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Laser Claw Removal?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
So I was in the pet store today and I overhead the owner and another customer talking about laser claw removal ... I had never heard of such a thing, she said they use a laser to remove the nail but not the last digit of the toe ... I wouldn't think this is physically possible, but what do I know?

Has anyone ever heard of this procedure?
post #2 of 28
Yes it is possible. People say it is okay to declaw cats now because they can do it with a laser. I still think it is a horrible thing to declaw a cat. Cats were born with them for a reason. Defense, climbing, exercise, etc. There is no benefit for on the cats behalf to declaw it, only problems. The only benefit is for the owners and it seems like most people who do it don't even consider training their cats to scratch else where. Just take the easy, lazy way out and simply declaw the cat, not thnking about how the cat has to deal with it...
post #3 of 28
I had my 2 kittens declawed using the Laser method and it worked wonderfully. Less invasive, less pain and faster recovery. The paws look great.. can't even tell they were declawed.
We all have our reasons for declawing or not, and I don't regret my decision, nor does it look as if the cats are effected in a negative way.
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etain
So I was in the pet store today and I overhead the owner and another customer talking about laser claw removal ... I had never heard of such a thing, she said they use a laser to remove the nail but not the last digit of the toe ... I wouldn't think this is physically possible, but what do I know?

Has anyone ever heard of this procedure?
You'll find most everyone here is against de-clawing. It is inhumane and barbaric for the most part. As for the new laser removal, I think it's too soon to tell if it's any less barbaric (IMO). We do know that cats de-clawed the usual way can develop real litter pan issues either now or later in life - don't know if that will also be an issue for laser removed claws.

I have to agree that cats have claws for a reason and that training them to use scratching posts and learning to clip their nails on a regular basis is a much better way to treat your cat. I've not had a cat destroy any of my furniture in all the years I've owned cats - they love their scratching post and have been trained from kittens to being accustomed to having their paws handled and stroked so that claw-clipping is not a difficult thing to do.
post #5 of 28
I have not heard of laser de-clawing either.

But de-clawing is illegal in the UK anyway. Our Smudge (RIP) had her dew claws removed for medical reasons, she used to lick one of them so much it became infected. Despite treatment the infection remained. Unfortunatley when one was removed she then started on the other so that came off as well. Never knew what started her on this in the first place.

Perhaps laser treatment would have been less painful for her?
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm not trying to promote declawing, I'm just curious about what laser removal does.

I'm not a fan of decalwing but there are instances in which it is going to happen, whether it's medically necessary or its the only way the cat will have a home. I am curious to know whether it hurts the cat, whether the claws grow back, what the risks are and whether this is considered humane (apart from the fact that you are depriving the cat of the ability to scratch or sink it's claws into things) or at least more humane than traditional declawing.

If someone is dead set on de-clawing or if they have to do it for medical or safety reasons, do you think this is a reasonable alternative to the traditional surgery?

Please don't flame me I'm not trying to promote declawing. I just don't know anything about this procedure and I'd like to be better informed.
post #7 of 28
We had these two brother cats come into the shelter who had badly mutilated AND deformed front paws. In addition to being injured, they also had 8 or 9 fingers per paw, some of which were badly underdeveloped. Because of this, some claws were connected, or growing back into the paw, which had created huge infections for both cats. Unfortunately, it was decided that in order to stop the infections from happening, the cats would have to have their claws removed when some of the preliminary injuries had healed up. They used the laser technique because it is supposedly cleaner and has less of a chance of error (so I hear). Both cats seem to be ok now and the infection has cleared up...I don't recall hearing or reading about them having any problems.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etain
So I was in the pet store today and I overhead the owner and another customer talking about laser claw removal ... I had never heard of such a thing, she said they use a laser to remove the nail but not the last digit of the toe ... I wouldn't think this is physically possible, but what do I know?

Has anyone ever heard of this procedure?
I have...but just like any elective surgery....the procedure has more to do with the skill of the surgeon then the method itself. The laser declaw from what I have read does cause less bleeding...but otherwise, it is the same risk as the other methods of declaw.

Katie
post #9 of 28
I have never heard of it. It sounds alot better then what is out there now for declawing. As always do your research before putting your cat through anything and ask your vet if you have any questions and concerns.
post #10 of 28
I have heard of it. It's the same as declawing and they DO remove the last joint. There is no way to declaw a cat without removing their toes from the last joint. The only difference is that they use a laser instead of a knife.

