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Clipped 100 toenails today...

January 19, 2016


With the help of my good friend Lizette, all 10 puppies had the tiny needle-sharp nails on their forefeet trimmed. As the puppies get stronger, they start using their feet to "knead" the breasts, which can cause no small amount of irritation and pain to poor Mama Dog. After all, they're pretty much nursing at intervals all day and night. So I have to do this every couple of days or so, for Banu's comfort.


It's the least I can do. Along with cooking up fresh chicken thighs and serving dollops of cottage cheese and eggs with her puppy chow 4 times a day! Nothing is too good for my girl.


About dewclaws and Kangal Dogs....

First, the term "dewclaws" is commonly used to refer to the "thumbs" on the forefeet of virtually all dogs. They are often removed on showdogs to make for a "clean line" on the foreleg, but they are in fact functional digits and I would never remove them. Dogs use them as they are running and turning to dig into the ground, and they use them to grab and hold bones and such, and to scratch their face or ears. Unless they are defective and not fully attached, I see no reason to cut them off and every reason to leave them.


However, rear dewclaws--the REAL dewclaws--are another matter. Many Turks will tell you that a "real Kangal" has double dewclaws on both rear feet, and that they are a sign of purity. I have even heard claims that these so-called "wolf claws" are used to eviscerate wolves when they get on top of the dog. No offense to anyone, but both of these claims are nonsense. Some Kangals have single dews, some have double, some have dews on only one foot, some have no dewclaws. And I have seen plenty of street dogs with double rear dews. Meh.


Double dewclaws do appear to be associated with molosser breeds, the group to which Kangal Dogs belong. They are a requirement for Great Pyrenees, for example, and Briards. But they have no function, and they are often attached only by skin and perhaps some tendon. Occasionally they can be torn, but mostly they just flop around and do nobody any good.


None of the puppies in this litter have any double dews (be happy for that!), but some of them have single dews on one or both rear feet. Banu has single dewclaws on both rear feet, so that's no surprise. I considered removing them from my pups but you have to do it at 3 days and I just couldn't see risking a trip to the vet for that. So, owners, you will have to trim those claws just as you will trim the other claws regularly. Sorry 'bout that!

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