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DECLAWING.....how some Vets are discouraging it

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Have a read of one Vet's "take" on declawing and how some of her colleagues are managing to discourage the practice.......

It's on Dr. Patty Khuly's Blog - Dolittler.

If you like her style and would like to hear more timely Vet editorials, you can subscribe to her Blog and receive email updates...sign-up is on the top right corner of the page.
post #2 of 29
Interesting. The best thing about it is that the high price tag will make many owners think twice about having the declaw done. Of course a determined cheap-skate owner will just find an old school vet who will do it at a minimum cost.
At least the newbies coming out of Vet school are starting to see how wrong declawing is.
post #3 of 29
Even better would be a description and graphic pictures of what really happens in a declaw to hand to the one person wanting one!
post #4 of 29
I was surprised the last time I was at the vet. There was an older woman who was scheduling a neuter for her kitten, and the vet techs were talking to her about claw clipping and Soft Claws. The kitten was just in for his first round of shots, obviously too young to have a scratching problem yet, so likely she was just going to declaw because that used to be more common with a spay and neuter.

It was funny, when I heard her say "and it looks like I'll hold off on the declawing" I asked if anyone had talk to her about Soft Claws. The vet techs were ahead of me.

Point. Not just vets and pricing is what is needed to stop this. Caring vet assistants and techs, those who mostly deal with helping you, are the ones who can help discourage people from declawing.
post #5 of 29
good start by price hiking but here is is high and folks still do it routinely
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
good start by price hiking but here is is high and folks still do it routinely
Probably because those who don't have the money for it at the higher price wouldn't have had the extra money before, either. So it's not affecting the average middle class person who just wants to be a responsible owner - and likely has to really scrimp by (or constantly save money) if hit by larger vet bills.
Those with the extra money may have more concern about all the other high priced things in their home (Not very nice to stereotype people as materialistic, I know, but it's often true.) - ie, couch, chair, and carpet mean more to them. What's $450 if they dropped $2-3k on a couch?
post #7 of 29
I'd like to see a big fat old picture of Bea up in all vets offices. I wish I had pics that showed her claws curling back upwards, that showed her in that cage after her surgery....I wish they could see she has no toes, watch her walk with that nasty limp.

You think about what kind of wonderful cat she was, and how the re-declaw changed her....ruined her.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post

Point. Not just vets and pricing is what is needed to stop this. Caring vet assistants and techs, those who mostly deal with helping you, are the ones who can help discourage people from declawing.
I agree, but a big problem is that these folks will lose their jobs if they work for a facility where a declaw is considered a good source of revenue. At those places, talking a client out of a procedure is a big no-no.

I've noticed that as veterinary medicine has become big business, that more and more chain Vet clinics are popping up. Banfield and VCA to name two huge ones. These places are run by the bottom line and IMO the animals best interests are not always put first. I think the staff, to include the doctors are told what to say and do by management.
post #9 of 29
^I'm rather glad then to live in an area where all the vet offices and hospitals are privately owned. The nearest Banfield is 130+ miles away in the Petsmarts. The vets here make their big money on livestock care, though.
post #10 of 29
I can not post what I know about Banfield here because it isnt nice.
My friend worked there at a Petsmart that had one.
My Aunt was stupid and declawed her cat when I was a kid.
After that she fell and got hurt very bad because she could not grab anything.
To bad there is there arent any pics of her after she got hurt.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
^I'm rather glad then to live in an area where all the vet offices and hospitals are privately owned. The nearest Banfield is 130+ miles away in the Petsmarts. The vets here make their big money on livestock care, though.

You're like me then, and live in a rural area. I think that's often a plus, as the Vet's own their own practices and seem more compasionate and less robotic.
Good bedside manner is not just for human medical practitioners.
post #12 of 29
I believe that lack of knowledge is the main problem, and I blame ANY vet who at least doesn't try to talk a client out of declawing.

