BANFIELD PET HOSPITALS WILL NO LONGER DECLAW CATS-MANY THANKS TO THE PAW PROJECT-1/10/2020

Banfield Feline Declaw Position Statement

Every medical procedure supported by our practice has been put in place with the health and wellness of pets in mind and, based on this, we do not support the elective declawing (removal of normal digits) of any animal.

Current evidence does not support the use of elective declawing surgery as an alternative to relinquishment, abandonment, or euthanasia. This position statement aligns with the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) 2017 Declawing Position Statement and current bans in various US cities and municipalities.

Declawing includes surgical onychectomy, digital flexor tendonectomy, or phalangectomy. This includes surgical procedures performed with a laser. Banfield veterinarians should educate and encourage owners on alternatives to declaw. Surgical declaw is only performed when the following criterion is met:

Declawing is determined to be medically necessary as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve pet pain or illness
If the above criterion is met and a medically necessary declawing procedure is to be performed, the providing medical team shall review the surgical procedure with the owner, including outlining all possible complications and post-operative care.

Banfield also requires that any surgical procedure be performed only with the medically appropriate use of anesthetics and analgesics and adherence to careful surgical and post-surgical protocols.

THE PAW PROJECT POST

BANFIELD FELINE DECLAW POSITION STATEMENT

Declawed Cats Correlate To ”Prisoners Of War” – Dr. Nicolas Dodman – Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and Professor

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, author of “The Cat Who Cried for Help,” has this to say about declawing:”The inhumanity of the procedure is clearly demonstrated by the nature of cats’ recovery from anesthesia following the surgery. Unlike routine recoveries, including recovery from neutering surgeries, which are fairly peaceful, declawing surgery results in cats bouncing off the walls of the recovery cage because of excruciating pain. –Declawing fits the dictionary definition of mutilation to a tee. Words such as deform, disfigure, disjoint, and dismember all apply to this surgery. Partial digital amputation is so horrible that it has been employed for torture of prisoners of war, and in veterinary medicine, the clinical procedure serves as model of severe pain for testing the efficacy of analgesic drugs. Even though analgesic drugs can be used postoperatively, they rarely are, and their effects are incomplete and transient anyway, so sooner or later the pain will emerge.”

DR. DODMAN’S BOOK ON AMAZON
The Cat Who Cried for Help: Attitudes, Emotions, and the Psychology of Cats Hardcover – September 2, 1997
by Nicholas Dodman (Author)

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SUMMARY

In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Nicholas Dodman does for feline psychology what he did for canines in his widely acclaimed The Dog Who Loved Too Much. Here he reveals the fascinating, and often frustrating, mind of one of our most popular–and certainly most independent–animal companions, and shows how we can coexist peacefully with even the stubbornest of cats.

What do you do about a cat determined to tear your sofa to shreds? Or one who gorges himself on your best running shoes . . . or attacks anyone who dares to open the refrigerator door? Drawing on remarkable real-life stories from his practice at the prestigious Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Dodman shares the unique, compassionate, dramatically successful treatment programs that have given problem cats a new lease on life . . . and their perplexed owners long-term solutions to even the most intractable disorders.

As any cat owner knows, changing a cat’s behavior can seem like an impossible task. But contrary to popular belief, cats can be trained and cured of irritating habits and undesirable behaviors. The Cat Who Cried for Help shows how minor adjustments in diet, exercise regimen, and environment can effect dramatic breakthroughs in resolving almost any feline problem. From cat panic attacks to eating disorders, from litterbox aversion to depression and a wide range of feline phobias, Dr. Dodman has successfully treated and resolved these and many other heretofore untreatable behaviors.

Inside, you’ll meet Ashley, the boss-cat who literally bites the hand that feeds him; Jonathan, the binge-eater; Rubles, the Abyssinian Jekyll and Hyde, pussycat one minute, man-eating tiger the next; and Thomas, the cat who cried for help–a little too loudly. Dr. Dodman’s techniques are based on the most up-to-date research in pharmacology and feline behaviorism. Yet the primary objective of his treatments is to respect and protect the qualities of independence and dignity fundamental to a cat’s nature.

