October 2, 2018
Chicken the cat was declawed with a scalpel on June 6, 2018 by Dr Ellie Scott at Stringtown Animal Hospital. She has been limping, standing up with her paws up, crawling, eating laying down in her food, and not covering her waste in her litter box ever since.
Here’s a video of Chicken the cat from September 2018.
Chicken’s final diagnosis from Stringtown Animal Hospital on Sept. 19, 2018.
Skin- Healed declaw incisions.
Musculoskeletal- no pain on palpation and didn’t pull away.
X-ray- No sign of osteomyelitis or fractures of bones, no issue with declaw bones or fragments.
Assessment- Healed declaw, resolved fever, possible phantom pain if holding up paws at home.
No treatment needed at this time. Dr Ally Bond, Stringtown Animal Hospital.
(Cat owner asked to refill Buprenorphine and was told that depending on the X-ray findings, Stringtown AH will know what additional treatment is needed. After the x-rays, Stringtown said no treatment needed.)
The cat owner requested Chicken’s records but the practice said that she personally could not get them but that they would send them to a new vet practice. Dr Ellie Bond escorted the cat owner out of the animal hospital on her final visit. The cat owner had to find another vet practice to try to help Chicken’s condition.
Chicken was taken to Rascal Animal Hospital, a no-declaw veterinary practice in Dublin, Ohio on Sept. 21, 2018. Provider, Michelle Gonzalez, DVM.
Subjective- Chicken presented for recheck of her declaw that was performed in June. Declaw site became infected shortly after surgery and Chicken has not been using her limbs normally since.
Musculoskeletal: “Non-weight bearing to mild weight bearing lameness of both front legs. Growled when palpated, unable to determine if pain is related or behavioral. No abscess or swelling noted at this time.
Radiographs: No P3 remnants noted in any of the front claws, changes in the P1-P2 joint consistent with arthritis or resolving osteomyelitis.
Assessment- Suspect complication from declaw procedure. Rule out arthritis, never damage, and infection.”
Discussed with owner that clinical signs suggest possible complications from declaw procedure. Because there is no fever, redness, or swelling, infection less likely.
Primary differential is arthritis. Recommend anti-inflammatory therapy for 1 week, if significant improvement then will likely need long term joint supplements and anti-inflammatory therapy because it can’t be cured. If no significant imporvement, the primary rule out is neurologic, which could resolve in months or never.
Sending home with Onsior 6 mg 1 tab SID for 7 days then recheck.
UPDATE October 3, 2018. Chicken’s condition did not improve with Onsior so the cat owner is taking her back to Rascal Animal Hospital for a recheck.
On October 6th, a radiologist reviewed Chicken’s x-rays that were taken by Stringtown Animal Hospital and said, “There is significant digit swelling bilaterally (the 3rd and 4th are the worst.)
In other words, there is significant swelling of Chicken’s toes on both front paws and the worst are the 3rd and 4th toes which are the weight bearing toes.
Here’s a sad “Dear City” note that I received a few weeks ago from the owner of Chicken the cat in Ohio.
“Hello my name is Whitney and I’d like to share with you my story on my cat Chicken.
On 5/31/2018 we had taken our fur baby to Stringtown Animal Hospital in Grove City, Ohio, in hopes we could get her spayed. She was about a year old. She was destroying everything in the house and always trying to run outside and it was getting out of control.
At this time I had been 5 months pregnant. When we had taken her there we had assumed she was destroying the carpets and everything else due to not being fixed. Sometimes she would even pee on our bed!
When we had got to Stringtown Animal Hospital we were discussing the options we had with Lori, a vet tech. I even told Lori I was thinking about getting pretty paws so she couldn’t destroy anything else. I brought to their attention that declawing was not an option at a lot of places and I felt it was cruel.
Lori, who we had been discussing this with, reassured us that it was the best option. She highly suggested we get our cat declawed.
She never said anything bad about it. She said she had her cats declawed and it was the best decision she had ever made.
So without second thoughts, my boyfriend decided it was the best option. If someone is only telling you great things about it and highly suggesting it, you’d probably do it.
So she got spayed and declawed on 6/6/2018 by Dr Ellie. All of the employees had told us if we had any problems to bring her back in and they would fix it if it had to do with her declawing.
The next couple of weeks were weird. I would call Stringtown Animal Hospital every single day to ask if what she was doing or how she was acting was normal. Jackie reassured me that is WAS.
