dog’s paw. A dog’s front paw has four toes, and in some breeds, the fifth one is called a dewclaw. 

Dogs may have their dew claws removed for many reasons, but not all dogs have them. If your dog has them, you must take care of them.

While dewclaws are scientifically considered as vestigial organs, many studies and anecdotal evidence has suggested that the dewclaw is not completely defunct. Dogs do use this claw when they are trying to run very fast, or when they are walking on snow.

What Causes Dogs To Pull Dew Claws?

In most cases, the cause is a yeast or bacterial skin infection.

A wide variety of underlying reasons can cause your dog to pull dewclaws, so before you blame your dog for scratching himself too much or forcing his paw into an uncomfortable position, find out what might be triggering this behavior.

For example, if a bacterial or yeast infection is causing his dew claw to become very itchy, he might try to scratch away at the spot. In addition, many dogs have sensitive feet that can cause them to lash out when they’re walking on hard surfaces such as pavement.

Why Is My Dog Pulling At His Dew Claw

How Should I Treat My Dog’s Dew Claw Infection?

Don’t cut the dewclaw out. It can be very painful for the dog.

However, you must refrain from clipping your dog’s dewclaw shorter just yet. If you force it to shorten, your dog might end up developing a painful infection around the actual claw.

Instead, let your vet check his paw for infection and prescribe a treatment for it if necessary. If you’re unable to find the problem on your own, then use an ointment such as Benadryl as directed by your vet. 

Give him a Benadryl over-the-counter pill to ease the itching and make him more comfortable until he gets used to his dewclaw.

Can a Dog Break Their Dewclaw?

Yes, they can, and it can be very painful.

Dogs are curious creatures and love to get into things they shouldn’t, sometimes leading to injury. One of the most common questions dog owners ask is, “is it possible for a dog to break their dewclaw?” 

The short answer is yes, it’s possible! But until now, you were probably not sure how or why this might happen. Read on, and you’ll be able to understand how a dog can break their dewclaw.

The dewclaw is located on the back of the front paw and serves as a hook for the powerful muscles of the rear legs. Due to its location, it may be subject to injury during intense activities such as “tugging” or “pawing.

Why Is My Dog Pulling At His Dew Claw

According to the experts, dogs can break their dew claws as well, but it’s pretty rare. The problem is that, unlike humans, dogs’ bones grow and develop over time, whereas in humans, it wears down as a person ages. 

You probably know that dogs have five claws on each of their paws — and that the front paws are made up of four toes and a dewclaw. But did you also know that dewclaws can break? 

Can a Dew Claw Get Infected by Dogs Licking the Area?

Yes, bacteria from the mouth can cause infections if the skin is exposed in this area.

It is common for dogs to clean their paws after coming into contact with anything, but not everyone knows that their dewclaws can also get infected if they chew or lick their dew claws. 

When dogs chew and lick their paws regularly and transfer bacteria from their mouth to the nail bed. This is not true and can cause an infection in the long run.

Dogs are very curious when it comes to their paws. They may lick or chew at the dewclaw to get the dirt off of their paws. Some dogs might not want this area touched, and that is why they chew on it or even lick it to get the dirt out of the area. 

While doing this, they transfer bacteria from their mouth to dewclaw and infect it. This can be dangerous and may cause an infection in the area.

Why Is My Dog Pulling At His Dew Claw

Is a Dewclaw Injury Dangerous?

Yes, it can be very painful for the dog.

If you notice that your dog’s dewclaw is red, swollen, or infected, it can become dangerous. Do not put any creams on the area because it could worsen by introducing other bacteria into the area. If the area is red and swollen and begins to show pus, you might want to take your dog to a veterinarian. The veterinarian will be able to get rid of the bacteria.

What Do I Do If My Dog’s Dew Claw Is Bleeding?

A dew claw is an extra claw on the inside of a dog’s leg that can be used for gripping objects. While these claws are not as sharp or long as other types of canine nails, they can still be prone to injuries, infections, and other issues.

If you notice your dog bleeding from one or more of their dewclaws, it is essential to act quickly so that the injury does not become infected. 

  • Firstly, clean the wound with running water and then use a generous amount of disinfectant. After this, take a look at the area that is bleeding. 
  • If you can see the wound and it is not big enough to cause severe danger, then apply a dog’s ointment and wrap it up safely so that your dog can’t pull it off. 
  • If the wound is beyond your control and needs immediate intervention, then you must take your dog to the vet immediately.
Why Is My Dog Pulling At His Dew Claw

What Are The Different Types Of Claws In Dogs?

There are several types of claws. The most common dew claw is the interdigital claw, otherwise known as a “dewclaw.” These claws are located between each toe on the bottom of a dog’s paw (for more on dewclaws, see below). Dewclaws are most often seen in dogs with spaniels and terriers, as well as hunting dogs.

Secondly, dogs can also have an extra claw attached to the inside of their ankle. This is called a “hock” claw and is located just below the joint inside a dog’s hind leg. These claws are not as common as dewclaws but can still be found on certain breeds, including setters and hounds.

A Few Final Words

If you have a pet dog, it’s essential to understand the different parts of their anatomy and how they work. A dewclaw is one of those parts that many pet owners don’t know about. If you want to help your pooch live as long and healthy as possible, then you’ll want to know what it is and when something wrong with a dewclaw might be an emergency.

Why Is My Dog Pulling At His Dew Claw

Dewclaws are bones at the end of all four feet. You may have heard the name “dewclaw” before but if you don’t know what it is, then you may not realize that dewclaws can become infected, causing your pet to be lame or have other issues. If a dewclaw becomes infected, you’ll want to take action right away to help keep it from getting worse.

Thank you for reading the article, we hope we covered all the points. You might also like to read about other symptoms of injuries in dogs, such as skipping and standing up while pooping.