My first introduction to cats came when my sweetheart literally adopted ME (came to my door and wouldn't leave) almost 20 years ago. I knew very little about cats, but before taking her to be neutered, I'd read a little and (stupidly) asked to vet to also declaw at the same time. The vet (a woman) hesitated and explained that they didn't want to do two procedures at the same time and asked if I had tried training her to a scratching post. As a matter of fact, I had done so, and my cat took to "her" things right away. After she was spayed, I read some more and discovered what a terrible procedure this really is. Thus, we were "saved" from declawing--which from my limited reading had seemed like the "standard" thing to do for an indoor cat!
However, I recently took my current vet to task because the information on declawing on the hospital's website (it's a big practice) makes it seem like it's a reasonable thing to do. I think it's the vets who have to change people's minds about this awful practice.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
I'd like to see a big fat old picture of Bea up in all vets offices. I wish I had pics that showed her claws curling back upwards, that showed her in that cage after her surgery....I wish they could see she has no toes, watch her walk with that nasty limp.

You think about what kind of wonderful cat she was, and how the re-declaw changed her....ruined her.
i'd say it was the original declaw that caused her issues, not the re-declaw.
you've done wonders with her! i know she still has her 'things' but she plays w/those paws! i bet she wasn't doing that before her re-declaw surgery, either.
post #14 of 29
It's too bad that conscientious vets are under such pressure to produce income for their practice, regardless of the welfare of the animals. Not too long ago, I heard a client who was considering adopting a cat ask a vet tech what the general concensus was about declawing. The answer: "Well, some people feel it's abusive (big eye roll), and there are some cats who can be trained to use a scratching post. If you adopt through a rescue, make sure you don't tell them if you're planning to declaw the cat because they may not adopt to you."
post #15 of 29
Here in the UK declawing was outlawed - not by legislation or by public outrage, but by the licencing body for vets (the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). They ruled that declawing for non clinical reasons (amputation of a toe due to trauma, tumour etc are clinical reasons) was animal abuse, and that any vet performing the procedure would be struck off and lose their licence to practice veterinary medicine. As a result we do not have a culture of declawing. Vets don't do it and cat owners not only do not expect it, but are horrified when they hear it goes on elsewhere. If vets and the RCVS say it is cruel, then it is cruel, there's no possible argument against that.

It is the fact that many vets in the US sanction and perform the surgery that creats a culture whereby it is deemed as normal and non abusive.

While I am heartened to hear that there are some US vets taking a stance on the issue, I feel it needs to be outlawed by veterinary licencing organisations for there to be any real change. Legislation alone will only lead to people thinking that the government is interfering, and a few lone voices can easily be seen as mavericks - but if veterinary organisations can be swayed the culture of thinking it is OK will wither and die.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Even better would be a description and graphic pictures of what really happens in a declaw to hand to the one person wanting one!
Well here it is unfortunately. I try to show these to discourage people from doing it

pics
http://declaw.lisaviolet.com/declawpics.html

video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLzvnVTe4po
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyRetired View Post
I believe that lack of knowledge is the main problem, and I blame ANY vet who at least doesn't try to talk a client out of declawing.
I believe you're right. Education and knowledge is crucial. Years ago, before TCS and before internet even, we adopted from a little boy that was pulling a wagon full of kittens through the neighborhood. He was my first kitten as an adult. He was a blue long-haired polydactyl, 6 toes on every foot.

The first thing I did when he was old enough was to schedule him for his neuter and declawing appointment. What did I know? I thought I was doing the right thing then. No one ever said anything to us. The only thing the vet said was he had never seen a cat with 6 toes on every foot. And we had all four done <gasp>. He was an indoor cat so I never had to worry about him outside... Plus - we got a package deal. It was cheaper to have both procedures done at the same time because they only had to use the anesthesia once.

I wish I knew then what I know now.

Anyway, now I would never have a cat declawed now. All of my cats have their claws and they dont really scratch up the furniture or woodwork.

...or kids

In fact over the summer, I overheard an acquaintance of mine on the phone. She was talking to a potential renter (her and her husband are 'landlords') Anyway, the person on the other end must have asked if having cats were OK, because this lady replied with, "As long as they're declawed"

When she got off the phone I asked her why she was more worried about the claws then she was about whether or not the cat was altered. If I was a landlord, I'd be less concerned about the cat scratching the woodwork, and more concerned about them spaying all over the house!

I mean really.

