New Peer-Reviewed Study in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery-Pain and Adverse Behavior in Declawed Cats


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Haley Relinquished-Litter Box Issues-Paw Project Relieves Her Pain In Her Declawed Paws

This gorgeous young lady is Haley, from Fulton County Animal Center, Indiana. She was relinquished to the shelter when her owners didn’t want to find out why she was missing the litter box sometimes. These x-rays may show the answer: Haley had extremely sharp, painful fragments in her toes. And as a polydactyl cat (she has an extra dewclaw on each front foot!), she had a severely abscessed “thumb” that, when it was opened, expelled purulent material and claw regrowth. This poor kitty was in pain for months before coming to the shelter.

Luckily, shelter workers realized what she was experiencing and contacted Dr. Jessica Snyder at the Humane Society of Indianapolis. Now Haley is recovering from her declaw repair surgery and healing from her long-standing infections.

By helping The Paw Project, you are helping kitties like Haley return to a happy, healthy, comfortable life, and preventing other cats from experiencing the same excruciating pain.

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Video-Bad Veterinarians-Declaw VS Good Veterinarians-Repair Paws

The Truths and Myths About Laser Feline Declaw Surgery

There is a lot of talk about laser surgery being used in veterinary medicine. Especially when it comes to feline declaw surgeries. Unfortunately, a lot of what is said or even posted on web pages is a lot of hype. There have actually been very little scientific studies, especially blinded studies to prove a lot of what is said about laser surgery. Below is a list of truths and myths about laser surgery for you to review, so that you can make up your own mind on if laser surgery is what it says it is.

Statements made by laser surgery advocates:

1.) Laser surgery is less bloody than standard scalpel blade surgery.
-This is true; there is less blood with laser surgery than with standard scalpel surgery. This is because the laser instantly cauterizes or burns the vessels as they are encountered. That being said electrosurgery or radiosurgery units can achieve the same results that lasers can, and with less time and anesthesia.

2.) Laser surgery is less painful than standard scalpel blade based surgery.
-This is probably the biggest false statement made by laser advocates. With proper pre and post surgical pain control and nerve blocks, there have been no scientific studies showing that cats having laser declaw surgeries are any more or less painful than those having scalpel blade or electrosurgery declaw surgeries.

3.) Cats recover faster from laser surgery than with traditional declaw surgery.
-Once again this is a false statement that has been promoted recently.
There is no scientific proof that cats recover any faster from laser declaw surgeries than with scalpel blade or electrosurgery (radiosurgery) units. In fact a recent study showed that when you use lasers or radiosurgery an area of tissue surrounding the incision site is burned (cauterized), the body then has to take longer to bridge the gap at the incision site and heal versus with a scalpel blade incision, the incision forms a clot and has less work to bridge the gap between the incision site. Another study showed that Ultra High-Frequency Radiosurgery did less tissue damage around the incision site than either the laser or traditional radiocautery. (Reference – Radiosurgery: An Alternative to Laser in Veterinary Medicine (VET-340) Western Veterinary Conference 2004 A.D. Elkins, DVM, MS; DACVS Veterinary Specialty Center, LLC Indianapolis, IN, USA) The Arbor Ridge Pet Clinic

Link To Images In Video

Declawing Is Good For Veterinarians, But Bad For Cats

Chronic Pain Of Declawing

Onychectomy Recovery And Behavioral Effects

Physical Consequences Of Declawing Including Not Using The Litter Box

Cats Hide Pain

Questions And Answers About Declawing

Laser Declaw Video-Is This What You Want Done To Your Healthy Kitty?

Class Action Against Veterinarians Who Declaw

Declawing Is Illegal In Most Countries But Canada And USA. Also, It Is Banned In Eight California Cities And Several States Have Landlord Laws

HUD Housing Does Not Require Declawing-Page 6

Humane Alternatives To Declawing
Soft Paws Nail Caps Video-

STUDY: Laser Declaw Is Not Less Painful; More Declawed Cats Are Relinquished For Behavior Problems

Declawing Statistics And Science

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Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Now Opposes The Declawing Of Cats

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association now opposes the declawing of cats

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has strengthened its stand against declawing domestic cats, saying the practice causes unnecessary and avoidable pain.

“It is evident that felines suffer needlessly when undergoing this surgery as an elective measure,” Dr. Troy Bourque, the association’s president, said Wednesday.

“The CVMA views this surgery as unacceptable as it offers no advantage to the feline and the lack of scientific evidence leaves us unable to predict the likelihood of long-term behavioural and physical negative side effects.”

The association is sending the new guideline on what it calls “non-therapeutic partial digital amputation” to its 7,000 members across Canada. It also hopes to raise public awareness to reduce demand for the procedure.

It is up to veterinarian regulators in each province to decide whether to ban the practice.

The association’s position could prompt some hissing and growling.

For years some pet owners have had their cats declawed to prevent scratches to furniture, people and other pets.

Supporters of declawing say there is nothing wrong with the procedure as long as it is performed properly under anesthesia.

