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Dilemma regarding declawing. Desperately need advice - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Again, it depends on who does the declaw, how it is done and the aftercare involved. The worst time is right after surgery. If your vet has his stuff together, he will keep the cat for 24-48 hours after the surgery so you don't become exposed to what they call the immediate pain response. Monitoring the cat at home with the proper medication and care, not using clay litter, keeping him quiet and confined to one room, letting him sleep off the after effects, will also help.

Some cats do develop behavioral issues, and others do not. Again, it all boils down to who does the declaw and how experienced and caring they are.

Please don't feel guilty about doing this. You are not trying to save a stick of furniture, or a set of drapes, you are doing this to safeguard your daughter. Choose wisely the vet to do this, and after a few days, your cat should be fine-
post #32 of 52
Diane, I agree completely with hissy. Usually, I am completely against declawing but in your special circumstance, I think it would be the right thing to do. Your kitten will be able to stay in the loving home that he knows and your family will be able to keep this kitten, who will be a great companion for Olivia. Please try not to feel guilty about this, I'm sure the kitten will bounce back from his surgery and be fine.
post #33 of 52
I have cats that are declawed and some that are not. A cat that we adopted was already declawed and the other's were done a long time ago, back when I didn't know better. But, I have not seen any difference in their behavior. Some of the ones with claws are worse than the ones without. But, I agree, make sure your vet is a good one and knows what they are doing. My vet does laser surgery now. I asked them what the difference was and they said there is less bleeding and a lesser chance of infection due to the quicker healing time. One thing you MUST always remember. If you do declaw, NEVER let your cat run free outside. And if your cat is put outside on a leash and harness, NEVER leave them home alone outside and never declaw the back feet. Declawing a cat's front paws does make them defenseless to a degree, but with their back claws they can still defend themselves. But, I would NEVER let a cat run free that was declawed, never!!
post #34 of 52
I did forget to mention one thing. I really don't think declawing will have any effect on how a cat walks. Cats do not walk with their claws extended out, unlike members of the canine family, dogs, bears. They use them when climbing, catching prey and fighting. I would rather not declaw, but if it means the difference of a cat losing it's home or not, then I see nothing wrong with it. I would rather see a loved declawed cat with a home, then one with claws that had to be sent to a shelter.
post #35 of 52
I agree under your circumstances. No matter how careful you try to be, once in awhile somebody gets scratched. My daughter got a long one on her face once. She was lying on the sofa watching TV, and Joey decided to make a running leap for the back of the sofa. Her face was the springboard. With your daughter you have to take every precaution you can.
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by oscar
I haven't figured out how to do the quote things, so bear with me. The following statements can't be ignored:

"Declawing done right won't ever cause a problem."

"Done properly, the cat never knows any different, and actually can benefit greatly from the surgery."

"No matter what surgery is done, there should never be excessive pain."

A person may not know the difference, but Cats always know the difference. They are walking on amputated stumps. No cat benefits from declawing. Humans think they are benefiting from declawing their cats. More often than not, cats develop behavioural problems from declawing (even if done "right") -- biting because they can no longer defend with their claws; not using the litterbox because it's too painful to dig and bury. A cat who is friendly and loving may not be after this procedure.

Surgery, not matter what it is, is painful! Obviously you have never had surgery. Just because the cat is not able to express/show their pain, doesn't mean it's not there. The only way to prevent pain is 1. don't have surgery or 2. Use extensive pain medication, and even then there will still be pain, just hopefully bearable.

Obviously, like others on this site, I feel very strongly about the amputation of the distal digits on cats paws. Look at your hand and think about cutting off all 10 fingers at the first knuckle below the fingernail. That is declawing. Any person or vet who claims this won't hurt, won't make a difference, is good for the cat, it's the normal thing to do, or whatever, is lying.
I'm going to keep this short and to the point.

There has never been any conclusive study associating behaviorial problems with declawing. All evidence is Anecdotal, using this as an argument against declawing is propoganda.