I did explain to her what is involved with having a cat declawed. But she didnt seem to care - wasnt her cat.

Anyway, I agree with the education thing. But I think I really agree with what the UK does! Shame we dont follow in their footsteps!
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianjela View Post
I believe you're right. Education and knowledge is crucial.
I agree in part that while declawing occurs it is necessary to warn and educate - but that wouldn't be necessary if vets didn't do it, if they weren't allowed to do it and keep their licence. Your situation would never have happened here, and you wouldn't have had to be educated about the rights and wrongs to make a decision. There is no anti-declawing education here and it isn't necessary - because if you are British you don't even know it is possible, you have never even heard of it, unless you come to an international website like this. I had never heard of it until I came here and read about it and I was disgusted, such a thing seems ridiculous to me. Any notions of it being OK would quickly die out with no vets promoting or performing the procedure! I doubt that even 1 in 10 cat owners here has heard the word 'declaw'.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
I agree in part that while declawing occurs it is necessary to warn and educate - but that wouldn't be necessary if vets didn't do it, if they weren't allowed to do it and keep their licence. Your situation would never have happened here, and you wouldn't have had to be educated about the rights and wrongs to make a decision. There is no anti-declawing education here and it isn't necessary - because if you are British you don't even know it is possible, you have never even heard of it, unless you come to an international website like this. I had never heard of it until I came here and read about it and I was disgusted, such a thing seems ridiculous to me. Any notions of it being OK would quickly die out with no vets promoting or performing the procedure! I doubt that even 1 in 10 cat owners here has heard the word 'declaw'.
That's why I ended my post with:
Quote:
Anyway, I agree with the education thing. But I think I really agree with what the UK does! Shame we dont follow in their footsteps!
I totally agree. I wish it were illegal to declaw a cat. It should be considered cruelty to animals!
post #20 of 29
I think that is a great strategy. I am always shocked even with normal prices that people want to declaw. It just about doubles the spay/neuter cost when you add that procedure on.

My cats came to me the way they are. Right now we have 2 front declawed cats (done by previous owners) and one fully clawed 6 month old kitten. She's so good about scratching in all the right places, and letting us clip her claws it was never even a thought to have her declawed. We're buying a house, but the current LL never cared about them being declawed. Soft Claws/Paws are not very easy to put on a squirming kitten though. We speak from experience.

Not all of the chain vets are bad. We go to a VCA clinic and they are great. Our particular vet specializes in cats and is very up to date on the latest cat health info (vaccines, antibiotics, etc). From what I have heard it can be very hit and miss with the chain vets. In our case, they are the only vet clinic in our area with the Purevax rabies shot (rabies shots are required by law here) and follow the current vaccine protocols. Stimpy actually got a shot of the new antibiotic I read about on the Dolittler blog, and I would have never though anyone in our area would even carry it. And no one has tried to talk us into a declaw procedure for Lola.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianjela View Post
That's why I ended my post with:

I totally agree. I wish it were illegal to declaw a cat. It should be considered cruelty to animals!
I know, I did read to the end I wasn't disagreeing with you, just keen to reiterate my point as I feel it's one that doesn't come up here very often as you are all battling against declawing on all fronts. I have the greatest respect for every and any effort made whether it's aiming to get legislation banning it or the education of individuals.

But I don't know whether many people know that there is no specific UK legislation outlawing declawing. There is an EU legislation, but the UK does not adopt EU legislation wholesale. We have come to the position by a bit of a circuitous route whereby:

a) it is illegal to practice surgery on an animal without a licence as per government legislation
b) the RCVS (which is independent of Government) rules that vets must not perform surgery that is not clinically necessary and will lose their licence to practice surgery if they perform a declaw for non clinical reasons or other cosmetic surgery on an animal
c) it takes a long time to become a vet and get a licence, and no-one is going to ruin their career by performing surgery that will get them struck off and prosecuted by the RCVS for performing surgery that is not clinically necessary
therefore d) the public do not know what declaw surgery is and it is never an option, if you can't deal with claws you don't get a cat.

