My mom received this special email from Dr Robert Lofsky who is a Canadian veterinarian. He also sent the note to Dr Jennifer Conrad with the PawProject.org.
I hope that Dr Lofsky’s story can inspire many of his colleagues to make a change, do the right thing, and follow in his noble path. I hope we have a world soon, where all doctors of veterinary medicine just perform healing surgeries and not harm cats by declawing them.
Dear Dr. Conrad and Lori Shepler;
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) recently came out with their position statement against declawing cats. In response to this position statement I have decided to stop performing this procedure.
I have been declawing cats since I graduated in 1999. Since starting Wilmot Veterinary Clinic in 2009 I have done about 250 declawing surgeries. I have always disliked doing this surgery and felt it was a surgery of convenience to prevent cats from damaging household furniture. One reason I continued to do this surgery was I felt if I didn’t do the surgery the client would go somewhere else to get it done and we would lose the client forever. As a new clinic owner that started off with zero clients this was an important consideration. Also I had very good outcomes with this surgery. I provided very good pain control and most cats were eating and attention seeking several hours after the surgery. So essentially I would declaw cats at the very least knowing that it would be done well and with the appropriate pain control. I have not seen the problems associated with declawing cats that many anti declawing groups talk about like, litter box avoidance, biting and chronic lameness. That being said declawing is really like deknuckling our fingers. This procedure is fundamentally wrong.
I realize I could have stopped doing this procedure a long time ago and I now confess I regret not stopping this procedure sooner. My crisis of conscience may seem hypercritical or out of convenience but at some point we all must realize it is time to make a change. My decision to stop doing this surgery now is that other veterinarians will hopefully follow the new position statement from CVMA and stop declawing cats. As fewer and fewer veterinarians perform this procedure there is less of a concern that clients will go somewhere else and less concern that the surgery is not being done properly with the appropriate pain control.
The demand for this procedure comes from the public, and veterinarians should not be the only ones at fault . Cat owners need to stop asking us to do this procedure and we need say no and provide alternatives.
Please add me to your list of veterinarians who won’t declaw.
Wilmot veterinary clinic