The Paw Project
1 hr ·
PAW PROJECT HELPS ANOTHER CRIPPLED CAT. Today was a big day in the Paw Project-Utah Operating Room! Dr. Kirsten Doub and Dr. Timna Fischbein (of Best Friends Animal Society), worked together to repair Sophie’s paws! Sophie is a declawed cat who has been adopted and returned several times for litterbox avoidance. Dr. Kirsten Doub, Paw Project-Utah Director, was able to pass on her considerable surgical paw repair experience and skill set to another compassionate Utah veterinarian in the hopes that more cats can be helped locally…two compassionate and caring DVMs working together to save one cat that another DVM butchered by declawing it!
LINK TO PAW PROJECT FB POST
City the Kitty Advocate for Animals
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Most cat owners who declaw their cats see cute photos of their kitties like this after they’ve barbarically had their toe bones amputated.
In the comment section is a GRAPHIC photo of what often happens after they unwrap the bandages. (photo of kitties isn’t related to the photo that the vet tech sent me)
The world needs to see the truth about what is being done to around 10 million cats a YEAR in America by unethical declawing vets.
Here is the sad note I received from a vet tech last week.
I have been a vet tech for many years. For the past several years I have refused to participate in the declawing of cats. However, in the animal hospital I most recently worked for, a best of the best accredited veterinary hospital on the east coast, I still had to deal with declaw recovery, pain management, and horrid bandage removals.
Here is a photo from a very real bandage removal. For some cats the removal of their bandages is so painful that they need to be put under anesthesia AGAIN in order to remove the tape and gauze, often the gauze sticks to their dried, bloody paws, and well, you can see how much fur the tape rips off.
The vet used an old pair of nail clippers to declaw cats. The techs cleaned and sterilized them as best they could but they were never sharpened. I no longer work at this practice, but unless declawing becomes illegal, this barbaric procedure will continue to go on.
I saw it.
I held those darling cats as they woke up in agony. It’s not okay. We know better, so we need to do better. Thanks City.
A concerned vet tech
LINK TO CITYtheKITTY ADVOCATE FOR ANIMALS FACEBOOK POST
- Scratching is a normal feline behaviour. It is a means for cats to mark their territory both visually and with scent, and assists with nail conditioning and whole body stretching. Nails are used by cats to assist with balance, climbing, and self-defence.
- Partial digital amputation (PDA) is the surgical removal of the third phalanx of each digit. Non-therapeutic PDA is generally performed for the convenience of the owner to eliminate the ability of a cat to cause damage from scratching. The surgery typically involves the digits of the front paws, although surgery on the digits of all four paws is sometimes undertaken.
- Veterinarians strive to use their scientific knowledge to promote animal health and welfare and relieve animal suffering in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics (1). With or without concrete scientific evidence, ethical consideration has to be given to the welfare of the animal. Veterinarians need to consider what advantages non-medically driven PDA’s offer to the feline. Viable alternatives to PDAs exist. Therefore from an ethical viewpoint, 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 CVMA recognizes that appropriate medical therapy may necessitate surgery, including PDA (2). Medically necessary PDA surgery may include, but is not restricted to, biopsy of a nail or phalanx or surgery to treat: neoplasia of nail bed or phalanges, severe or irreversible trauma, immune-mediated disease affecting nail bed, paronychia (inflammation or infection), onychodystrophy (abnormal formation), onychogryphosis (hypertrophy and abnormal curvature), onychomadesis (sloughing), onychomalacia (softening), onychomycosis (fungal infection), or onychoschizia (splitting) (3).
- Surgical amputation of the third phalynx of the digit alters the expression of normal behaviours in cats, causes avoidable short-term acute pain, and has the potential to cause chronic pain and negative long-term orthopedic consequences (2,4-7).
- As with any surgery, PDA can result in complications due to adverse reactions to anesthetics, hemorrhage, infection, and lack of effective perioperative pain management.
- Since the third phalanx is removed by PDA, cats must thereafter bear their weight on the second phalanx. This fact has implicated PDA as a cause of lameness. It is recognized, however, that lameness is difficult to diagnose and detect (5). For this and other reasons the long term orthopedic effects of PDA are poorly understood.
