Veterinary Associations and Declawing
” Please cease and desist calling my client. It is my understanding that you call every day. ” Wrong and a total lie! I wasn’t calling everyday. In fact, since March 20th, I tried to call once a week and then a couple times this week.
Their lawyer said in the email that I was, “harassing my client and such harassment is against the law.” He went on to tell me that if I persist in my, “telephone harassment”, then his client will “file complaints with local law enforcement, and the appropriate law enforcement agencies” where I live.
The phone messages that I left simply asked to call me back, said who I was, and that I wanted to talk about their declawing policy with the appropriate person who sets their pet policy. I never once left harassing phone messages or demanded anything.
Their lawyer also went on to say that they will, “also will file complaints with the FCC and seek to have you retrained from sending further e-mails.”
Dear City, So my story goes like this… In 2015, I declined to perform a declaw on a 7 year old cat. The husband and wife wanted me to declaw their cat who they were afraid would jump into their newborn babies crib and scratch it. She was still pregnant and they...
They also taught me that contrary to popular belief, cats CAN be trained to used appropriate scratching posts and that declawing is 100% unnecessary.
Lastly, and most importantly, they taught me that saving a couch, drapes, and carpet can never replace saving a life…..the life of a cat whose chances of making it out of a shelter alive drastically decreases if it doesn’t have claws on its paws.
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.
This veterinary practice in Oklahoma uses a guillotine clipper for their declaws and says that they, “cut off the nail and nail bed then use surgical glue to close the incision.”
They charge $69 for a 2 paw declaw and $97 for a 4 paw declaw.
When a cat owner asks them if there are any negative consequences to declawing or if there will be complications they say, “typically not, we do them frequently with no problems.”
A really awesome veterinarian sent me this valuable information about declawing and the humane alternatives. First, readers should know there is pain involved in declawing. Dr Christianne Schelling put together this article on declawing.com that walks the reader...
As one of the many veterinarians who refuses to perform declawing surgery, I feel that I’ve heard all the excuses under the sun as to why cats should be declawed. Or, at least, what people thought they knew about declawing. Many people are shocked to learn how awful declawing actually is, and wonder why it was the norm for so long.
Quote from West Virginia pro-declaw veterinarians, “You are right when you state there are those who would like to make declawing illegal. Many of those opinions have been formed by misinformation and what I call “internet-hype.” When performed properly, the declaw procedure results in no harmful side effects. In our experience, the cats have no higher incidence of any behavioral problems, which is in direct contrast to some of the fabrications that are now circulating. “
Dear American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), “Cat Friendly” should mean exactly that and should be reserved for vets who actually don’t declaw cats. “Surgical declawing is the removal of the nail at its base. This is done under...
Dr Jose Pla is the vet who does their declaws. They advertise their laser declaws on their facebook pages, their employees say that Dr Pla performs declaws, “all the time”, ” Dr Beeber says that a cat will be ok from being declawed, they post photos of declawed cats and promote their laser declaw, and they charge $875 for their laser declaws and will even do them on older cats.
In one sentence he said he was, “impressed by my passion and dedication”, and that I’m someone who is working hard to help pets and do good in the world. He said that he hopes I see similar characteristics in him.
And in the next sentence he said he didn’t feel inspired but he felt attacked.
Hmmmm. How did I attack him?
I simply asked some questions in a private email as to why so many employees at his practice that is a AAHA, AAFP Cat Friendly hospital were saying that they are a high volume declawing practice and that cat owners could book a declaw surgery with him personally.
He was a fun and spunky kitten. At seven months old, I was able to get a voucher for a reduced cost neuter. I took him to the vet to have the procedure done. They let me know that I could pick him up at the end of the day. I had a sense of dread all day and when I didn’t hear from them, I called to make sure I could come pick him up. They informed me that he had his first procedure and was doing well and his neuter was scheduled for later. I was confused and asked what she was talking about.
When she said his front paws were declawed, I lost it. I was so angry and upset that I don’t remember what I said. That anger grew when she said “Sorry. We mistook him for another cat.”