The claw grows out of the bone, so there's no way to not take part of their poor little toes off, unless they somehow have newly developed something where they also destroy the clawbed without actually taking it out-- although to me, the difference between destroying it and removing it is trivial.

Supposedly they heal faster. The extent to which a cat with eightteen amputations can actually "heal" may be debatable, but at least there is less risk of infection.
post #11 of 28
I have 3 strictly-inside cats and none of them are declawed. They have a nice scratching post, that they use, but they also use this or that too, but nothing has really been "destroyed". I try to clip their nails, but if not done every other day, they seem to grow back fast and sharp It's more fun to hand-wrestle with a declawed cat, but I could never bring myself to do it. Even with a new baby in the house and the concern of her getting scratched (which would ultimately be our fault anyway), I still refuse to do it and I'm kind of appauled at people who say "they never go outside" to excuse lopping off their toes.

Our less-than-agile "Phenobarb addict" would probably be dead if not for the saving grace of her claws - though she still takes some pretty good spills.
post #12 of 28
Declawing is illegal in most civilized countries except ours and Canada because it is so cruel and unecessary. I know some people - even have a friend who declawed her cat - whose cats did OK and that is good for them, they were the few lucky ones. My friend's kitty became a biter and while they certainly kept and loved him, he was never the same again and they were so very sorry!! I did warn her but the vet had proposed the idea.

I can't believe a health care professional would suggest such a procedure - just to make $$$?

I am glad some cats do well but the fact is studies shopw that in the end most declawed cats do not live as long and have such serious arthritis problem s later in life - because of the way they must wallk post declawing, We had a declawed cat brought in to our rescue - the poor baby had been disregarded by his family and could not fend himself off from other cats and hence was serisouly injured. He did well for awhile and we thought he would pull thru (and we raies so much money for his cause!) but in the end, he died. Even the best cared for declaed cats get outside and danger happens.

My friend's declawed cat was killed when he sneaked outside and was chased by a dog and was totally defenceless. Her son - who had lost his sister not long before-- was inconsolable!! They have a new cat but she will never be declawed!!!

My mother when I spoke to her never heard of declawing - thought it was barbaric and she is not really a cat person. She looked after the cats my sibs and I brought home but unlike us, she does not revere them. But she was appalled that anyone woudl pay to maime a cat like that.
post #13 of 28
I agree that its STILL a horrible thing to do. I don't care if its done by laser or normal way of declawing - its STILL declawing and STILL not the wisest thing to do.

If a person doesn't want a cat clawing or bother cutting their nails then they should either have a stuffed fake cat to sit on the bed or not have a cat at all. The claws are for a purpose - not for people to amputate!
post #14 of 28
I know a lot of people disagree with this, but one of my instructors had this procedure performed on her cat this afternoon.

I respect her a lot and I doubt she would have done this unless she was very sure it was better than regular declawing. In fact, I asked her straight out and she said that it was much more humane.


I think the precipitating event for the declawing was when the cat hurt the eye of her elderly Basset hound quite badly in play. Maybe that's not a good enough reason for you guys, but I think she did what she thought was best.. as a pet owner AND a vet tech.
post #15 of 28
Laser declawing is exactly the same as a regular declaw except they use a laser as the surgical instrument.

It's a myth that laser declawing results in less pain and a shorter recovery time. A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association showed that there was actually a slightly higher incidence of short-term complications in the laser declawed cats.

But laser declawing is great for vets because they get to charge a boatload more $ for it. So it's really no wonder that vets with questionable ethics will promote it as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Grrrr.
post #16 of 28
I just don't understand how any humane person could even THINK about amputating a cat's claws. It just makes no sense. How could anyone remove a part of their cats body and feel okay with that?? Usually for a stupid reason too. Well I think every reason (except medical) is stupid but I mean, come ON. How lazy must a cat owner be if they just pay the ton of money to declaw instead of even bothering to train the cat otherwise?? It is not a hard thing to do! Show them what to scratch on and what not to scratch on. NOT HARD!

What REALLY bothers me is that it is illegal in so many other countries but not the US. That should say something right there that it is completely inhumane.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
I think that most people who declaw their cats have no idea what the procedure involves. It's something that has been done and widely accepted in the US for years, the vast majority of vets offer the procedure and do not offer the owner any sort of educational information. I hope that the internet is changing that as more and more people go online to get information.

