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De-clawing question

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I was talking with my mom yesterday, and I was telling her how horrible declawing was. She then told me that our vet declaws cats differently than what I was telling her. She doesn't know exactly how, but she said that it was better. She also said that someone she knows knows someone who runs a cat shelter, and that she never used to get it done untill she saw the way the doctor does it. I told her that this woman doesn't sound like a very good person to be taking care of cats.

I have no plans whatsoever of gettin Silas declawed. I was just wondering if anyone knew what my mom is talking about. Is there a 'different' way to declaw a cat?
post #2 of 4
There are 2 options that she is probably referring to: Laser surgery or Tenectomy. Here's some info taken from this site: The Humane Society

Although new techniques for declawing cats, such as laser surgery and tenectomy, may lessen the pain that typically follows declawing, the surgery is still considered an unnecessary procedure for the majority of cats.

During laser surgery, a small, intense beam of light is used to cut through tissue by heating and vaporizing it, meaning there's less bleeding, less pain, and a shorter recovery time. But the surgical technique itself is similar to the traditional method (or "onychectomy"), with the laser simply replacing a steel scalpel blade. So the use of a laser is no substitute for a well-trained veterinarian with plenty of surgical experience. Moreover, the price of laser machinery ranges from $25,000 to $30,000, a prohibitive cost for most veterinary hospitals.

Another technique, known as a "tenectomy" (or tendonectomy), is becoming increasingly common. Rather than amputate the cat's claw, the surgeon removes a piece of the tendon that controls the cat's ability to flex and extend his claws. After surgery, the cat's claws are intact, but remain permanently extended. More than half of the cats who undergo this procedure can still use their claws to some extent, but cannot scratch normally. Because the cat can't sharpen his claws, the claws quickly become rough, grow excessively, and must then be trimmed on a regular basis. A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association ("Comparison of effects of elective tenectomy or onychectomy in cats," Vol. 213, No. 3, August 1, 1998) found that, 24 hours after the procedure, cats who had undergone a tenectomy felt significantly less pain than did those who underwent an onychectomy. However, no long-term study of the tenectomy procedure has yet been published, and many veterinarians are concerned that cats subject to the operation may be prone to scarring, gnarling, and atrophy of the toes.

Hope this helps!

post #3 of 4
Click here for a previous discussion on declawing.

And...for new members who don't know The Cat Site's position on declawing, I am adding this quote from the Site Rules:

The majority of our forum members are anti-declaw. Please do not declaw your cat. Declawing is a cruel and unnecessary procedure that is outlawed in most Western countries. It causes the cat tremendous pain and often leads to major behavioral problems. Please note that the majority of cat owners find declawing to be very offensive. We encourage open discussion on all issues, but if you support declawing on the forums, expect some harsh criticism. Please learn more about alternatives for declawing here. We hope your time with us will change your views on this very sensitive issue. Hopefully, those of you with claw-related problems will find solutions by spending time in our Behavior Forum.
post #4 of 4
Hi mollydoats! While the question of declawing is of general interest (and importance!), because of the medical nature of the question and the discussion of medical procedures in particular that your question encompasses, your question will probably receive best attention in the Health Forum. A "redirect" will be left so that those in the Cat Lounge with an interest will easily be able to link over to join the discussion.

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