We had to have her in a cage big enough for her food, water, and litter box for 14 days. We had to use special litter called Yesterday’s News.
Her paws were bleeding on and off, Jackie said it was normal.
I had asked if her continuously licking and biting her claws was normal, she reassured me that it was. They again had told us to bring her back in and they’d fix it, if there were any problems with her declawing.
The 14 day mark came and we were finally allowed to let her out of the cage! Most exciting day of my life so far. We let her out, and she still acted off. She acted like it hurt to walk on her paws.
Chicken was still aggressively licking and biting her paws. So I called Stringtown again and they reassured me that it was normal.
For two and a half months, she has been trying so hard not to walk on her front paws. She was standing on her back paws like a dog looking around.
They had reassured me, this was normal. A couple of weeks go by after my last phone call and my cat has completely become antisocial.
She doesn’t want to be around myself or anyone else. She starts hiding. She becomes unresponsive. She was sitting at her bowl one day and I heard her food hit the wall and I come running around the corner and she’s laying in the middle of the floor meowing so loud.
I pick her up and I’m petting her asking her what’s wrong and telling her she’s okay. So my boyfriend comes home and I tell him “something’s wrong with Chicken.” He looks at her and starts talking to her, no response. He goes to pet her, no response. She lets him pick her up and hold her and doesn’t try to squirm away or anything. At this point she had stopped eating and drinking and going to the restroom.
So I call Stringtown Animal hospital back and I tell Jackie what’s going on and tell them she’s refusing to walk at all. She looked like a raccoon sneaking. She said, “bring her in, it sounds like there is a problem with her declawing and it will be no charge.” I said can I bring her in right now? She said yes.
So I took her there. As soon as I get there I tell them what’s going on again, and the woman said okay we’re going to keep her over night and we will talk about a payment plan in the morning. I said no, I was just told on the phone before I brought her in that it would be free of charge.
She said “right, okay we will call you tomorrow to talk about it.” So I go home, and wait and wait and wait.
I get a phone call. “Yes Whitney, this is Nikki from Stringtown animal hospital calling you to tell you, Chicken is dehydrated and has an infection and a temperature of 105’. It’s going to be $518 and some change to do an x-ray, blood work, IV, antibiotics, and pain medicine.”
I said, excuse me what the ****?! Excuse my language but I was told when I came in it had to do with her declawing and it sounded like she had an infection due to that and it would be free of cost. “Right well ma’am we can assure you everything looks like it healed properly so it isn’t that.”
Okay so why do I need to pay for an x-ray, what is the x-ray for?
“Ma’am it’s to be certain that it has nothing to do with the declawing.”
Okay so you’re contradicting yourself here. First you say it has nothing to do with that and you are certain is has nothing to do with that. Now you are telling me I have to pay $500 and some change for you to be POSITIVE that this isn’t your guys doing.
“Well like I said it has nothing to do with that, so how would you like to go about this?”
Well my boyfriend just lost his job. I’m now 8 months pregnant and we don’t have $500. I am completely broke at the moment.
“Okay so here are your options, you can bring her home in the morning and we can’t help her. You can leave her here and pay the $500, or you can put her up for adoption when you come in in the morning.”
So I hang up. I cannot stop crying at this point. I don’t know what to do. I’m going to lose my fur baby over this. So I’m bawling my eyes out and my boyfriend comes in the bedroom and asks me what’s going on.
I tell him, and he makes a post about it on all social media. Telling everyone about it. It’s being shared by hundreds of people. Everyone is wanting justice for Chicken. So the night ends and the morning begins.
I get a phone call.. “Hello Whitney?” Yes this is she. “This is Dr. Bond calling from Stringtown animal hospital about Chicken, we’ve received a bunch of threatening messages from a Calob and Billy over Chicken throughout the night. We want to help Chicken.”
So I tell her what happened the night before. She says “That has nothing to do with me, I’m sorry that the person you were talking to wasn’t good with communicating with you on what is happening. We are positive it has nothing to do with the declawing.”
Okay so what can we do?
“We gave her some antibiotics throughout the night and some fluids in an IV. We can send her home with some pain medicine since she’s not feeling well too if that’s something you’d be interested in.”
How much would that cost? “Well I can work with you on that, for everything it would cost $120 but I can cover half of it if you could get the $60.” So I tell her I’m going to try to see if I can find someone to let me borrow $60 and I hang up.
I called my boyfriend’s mom and told her what was said she said I’ll give you $60 I just want Chicken home. So I call them back and tell them I can do that, they said I could pick her up around noon.
