Difference Between Stearlization and Disinfection

While considering methods for sterilization procedures, it is important to differentiate between sterilization and disinfection.

* Sterilization kills all viable microorganisms.
* Disinfection only reduces the number of viable microorganisms.

High level disinfection will kill most vegetative microorganisms but will not kill the more resistant bacterial spores. Commonly used disinfectants such as alcohol, iodophors, quaternary ammonium and phenolic compounds are not effective sterilants and, therefore, are not acceptable for use on items intended to be used in survival surgical procedures.

The preferred methods of sterilization are high pressure steam/temperature (in autoclaves) for items that can withstand high temperature, and ethylene oxide gas for items that cannot withstand high temperature. However, cold chemical sterilants may be used effectively for many items.

Approved sterilization procedures:

* High pressure/temperature steam sterilization using an autoclave and appropriate monitoring systems (i.e. spore strips, etc.) to assure sterility.
* Gas sterilization with ethylene oxide using an approved gas sterilizer and appropriate monitoring systems to assure sterility and personnel safety.
* Cold (chemical) sterilization used properly. Effective and proper use of cold sterilization is dependent on many factors including:
o The use of chemicals classified as “sterilants”. Those classified only as “disinfectants” are not adequate.
o The physical properties of the item being sterilized. It must be relatively smooth, impervious to moisture, and be of a shape that permits all surfaces to be exposed to the sterilant.
o Adequate exposure to all surfaces, both interior and exterior. Tubing must be completely filled and the materials to be sterilized must be clean and arranged in the sterilant to assure total immersion. The items being sterilized must be exposed to the sterilant for the prescribed period of time.
o Use of efficacious solutions: The sterilant solution must be clean and fresh. Most sterilants come in solutions consisting of two parts that when added together form what is referred to as an “activated” solution. The shelf life of activated solutions is indicated in the instructions for commercial products. Generally, this is from one to four weeks.
o Rinse instruments, implants, and tubing (both inside and out) should be rinsed with sterile saline or sterile water prior to use to avoid tissue damage.

Approved Sterilization Products: There are many acceptable commercial sterilants available and their use is encouraged over preparing solutions from basic ingredients. Only products classified as sterilants are to be used for sterilizing instruments and implants for surgery and they must be used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for sterilization. Following are examples of commercial products listed by brand names:

* Heat (glass bead sterilizers) is effective at sterilizing materials that are not heat sensitive (metal instruments). These devices are very effective and convenient to use. Caution must be exercised to rinse the heated instruments in cool sterile saline BEFORE introducing the instruments into a body part.
* Cidex: Active ingredient: 2% Glutaraldehyde. The manufacturer’s instructions indicate that a minimum of 10 hours is required for sterilization. Cidex comes in two formulations, Cidex and Cidex-7 (long-life). The shelf life of activated Cidex is 15 days and of activated Cidex-7 is 28 days.
* Clidox: Active ingredient: Chlorine dioxide. 1:5 mixture must be mixed daily. 1:18 mixture is good for 14 days. 1:5 is a good sterilant; 1:18 is a disinfectant.
* Alcide: Active ingredient: Sodium hypohlorite 1.37%. The manufacturer’s instructions indicate that a minimum of 6 hours is required for sterilization. The shelf life of the activated solution is 14 days.
* Other acceptable sterilants are the following chemicals classified as sterilants by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These are the chemical ingredients of some of the commercial sterilants:
o Glutaraldehyde (2%) for a minimum of 10 hours.
o Formaldehyde (8%) / Alcohol (70%); minimum of 18 hours.
o Stabilized hydrogen peroxide (6%) for a minimum of 6 hours.

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Surgical Retractors types and usage

Surgical Retractors

A retractor is a surgical instrument that is used to hold back underlying organs and tissues, so that body parts under the incision may be accessed without any fear of damage to the organs lieing at the above levels. Surgical retractors have a wide variety and retractors come under various shapes, sizes and strength.