- A recent long-term study assessed cats six months after PDA (6,7). No significant differences were found between cats that had undergone bilateral forelimb onychectomy with successful outcomes and cats that had not. Specifically no differences were noted in peak vertical force and vertical impulse, the most commonly evaluated parameters in kinetic gait analysis, when measured at least 6 months after surgery. Since the original study only considered cats with successful surgical outcomes, the results likely have limited application and generalizability.
- Both acute and chronic pain in felines can result in an increase in behaviours such as inappropriate elimination, excessive vocalization and increased aggression. The CVMA believes that current studies on long-term behavioural effects as a result of PDA are insufficient to draw firm conclusions about its role in causing chronic pain. The CVMA will therefore continue to review new studies as they are published (8,9).
- It has been suggested that PDA be performed on cats in order to decrease the health risk to immunocompromised humans. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not list PDA as a means of preventing disease in either healthy or immunocompromised individuals (10).
- There are currently no peer-reviewed studies that identify a higher rate of relinquishment of cats with intact claws versus cats that have undergone PDA, including in countries in which PDAs have been banned. Partial digital amputation is not considered to be a justifiable alternative to relinquishment (11).
- Tendonectomy is not an acceptable alternative to PDA because it causes similar pain post-surgery (8) and could lead to increased complications if the nails are not properly maintained.
- Veterinarians should educate their clients about reasonable and effective alternatives to PDA including providing advice on the design and location of scratching posts and other suitable scratching materials and approaches aimed at preventing aggressive play behaviours.
- Other strategies that offer alternatives to PDA include:
- feline pheromone sprays to redirect the cat to more desirable scratching materials;
- double-sided tape to deter cats from scratching the edges of furniture;
- regular nail trimming (recommended every two weeks);
- artificial nail covers;
- environmental enrichment and appropriate daily play to decrease feline aggression;
- avoidance of hand/foot play which can lead the cat to see these human parts as prey;
- the application of basic principles of reinforcement of desirable behaviour, including the use of catnip, treats, and verbal praise.
- Partial digital amputation procedures are currently banned in several countries and/or regions including the United Kingdom (e.g., Ireland, England), Europe, and Australia.
- In the current absence of a legislated ban on PDA surgery in Canadian jurisdictions, the CVMA, though opposed to elective and non-therapeutic PDA, supports the actions of provincial veterinary governing bodies that require that veterinarians, as a minimum, provide clients with information regarding PDA surgery, potential side-effects, and alternatives that is sufficient for owners to give informed consent (12).
- Veterinarians have the right to refuse to perform non-therapeutic PDA surgery. If alternatives fail to alleviate undesirable scratching behaviours, veterinarians have the right and responsibility to use professional judgement for a humane and ethical outcome.
- CVMA Veterinarians Oath. 2004. Available from: https://www.canadianveterinarians.net/about/veterinary-oath Last accessed September 30, 2016.
- Mills KE, von Keyserlingk MA, Niel L. A review of medically unnecessary surgeries in dogs and cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2016;248:162-171.
- Verde M. 2005. Canine and Feline Nail Diseases. Proceedings of the NAVC. Available from: http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/navc/2005/SAE/110.pdf?LA=1 Last accessed August 2, 2016.
- Robinson DA, Romans CW, Gordon-Evans WJ, et al. Evaluation of short-term limb function following unilateral carbon dioxide laser or scalpel onychectomy in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2007;230:353–358.
- Stamper C. Osteoarthritis in Cats: A More Common Disease Than You Might Expect. Available from: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm382772.htm Last accessed March 30 2016.
- Romans CW, Conzemius MG, Horstman CL, Gordon WJ, Evans RB. Use of pressure platform gait analysis in cats with and without bilateral ocychectomy. Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1276-1278.
- Schnabl E, Bockstahler B. Systematic review of ground reaction force measurement in cats. Vet J 2015;206:83-90.
- Hellyer P, Rodan I, Brunt J, Downing R, Hagedorn JE, Robertson SA. AAHA/AAFP pain management guidelines for dogs and cats. J Fel Med and Surg 207;9:466-480.
- Cloutier S, Newberry RC, Cambridge AJ, Tobias KM. Behavioural signs of postoperative pain in cats following onychectomy or tenectomy surgery. Appl Anim Behav Sci 2005;92:325-335.
