Originally Posted by Diane Marie
Alittle background first. I have a daughter, Olivia that just turned 3 this past May. She was born at 30 weeks and 2 months after she was born she developed NEC. I don't know how to spell the full name but it is basically when the small bowel dies. She was left with about 50 cm, I believe after the operation. A year after she was born she had a liver transplant due to TPN toxicity. TPN is a double edge sword. It is fed through a central line in Olivia's chest. It helped keep her alive but long exposure to it can hurt the liver. Her permature liver couldn't handle it. She is doing very well now we have some feeding issues but for the most part she is doing well.
Now for the dilemma. I asked her transplant doctor is it was ok if we brought a cat into our family. He said yes. There would be no problem. Might I say he NEVER mentioned anything about declawing. We have had our kitty now for almost a month. When we saw our Dr. for Olivia's check up, she mentioned she has a kitty and how much she loves him. Then he asked me when I was going to declaw him. I was taken back a moment. Confused and said to him that he never mentioned that he would have to be declawed. He said yes he did and I have to have his front claws removed due to 'Cat Scratch Fever'. (To think I thought that was only a song)
I just found out today...or rather earlier today and I am soooo bummed. I don't want to get him declawed. I think that is so cruel. But I am so attached to him. I love him so much. He's my precious little boy and I can't imagine giving him up. But if his claws are a danger to my little girl, I have to address that. Apparently Soft Paws if not an option because I already asked. Can anyone please, please help me figure out how to save his front claws without giving him up. I have to say that I am being selfish in that I do not want to lose him. I just love him so much. He is so affectionate and loving and just a pleasure to have around. He follows all over the house and likes to groom me as well
He is more than just a pet. He is apart of my family. I do clip is claws when they need them. But again, that's not enough either. I am stuck between a hard place and a rock. If I had only known I would never had gotten a kitten. Please, help me.
Don't panic yet.
First you need to return to that Doctor and ask them to explain fully what it is, how it could affect the child and how serious it would be.
Believe it or not many Doctors come up with such statements yet they do not fully understand it, they just open their mouths and have broken many a heart as a result of it.
You need to know before you ask the Doctor so that you know if the Doctor really does know.
Cat scratch disease firstly can come from the cats claws or teeth especially in a kitten. It is caused by bacteria known as Bartonella. Not all cats and kittens have it and they cannot transfer it as you can a cold.
If a cat or a kitten has it and bites a human or scratches a human it can cause a swelling of the lymph nodes and sometimes pus that has to be drained that's at the worst scenario. The condition generally lasts for approx a month and a half.
If the Doctor believes that the child in it's present state of health is at risk and it will be even more serious than for someone in full health I wonder why did the Doctor not also say extract the teeth.
The Doctor ought to be aware of the fact that declawing is ILLEGAL in many many countries and has been so for years. There is also one area in the USA where it was made illegal in the past year.
The way round it is to regularly clip the kittens claws, say on the weekly basis and provide a good solid scratching post so that it can keep the claws in good condition as well.
I have always clipped my cats claws and in particular one male who was very rough with females at mating I kept his as short as a dogs to stop the females from being damaged.
You have to get the kitten used to you touching, stroking and holding the paws gently, some are nervous of this, some are ticklish and some don't care, but touchng and stroking for a few seconds a day many times serves to desensitize the paw.
Then when it is at it's sleepiest you armed with nail clippers gently press the toe down as this will fully extend the claw. Look behind the claw you will see a dark line running down the centre. You do not cut this as it will be bleed and cause pain.
Now you clip to just below that line. Do this on every claw back and front on the weekly basis and you will notice that the black line also recedes allowing you to get them shorter.
It goes without saying that the kitten must be a one hundred percent indoors one and not an in and out one.
Yours may not even have Bartonella but if clawed or bitten by one who has it it can suffer from the Bartonella.