Importance of Surgical Retractors

During the dissection/inspection, surgeon needs an exposure best as possible while inflicting a minimum of trauma to the surrounding tissue. The handles of the retractor may be hook shaped, notched, or ring shaped to give the holder a firm grip without tiring. The blades of the retractors are at a right angle to the shaft. The blades can be smooth, raked, or hooked.

Materials

Surgical retractors reaquire a very high grade stainless steel as they hold internal organs during an operation. A common material used in the making of retractors is superior grade stainless steel. Stainless steel is preferred because of its strength and its ability to be sterilized. The retractors are therefore extremely hard. However, there are some drawbacks of stainless steel retractors like they become very slippery when they come into contact with blood and other body fluids which can lead to tissue damage during operation. Moreover, stainless steel is also thermally highly conductive which also results in tissue injury as it quickly absorbs heat from the tissue with which it comes in contact. Another disadvantage is that they have reflective surfaces which produce glare under the high level illumination which is very common during surgical procedures.

To overcome these drawbacks, polymeric materials are used in the making of surgical retractors. Such polymeric materials include

  • Polyetherimide
  • Polyimide and
  • Thermosetting materials

It is to be noted that any material of construction of surgical retractors is that

  • It must be sterilizable
  • It must be autoclavable

to allow for the necessary sterilization process so they may be reused for multiple, successive surgical procedures.

Types of Retractors

There are two types of retractors on the basis of their functionality.

  • Self retaining retractors
  • Handheld retractors



Self Retaining Retractors (link)

Self retaining retractors do not need an assistant to hold them in place. self retaining retractors hold tissue apart and lock it in place. Rib Spreaders come in this category. They hold the ribs apart during the abdominal surgery when the required organ is located inside the rib cage. Followings are the commonly used retractors

Hand Held Retractors (link)

can be hand held retractors. The hand held retractors require an assistant to hold them but the self retaining ones don’t once they are adjusted in position. The correct method of using a hand-held retractor is that it must be held by its handle properly so as to produce maximum exposure of the surgical area, maximum leverage, and steady retraction.

  • turner warwick 4 & 2 blades
  • pozzi abdominal (blade 6.2 x 3.8cm)
  • pozzi abdominal with central blade
  • ricard with central blade
  • balfour abdominal with central blade
  • kirschner with frame + blades
  • gosset (blade 5.5cm)
  • gosset (blade 3.8cm)
  • sternal abdominal 66cm
  • sternal abdominal fixation device
  • sternal abdominal blade
  • goligher with 2 center blade & 4
  • lateral blade
  • Berkeley abdominalk  (blade 3.5 x 6cm)
  • Travers 4 x 5 teeth 20cm blunt
  • Irwin 4 x 4 teeth 17.8cm sharp
  • Weislander 2 x 3 teeth 11cm sharp
  • Norfolk and Norwich 4 x 5 teeth 21.5cm
  • Rntne hospital 3 x 4 teeth 15.9cm
  • Weislander 3 x 4 teeth 13  15.6
  • Weislander 3 x 4 teeth 13  16.5cm
  • Weislander 3 x 4 teeth 19.5 – 24cm
  • Weislander 5 x 6 teeth 25.5cm sharp
  • St marks hospital perineal (blade 7 x 4cm)
  • Jolly thyroid 15.2cm
  • Millin retopublic with center blade
  • Turner warwick with frame and 6 blade
  • Gelpi vulva 13.5 – 16.5cm
  • Jackson burrows 16.5cm
  • Finson 7cm
  • Alms 7 10cm
  • Logan 5cm
  • Kilner skin 5cm small & long teeth
  • Cone 14.5cm
  • Jansen shea 10.5cm
  • Jefferson 14cm
  • Henderson 13cm
  • Travers 19.5cm
  • Cone laminectomy 24.5cm hinged arm
  • Cone hemi 16.5 25.4cm left hinged arm
  • Cone hemi 16.5 25.4cm right hinged arm
  • Harvey Jackson laminectomy 28cm
  • Adson 26.5cm
  • Beckmann adson 31cm
  • Adson 32cm simi sharp
  • Mollison 16.5 13.3cm
  • Shah intra aural 15.2cm with center blade
  • Plester jansen 14cm
  • Wallace modified plester jansen 14cm