Human anatomy and feline anatomy are worlds apart. The structure is totally different. The argument regarding the third phalange, is great for generating a general concept; yes cats and humans both have three phalanges. However if you try to get any more specific with the comparison, you will find that there is not much more incommon between the two species.

Simply stated, the arguments that are being made are flawed. They are not based on fact, but rather propoganda. The argument is geared for an emotional response, not an intellectual response.

The only argument that is actually sound, is the argument that declawing is generally unnecessary. I couldn't agree more. However, the case at hand is not within the context of general. In this case, declawing is the best choice.

Responding with propoganda, and criticizing this person for considering the best interests of both her Daughter and her cat, is pointless.

Spotz
post #37 of 52
Just feel like adding my 2 cents... I am not quite as anti-declaw as some, as for the most part I have seen countless cats recover quickly, with little side effects, and minimal medication. However, I have found that I have been fortuate to work for a vet who is very skilled at declawing, which I believe is the primary reason for the quick recovery.

That being said...he declawed my Charlie when Charlie was about 2 or 3 years old, and Charlie did walk funny afterwards. Which is why I've always encouraged clients to get the declaw done with the spay/neuter if they believe it's something they will want to do down the road. While we don't encourage people to declaw, we've found that if they're considering it at the time of spay/neuter, they will opt to do it later. (we also make it much more expensive if the cat is over 1 year of age..)

In your situation, with your daughter's life essentially on the line, I feel you've made the right choice. And it sounds like you have found a good vet. If you're comfortable with him, that is a good sign! My best friend's housemate went with the cheapest vet in her area when her cat was declawed...and years later this cat did develop problems due to a job that was done so sloppily my vet considered it "unfinished" - and she had to have a second surgery and basically have several toes "declawed" again.
We have never had a delcaw our vet did return with problems. We keep the cats for 2 days, taking the badanges off after 1 day. Some of them chew, some of them bleed - but these problems always happen in the first 2 days, so we can nip them in the bud.

Best of luck, and I hope you know you've made the right choice - and you and your daughter can enjoy many happy years with your kitty

.maggie
post #38 of 52
.... "If you ever happen to find yourself in a similar situation like I find myself in. I truly hope that you never have someone treat you like you have treated me. From my end, I already feel guilty about what I must do. I do not need another voice telling me how cruel and insensitive I am being."


AMEN! I was really pretty shocked to read such an insensitive comment here, even though it is a touchy subject. And the "surgery" comment was pretty poor choice of rhetoric as well.

I hope that you will ignore comments like this, and instead be a little comforted by those who have shown you their support in the midst of such a hard decision.
post #39 of 52
Diane Marie, have you talked to a vet about a "flexor tendonectomy" as an alternative to actual declawing? I have no experience with either, but have read that a tendonectomy is far less invasive and involves fewer complications. Here's a little bit of info on the procedure: http://www.amcny.org/owners/infosheets/onychectomy.htm
You'll find far more using Google.
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Diane Marie, have you talked to a vet about a "flexor tendonectomy" as an alternative to actual declawing? I have no experience with either, but have read that a tendonectomy is far less invasive and involves fewer complications. Here's a little bit of info on the procedure: http://www.amcny.org/owners/infosheets/onychectomy.htm
You'll find far more using Google.
Sorry...I couldn't disagree more...

Tendonectomy is cruel. Basically they go in an cut the tendon.

Meaning that the claw remains, and continues to grow, but the cat cannot control it anymore. If it gets caught in anything, then the cat can't control the claw to untangle it, they usually get very scared, and aggrivated trying to undue themselves. Often they will end up breaking, or worse still, ripping the claw out.

Also, if the nail is allowed to grow without being trimmed constantly, then it will curl under and grow into the pad, causing even more pain and suffering.

Tendonectomy is a horrible alternative. The only benefit it has, is a less invasive surgery. The negatives are much more numerous.

