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All at least once noticed the prints of dog paws in the snow, damp ground or in the wet sand. But few people wondered how many fingers a dog had. Of course, the owners of titled dogs definitely know the answer to this question, while the owners of the yard Watchdog hardly looked at the pet’s paws.

The number of fingers in dogs

In short, most doggies have five fingers on their forepaws (four of them are located next to each other – are grouped, the fifth is slightly higher). On the hind legs, usually 4 fingers. However, the number of fingers may vary. So, some people, when asked how many fingers a dog has on its forepaws, can call the numbers “5” or “4”.

Dog fingers
The situation with the hind limbs is a little more complicated.The fact is that often instead of the usual 4 fingers in dogs on the hind legs of 5 fingers. The fifth finger in this case is called arrived (less often – a wolf claw). If the dog has a dewclaw fifth finger on its hind limb, then its name is atavism – a kind of “hello” from the past. It is believed that occasionally 5 fingers appear in dogs in the “memory” of their ancestors – wolves, which he needed for hunting. But among predators, this finger was powerful, the same as the other four. In dogs, the often arrived finger is underdeveloped, sticking out to the side, with a large curved claw. That is, often a dewclaw interferes with a pet.

In addition to the fact that an extra finger on the hind paw prevents the dog from walking and running, it also often looks unaesthetic. That is why the owners of exhibition thoroughbred dogs prefer to remove the wolf claw to their pets a couple of days after birth. Dogs at home, as a rule, remove the dewclaw on their hind legs only if necessary (if, for example, the animal clings to a carpet or other).

Dog fingers
So, how many fingers does a dog have on its hind legs now it’s clear: 4 or 5. But what about the fifth finger on the front paws? This finger does not participate in running, because it is located high enough, close to the wrist. The fact is that it helps the dog to hold toys or bones. It is not only necessary, but it cannot be called unnecessary (unlike its back fifth “brother”). Therefore, the arrived front fingers are cut off occasionally when, for example, it makes it difficult to cut or comb out the limbs.

Is it worth it to rid dogs of dewclaws

To determine whether it is really worth taking the pet to the veterinary clinic so that the doctor removes the extra toes, the owner should think carefully (by the way, dewclaws are removed in the capital at a price of 300-500 rubles to 1500-2000 rubles, depending on the age of the pet) the older the dog, the more expensive the operation)):

Surgery to remove a dewclaw on the hind legs of a dog
In some breeds (French shepherd dogs, Nenets husky, Pyrenean mastiff, etc.), a dewclaw finger on the hind foot is a symbol of pure breed;

As a rule, it makes sense to remove the fifth finger to working and hunting dogs, that is, those whose loads are more serious than that of companion dogs;

Dewclaws are best removed at a very young age when the puppy is no more than 1 week old. At an older age, medical intervention will be under general anesthesia, which can adversely affect the health of the pet;

Some advisers on the Web recommend removing fingers to newborn puppies at home without the involvement of a veterinarian. Need I say how dangerous this is? Infection, pain shock and blood loss are just some of the troubles that can be caused to a baby by a layman;

Sometimes dogs do not interfere with the dewclaws themselves, but with long and curved claws that grow on them. In such cases, it is wise to cut the claws on time and not remove the fingers.

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