Varieties of Surgical Retractors

Each type of surgical retractors have specific properties as per the usage. For instance:

  • Tissue Retractor: During a surgery, the tissue retractors hold tissue flaps away from the treatment site. This provide better visibility, reach and undisturbed working. Some retractors may have fork like prongs. This allows the handling of the tissue without causing much damage.
  • Cheek Retractor: These retractors are designed to hold and retract the cheeks, tongue, or a portion of the mucosa during surgical procedures. The retractors are made of metal or plastic, and may be large, curved, or angled.
  • Senn retractor is simple.
  • The deaveris more exotic.
  • The hohmann is orthopedic retractor.
  • Army-navy is a bladed retractor.
  • Rake retractors are forked.
  • Common self retaining retractors are weitlaner and gelpi. Also use adsons and balfours.

Kinds of Retractors

Depending on the various body parts which need to be operated, there are different names given to retractors such as follows:

  • Lung Retractor
  • Abdominal Retractor
  • Skin Retractor
  • Eyelid Retractor
  • Canny Ryall Retractor
  • Scalp Retractor
  • Pin Retractor
  • Vertical Retractor
  • Cone Retractor
  • Arterial Retractor
  • Fan Blade Retractor
  • Vaginal Retractor
  • Laminectomy Retractor
  • Thyroid Retractor
  • Nerve Root Retractor etc.

Common Surgical Retractors in use

The following is a list of surgical retractors in current use

  • Lahey Retractor
  • Senn Retractor
  • Blair (Rollet) Retractor
  • Rigid Rake
  • Flexible Rake
  • Ragnell Retractor
  • Linde-Ragnell Retractor
  • Davis Retractor
  • Volkman Retractor
  • Mathieu Retractor
  • Jackson Tracheal Hook
  • Crile Retractor
  • Meyerding Finger Retractor
  • Little Retractor
  • Love Nerve Retractor
  • Green Retractor
  • Goelet Retractor
  • Cushing Vein Retractor
  • Langenbeck Retractor
  • Richardson Retractor
  • Richardson-Eastmann Retractor
  • Kelly Retractor
  • Deaver Retractor
  • Parker Retractor
  • Parker-Mott Retractor
  • Roux Retractor
  • Mayo-Collins Retractor
  • U.S. Army Retractor
  • Ribbon Retractor
  • Alm Retractor
  • Self Retaining Retractors
  • Gelpi Retractor
  • Weitlaner Retractor
  • Beckman-Weitlaner Retractor
  • Beckman-Eaton Retractor
  • Beckman Retractor
  • Adson Retractor
  • Balfour Retractor

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Hawkbill Type Forceps

Dental Forceps for Mandibular Anteriors and Bicuspids

There are three hawkbill-type forceps: the Mead #MD3, the #Dental Forceps No. 13, and the #Dental Forceps No. 22. The Mead #3 forceps are used on mandibular anteriors and bicuspids, the #13 forceps are used on mandibular first, second bicuspids, and the #22 forceps on mandibular first, second, and third molars. The beaks are perpendicular to the working action of the handles. This design gives the dentist a great deal of leverage with minimum effort. The major difference between these forceps is the width of the beaks, because they are used to remove different teeth.