Spotz
post #41 of 52
Diane, I wish you and your daughter the best of luck. No one should criticize your decision or look down on you for doing what you feel is best for everyone involved. I don't recommend declawing for the average situation, but I'm also not sure it's the monster some make it out to be. I've seen many cats coming out of surgury and none were showing signs of being in unbelievable pain (in fact, I'll never forget one older cat who was playing with toys and batting things around in his cage right after surgury. He must not have been in too much pain!) nor do I know of any cats who developed problems related to the surgury. Two of my cats are declawed: Sassy was done 11+ years ago before we knew what it entailed and Buddy was done by his previous owner. Neither have suffered any ill effects.
post #42 of 52
My vet tried to get me to declaw my cat. They do laser surgery so they charge a lot of $$$$. The laser declaw does sound much better and it appears that my vet has a lot of experience with it, but I decided not to do it because my cat also bites. I am sure he will be one of those who will develop biting problems if he is declawed cause he already got it with all his claws intact. He is a biter and a scratcher-I got all my legs covered in scratches-and he is just playing, he doesn't know any better.
post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by allissa
My vet tried to get me to declaw my cat. They do laser surgery so they charge a lot of $$$$. The laser declaw does sound much better and it appears that my vet has a lot of experience with it, but I decided not to do it because my cat also bites. I am sure he will be one of those who will develop biting problems if he is declawed cause he already got it with all his claws intact. He is a biter and a scratcher-I got all my legs covered in scratches-and he is just playing, he doesn't know any better.
Laser declawing is a neat method. But the equipment is expensive, and thus the surgery.

It's unique that it cauterized as it cuts, basically it's a scapel made of light.

It also requires a much more accurate hand, and much more experience. It's actually a little easier to mess up laser surgery, without knowing it, because the incision basically seals itself. If anything was missed, it wouldn't be easy to tell during surgery.

It still ultimately comes back to a competent surgeon, and proficiency with the tools at hand.

Spotz
post #44 of 52
What a sad decision to have to make. You are doing the best you can for everyone involved, so don't feel guilty. I do have one note of caution. I have read from several different sources that cat scratch fever is not just transmitted by cat scratches. It can also be spread by cat bites. This is something you should be aware of.

I wish you the best of luck with this. It sounds like your kitty will have a very loving home with you and your daughter.
post #45 of 52
I questioned my vet once about Tendonectomy and she also said there has been complications. This is true, the claw remains and continues to grow but the cat has no control over it.
post #46 of 52
There are always other sides to a coin. In extreme health situations, when all f the other alternatives seem to not beavailable to you, you have to decide. If given the choice of a loving home and no claws, or possbly not, and claws ,I thin the former is a bit better, yeah? Please look into the soft claws. They completely remove the likelihood of scratches, without lessening the preformance of the cat. In fact, I've got a picture of Paige wearing them here somewhere. She wears them on all four paws, and has only managed to get one off, which is easily replaced.

Also, note that they come in bright colors (which, I think your daughter would find it fun to accessorize your cat monthly) and last anywhere from a month to 2 months. The bright colors help you see when 1 is missing. if you count 17 red toenails, then you just pick her up and tack another one on.
But of course it is *your* decision, and if you have definately decided the risk is to great, I know I understand your concerns, and probably would do the same thing, because it's not deciding your own health, it's deciding your own childs health.
Much respect and hopes for a good surgery, should that be the road you must take. I see that the decision was a hard one for you.
post #47 of 52
Quote:
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.

Thank you,

Diane
------------------
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.
post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spotz
Sorry...I couldn't disagree more...

Tendonectomy is cruel. Basically they go in an cut the tendon.

Meaning that the claw remains, and continues to grow, but the cat cannot control it anymore. If it gets caught in anything, then the cat can't control the claw to untangle it, they usually get very scared, and aggrivated trying to undue themselves. Often they will end up breaking, or worse still, ripping the claw out.

Also, if the nail is allowed to grow without being trimmed constantly, then it will curl under and grow into the pad, causing even more pain and suffering.

