March 2, 2018
Please take less than a minute to sign both my petitions to AAHA and AAFP.
It’s concerning that this New Kitten FAQ information is being used by many veterinarians and even government websites in America.
It’s also shocking that even the CAT FRIENDLY practice in Michigan, where the 2017 AAFP Cat Friendly President works, has this info on their website.
HERE IS WHAT THE INFO SAYS- “Surgical declawing is the removal of the nail at its base. This is done under general anesthesia and there is very little post-surgical discomfort, especially when it is performed on a kitten. Contrary to the belief of some, this surgery does not cause lameness or psychological damage. Actually, a declawed cat will not realize the claws are gone and will continue to “sharpen” the claws as normal without inflicting damage to your furniture. This surgery can be done as early as 12 weeks of age or anytime thereafter. It can also be done the same time as spaying or neutering. Once declawed, your cat should always live indoors since the ability to defend itself is compromised.“
Many of the vet practices using this declawing info are CAT FRIENDLY AAFP and AAHA hospitals who are supposed to be the best of the best vet hospitals with the most feline friendly veterinarians. Both AAHA and AAFP are strongly opposed to declawing. Here are just a few examples of the many vet practices and organizations that are STILL using this incorrect declawing information.
This is the practice where the 2017 American Association of Feline Practitioners President works. The CAT FRIENDLY Exclusively Cats Veterinary Hospital in Michigan.
It’s under “News and other great info”, “New Kitten Care”, ” For more information, we invite you to read our New Kitten FAQ.” CAT FRIENDLY Exclusively Cats Veterinary Hospital Declawing info
Feb. 22, 2018 Exclusively Cats Veterinary Hospital edited their info from the info on left to the info on the right.
———————————————————————————————————————————————–(On March 1, 2018 I reached out to each of the vet practices below to ask them if they believe this declawing info and asked them other questions about how they address declawing at their practices.)
Here are a couple AAHA hospitals in Pennsylvania, Russell Veterinary Hospital, PC and Lakeside Veterinary Medicine with this info on the home page of their website. “New Kitten? Click the button below to find some helpful information for the care of your new kitten.” Then it takes you to another areas with a link to “Recommendations for New Cat Owners.” New Kitten Recommendations
When a cat owner called Russell Veterinary Hospital P.C and asked for the price of a neuter and then asked if there is anything else that they suggest that can be done during the neuter procedure or that cat owners have done, the employee said that’s all unless you are worried about the cat clawing furniture. They said the only other thing some people have done is a declaw.
They said the only thing that they ask is that the cat stay inside, the neuter/declaw is from $250-$378, all three of their vets do them regularly and are comfortable doing them. When asked how they do the declaws the employee said they amputate the digit with guillotine clippers. They said that in about 2 weeks the cat will recover from the declaw as long as it doesn’t chew on its toes or is too active. They recommend Purina’s Yesterdays News Cat litter.
When a cat owner called Lakeside Veterinary Medicine and asked for the price of a neuter and declaw the employee said it is $385, all their vets routinely do declaws and do a good job at them, and they have “tools to take out the claws” which are clippers. The cat owner asked if declawing is ok and will their cat be ok and the employee said as long as the cat doesn’t jump around too much for a week. They give the cat antibiotics for 7-10 days after the procedures. They recommend Purina’s Yesterdays News litter and said you can buy a 6lb bag from them for $10.39.
Here’s a CAT FRIENDLY American Association of Feline Practitioners hospital, Taylor Veterinary Hospital in Cedar Falls,Iowa with the info on their Pet Info/New Kitten page.
When a cat owner calls Taylor Veterinary Hospital, a CAT FRIENDLY American Association of Feline Practitioners practice in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to ask for the price of a neuter and then asked if there is anything else that they suggest that can be done during the neuter procedure, the employee said, “We can do a declaw if you want.” The cat owner said ok, and the employee asked if they wanted a 2 or 4 paw declaw. Cat owner said 4 paw and employee said the price for a 4 paw declaw/neuter is $255. The employee said that their two doctors, Dr Smith and Dr Goetsch do them pretty regularly, that they have “really good luck with declawing, the cats do fine, and in two weeks the cat will be back to being, “pretty normal.”