Dental Orthodontics Videos and Orthodontics Instruments

Orthodontic Videos

List of Orthodontics Instruments

* Dental Interproximal Saws
* Interproximal Stripping / Interproximal Reduction Systems
* Orthodontic Bur Kits
* Orthodontic Cassettes
* Orthodontic Cutters
* Hard Wire Orthodontic Cutters
* Laboratory Orthodontic Cutters / Orthodontic Pliers
* Pin and Ligature Orthodontic Cutters
* Special Orthodontic Cutters
* Orthodontic Pliers / Dental Pliers
* Adams Orthodontic Pliers
* Band Removing Orthodontic Pliers
* Bird Beak Orthodontic Pliers
* Bond Removing Orthodontic Pliers
* Contouring Orthodontic Pliers
* Crimping Orthodontic Pliers
* Detailing Orthodontic Pliers
* Hollow Chop Orthodontic Pliers
* Hook Bracket Orthodontic Pliers
* Hook Tube Crimping Orthodontic Pliers
* How Orthodontic Pliers
* Jarabak Orthodontic Pliers
* Lab Orthodontic Pliers
* Loop Forming Orthodontic Pliers
* Mathieu Orthodontic Pliers
* Miscellaneous Orthodontic Pliers
* Separating Orthodontic Pliers
* Specialty Orthodontic Pliers
* Three Prong Orthodontic Pliers
* Torquing Orthodontic Pliers
* V Notch Stop Orthodontic Pliers
* Wirebending Arch Forming Orthodontic Pliers

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Types of Stainless Steel used in Medical Instruments

Stainless Steel used in Instruments and wearable metal objects.

Stainless Steel is a generic term commonly used to describe a group of
Iron-based alloys which exhibit a phenomenal resistance to rusting or corrosion
because of it’s Chromium content. Chromium has been added in small amounts to
strengthen Steel since the Famous Eads Bridge spanned the Mississippi River at
St. Louis, Missouri, in 1872. But it was only discovered in the present century
that when Iron was alloyed with Chromium in excess of 10%, and Carbon held
suitably low, it was effectively rustproof. The term “Stainless” was
first used to describe steel cutlery that was produced in Sheffield England in
C.1916. In 1913 316L stainless Steel was first patented, In 1926 a Stainless
Steel composed of 18% Chromium and 8% Nickel was developed, however this steel
still had problems with corrosion resistance. This problem was solved by the
addition of 2-4% Molybdenum.
Stainless Steels can be broken down into three main types:

Ferritic:

Ferritic alloys are obtained when Chromium is added to Iron to develop
corrosion resistance without steel-type hardening. ferritic alloys are mainly
used for construction, and for use in automobiles.

Martensitic:

Martensitic alloys result when Chromium is added to steels with carefully
chosen Carbon contents, they range from the least expensive and most widely
used 410 grade, to 440-C grade which is used for knives and surgical tools due
to it’s great hardness.

Austenitic:

Nickel is the next most important alloying element, the most famous alloy being
“18-8″ containing 18% Chromium and 8% Nickel. Unlike the atomic
structure of ferritic or Martensitic Steels, Austenic Steel has a face-centred
cubic form made stable by the presence of Nickel. This gives the Austenitic
Steels unique properties of workability, toughness, and corrosion resistance.
The Austenitic grades of Steel are the most highly prised for these properties,
and also the most expensive.

STANDARDS FOR “SURGICAL” STEEL

Some reports in Body Piercing literature state that there is no such thing as
“Surgical” Steel, However, there is a certain grade of steel which is
used for implantation into the body, or “Surgical” purposes. So we
can therefore use the term “Surgical Steel” even though that’s not
the exact scientific terminology, it’s easier to use that term than to try to
get the public used to all the other more complex classifications used for it.

316L is the most useful for body piercing jewellery, as it is fairly strong,
easy to work with, and will not lose it’s corrosion resistance during
manufacture Type 316L (L = Low Carbon at 0.03%) 316LVM (Low carbon Vacuum
Manufacture), and 317 are the only steels classified for use for surgical
implantation.

MANUFACTURER’S CLASSIFICATIONS:

Because there are so many different alloys of steel available on the market,
industry groups i.e. SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and AISI (American
Iron & Steel Institute) have devised a numbering system, 316L is the old
version, the new version is 30316L, and this has been superceded by the Unified
Numbering System (UNI) which is S31603. But the old version has become almost a
generic term and is still recognized by most manufacturers and body piercers,
and I will therefore use it here. There are various standards applying to
Stainless Steels throughout the world, and several different classifications
are used to designate “Surgical”Steel. The most common are listed
here.