Including descriptions of symptoms, treatment options, and tips on prevention, The Cat Who Cried for Help provides everything you need to know to ensure both you and your feline friend a long, happy, and healthy relationship. If you’ve ever wanted to better understand the nature of this mysterious, enigmatic, and fascinating creature, Dr. Dodman’s book provides a penetrating look into the intriguing and intricate world of the cat in your life.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman-Biography

Dr. Nicholas Dodman is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, and Professor, Section Head and Program Director of the Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences. Dr. Dodman is one of the world’s most noted and celebrated veterinary behaviorists. He grew-up in England and trained to be a vet in Scotland. At the age of 26, he became the youngest veterinary faculty member in Britain. It was at that time that Dr. Dodman began specializing in surgery and anesthesiology. In 1981, Dr. Dodman immigrated to the United States where he became a faculty member of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Shortly after his arrival, Dr. Dodman became interested in behavioral pharmacology and the field of animal behavior. After spending several years in this area of research, he founded the Animal Behavior Clinic – one of the first of its kind – at Tufts in 1986. He received an additional board certification in animal behavior from the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Dr. Dodman began to see clinical cases in 1987 and since 1990, he has devoted all of his time to his specialty practice of animal behavior. Since the mid 1990s, Dr. Dodman has written four acclaimed bestselling books that have received a tremendous amount of national press. His first book, The Dog Who Loved Too Much (Bantam Books, 1995), was an unqualified success selling more than 100,000 copies as did his second book, The Cat Who Cried for Help (Bantam Books, 1997). His third book, Dogs Behaving Badly (Bantam Books, 1999) was again a bestseller while his latest, If Only They Could Speak (W.W. Norton & Co., 2002) was recently released as a trade paperback. Dr. Dodman is internationally recognized and sought after as a leader in his field.

In addition to his four trade books, he has authored two textbooks and more than 100 articles and contributions to scientific books and journals. He appears regularly on radio and television including: 20/20, Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Dateline, World News with Peter Jennings, Discovery Channel, NOVA, Animal Planet, the BBC and CBC, CNN’s Headline News, Inside Edition, MSNBC, NOVA, NPR’s “Fresh Air” and A&E. He is an ad hoc guest on WBUR’s “Here & Now.” As a former senior editor for PetPlace.com, he is currently a columnist for the American Kennel Club’s quarterly publication, AKC Family Dog, where his column was nominated for 2005 “Column of the Year.” Additionally, he is a Pet Expert for Time, Inc. and also writes a monthly “Expert Advice” column for LIFE magazine that is read by twelve million people. Dr. Dodman is also the editor of Tufts University’s forthcoming Puppies First Steps, which has been sold to Houghton Mifflin (2007). He is a consultant to and official national spokesman for a new line of pet products from Zero Odor LLC for whom he recently completed shooting a 28-minute infomercial that will air up to five times a week on cable television networks beginning the spring of 2006. In addition, Dr Dodman has recently completed a television pilot for a series of his own sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States. Dr. Dodman graduated from Glasgow University Veterinary School in Scotland where he received a BVMS (DVM equivalent). He was a surgical intern at the Glasgow Veterinary School before joining the faculty. He received a Diploma in Veterinary Anesthesia from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the American Society for Veterinary Animal Behavior. Dr. Dodman holds ten US patents for behavior modification treatments, including a recent (2002) patent that details a novel treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans. Early work in the Harvard and Yale University Psychiatry Departments confirms the validity of this novel treatment. Dr. Dodman lives near Tufts University with his wife, Dr. Linda Breitman, a veterinarian who specializes in small animals, and their children.

Doctor Dodman’s Bio

You really shouldn’t declaw your cat. Do this instead.-Popular Science Website

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“Declawing” may sound like a relatively benign procedure, like getting your nails trimmed. But declawing a cat so she’ll stop scratching the furniture involves removing the bones at the tip of her toes. The process can result in long-term problems for your feline friend, a new study concludes.

Cats who’ve been declawed are more likely to have a difficult time walking—with the ends of their toes removed, they’re forced to walk on the soft cartilage that was previously a part of their joints. These cats are known to chew at the stubs of their paws, and may suffer from chronic pain. In addition, many owners find that their cats become more aggressive after the surgery.

