Why did my dog get an infection at his dewclaw surgery site?

Why did my dog get an infection at his dewclaw surgery site?

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Our question this week was:

Hi Dr. Debra – My puppy who is a Puggle and is about 6 and a half months old now had his neuter and dewclaw removal on his hind legs done about 10 days ago. We brought him back to the vet to get his stitches out from the dewclaw removal and they said there is an infection now in one of the sites. Now today they have to reoperate on it and stitch it back up and now he has to wear that stupid cone on his head that we went thru three of them now so far! How would that infection have started if he was taking his meds? Is it because it got wet from going to the bathroom outside and stuff or is this common and just happened? Is it something we did wrong?

Thank you

Sherry Cucca


Hi – thanks for your email Sherry. You write that your 6 ½ month old Puggle (I bet he is cute!) got an infection at the site of his dewclaws. You wonder why?

Well….things happen Sherry. I've seen this happen several times. It could be because your dog licked at the area, excessive activity, because it got wet and exposed to bacteria, as well as other possible causes.

Don't worry – I don't think it is anything you did. Every once in a while, they need to be re-sutured, put on a different antibiotic and they heal and do fine. The cone (the e-collar) is important to ensure that he doesn't lick at the area. I also recommend that you make sure the area stays clean and dry.

An article that might be helpful to you is Dewclaw Removal in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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