The CVMA disagrees, noting that declawing involves amputating part of a cat’s toe bones, usually the front paws but sometimes the back paws as well.

The position statement states that scratching is normal behaviour that cats use to mark territory, help with balance, climb and defend themselves.

Dr. Sherlyn Spooner, who helped develop the policy, likened declawing to a person having the tips of their fingers cut off at the first joint.

Spooner said declawing is less common in Canada than it used to be, but there is still demand for the operation and veterinarians who are willing to do it. If people understood how declawing affects cats, including pain before and after surgery, they wouldn’t have it done, she said.

“We strongly oppose it because from an ethical viewpoint the surgery is unacceptable. It offers no advantage to the cat,” Spooner said from Pointe Claire, Que.

“I have seen perfectly wonderful kittens get declawed and become aggressive.”

The Canadian policy calls on veterinarians to educate owners and to provide alternatives to declawing, which include using spray on cats to deter them from scratching furniture, using double-sided tape to protect furniture and using catnip, treats and praise to train a cat not to scratch.

Carolynn Campbell, a Ragdoll cat breeder, applauded the new policy.

“I think it is great,” she said from Rockwood, Ont. “Most breeders that I know and work with have a strict ‘do not declaw’ policy built right into their contracts.”

A push to prohibit declawing has been gaining traction around the world.

It is already banned in the U.K., Europe, Australia and several California cities. New Jersey is considering a law that would ban the practice unless a vet decides the operation is medically necessary.

The CVMA’s previous policy opposed declawing, but had a clause that said it was OK in some circumstances.

“This current position statement strongly opposes it, period,” Spooner said.

John Cotter, The Canadian Press

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Bertha’s Declawed Paws Were In Pain-Not Using The Litter Box-Needed Surgery

Our retired shop cat, Bertha, came to us declawed several years ago. She was kind of a jerk, and urinated outside of the litter box more often than we care to discuss.

Want to know why? Those giant chunks in the picture on the upper left are BONE FRAGMENTS left behind from her declaw surgery. They are massive, and were constantly jabbing into her with every single step she took. I’d be a jerk too!

Yesterday she had paw reconstruction surgery in St. Louis by The Pet Doctor, Marcy Hammerle, and we hope (know) that this will drastically improve her comfort and quality of life.

Declawing is not just cleanly removing the nail. It’s actually amputation of their toes around their first knuckle, which completely changes how they are able to walk, and more often than not results in chronic pain that your cat is probably very good at hiding.
These bone fragments are insanely common results of declaw surgeries. If it’s not that, it’s extensive tendon damage that results in arthritic, curled under toes that Nola, our downtown cat, had. It’s painful. It’s unnecessary. Your furniture isn’t worth this pain to your cat.

Please don’t declaw. Let us help you train your cat to scratch appropriately. Have our groomer, Denise put soft paws on your cat’s nails so they don’t cause damage to your furniture. If you’ve declawed in the past, learn more about the process and make different choices for future cats – we did!

If you want to learn more about this subject, please take a look at The Paw Project documentary. We have a copy at the stores we would be happy to loan out to you!

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Precious-Bone Fragments & Abscesses-Repaired By Dr. Sarah Frei



Precious the cat was adopted yesterday from KC Pet Project into what we hope will now be her forever home. Precious was our longest term cat here at the shelter. She came in more than a year ago after her original owner died, and then was adopted and returned twice. She was an 8-year old, front declawed cat and had displayed behaviors, such as biting, that made finding placement for her difficult. We decided to x-ray Precious’ paws and what we found was disturbing. A botched declaw surgery years ago had left Precious with bone fragments and paw pad abscesses that surely caused her to feel intense pain with every step she had been taking!

Our amazing veterinarian Dr.Sarah Frei performed the corrective surgery in-house on March 1st on all of Precious’ toes and removed the bone fragments that had caused her pain for several years. Her toes and paw pads healed and Precious became a sweet, friendly cat again. Yesterday our entire Cat Room cheered as Precious was going home. We’ve now implemented a new policy whereby all declawed cats admitted to our shelter will have their paws x-rayed to ensure they don’t have to suffer like Precious did for far too long. Great job Dr. Frei and our entire vet clinic team!

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Paw Project Removes Bone Pieces From Declawed Agressive Sydnee Cat

Sydnee, a cat from Kentucky, recently visited Dr. Nicole Martell-Moran (Paw Project-Indiana State Director) at the Cat Care Clinic of Indianapolis after her foster mom reached out for help using social media.

As a happy, healthy, affectionate kitten she was adopted out to a family that decided to have her declawed. After the surgery she became anti-social and aggressive, so the family decided to give her back to the foster mom after about a year. Now she lunges, tries to bite, and will not let anyone touch her. She has lost all trust in people. Last week another vet removed two large bone fragments that were regrowing nail, however one was still left behind and her chronic pain still needed to be addressed. These pictures detail the pain and her response. After the surgery she has shown small steps already that her pain is starting to reduce.

Please wish her well on the long road she had ahead of her to trusting us again.

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