To study the long-term consequences of declawing, researchers examined 274 cats of various ages, half of whom had been declawed. Studying animals in shelters and others who had been brought in for veterinary appointments, they examined the cats for signs of pain (which, in cats, manifests itself as potty problems, flinching in response to touch, body tension, and excessive licking or chewing of fur, among other things). They also looked at the cats’ medical histories and behavioral reports from their vets and owners.

Declawed cats were 7 times more likely to pee in inappropriate places.

They found that declawed cats were seven times more likely to pee in inappropriate places, four times more likely to bite people, three times more likely to be aggressive, and three times more likely to overgroom themselves. In addition, the declawed cats were three times more likely to be diagnosed with back pain (possibly because they had to modify their gait due to their missing toe bones) and/or chronic pain in their paws.

Declawed cats may be more likely to urinate on soft surfaces like carpets or clothing because it’s less painful than the gravel in the litterbox. Having no other way to defend themselves, they may resort to biting when in pain, and unfortunately for their humans, bite wounds from a cat may be more likely than scratches to cause infection and hospitalization.

The study would be stronger if the researchers had been able to study the cats before and after the declawing procedure, to work out for certain whether these negative effects were caused by the declawing procedure. However, those studies are more expensive and more difficult.

Lead author Nicole Martell-Moran is a Texas veterinarian and a director at the Paw Project, an organization whose goal is to end cat declawing.

“The result of this research reinforces my opinion that declawed cats with unwanted behaviors may not be ‘bad cats’,” she said in a statement, “they may simply need pain management. We now have scientific evidence that declawing is more detrimental to our feline patients than we originally thought and I hope this study becomes one of many that will lead veterinarians to reconsider declawing cats.”

Try training instead

Declawing is outlawed in many developed countries, but not the U.S. or Canada. However, many American veterinary associations are opposed to declawing, except as a last resort.

Before you resort to declawing your cat, try training her first. Yes indeed, cats can be trained! And it’s not as hard as it sounds. Here are some tips:

  1. Get at least one scratching post (or make your own!). If it’s a vertical scratching post, make sure it’s tall enough that your cat can stretch to use it. And make sure it’s stable.
  2. Position the post near your cat’s favorite sleeping spot, and/or near the furniture she likes to scratch the most.
  3. Cover the post in catnip or toys so that it’s more attractive than the sofa.
  4. Reward the cat with a cheek scritch or a treat every time she uses the post.
  5. Don’t hit her if she scratches the sofa. Just say ‘no’ firmly and relocate her to the appropriate scratching post, and reward her for using that instead.
  6. Talk to your vet if the problem persists.

POPULAR SCIENCE ARTICLE

Petco’s PetCoach-Answers To Declawing Questions-Horror Accounts Of Declawed Cats-Vet Declawed A Pregnant Cat-First Photo

As you can see by the last images Petco is not against declawing. Declawing is banned in 44 countries, several cities in the USA and when the bill is signed in New York it will be banned for the first time in a state in the USA. Most of Canada has banned declawing. Declawing benefits veterinarian$, NOT their clients. ALL declawed cats suffer, it is legal animal cruelty. See the studies done by ethical veterinarians in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. Ethical veterinarians want declawing banned nationwide, they encounter many declawed cats who need to be declawed again to remove bone pieces or claw regrowth.

 

Petco’s PetCoach Website

USA: Millions Of Cats Declawed-Declawing Is A Billion Dollar Industry

”The pro-declawing attitudes of many U.S. veterinarians, however, are somewhat understandable. There is too much profit to be made in the pet industry. Even a rather underestimated price of $100 per cat/declawing—a bargain, given the amount of pain and suffering that is caused to the animal–makes declawing a billion-dollar industry in the U.S. Many veterinarians naturally don’t want to miss out on those profits.”

