Skip to Content

Does a Dog’s Dewclaw Grow Back? (Explained for Owners!)

A dog’s dewclaws are cited as vestigial appendages which means they don’t serve any specific objectives. As a result, dog breeders often remove dewclaws from a dog when it is just a few days old newborn puppy.

So as an existing or new dog owner, you might be concerned to know whether a dog’s dewclaws go back or not because dewclaws are nothing but small nails. Therefore, let’s look into the explanations concerning this query.

Does A Dog’s Dewclaw Grow Back?

A dog’s dewclaws can grow back if the cartilage holding the nail beds is not removed entirely during the declawing procedure done by a vet or someone else. This simply means each small nail has to be removed entirely past a dog’s skin, muscles, and bone to prevent dewclaws from growing back.

A dog’s dewclaws are short nails referred to as thumb alike appendages as well that a dog grows higher on the inner side of its paw that doesn’t come in contact with the ground.

Since these dewclaws have no apparent purposes, breeders tend to remove them but know that dewclaws certainly can grow back.

The dewclaw removing procedure is known as declawing. And when a dog passes through this declawing process, the whole nail bed for each toe is removed from the root, thereby, it’s unlikely for a toe to grow back dewclaw.

However, since dewclaws are basically nails so even after a declawing procedure, a dog certainly can grow dewclaws again if the procedure didn’t perfectly go.

To explain precisely, during a declawing procedure, if a vet didn’t remove the cartilage tissue holding the nail beds fully, there are confirmed chances that dewclaws will grow back surely.

And such a situation occurs, when the vet or the other person who has performed this process is inexperienced, thence, the person misses removing the nail beds fully.

So to avoid the growing malformed dewclaws, make sure that the vet/other person has removed the dewclaws past a dog’s skin, muscles, and bone.

How Long Does It Take For A Dog’s Dewclaw To Grow Back?

Usually, it just takes about 2 to 3 weeks for a dog’s dewclaw to grow back in its usual condition which means these tiny nails grow back in their natural rhythm.

But there can be some exceptions and in the cases of exceptions, a dog’s dewclaws might take a longer timer to grow back.

Do Dogs’ Dewclaws Fall Off?

A dog’s dewclaws can fall off on their own when the nails are too long and they have torn off. And such cases occur when a dog is running or walking over hard grounds, or if its dewclaws have tangled up with a clothing piece or a blanket.

Sometimes, if the dewclaws of a dog are weaker than other claws, more easily these claws get damaged and fall off.

When your dog’s dewclaw will fall off you will just know seeing swelling paws, limping while walking, bloodstains on the dog’s body and bed, and constant licking at that area.

Can Dogs Rip Off Their Dewclaws?

Dogs surely can rip off their dewclaws, in fact ripping off, breaking down, or tearing apart dewclaws are a quite common scenario among dogs.

It happens when dogs have overgrown their dewclaws, or have trapped the dewclaws in threads of clothes or blanket, or while running at a high speed on a harsh surface.

What Happens If A Dog Breaks His Dewclaw?

If a dog breaks its dewclaw, its paws and toe area will swell up and the poor dog will suffer from pain. Sometimes that torn dewclaw area will bleed profusely.

And if immediate medical action is not taken to lessen the pain and bleeding, the broken dewclaw can direct to further serious issues such as infection in that area because the tissues are attached to the bone.

Therefore, when a dog breaks its dewclaws, it’s better to rush to a vet.

Should You Wrap A Torn Dewclaw?

Whether the torn dewclaw is completely removed or the nail has just broken causing slight injury, you should always wrap a torn dewclaw loosely.

Because wrapping up a torn dewclaw with a loose-fitted bandage will protect the area from any kind of infection due to licking by the dog and dirt.

How Do You Treat A Torn Dewclaw On A Dogs?

Dewclaws are tiny nails that frequently get torn if they aren’t declawed. And it’s an emergency situation because the area can bleed profusely or can get infected if immediate treatment is not provided.

Thence, here are the step-by-step instructions that you should know and follow as a dog owner to treat your dog’s torn dewclaws in cases of emergency.

Remove The Nail:

Start the treatment by removing the torn nail of your pup to prevent any kind of further infection or wound. You should use a dog nail clipper to make a very clean cut just right above the area where the nail is torn to cut off the hanging nail.

Remember that you shouldn’t cut deeply, only if the tip of torn dewclaw is dangling, cut it by yourself.

Stop The Bleeding:

Next, you should quickly stop the bleeding of the torn dewclaw if it’s already bleeding or remove the torn nail that is causing your pup’s torn dewclaw area to bleed.

Immediate take out the styptic powder or pencil and apply the styptic pencil or powder to the torn and bleeding toe. This should almost instantly stop the profuse bleeding. Because styptic powder or pencil contains an age named cauterizing that seals any injured area.

Disinfect The torn Area:

Then start disinfecting the torn area of your pup by bathing the injured dewclaw in lukewarm water and ensuring that all specks of dirt are washed properly.

After that spray an effective dog antiseptic on the injured dewclaw area and it will fully disinfect that part. Also will give your pet relief from the pain it is suffering from the open injury.

Bandage The Torn Dewclaw:

Lastly, you should wrap your pup’s paw with a loose-fit bandage and use first-aid tape to keep the bandage in place.

Or you can also put the injured paw in a clean sock and tape the sock to keep it in a place. A sock usually works more satisfactorily than a bandage.

Daily Change The Bandage And Clean The Wound Area:

Every day you must change your pup’s bandage/sock to keep track of its torn dewclaw area’s healing procedure and to wash up the wounded paw in lukewarm water. 

Should Dogs Have Their Dewclaws Removed?

It’s not necessary to remove a dog’s well-developed front and rear dewclaws unless there is an acceptable medical reason behind the removal of both front and rear dewclaws.

Dewclaws of a dog might not serve a conventional purpose like other toes but they are a dog’s body part and have some purposes. Like dewclaws offer dogs extra friction while running at high speed, helps to hold objects while chewing, etc.

So it makes absolutely zero sense to remove these dewclaws unnecessarily when you can just trim them and keep them short like other nails.

However, in cases where a dog has severely torn its dewclaws and they are bleeding profusely, has dangling dewclaws, or has developed a tumor in that area, dogs must have dewclaws removed as it can cause further injury and infection.

When Are Dogs’ Dewclaws Removed?

Any dog’s dewclaws should be removed when the dog is just a newborn 3 days old puppy. It’s just a lot easier to remove the dewclaws of a few day-old puppies than an adult dog.

Because a puppy’s nervous system isn’t formed totally yet, also after the surgery, you can easily handle a puppy from licking the area, calming it down during and after the surgery.

But when it comes down to an adult dog, it’s tough to keep it calm from the beginning of surgery to afterward days and prevent it from licking the surgery area.

Can You Remove Dewclaws On Older Dogs?

You surely can remove dewclaws on older dogs but the procedure is a little tricky as the nervous system of adult dogs is fully developed.

And they are a little hard to keep in control from stating of the surgery to during the time of recovery because adult dogs will keep trying to lick their paws and remove the bandage. Some may even behave recklessly due to pain.

However, the declawing procedure on adult dogs can smoothly be done by giving the dog anesthesia during surgery. But you got to keep the dog in Elizabeth collars to stop it from licking injury.

Final Thoughts

Dewclaws are just nails like the other claws of a dog, so they can grow back if an entire toe holding the dewclaw isn’t discarded off the dog’s skin, muscles of that area, and lastly the bone during the declawing process. But know that removing dewclaws isn’t needed unless there’s a serious injury.