Manufacturer’s Codes
S.A.E. ASSAB SANDVIK
30316L 926L 3R60
National Codes
British German Japanese United States
new type W.No DIN JIS UNS.No ASTM/AISI type
316S11 1.4404 X2CrNiMo17 13 2 SU316L S31603 316L

COMPOSITION:
There are very specific guidelines for the production of “Surgical”
Steel, the one used for the purposes of this article are the American Society
for Testing & Materials (ASTM) standards, specifically ASTM F138 (1982)
Standard Specification, Stainless Steel Bar and Wire for Surgical Implants
(Special Quality).

The term Stainless Steel is a misnomer, these steels are subject to staining
and corrosion, although at much lower rates than standard steel. A Chromium
content in excess of 10.5% is what makes steel so called “Stainless”.
The oxidization of this Chromium content upon exposure to air causes very thin film
of Chromium Di-Oxide to form on the surface of the steel. The Film of Chromium
Di-Oxide is extremely thin, passive, continuous, tenacious, stable and
self-repairable. It renders the surface inert to many chemical reactions and
therefore passive, thereby giving stainless steel it’s phenomenal built in
corrosion resistance, especially in organic environments like the internal
Human body. The Molybdenum confers a special resistance to pitting corrosion.

The exact Metallic composition of 316L by Heat analysis is:
Chromium 17.00%
Nickel 12.00%
Molybdenum 2.25% Maximum
Manganese 2.00% Maximum
Silicon 0.75% Maximum
Copper 0.50% Maximum
Nitrogen 0.10% Maximum
Carbon 0.03% Maximum
Phosphorus 0.025% Maximum
Sulphur 0.010% Maximum
Iron 65.345%*

*Approximately the remaining balance

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Surgical Instruments Passivation – Rust Prevention


How Instruments are made resistant to rusting and reacting with acidic elements during the operation.

The removal of exogenous iron or iron compounds from the surface of a stainless steel by means of a chemical dissolution, most typically by a treatment with an acid solution that will remove the surface contamination but will not significantly affect the stainless steel itself”

In addition, it also describes passivation as “the chemical treatment of a stainless steel with a mild oxidant, such as a nitric acid solution, for the purpose of enhancing the spontaneous formation of the protective passive film.”

In layman’s terms, the passivation process removes “free iron” contamination left behind
on the surface of the stainless steel as a result of machining and fabricating processes.
These contaminants are potential corrosion sites which, if not removed, result in premature corrosion and ultimately result in deterioration of the component. In addition, the PASSIVATION OF STAINLESS STEEL passivation process facilitates the formation of a very thin, transparent oxide film, which protects the stainless steel from “selective” oxidation (corrosion).

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Dental Extraction Forceps for Lower Jaw

Mandibular Incisors, Cuspids, and Bicuspids – Dental Forceps Blog

Mandibular Incisors, Cuspids, and Bicuspids
Dental Extraction Forceps for Lower Jaw

Two commonly used extraction forceps for the mandibular anteriors and bicuspids are

FORCEPS #151
Forceps #151 are used primarily to extract mandibular anteriors, bicuspids, and roots and are often known as the mandibular universal forceps. These forceps are similar to the #150 forceps except the beaks are set at an angle opposite to the slightly curved handles.

FORCEPS #203
Forceps #203 are used on mandibular anterior, bicuspids, and roots. These forceps are like the #101 (mentioned later), except the beaks are more sharply angled from the handles. Like the #101 handles, the #203 handles are straight (fig. 5-40).

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Mandibular Molars Forceps

Mandibular Molars Forceps – Dental Forceps Blog

Mandibular Molars Forceps

Lower Jaw Molar Extracting Forceps

There are several popular extraction forceps for the mandibular molars, including the

  • #15
  • #16
  • #17
  • #217
  • #222.

FORCEPS #15

Forceps #15 are used to remove mandibular first and second molars. The beaks have concave inner surfaces with pointed projection on the tips. These forceps work well in grasping the crown with the two projecting tips extending to the bifurcation between the two roots on mandibular third molars. The left handle on the #15 has a finger rest.