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LINK TO ALEV DUDEK’S POST

ALEV DUDEK’S BIO

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Understanding Declawing (Onychectomy)

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The Truth About Declawing
The Cat’s Claws

Unlike most mammals who walk on the soles of the paws or feet, cats are digitigrade, which means they walk on their toes. Their back, shoulder, paw and leg joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves are naturally designed to support and distribute the cat’s weight across its toes as it walks, runs and climbs. A cat’s claws are used for balance, for exercising, and for stretching the muscles in their legs, back, shoulders, and paws. They stretch these muscles by digging their claws into a surface and pulling back against their own clawhold – similar to isometric exercising for humans. This is the only way a cat can exercise, stretch and tone the muscles of its back and shoulders. The toes help the foot meet the ground at a precise angle to keep the leg, shoulder and back muscles and joints in proper alignment. Removal of the last digits of the toes drastically alters the conformation of their feet and causes the feet to meet the ground at an unnatural angle that can cause back pain similar to that in humans caused by wearing improper shoes.
Understanding Declawing (Onychectomy)

The anatomy of the feline claw must be understood before one can appreciate the severity of declawing. The cat’s claw is not a nail as is a human fingernail, it is part of the last bone (distal phalanx) in the cat’s toe. The cat’s claw arises from the unguicular crest and unguicular process in the distal phalanx of the paw (see above diagram). Most of the germinal cells that produce the claw are situated in the dorsal aspect of the ungual crest. This region must be removed completely, or regrowth of a vestigial claw and abcessation results. The only way to be sure all of the germinal cells are removed is to amputate the entire distal phalanx at the joint.

Contrary to most people’s understanding, declawing consists of amputating not just the claws, but the whole phalanx (up to the joint), including bones, ligaments, and tendons! To remove the claw, the bone, nerve, joint capsule, collateral ligaments, and the extensor and flexor tendons must all be amputated. Thus declawing is not a “simple”, single surgery but 10 separate, painful amputations of the third phalanx up to the last joint of each toe. A graphic comparison in human terms would be the cutting off of a person’s finger at the last joint of each finger.

Image describing the painful declawing amputation surgery
Many vets and clinic staff deliberately misinform and mislead clients into believing that declawing removes only the claws in the hopes that clients are left with the impression that the procedure is a “minor” surgery comparable to spay/neuter procedures and certainly doesn’t involve amputation (partial or complete) of the terminal-toe bone, ligaments and tendons. Some vets rationalize the above description by saying that since the claw and the third phalanx (terminal toe bone) are so firmly connected, they simply use the expression “the claw” to make it simpler for clients to “understand”. Other vets are somewhat more honest and state that if they used the word “amputation”, most clients would not have the surgery performed! Onychectomy in the clinical definition involves either the partial or total amputation of the terminal bone. That is the only method. What differs from vet to vet is the type of cutting tool used (guillotine-type cutter, scalpel or laser).

Onychectomy (Declawing) Surgery

Claws with nerves and ligaments
The below is a clinical description of the the declawing surgery taken from a leading veterinary surgical textbbook. Contrary to misleading information, declawing is not a “minor” surgery comparable to spaying and neutering procedures, it is 10, seperate, painful amputations of the distal phalanx at the joint (disjointing).

“The claw is extended by pushing up under the footpad or by grasping it with Allis tissue forceps. A scalpel blade is used to sharply dissect between the second and third phalanx over the top of the ungual crest . The distal interphalangeal joint is disarticulated (disjointed), and the deep digital flexor tendon is incised (severed). The digital footpad, is not incised. If a nail trimmer is used, the ring of the instrument is placed in the groove between the second phalanx and the ungual crest. The blade is positioned just in front of the footpad. The blade is pushed through the soft tissues over the flexor process. With the ring of the nail trimmer in position behind the ungual crest, the blade is released just slightly so that traction applied to the claw causes the flexor process to slip out and above the blade. At this point, the flexor tendon can be incised and disarticulation of the joint (disjointing) completed. Both techniques effectively remove the entire third phalanx.”

SoftPaws Is Your Couch In Danger
(Excerpted from: Slatter D; Textbook of Small Animal Surgery 2nd ed vol I, p.352 W.B. Saunders Company Philadelphia).

Love your furniture? Love your cat? Make them both happy with a furniture-saving Purrfect Post.
Simply Purrfect
Complications

Declawing is not without complication. The rate of complication is relatively high compared with other so-called routine procedures. Complications of this amputation can be excruciating pain, damage to the radial nerve, hemorrhage, bone chips that prevent healing, painful regrowth of deformed claw inside of the paw which is not visible to the eye, and chronic back and joint pain as shoulder, leg and back muscles weaken.