I go in to pick her up and they give me the bill for everything. On the bill it showed that they had given her fluid, antibiotics, pain medication, and LASER THERAPY ON HER FRONT PAWS.
So I say to Dr. Bond what is that? I thought this had NOTHING to do with her paws, that’s what all of you have been telling me all night and day.
She said right it doesn’t but we wanted to make sure she could walk around still. They then tell me they gave her capstar, that wasn’t on the paper, and they didn’t give her any pain meds that I could do that when I got home.
I bring her home RAGING and I let her eat, then I check her temp, at this point it’s 103. I then give her some pain medicine. I did this for 3 days until she started moving. I was forcing water into her through a syringe in her mouth because she refused to drink still.
A couple of weeks go by, and it’s present day. She still tries not to walk on her paws. She’s eating and drinking now, she’s responsive, and she’ll let you pet her. She doesn’t want to be held and she doesn’t want to walk. Her paws hurt.
I then called to speak to Dr. Ellie Scott who had offered for Chicken to give Chicken a free x-ray to prove that her “illness” had nothing to do with her declawing.
On the 19th of September, 2018 my mom and I took her to get her x-ray. My mom had asked a lot of questions. She asked what kind of tool they used and why her claws looked different in the left paw then on the right. Dr Ellie Bond and Lori said that it was normal. I wouldn’t know if it were normal or not but it did not look normal.
I asked afterwards if I could please have copies of her records. The entire staff told me no, they could only give me her shot records. So I got those and went out to the car with my mom and I thought about it. That is completely illegal. They have to give you your records if you ask them right?
I walked back into Stringtown animal hospital and asked if I could speak to Dr Ellie Scott or a manager there. They pulled Ellie Scott out of surgery and she came into the examine room and said “we have done all we can do with chicken and I think it’s best that you take her somewhere else.”
I responded with, I asked them if I could speak to a manager if you were busy all I wanted was a copy of Chickens records for my own personal benefit. Dr. Scott then said “like I said we’ve done all we can and we can transfer her records to a different vet if that’s what you want but we can not give you her records.”
Then she escorted me out of the building to make sure I left. My mom and myself went home, I was completely caught off guard and believe I didn’t deserve for them to escort me out of the building for asking for copies of my animals records.
I got Chicken into Rascal animal hospital and called Stringtown Animal Hospital and asked them to transfer her records there by noon the next day. Stringtown animal hospital failed to send the records by noon. They had sent them an hour later with the x-rays, two hours later!
I waited for Calob to get off work and we went to Rascal Animal hospital where we would get a second opinion. The Dr. had told us that there WAS an infection in her CLAWS at some point in time but it is hard to tell how long it when it was there. I proceeded to tell her everything that had happened and she was completely mind blown.
She looked at the x-rays and pointed out that the left one was different then the right one just like my mom noticed the night before. She is now taking Onsior to see if what chicken has is arthritis, or neurological pain.
If you are thinking about getting your fur baby declawed, please don’t. There ARE other options. Your fur baby and yourself should not have to go through watching them suffer because they get their finger tips cut off.
In my opinion it should be deemed inhumane everywhere. It’s cruel and if I knew then what I know now, I would’ve walked away completely.
My cat isn’t the same and she’ll never be the same. I hurt my baby, and I’m having a really hard time forgiving myself.
I still cry about it all of the time. So please if you are seriously thinking about it, look into the other options. Just because one person has had good experiences, doesn’t mean that 20 other people have good experiences with it as well. If you or someone you know has a story, do NOT be scared to share it.
People need to be more aware. I wish I was. Don’t be afraid to post it in any way either. You don’t have to threaten anyone. No one likes when you tell people the truth especially when they only care about the money and not your animal.
So please.. think about all of your options before making a life changing decision like so. You may spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars just to accidentally kill your animal.. That’s what happened to me.”
I reached out in an email on Sept. 23, 2018 to the vet who owns Stringtown Animal Hospital and who did Chicken’s declaw, Dr Ellie Scott, and asked her some questions about these issues. I wanted to give her a chance to tell her side of the story. The cat owner gave permission for Dr Scott to speak out about Chicken’s situation. I checked in by phone 3 times to make sure Dr Scott received the email and asked if she was going to reply and each time, the employee said that they would pass along the note to Dr Scott. I never received a reply to my email. (Emails are at the end of this story.)