I have been a veterinarian for 20 years, 16 of which have been in 100% feline practice, and I have never had anyone threaten to euthanize or relinquish their cat because of clawing behavior. The behavior problems that I have seen result in euthanasia or abandonment are inappropriate elimination and biting, which I see far more often in declawed than clawed cats.
I have always been adamantly opposed to declawing and have found that if I simply tell people that it requires amputating the last bone on every toe, the vast majority of clients do not want to do it. Most people really do love their cats, and they don’t want to hurt them, but they haven’t been informed about the procedure.
I always counsel people about having appropriate scratching posts, trimming nails, and using Soft Paws. It does require some effort, but so do most things worth having in life.
Beware, the banality of evil.
Some old time vets will hang on to the past, using antiquated techniques and medications, because that’s what “they were taught.” They don’t question what is “normal.” Other vets are more innovative and want veterinary medicine to be as progressive as human medicine. State of the art medicine and diagnostics can really help save lives. These vets are willing to learn new, life-saving techniques and medications and therefore eschew the old, the less effective or inhumane.
Here are examples of how pro-declaw vets and Purina have a mutually beneficial relationship and how they are profiting from this very inhumane and cruel procedure.
Purdue Veterinary Wellness Clinic says they do “pain free declaws” with their CO2 laser. How can burning off a cat’s toe bones and claws with a super heated laser be pain free? How is declawing “feline friendly” handling?
The veterinary professional organizations have not recognized onychectomy for what it really is: malpractice.
For a veterinarian to harm an animal and with no physical benefit to that animal is
tantamount to malpractice. Despite cautions to their members for decades, professional
veterinary associations have not effectively reined in their veterinarians from performing routine
The NJVMA has to lie and use fake facts to protect their right to declaw cats.
It’s almost as if they know there is no good reason to declaw but are trying to convince themselves that it’s ok to still make money from mutilating cats.
My family became educated on declawing and we made the relationship between the kitties work without having to declaw another cat.
We used to believe that declawing cats saved their lives. We feared that cats with claws would be turned in to the shelters in record numbers, and that we were doing a good thing by making cats more likely to stay in their homes.
As it turns out, the numbers do not bear this out. When areas have stopped declawing, the number of surrendered cats actually dropped. This left us with a question. We know that even under the best of circumstances, a declaw is a major and painful surgery, (and no less so when it is performed with a laser, by the way.) It is an amputation of the end of the cat’s “finger,” not just the removal of the claw itself. And even when performed perfectly, can have life-long complications.
So we wondered, if we weren’t saving cats, and this procedure can be painful to cats, why were we doing this? Although we know furniture destruction can be a problem, it can almost always be prevented with the right techniques. Besides, when it comes down to it, as veterinarians, our main concern is the cats, not the couches. We have to do what is best for our patients.
When cats start walking on their balls then we will start believing the NJVMA’s spokesvet Dr Yurkus and his animal hospital that declawing isn’t more painful than neutering.
Meanwhile, the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ policy on declawing states:
“Physically, regardless of the method used, onychectomy causes a higher level of pain than spays and neuters. Patients may experience both adaptive and maladaptive pain; in addition to inflammatory pain, there is the potential to develop long-term neuropathic or central pain if the pain is inadequately managed during the perioperative and healing periods.” [AAFP Policy Statement on Declawing, 2007.]
To put these all this in perspective, there are, more or less, 80 million pet cats in the U.S. At least 20% are declawed (estimates range from 20-45%), which is 16,000,000 cats. If even only 5% have long-term painful complications (and the number is likely far higher), that’s still 800,000 cats with known chronic pain, obvious pain.
How many is too many to suffer?
Clearly, veterinarians as a profession have failed to keep up with modern medicine, failed to govern themselves, and failed to understand the universal, serious, and potentially lifetime pain they are causing cats by declawing. Sadly, there is no mechanism to enforce changes in the profession.
Therefore, legislation is necessary to stop the cruel and unnecessary practice of declawing.
Declawing changes the conformation and weight-bearing characteristics of a cat’s paws. This paper graphically shows these physical changes.
I received a note from a young person the other day.
It started with, “My mom got my cat declawed today and I feel sick.”
My heart dropped as I kept reading the sad note.