Other complications include postoperative hemorrhage, either immediate or following bandage removal is a fairly frequent occurrence, paw ischemia, lameness due to wound infection or footpad laceration, exposure necrosis of the second phalanx, and abscess associated with retention of portions of the third phalanx. Abscess due to regrowth must be treated by surgical removal of the remnant of the third phalanx and wound debridement. During amputation of the distal phalanx, the bone may shatter and cause what is called a sequestrum, which serves as a focus for infection, causing continuous drainage from the toe. This necessitates a second anesthesia and surgery. Abnormal growth of severed nerve ends can also occur, causing long-term, painful sensations in the toes. Infection will occasionally occur when all precautions have been taken.

“Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat’s ‘toes’. When you envision that, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. It is a painful surgery, with a painful recovery period. And remember that during the time of recuperation from the surgery your cat would still have to use its feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box regardless of the pain it is experiencing.”
Christianne Schelling, DVM

“General anesthesia is used for this surgery, which always has a certain degree of risk of disability or death associated with it. Because declawing provides no medical benefits to cats, even slight risk can be considered unacceptable. In addition, the recovery from declawing can be painful and lengthy and may involve postoperative complications such as infections, hemorrhage, and nail regrowth. The latter may subject the cat to additional surgery.” The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR)

Two recent studies published in peer-reviewed veterinary journals (Vet Surg 1994 Jul-Aug;23(4):274-80) concluded “Fifty percent of the cats had one or more complications immediately after surgery…. 19.8% developed complications after release..” Another study (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998 Aug 1;213(3):370-3) comparing the complications of declawing with Tenectomy concluded “Owners should be aware of the high complication rate for both procedures.” Many cats also suffer a loss of balance because they can no longer achieve a secure foothold on their amputated stumps.

Vet Surg 1994 Jul-Aug;23(4):274-80. Feline Onychectomy at a Teaching Institution: A Retrospective Study of 163 Cases.

Tobias KS Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Pullman 99164-6610.

“One hundred sixty-three cats underwent onychectomy… Fifty percent of the cats had one or more complications immediately after surgery. Early postoperative complications included pain…, hemorrhage…, lameness…, swelling…, or non-weight-bearing… Follow-up was available in 121 cats; 19.8% developed complications after release. Late postoperative complications included infection…, regrowth…, P2 protrusion…, palmagrade stance…, and prolonged, intermittent lameness…

Declaw Complicationsclaw xray
J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998 Aug 1;213(3):370-3. Comparison of Effects of Elective Tenectomy or Onychectomy in Cats.

Jankowski AJ, Brown DC, Duval J, Gregor TP, Strine LE, Ksiazek LM, Ott AH Department of Clinical Studies, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.

“Objective: To compare short and long-term complications after Tenectomy of the deep digital flexor tendons or onychectomy. Animals: 20 cats undergoing Tenectomy and 18 cats undergoing onychectomy. Procedure: Cats undergoing Tenectomy or onychectomy were monitored for a minimum of 5 months to enable comparison of type and frequency of complications. Type and frequency of complications did not differ between procedures. Clinical Implications: Owners should be aware of the high complication rate for both procedures.”

Psychological & Behavioral Complications

Some cats are so shocked by declawing that their personalities change. Cats who were lively and friendly have become withdrawn and introverted after being declawed. Others, deprived of their primary means of defense, become nervous, fearful, and/or aggressive, often resorting to their only remaining means of defense, their teeth. In some cases, when declawed cats use the litterbox after surgery, their feet are so tender they associate their new pain with the box…permanently, resulting in a life-long adversion to using the litter box. Other declawed cats that can no longer mark with their claws, they mark with urine instead resulting in inappropriate elimination problems, which in many cases, results in relinquishment of the cats to shelters and ultimately euthanasia. Many of the cats surrendered to shelters are surrendered because of behavioral problems which developed after the cats were declawed.