When asked about how there is a lot of info and stories on the internet that says declawing is bad for a cat, the employee said that they personally had a bad experience with a declaw for their cat and that it’s all in the skill of the vet who does the procedure. They recommend using Purina’s Yesterday’s News after the procedure for your kitty. There was no mention that declawing is an amputation procedure or the humane alternatives. (Please take 20 seconds to sign my petition to Purina- Purina Petition
Here’s an AAHA hospital, Alpine Animal Hospital, with the information on their Feline Information page. Alpine Animal Hospital, Feline Info, What you need to know about kittens
When a cat owner calls Alpine Animal Hospital, an AAHA hospital in Gaylord, MI, to ask for the price of a neuter for their cat and then asks if there is anything else they should have done at the time of the procedure or what other people have done for their cats, their employee says, “You can get a declaw if you want.” They said that Dr Taylor and Dr Lewis do declaws quite frequently, they use a scalpel, they charge $350 for a neuter/declaw, they say that your kitty will be back to normal after about 10 days, and they recommend using Purina’s Yesterday’s News litter for their paws. There was no mention that declawing is an amputation procedure or the humane alternatives. (Please take 20 seconds to sign my petition to Purina- Purina Petition
Another AAHA hospital , River Road Pet Clinic, in Tucson, Arizona. This is in the Resources, Pet Health Library, Kitten Play and Discipline section. RiverRoad Pet Clinic declawing info
When a cat owner calls River Road Pet Clinic in Tucson, AZ, an AAHA hospital, to ask for the price of a neuter and then asked if they also can declaw the kitty, the employee said, “Yes, we do declaws.” The employee said that they don’t do them often because it’s not something people do much anymore. They said that it is removing the digit on their claws. When the employee was asked if their cat be ok from the declaw long term, the employee said that you just have to keep him from running around and he will recover from it.
———————————————————————————————————————————————————————Here is an AAHA hospital, Speedway Veterinary Hospital in Tucson, Arizona that has this info at http://speedwayvet.com/kitten-recommendations-for-new-owners/
When a cat owner calls Speedway Veterinary Hospital in Tucson, AZ, an AAHA hospital, to ask for the price of a neuter and and then asks if they can also do a declaw with that, the employee says they will only do the front paws, not the back. When the cat owner asked if their vet is skilled at the declaw procedure, the employee said that their vet, Dr Boyer has been in the vet profession for 20 years and is well skilled at declaws. They said that they perform declaws, “pretty frequently.” They said that she uses a scalpel and your cat has to stay with them for 3 days, and it usually takes a couple months for the cat to be back to normal. They say that they send you home with Purina’s Yesterday’s News litter. There was no mention that declawing is an amputation procedure or the humane alternatives. (Please take 20 seconds to sign my petition to Purina- Purina Petition
The Fort Wayne, Indiana Animal Care and Control website.
Feb. 22, 2018 the City of Fort Wayne edited this info and then took the page down after I reached out to them. They said they are discussing what type of new information to put on their website.
(Many of the websites say that this information is written by Ernest E. Ward Jr, DVM. I reached out to him on Feb. 17, 2018 and asked him about this info. He said, “No, that is not my information, especially the declaw section. They apparently based their blog on general kitten information articles I’ve written in the past. I do not declaw or approve the procedure.”
Also, I reached out to Lifelearn and asked them about this declawing info and if they would publish factual declawing info and also information about the humane alternatives and the Chief Veterinary Officer wrote this back.
“Thank you for bringing to our attention the 13 year old article that you found on Fort Wayne’s website. I wanted to write you personally as the Chief Veterinary Officer of LifeLearn Animal Health. That New Kitten Recommendation article with this outdated declaw information is very old, and thankfully the profession has evolved. We removed that version of the article from circulation long ago, but unfortunately, some veterinarians have posted it without our permission. As Desmond explained, we have a process of finding older postings and contacting veterinarians to remove them so that outdated information does not get propagated.
Firstly, I apologize for any confusion surrounding the source of this article. Neither Desmond nor Andru were employees of LifeLearn when these original articles were written. Thus, the 2002 vs 2005 date. Also, the original article was not written by Dr. Ward, he was part of the 2nd generation of veterinarians we used to write, edit and review our compilation of client education articles that is now over 1800 articles strong. As you can imagine, keeping up with all of this content is a challenge, but with feedback like yours, which we appreciate, we can continue to improve our library that is supplied to veterinarians to use with their clientele.
I feel that your request is a good one, and I will recommend we update our New Kitten article to include mention of humane alternatives to declawing. Since we endeavour to have our articles updated every 2 to 3 years, it is due for a complete review; however this will take some time, as we need to put this in the queue for our veterinary writers and reviewers.
Once again, thanks for your communications.
Mark Stephenson, DVM Chief Veterinary Officer
Fact- Surgical declawing is the removal of the last bone in a cat’s paw or the removal of part of the last bone in a cat’s paw.
Fact- It is one of the most painful procedures in veterinary medicine
Fact- There are inherent risks and complications with declawing that increase with age such as acute pain, infection, nerve trauma, as well as long term complications like lameness, behavioral problems, and chronic neuropathic pain. (From the American Association of Feline Practitioners) AAFP declawing position statement
Fact- Cats need their claws for many aspects of their health and well-being.
Fact- When declawing was invented in 1952, no studies were performed to evaluate the long term consequences to the health and well-being of a kitten or cat.
Fact- Declawing is a billion dollar business in America and declawing vets make a lot of money from amputating the toe bones and claws on kitties. The spay/neuter declaw package is very common in declawing veterinary practices in America, especially in the Midwest.
Here are facts about declawing from Safe Haven Rescue in Missouri Safe Haven Rescue declawing information