Tendonectomy is a horrible alternative. The only benefit it has, is a less invasive surgery. The negatives are much more numerous.

Spotz
As I stated, I have absolutely no experience with declawing or tendonectomies (never had either done while living in the U.S., and both procedures are illegal in Germany. I'm against both in anything but a case like this). Most of the literature I've read has stressed the need to regularly cut the claws after the latter. Since Diane Marie is experienced in caring for her daughter, she'd most probably be vigilant regarding her cat's claws. I wondered if she was aware of the procedure.

Loverly7 is perfectly correct when she says that "cat scratch fever" can also be the result of a bite. Our last cat (a former feral) gave me a nasty bite on the leg while I was trying to get him to a vet after he came home with a broken tail. Although I immediately disinfected the wound, I ended up in the ER the next day, and endured about 6 months of having the wound drained and taking antibiotics. It's not something to take lightly.
post #49 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
As I stated, I have absolutely no experience with declawing or tendonectomies (never had either done while living in the U.S., and both procedures are illegal in Germany. I'm against both in anything but a case like this). Most of the literature I've read has stressed the need to regularly cut the claws after the latter. Since Diane Marie is experienced in caring for her daughter, she'd most probably be vigilant regarding her cat's claws. I wondered if she was aware of the procedure.

Loverly7 is perfectly correct when she says that "cat scratch fever" can also be the result of a bite. Our last cat (a former feral) gave me a nasty bite on the leg while I was trying to get him to a vet after he came home with a broken tail. Although I immediately disinfected the wound, I ended up in the ER the next day, and endured about 6 months of having the wound drained and taking antibiotics. It's not something to take lightly.
No qualms Tricia. I support proper declawing, and IMO there is only one proper way to declaw.

The procedure you brought up, still requires the claws to be trimmed on a regular basis. Because claw trimming is typically a very successful alternative to any form of declawing, then in my book a method of "declawing" that requires claw trimming is absolutely pointless, and counterproductive.

Tendectomy adds a bigger handicap to the cat than standard declawing alone would. So I am fully against it, and truely think that it sould be dis-approved as a method of declawing.

I have no problem with you mentioning it, it is after all a permitted procedure, and thus an option to consider, but I also figured that I would offer a different perspective on the procedure.

Spotz
post #50 of 52
My vet here is pretty expensive. I went there because it's the closest but I will be looking around because I will switch vets to cheaper one after I neuter him. They also do laser declaw which is a lot better then regular declaw or so they say.
They charge $$$$ for neuter and declaw and I was going to switch but they sold me on all the tests they do so I decided to neuter him there and then switch to a cheaper one.
LOL.
post #51 of 52
How is your kitty doing? Today was the day the declaw was scheduled for. Please let us know how he is feeling.
post #52 of 52
I don't know if we "lost" Diane Marie since I see she hasn't posted to this thread since the declawing.

Just wanted to add my 2 cents in saying that Comere is declawed, was declawed already when I adopted him, and is a very affectionate, loving mushpot. I can't imagine him anymore affectionate and mush than he is, so I highly doubt it changed his personality or behavior.

He is also and indoor-outdoor cat. Yes, I can hear the perverbial "gasp" as I said that... I had no choice in the matter when my father took over care of kitty for a short time while I was in the process of a major life change... and his condition on taking the cat was only if the cat would go outside (my father would have no part of litter box care).

Comere has never had a problem outside. He has been able to defend himself and I've seen him climb trees. Now I'm not making an argument to let declawed kitties outside at all -- in theory, I sort of agree they should stay indoors -- but I guess I don't agree with the generalization that a declawed cat should NEVER go outdoors under any circumstances. Comere is 17 and has been going outside nearly the last 12. He doesn't go far, and doesn't go out for hours on end, but he does go out.

Diane... I hope everything went well with Prince and your daughter... I wish you all the best. I know making the decision wasn't easy, but you did what was right for you and your family.
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