Many declawed cats become so traumatized by this painful mutilation that they end up spending their maladjusted lives perched on top of doors and refrigerators, out of reach of real and imaginary predators against whom they no longer have any adequate defense. A cat relies on its claws as its primary means of defense. Removing the claws makes a cat feel defenseless. The constant state of stress caused by a feeling of defenselessness may make some declawed cats more prone to disease. Stress leads to a myriad of physical and psychological disorders including supression of the immune system, cystitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

“The consequences of declawing are often pathetic. Changes in behavior can occur. A declawed cat frequently resorts to biting when confronted with even minor threats. Biting becomes an overcompensation for the insecurity of having no claws. Bungled surgery can result in the regrowth of deformed claws or in an infection leading to gangrene. Balance is affected by the inability to grasp with their claws. Chronic physical ailments such as cystitis or skin disorders can be manifestations of a declawed cat’s frustration and stress”
David E. Hammett, DVM

Moral, Ethical and Humane Considerations

The veterinary justification for declawing is that the owner may otherwise dispose of the cat, perhaps cruelly. It is ethically inappropriate, in the long term, for veterinarians to submit to this form of moral blackmail from their clients.

“The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights is opposed to cosmetic surgeries and to those performed to correct ‘vices.’ Declawing generally is unacceptable because the suffering and disfigurement it causes is not offset by any benefits to the cat. Declawing is done strictly to provide convenience for people.”
The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR)
“Some veterinarians have argued that some people would have their cats killed if declawing was not an option. We should not, however, allow ourselves to taken ’emotional hostage’ like this. If a person really would kill her or his cat in this case, it is reasonable to question the suitability of that person as a feline guardian, especially when there are millions of non-declawed cats living in harmony with people.”
Most people are vehemently opposed to declawing due to a combination of reasons: 1) because the end (owner convenience) doesn’t justify the means (causing unnecessary pain to the cat); 2) because other, less harmful alternatives to declawing exist and 3) because claws are part of the nature or “catness” of cats. Overall, the view is that it is ethically inappropriate to remove parts of an animal’s anatomy, thereby causing the animal pain, merely to fit the owner’s lifestyle, aesthetics, or convenience without any benefit to the cat. It should be emphasized that “most people” includes virtually the entire adult population of Europe and many other countries around the world.

Many countries are particularly concerned about animal welfare and have banned declawing as abusive and causing unnecessary pain and suffering with no benefit to the cat. One highly regarded veterinary textbook by Turner and Bateson on the biology of cat behavior concludes a short section on scratching behavior with the following statement: “The operative removal of the claws, as is sometimes practiced to protect furniture and curtains, is an act of abuse and should be forbidden by law in all, not just a few countries.”

The following is a partial list of countries in which declawing cats is either illegal or considered extremely inhumane and only performed under extreme medical circumstances:

England – Scotland – Wales – Italy – Austria – Switzerland – Norway – Sweden – Ireland – Denmark – Finland – Slovenia – Brazil – Australia – New Zealand – Yugoslavia – France – Germany – Bosnia – Malta – Netherlands – Northern Ireland – Portugal – Belgium – Israel

Cat Fanciers Association

Declawing of Cats – CFA Guidance Statement: Approved by the CFA Board of Directors – October 1996
by Joan Miller, CFA Health Committee

“CFA’s Health Committee proposed the following guidance statement on the declawing of cats after review of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) position concerning declawing, and after research of scientific articles and information from the Cornell Feline Health Center, from Joan Miller’s files of Cat Fancy and animal shelter materials and by talking with veterinarians, feline behavioral specialists, The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the President of the American College of Behaviorists and the Director of Ethical Studies at the San Francisco SPCA. At the October 1996 meeting, the CFA Board unanimously approved this guidance statement on the declawing of cats:

CFA perceives the declawing of cats (onychectomy) and the severing of digital tendons (tendonectomy) to be elective surgical procedures which are without benefit to the cat. Because of post operative discomfort or pain, and potential future behavioral or physical effects, CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery.” – Click here for PDF
World Small Animal Veterinary Association

Section 10-Non-therapeutic Surgical Operations on Pet Animals

Surgical operations for the purpose of modifying the appearance of a pet animal for non-therapeutic purposes should be actively discouraged.
Where possible legislation should be enacted to prohibit the performance of non-therapeutic surgical procedures for purely cosmetic purposes, in particular:
Declawing and defanging.
“Exceptions to these prohibitions should be permitted only if a veterinarian considers that the particular surgical procedure is necessary for veterinary medical reasons.”
The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR) position on declawing cats:

“A major concern that the AVAR has about declawing is the attitude that is evident in this situation. The cat is treated as if he or she is an inanimate object who can be modified, even to the point of surgical mutilation, to suit a person’s perception of what a cat should be. It would seem more ethical and humane to accept that claws and scratching are inherent feline attributes, and to adjust one’s life accordingly if a cat is desired as a companion. If this is unacceptable, then perhaps a different companion would be in order.”