This cat owner provided me all the records for Chicken the cat. Here’s what Stringtown Animal Hospital wrote about Chicken’s procedures and “Big Day.”
Here are the comments from the declawing vet, Dr Ellie Scott, to the cat owner’s boyfriend on Facebook.
Stringtown Animal Hospital also posted this on their facebook page on Sept. 5, 2018 in regards to Chicken the cat and told their supporters to send them a personal message and they would show them the posts. They received many words of sympathy from supporters about this.
Stringtown Animal Hospital is one of the thousands of declawing vet practices that recommends and uses Purina’s Yesterday’s News Cat litter for their declawed cats. Please take 20 seconds and sign my petition to Purina. I’ve asked Purina to help us educate the public about declawing and the humane options and/or donate $1 of each sale of Yesterday’s News Cat litter to an organization like the PawProject.org but Purina wasn’t interested.
Purina makes millions of dollars each year from declawing. Yesterday’s News Cat Litter is the number one recommended cat litter by declawing vet practices for their declawed kitties. Purina Petition
Please remember to not threaten or be mean to anyone in this story. When you are threatening, it hurts the cause, it’s wrong, and it often hurts me. Please take the high road and educate.
Also please go to my website, http://www.citythekitty.com and sign up on my mailing list. I have big things planned to end declawing and I will need your help soon.
There are people who have connections to Stringtown Animal Hospital and this declawing vet who are making comments on my social media posts about this story and are trying to discredit Chicken’s declaw story and the cat owner’s credibility. I will post all of Chicken’s records from Stringtown Animal Hospital that corroborate this cat owner’s story.
This is the email that I sent to Dr Ellie Scott to interview her for this story.
Sept. 23, 2018
Dear Dr Ellie Scott,
I was a Los Angeles Times photojournalist/journalist for 25 years and now write stories about declawing on my famous cat’s blog, citythekitty.com.
Our mission is to educate the public about the facts about declawing and about the easy, humane alternatives.
I’m going to be doing a story about Whitney ______ cat Chicken and her declaw procedure.
I’d like to ask you a few questions about my story to hear your side of it. It would not be fair to you to just hear Whitney’s side of the story and I would be happy to include your perspective too. It is my intent to understand as much of what happened as possible.
I intend to include as many facts as possible. Would it be correct to state that you are skilled at declawing and perform the procedure regularly? What is the typical protocol at your practice for counseling owners who are considering declawing their cats? Are options other than declawing discussed prior to the procedure?
If so, what options do you recommend most? Do you routinely advise clients of the possible complications associated with the surgery and if so, are they verbal, written or both?
From the records on Chicken’s declaw and spay it appears that a Loxicam injection was administered for pain. Is that the only pain control you typically use for all of your declaw surgeries? Is that the standard, stand-alone, drug that you utilize to control pain from multiple toe amputations?
You and some of your other vets stated that Chicken’s condition was an “illness” and not related to her declaw. Dr. Bond even said that it might be related to a virus that is going around in other animals. What other “illness” are you thinking is causing the pain? What are your top rule-outs to investigate why Chicken cannot walk properly?
How do you assess that a cat isn’t in pain?
When Whitney brought Chicken in for the x-rays and exam on Sept. 19, your diagnosis was, “possible phantom pain.”
What is your treatment for that?
What specifically are you relying on that convinces you that Chicken’s condition is not due to complications from her declaw surgery? Did you find something on physical exam to indicate otherwise?
How often do you have complications from declaws that were done at your practice or by you?
I thank you in advance for your allowing me the opportunity to discuss this matter with you. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.
Sept. 25, 2018
Hi Dr Scott,
I found this post on Facebook from Sept. 5.
It is clear that you were adamant that you felt that Chicken had an “illness” that wasn’t related to her declaw and wanted your followers and clients to believe that also.
Can you please let me know what the illness was that you and your other vets were seeing in dogs and cats that made you feel that Chicken might have had the same thing?
Also do you have more harassing posts that were made about this issue, other than the ones that are in Chicken’s records which are the GoFundMe, the one on FB by Caleb , and the one from Billy ?
In the records, Dr Bond said that Caleb is, “harassing us and threatening to hurt us.”
Do you have the screenshots of those two things, especially where he said he would hurt you?
Ok, I hope I hear back from you so that you can present your side of this important story. Whitney has given you permission to talk about it with me or any other journalist fyi.
Here is a video posted on their facebook page showing a declawed cat that is being held by an employee.