- Panel on Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents. Guidelines for the prevention and treatment of opportunistic infections in HIV-infected adults and adolescents: Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Available from: https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/lvguidelines/adult_oi.pdf Last accessed March 30 2016.
- ASPCA Position Statement on Declawing Cats. Available from: http://www.aspca.org/about-us/aspca-policy-and-position-statements/position-statement-declawing-cats. Last accessed March 30, 2016.
- Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association Information and Consent Form for clients who request cat declawing. Available from: http://celticcreatures.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/281/2015/04/declaw.pdf.Last accessed March 30, 2016.
(Revised November 2016)
LINK TO POSITION STATEMENT
The College of Veterinarians of British Columbia has become the second province in Canada to ban its members from declawing cats for non-therapeutic reasons.
While the college acknowledged their may be medical issues that may necessitate partial or full digit amputation, it says elective declawing, also known as onychectomy, is not an appropriate means of dealing with feline behaviour issues like scratching furniture.
“No medical conditions or environmental circumstances of the cat owner justify the declawing of domestic cats,” the CVBC said.
Nova Scotia is the only other Canadian province to ban cat declawing, but the college notes it is also outlawed in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Brazil, the United Kingdom, parts of Europe and some cities in California.
“There is a consensus among the public and within our profession that declawing cats is an inhumane treatment and ethically unacceptable, similar to other outdated practices such as tail docking and ear cropping,” said CVBC CEO Luisa Hlus.
The ban is effective immediately.
LINK TO NEWS ARTICLE
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is asking for donations.
April 17 at 7:00pm ·
*WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT*
Some viewers may be disturbed by the following images. Please proceed with caution.
Izzy came to the Refuge in 2012 when she was about 10-years-old after her owner, who was also housing Shasta and Max, could no longer care for her. Being declawed has had significant impacts on the lives of all of these tigers, but Izzy and Max struggled more than Shasta due to the way theirs was performed. A typical declaw procedure involves removing the last bone and knuckle of each toe, meaning it’s more of an amputation and less of an every day “nail trim” as the name suggests. This in itself causes problems for any feline, especially big cats who put more weight on their feet. Whoever declawed Izzy left behind pieces of bone, which has caused her claws to attempt to grow back. Because her anatomy has been damaged, they can’t exit where they should, so they tend to protrude through the bottom of her paw pads or get trapped under her skin.
The wonderful Dr. Anne Brenneke with St Francis Vet came in on her day off and performed surgery to alleviate some of Izzy’s pain. You can scroll through the gallery for more details.
FACEBOOK LINK TO THIS POST
Why does the AVMA not support legislation to ban declawing? Because it is a billion dollar industry, that’s why. They refuse to publish the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery Study-Peer Reviewed-Pain and Adverse Behavior In Declawed Cats-May 2017.
This Is The Study AVMA Refuses To Add To Their Journals
It is all about keeping their members’ interests in mind, which translates to -it is all about keeping money in their members’ pockets, instead of genuinely and humanely treating pets as they should be treated.
See This Link On How Deceptive AVMA Is
The declaw procedure takes about 20 minutes and costs anywhere from $200-$700, add it up.
22 Million Cats Are Declawed Yearly In The USA
LINK TO ORIGINAL
“AVMA…I RESIGN.” ONE VET TAKES A STAND ON DECLAWING.
THE PAW PROJECT·TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2018
Some no-declaw vets may remain members of the AVMA and try to effect change from the inside. For other veterinarians, the AVMA’s position on declawing is intolerable. Here is a letter from one of them.
Jan 29, 2018
American Veterinary Medical Association
I am writing this letter to explain why I can no longer be a member of the AVMA….
It is time to take a stronger stand against the inhumane and cruel declawing of cats in the United States. As evidence of long-term consequences of an onychectomy becomes more widely known, many veterinarians are choosing not to declaw. However, I stand with Britain, Australia and most European nations who have outlawed declawing. I believe that the United States must join these nations and institute a nation-wide declawing ban.
The AVMA’s current position does not call for its members to eliminate this procedure nor does it state any plan to phase it out. This is unacceptable to me. As leaders and representatives of our profession, I implore you to take a strong stand against this cruel and unnecessary mutilation and begin the process to eliminate declawing in the United States.
Until such time the AVMA comes out strongly against declawing, I cannot in good conscience maintain membership.
Karel Carnohan, DVM