FORCEPS #16

Dental-Forceps No. 16 and Dental-Forceps No. 16s are used to remove mandibular molars. The #16 forceps are nicknamed mandibular cowhorns when they are open. The left handle on the #16 has a finger rest.

FORCEPS #17

Dental Forceps No. 17, like the #15 and #16 forceps, are used on lower first and second molars. The beaks of the #17 forceps are similar to the beaks of the #15 forceps; however, the handle of the #17 is straight.

FORCEPS #217

Dental Forceps No. 217 are used to remove mandibular second and third molars. The beaks have inner concave surfaces and pointed projections much like those of the #15 forceps. The handles have a slight curvature and resemble those of the #151 forceps.

FORCEPS #222.

Dental Forceps #222 are used on mandibular third molars. The beaks on the #222 forceps are rounded with concave inner surfaces, and angle sharply from the handle.

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Tail Docking is performed on the following breeds of Dog

Tail docking is performed on the following breeds of dogs.

  1. Australian Terrier
  2. Bouvier des Flandres
  3. Boxer
  4. Bracco Italiano
  5. Brittany
  6. Cane Corsa
  7. Clumber Spaniel
  8. Cocker Spaniel
  9. Dobermann
  10. English Springer Spaniel
  11. Fell Terrier
  12. Field Spaniel
  13. German short-haired pointer
  14. German wire-haired pointer
  15. Giant Schnauzer
  16. Glen of Imaal Terrier
  17. Griffon Bruxellois
  18. Hungarian vizsla
  19. Irish Terrier
  20. Italian Spinone
  21. Jack Russell Terrier
  22. Kerry Blue Terrier
  23. King Charles Spaniel
  24. Lakeland Terrier
  25. Large Munsterlander
  26. Lucas Terrier
  27. Miniature Pinscher
  28. Miniature Poodle
  29. Miniature Schnauzer
  30. Neopolitan mastiff
  31. Norfolk Terrier
  32. Norwich Terrier
  33. Old English Sheepdog
  34. Patterdale Terrier
  35. Parson Jack Russell Terrier
  36. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  37. Pinscher
  38. Polish Lowland Sheepdog
  39. Rottweiler
  40. Russian Black Terrier
  41. Schipperke
  42. Schnauzer
  43. Sealyham Terrier
  44. Smooth Fox Terrier
  45. Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
  46. Spanish Water Dog
  47. Standard Poodle
  48. Sussex Spaniel
  49. Swedish vallhund
  50. Toy Poodle
  51. Weimaraner
  52. Welsh Springer Spaniel
  53. Welsh Terrier
  54. Wire-haired Fox Terrier
  55. Yorkshire Terrier

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Tail Docking – A Preventative Measures to Avoid Injuries

Tail docking has become a pretty big issue over the past decade. Many people see it as cosmetic surgery, and feel it is unnecessary, and therefore cruel. This sentiment is not restricted to tail docking, but also includes dewclaw removal, ear clipping, and de-clawing of cats.

I can only speak for the common procedures of the gun dog world, where it is not uncommon to see dogs with docked tails and dewclaws removed. People who hunt with dogs, or those who have field dogs, know that these procedures are done to prevent injury to the dog while in the field. I don’t want my dogs to suffer repeated injury because I failed to take the necessary precautions. Because of this, I feel that we as gun dog owners should do our best to educate the public and let people know that these are not simply cosmetic procedures, but rather preventative measures to avoid repeated injuries.

For the above reason I have made a rather long reply to this post because I thought you might find it educational or useful if you are ever confronted by someone who opposes your view on tail docking and dewclaw removal in gun dogs.

I don’t know this for sure, but I suspect that this issue is a spin-off of the greater issue of cosmetic surgeries associated with gladiator and guarding breeds. Guarding breeds are often surgically altered to appear more intimidating, and gladiator breeds often have their ears completely removed to give them an advantage while fighting. The cosmetic surgery associated with guarding dogs gives no benefit to the dog, and could be deemed as unnecessary. I believe that training and breeding dogs for fighting is barbaric, and anything used to aid this activity is barbaric by association. However, tail docking and dewclaw removal in gun dogs is not done for intimidation or fighting advantage. It is done to prevent injury of the dog while in the field.

