If you don't want to front declaw them, you can always try those nail covers they make for cats and kittens. We tried them with ours for a while, but Osiris kept chewing his off.
Anubis (black lab) went to the vet yesterday. He has a small staff infection on his back, causing his skin to dry out and clump up. He's on antibiotics and a special shampoo now for 3 weeks. It wasn't anything that could be helped, the conditions down here were right for it to happen and his allergies (not sure to what, yet) made him more susceptable.