I don't like declawing, it is very painful and carries the risk of complications and of course behavioral side effects, especially for adult cats. However, if it comes down to a decision between the cat's claws and the cat's life, I think I would rather see the cat live. Let's face it, most unwanted cats either get dropped off at animal control to be put down, or worse, they are kicked out of the house or dropped on the side of the road. Of course we can make the argument that someone who would get their cat declawed is not a suitable or loving pet owner, but I have seen many, many examples in which that is not the case. And despite the risks, many declawed cats go on to live long, happy, healthy lives in loving homes.

It's not what most of us would chose to do, but I guess if it saves the cat's life, that makes things a little less black and white for me. It may mean one less suffering stray cat, one less cat euthanized by animal control.

Until the attitude and ignorance of the general public towards cats changes, until the positive alternatives to declawing are promoted by more vets, people are going to have their cats declawed. I don't like it, but I find it hard to demonize a person who is taking in a cat and offering it a home. It's not an ideal situation, but I think its better than the alternative.

I didn't mean to start the same old declawing debate when I started this thread. I was just curious about a procedure I had never heard of before. I think some people took that the wrong way, I'm sorry for that mis-understanding.
post #18 of 28
I agree, I think most do not understand what is involved physically or emotionally for the cat. And when you have pets, you know what they are equipped with. Except for neutering/spaying, you should leave what nature gave them.

In the case with the dog, its unfortunate, however still a very poor excuse to go declaw the cat cause it almost blinded the dog. If the dog had bit the cat and it got seriously hurt, would the owner take all the teeth out of the dog?
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etain
I think that most people who declaw their cats have no idea what the procedure involves. It's something that has been done and widely accepted in the US for years, the vast majority of vets offer the procedure and do not offer the owner any sort of educational information. I hope that the internet is changing that as more and more people go online to get information.

I don't like declawing, it is very painful and carries the risk of complications and of course behavioral side effects, especially for adult cats. However, if it comes down to a decision between the cat's claws and the cat's life, I think I would rather see the cat live. Let's face it, most unwanted cats either get dropped off at animal control to be put down, or worse, they are kicked out of the house or dropped on the side of the road. Of course we can make the argument that someone who would get their cat declawed is not a suitable or loving pet owner, but I have seen many, many examples in which that is not the case. And despite the risks, many declawed cats go on to live long, happy, healthy lives in loving homes.

It's not what most of us would chose to do, but I guess if it saves the cat's life, that makes things a little less black and white for me. It may mean one less suffering stray cat, one less cat euthanized by animal control.

Until the attitude and ignorance of the general public towards cats changes, until the positive alternatives to declawing are promoted by more vets, people are going to have their cats declawed. I don't like it, but I find it hard to demonize a person who is taking in a cat and offering it a home. It's not an ideal situation, but I think its better than the alternative.

I didn't mean to start the same old declawing debate when I started this thread. I was just curious about a procedure I had never heard of before. I think some people took that the wrong way, I'm sorry for that mis-understanding.
I don't think anyone thought you were condoning declawing. At least, I didn't. Much better to ask questions about unfamiliar topics than jump to (potentially wrong) conclusions, IMO.

The argument about "claws vs. life" is definitely well taken and it's certainly a gray area. However, declawing is and has been illegal in many countries for decades and there definitely is not the stray and homeless pet problem in much of Western Europe that there is in the US. So I think it's a concern that is probably overblown if not completely unfounded.

I think people gravitate toward the easiest of the apparent options. But I also honestly believe that 90+% of people would find alternatives to declawing if it were truly unavailable. The remaining 10% are probably not what any of us would consider to be fit cat parents and would not get a cat in the first place.