Now, I appreciate the people who oppose cosmetic dog surgery, they obviously love dogs, and their hearts are in the right place. The world needs more people who are concerned about the well being of animals (all animals). I am just a little disheartened that this particular issue is generally being seen with tunnel vision, and people are failing to ask if there is ever an appropriate situation to dock a tail or remove dewclaws. I would like people to understand that there is a real and ethical reason for choosing to dock tails and remove dewclaws in gun dogs. I don’t think that any gun dog owner feels good about having these procedures done, however I know I feel better about having it done than I do about seeing my dog go through repeated injuries if I was to not have it done.

The idea that tail docking and dewclaw removal is “cruel”, became popularized in the US, and is gaining popularity in Canada as well. People are becoming so dead-set against tail docking and dewclaw removal that they are shunning vets that still perform these procedures. I know that this sentiment has become so commonplace that some areas of the US have outlawed tail docking and dewclaw removal, while others continue to shun vets until it becomes legislated. So many vets have stopped performing these procedures in order to maintain their reputation and business.

However, hunters and many vets know that we are not docking tails and removing dewclaws of hunting dogs because we think it looks good. These are hard charging and enthusiastic working dogs that place hunting in higher regard than their own safety and comfort, and they work in rough unpredictable terrain. This makes hunting dogs particularly vulnerable to injury, which is statistically most common in dewclaws and tails. For this reason, many gun dog owners like to have dewclaws and tails removed/docked at an early age to reduce/prevent the chance of a future injury.

I know of a circumstance of a vet who regularly services gun dogs, who stopped performing tail docks and dewclaw removals for the sake of their business, however this vet felt that this was actually the least ethical decision for well being of the dogs. The vet feels that these procedures should be performed on gun dogs in order to prevent future injury, however the larger non-hunting community disagrees. So the vet has trained the local gun dog breeders to perform these procedures themselves.

I think it’s good that this community has found a loophole, but I would feel more comfortable getting a puppy that has had these procedures performed by a professional. So, I hope that the general dog-loving community starts to understand the non-cosmetic nature of these procedures so we can keep these procedures in the hands of professionals.

With all this being said, it sounds like I advocate for all gun dogs to have their tails docked and dewclaws removed. Well I don’t! I have two gun dogs, and one of them still has all the pieces she had when she left the womb. I rescued a chocolate lab when she was 1.5 years old. As I said before, not all gun dogs need to have their tails docked, and labs fall in to that category. So she still has 100% of her tail. She also still has her dewclaws because her previous owners did not have them removed. When I adopted her I had complete intentions on hunting with her, which I do, so my first thought was to get her dewclaws removed to prevent them from becoming injured while hunting. However, I decided against this.

Tail docking and dewclaw removal typically occurs when the puppy is days old. It is done at this time because they heal fast and it causes them no persisting mental trauma. I felt that having her dewclaws removed as an adult dog posed too much risk. She was a fully grown active dog (not a blind immobile pink nosed puppy), which would extend her recovery time. Also, adult dogs are much more prone to suffering long-term mental anguish because of a persistent physical pain. I felt that there might be a risk of her becoming sensitive to having these areas of her legs touched ever again, which is not worth the risk, particularly if you have other dogs or children.

To you gun-dog owners out there, I am quite certain that you will eventually be confronted with this issue, and I hope that this might help you explain that there is good reason for tail docking and dewclaw removal.

To anyone who cares enough to have an opinion about such issues, please notice that this is not a two-sided issue, there are many. I encourage you to speak to people with opposing opinions, but speak kindly and with an open mind. I’m not asking you to blindly accept the opposing view, but to critically think about it after knowing all the facts.

Most importantly, make your decision with the dog’s best interest in mind.

By:
Murray Somers,
Fredericton – Germany.

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