I would absolutely love to see the situation in the US change with regard to this. Try pointing out a US study into nutrition or the benefits of indoor life and it's thrown back at you from those who know about it "yes but they amputate their cats toes, we can't take their word for anything regarding health and welfare because they allow this cruelty to continue.... " and really I can easily see why people in the UK have objections to taking advice about any studies coming out of the US when it concerns cat care and welfare while declawing is still allowed. There is no credibility. Whereas there is very valuable info and research coming out of the US in other areas, but you can't get people to take it seriously when what they see as cruelty and abuse is a routine procedure.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
But I don't know whether many people know that there is no specific UK legislation outlawing declawing.
Yes there is. The Animal Welfae Act of 2006 made it illegal. The act outlawed "mutilation" which is defined as a procedure which "involves interference with the sensitive tissues or bone structure of the animal, otherwise than for the purpose of its medical treatment". Declawing of cats is not a named exemption, therefore is included in the definition of mutilation.

But I get your point - prior to that act it was not illegal, and it was not carried out for the reasons you gave. I have not met anyone over here (other than those who frequent international internet forums) who has heard of declawing. Everyone I have mentioned it to (including people who do not have any pets) is horrified by the idea. It's just not part of our culture and never has been.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianjela View Post
But I think I really agree with what the UK does! Shame we dont follow in their footsteps!
Hopefully one day you will
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
I had never heard of it until I came here and read about it
I hadn't either
post #24 of 29
When we got Zoey from the shelter (private non-profit), I asked them what their stance on declawing was. They said it didn't really matter to them as long as I waited until she was healthy to do anything. Having little knowledge about cats at the time, I could really have used some education about the procedure. I didn't get it from the vet (shelter's vet, not mine) either and still have the list of prices they gave me for spay/declaw procedures.

I've learned a lot about cats in the last 8 months and know enough not to declaw Belle and Delilah. They do scratch the furniture...not a lot, but on occasion (they also use my jeans as a scratching post at times, whilst I am wearing them). However, because I am educated, I will not declaw. When it comes to buying furniture, I will find something that will hold up and try to use other deterrant tactics.

I think education needs to be the first step. I don't see it being "outlawed" prior to people being educated about what the procedure actually involves. There are a lot of cat lovers/animal lovers out there who do not come onto sites such as this one. Unfortunately, with most vets still providing the service and not educating their clients prior to this, it is hard to get that information out.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyRetired View Post
I think it's the vets who have to change people's minds about this awful practice.
I agree that vets need to be on the forefront of discouraging people from declawing. If they make clear that they don't approve of the practice it would go a long way towards making people think twice about it. But the the situation related in the OPs post shows that nothing short of an outright ban is going to put a stop to it. There will always be those who can convince themselves that there is nothing wrong with the practice.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
There will always be those who can convince themselves that there is nothing wrong with the practice.
Like this guy, who is/claims to be a vet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBZYT...eature=related
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
I'd like to see a big fat old picture of Bea up in all vets offices. I wish I had pics that showed her claws curling back upwards, that showed her in that cage after her surgery....I wish they could see she has no toes, watch her walk with that nasty limp.

You think about what kind of wonderful cat she was, and how the re-declaw changed her....ruined her.

I'm sad to hear this. I never knew a declaw could ruin a cat. Ouch. I never heard of a redeclaw either but it doesn't sound nice. My cats have all their claws.
post #28 of 29
I am waiting to try a new vet here on NE 82nd. It is just across the street from the vet I usually use. At the usual vet you will here things like, "Would you like a declaw with that spay?". As though you're ordering a side of fries with your burger.

The new vet I called and asked about declaw. The young woman who answered the phone hesitated a bit then told me the main doctor there refuses to declaw. They have an associate vet come in on a case-by-case basis. Then she said the associate vet swore to never do another when he finished the last one. Said it made him feel so awful.

I told her based on this, I would give them my business. I hope they are good!
post #29 of 29
I too had never heard of de-clawing until I came on here. I just can't believe that people would do it, even consider it. It is totally cruel. I just can't imagine why someone would want to put an animal through something like that, i mean you don't have to be a vet to know that it is painful, unnatural and unnecessary. I am just hopeful that all the kind people on here are doing everything that they can to make sure that it doesn't happen, but again, it is education and as Epona says, the veternary schools should enforce that it should not happen.
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