Of course, the first step is for vets to be honest about the procedure and stop presenting it to clients as if it is as routine and necessary as s/n and vaccines. When vets stop accepting it, the general public will have to follow suit.
post #20 of 28
i caught feral kittens and the mother cat, using live traps. i had the mother cat fixed and let her back out as she was too old to ever tame her enough. this was the consensus of the vet as well. i know the mother cat hangs out a lot at a neighbors house who feeds her, so i know she is ok, but it's day to day, having to deal with the elements. however, since the kittens had been in the wild a long time. they would not have anything to do with humans. there was no way i could get close enough to pick them up, let alone, trim their nails. they destroyed many things in my house and never used the scratching post. i used sprays and sticky paws...to no avail. one of them bit me, while trying to get him in the carrier for their check up and shots. the bite caused a terrible infection in my hand which required a trip to the emergency room. the pain was almost unbearable as it traveled up my arm. i knew i had a choice to make, either give them up to a shelter, or keep them, where they are safe, fed, warm and loved. but in order to do that, i declawed them to ensure a more happy, healthy relationship and environment all around. they were declawed, using the laser, at the same time i had them fixed. the cost of the laser was NOT more than the typical declawing methods. they had some down time, but rebounded very well.
i understand there are many against this, but given the choice, i wanted to keep them and they ARE happy, playful and not sick. They still don't like to be handled by humans, but enjoy palying with each other. if i left them outside, dealing with a lot more issues, i'm not sure how long they would survive.
this is my story, whether you agree with it or not, but felt that it needed to be told as i'm sure there are others who might be in the same or similar situation. there are 2 sides to every story.
post #21 of 28
Here's my quick take on laser surgery for declawing: if we were instead discussing amputating a person's head and debating using an axe versus a "laser" (presumably a very powerful one), i suspect we wouldn't be having much of a debate. High tech or low tech amputation is still amputation.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenq
Here's my quick take on laser surgery for declawing: if we were instead discussing amputating a person's head and debating using an axe versus a "laser" (presumably a very powerful one), i suspect we wouldn't be having much of a debate. High tech or low tech amputation is still amputation.
I like that.

Now, here's what I want to know...does the laser automatically cauterize the wound, therefore making the process a little less messy at least?
post #23 of 28
From this brochure: http://straypetadvocacy.org/html/dec...ernatives.html

Quote:
Is Laser Surgery Better Than A Traditional Declaw?

There are definite advantages to laser surgery. Use of a laser causes less bleeding and swelling, reducing pain and complications immediately following the surgery. The rate of long term complications is the same. It is essentially the same procedure, just with different equipment.
I can't comment on the use of lasers in declaw from personal experience, but I can for spaying. We opted to spend the extra $$ to have them use the laser for Ophelia's spay. Basically, since it does cauterize the wound as the incision/cut is being made, using a laser significantly decreases bleeding and chance for infection. However, the long term effects are exactly the same. It is the same surgery, just with a different instrument.
post #24 of 28
What exactly is the cost difference? I would be concerned about a vet offering it as a money making procedure.

I actually had a human doctor who told me that a procedure I needed should be done with a laser (safer, less pain, blah blah blah). But to do it, they were going to have to put me under general anesthesia. Oh, and it would cost > $3000.

I got a second opinion. Second doctor said "Oh, that? We can remove that in 10 minutes. Local anesthesia and a cauterizing iron." Total cost was like $200, and I walked out in 10 minutes with no pain.

Point being, there are even human doctors who are willing to risk a patient's life for money. I would be suspicious about motives.
post #25 of 28
I have two friends with declawed cats and their cat's behaviors are less desirable than i would want. one hides continually, even from his owners. and the other hisses and bites.

Stretching with claws and climbing are two important tension releasers for cats and when you take those outlets away you leave open the possibility for other behavior problems. My kitten has been getting her claws trimmed weekly and she has destroyed nothing other than card board boxes and tissue paper.

Whats the big deal with letting a cat be a cat? If you dont want what they come with naturally, maybe one shouldn't own a cat. would you take out their voice box if they made too much noise? or remove limbs if they climbed too much? am i taking this example to the point of absurdity?
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abigail
I have two friends with declawed cats and their cat's behaviors are less desirable than i would want. one hides continually, even from his owners. and the other hisses and bites.

Stretching with claws and climbing are two important tension releasers for cats and when you take those outlets away you leave open the possibility for other behavior problems. My kitten has been getting her claws trimmed weekly and she has destroyed nothing other than card board boxes and tissue paper.

Whats the big deal with letting a cat be a cat? If you dont want what they come with naturally, maybe one shouldn't own a cat. would you take out their voice box if they made too much noise? or remove limbs if they climbed too much? am i taking this example to the point of absurdity?
Yes, but we all understand and are with you!.
post #27 of 28
Laser surgery is more expensive in part because the vets have to offset the cost of the equipment. More importantly, a vet who isn't experienceed in laser surgery can botch the procedure....buyer beware.
post #28 of 28
My vet didn't charge more, but perhpas it's because he's performed many laser surgeries so the equipment had already paid for itself.
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