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Professor of Behavioral Pharmacology and Director of the Behavior Clinic at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and internationally known specialist in domestic animal behavioral research, explains declawing:

“The inhumanity of the procedure is clearly demonstrated by the nature of cats’ recovery from anesthesia following the surgery. Unlike routine recoveries, including recovery from neutering surgeries, which are fairly peaceful, declawing surgery results in cats bouncing off the walls of the recovery cage because of excruciating pain. Cats that are more stoic huddle in the corner of the recovery cage, immobilized in a state of helplessness, presumably by overwhelming pain. Declawing fits the dictionary definition of mutilation to a tee. Words such as deform, disfigure, disjoint, and dismember all apply to this surgery. Partial digital amputation is so horrible that it has been employed for torture of prisoners of war, and in veterinary medicine, the clinical procedure serves as model of severe pain for testing the efficacy of analgesic drugs. Even though analgesic drugs can be used postoperatively, they rarely are, and their effects are incomplete and transient anyway, so sooner or later the pain will emerge.”
(Excerpted from The Cat Who Cried For Help, Dodman N, Bantam Books, New York).

Declawing robs a cat of an integral means of movement and defense. Because they cannot defend themselves adequately against attacks by other animals, declawed cats who are allowed outdoors may be at increased risk of injury or death. Scratching is a natural instinct for cats and declawing causes a significant degree of privation with respect to satisfying the instinctive impulses to climb, chase, exercise, and to mark territory by scratching. Cats simply enjoy scratching. The sensible and humane solution to undesirable scratching is to modify the cat’s conduct by making changes in the environment and direct the cat’s natural scratching behavior to an appropriate area (e.g., scratching post) rather than surgically altering the cat, thereby causing the animal pain, merely to fit the owner’s lifestyle, aesthetics, or convenience.

The fact that many cats recover from the hideous experience of declawing without untoward effects, and even though they may not hold grudges, that doesn’t seem sufficient justification for putting a family member through such a repugnant experience. In short, a declawed cat is a maimed, mutilated cat, and no excuse can justify the operation. Your cat should trust you, and depend upon you for protection. Don’t betray that trust by declawing your cat.

Compliments of: Max’s House & S.T.A.R.T II (Save The Animals Rescue Team)
http://maxshouse.com/

LINK TO THIS ARTICLE

What Goes On Behind Closed Doors During A Declaw Procedure-Note From A Vet Tech

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 Here’s a note and some photos I received from a vet tech. The public needs to see the awful truth about declawing. Cat owners drop their cats off at their unethical declawing vet’s practices and they need to see what goes on behind the scenes while their cats are having their toe bones and claws barbarically amputated. If more of them saw these photos and read these notes, they most likely would NEVER do this cat cruelty again to a cat. Please share these posts. The world needs to see the truth.

 Dear City,
I have been a vet tech for over 2 years now. When I first started, I assisted my vet with declaws. After the first declaw procedure I witnessed, I could bear no more. I now refuse to assist in any of these procedures and do everything I can to persuade clients to avoid doing this to their beloved pets. Most clients have no idea what the procedure consists of and I feel the lack of education about declawing is a huge reason why people do this to their cats. The clinic I work for charges $90 for the front two paws and about $120 for all four paws. We also have package deals if you do it with the spay/neuter, which I feel promotes declaws even more. We probably do about 3 declaws a month. My vet does not do any counseling on the procedure, but he doesn’t push for it either. I speak up as much as I can about the alternatives; I have stopped numerous clients from declawing their cats by educating them. However, it’s the doctor’s word that the clients follow. It is my dream to have this horrible procedure banned worldwide.

While many think there is a quick recovery from a declaw procedure, this photo shows the horrendous aftermath of a four paw declaw’s bandage removal. The cat simply shook its paw and blood started pouring out. Unfortunately the cat was 4 years old, with fully developed nerves in the paws and toes. I cannot imagine the pain this innocent and loving cat had to have been in. Regardless of age, it is painful for a feline to have its claws and toes removed. Does this look like its worth saving a sofa?