Dear leaders with Cornell Feline Health Center, Purina, and New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association. Please do the right thing and help us end this very inhumane and unnecessary procedure. Declawing should never be an option because there are always humane alternatives. If you really want to be true advocates for animals, you will stop looking the other way to this horrific torture that is being done to around 2 million cats in America. Profiting from any kind of animal cruelty is wrong, and is especially egregious if you don’t do anything to help end it.
Regarding Mrs Rhoda Hogan’s $125,500 bequest to Cornell. Cornell said that they used $100,000 to make 6 short videos. Cornell said that $25,500 has been sitting in a Feline Health Center account all these years and say their, “current leadership intends to use the funds to support novel public outreach efforts to encourage non-surgical alternatives to declawing. They are actively evaluating the most effective means for carrying out this plan.”
Dr Mike Yurkus, NJVMA board member, said, “It is incorrect that the last bone of the finger is removed. It is the nail bed. The claw bed is removed and the tendons are detached. Bone is not removed. We do not cut bone.”
FACT- Declawing is always the amputation of the last bone that the cat’s claw is attached to. Many of the New Jersey veterinarians, including one of the NJVMA board members practice Oradell Animal Hospital, in my study, uses the old school clipper method, which often cuts just part of the bone off and the cats are left with painful bone chips in their paws.
Dr Mike Yurkus statement in the NJVMA Testimony at Assembly Committee Hearing 11/14/2016, “The discomfort level is no more than in a neuter than it is in the declaws that are done properly.”
Of the 97 vets who perform declaws in this study, 72% said they do them frequently, commonly, often, routinely, or on a regular basis and more than one a month.
21% said they just do around one a month, very few or not often.
7% wouldn’t say how many they do.
Only 12% offered or suggested alternatives or asked why the cat owner wanted to declaw his or her cat.
I just wanted to thank YOU, for sharing City with us, if only for a moment in time, City’s mere existence made my mom happy today.
Mom said for me to tell you to never give up on your quest to end declawing.
Just like the tobacco companies did in the 30’s and 40’s for smoking, the veterinary profession started deceiving cat owners in the 50’s to believe that declawing was humane.
The veterinary associations and pro-declaw veterinarians are still perpetuating these lies and deception about declawing so that they can keep making money from this very inhumane procedure.
Let’s thank the NYSVMS for reminding us that we must use our VOICES and EDUCATE the public and CAT OWNERS that DECLAWING is ANIMAL ABUSE and that we must protect all cats from LICENSED VETs who are doing this mutilating and inhumane procedure!
It is OPTIONAL to get any pain meds for your cat and their declaw surgery. The only reason we declaw the back is if they have leather (furniture) and they are totally destroying them or if someone is on a blood thinner. But typically if they are just scratching at something , declawing the front two work out just fine.”
AAHA’s reason they don’t have any declawing standards. “It is up to the pet owner to make the decision that is right for his or her pet. While veterinarians are there to help counsel a pet owner on a possible course of action, the ultimate decision maker is the pet owner. Part of being a responsible pet owner is being an advocate for your pet and making the choice that is in their best interest – while a veterinary hospital is a partner in that choice, it is not their choice to make at the end of the day.”
I cannot find a “good” reason to declaw a cat.
If you cannot change your lifestyle in order to have a cat, you do not understand what cats require and you do not deserve to have one in your family.
The cat was dehydrated, emaciated, declawed on all four paws (she must have been out there for weeks with absolutely no way to defend herself nor to catch anything to eat), and covered in burrs and sores caused by the burrs.
She could hardly walk and it appeared that her paws were still in pain.
This is the story of our life these days when we try to help protect kitties from being declawed.
Why are so many people, who supposedly are on this earth to help animals, not wanting to help us with this cause to end this animal cruelty and inhumane procedure.
Is money and a piece of furniture really more important than the welfare of a little cat?
Purina’s Yesterday’s News cat litter is purchased and recommended by most veterinarians who declaw cats, as their go to, post-surgical litter for declawing.
Sadly, around 2 million cats a year in America are declawed. That’s a lot of sales of Yesterday’s News cat litter from this very harmful and inhumane procedure.
If Purina donated just 50 cents from every sale of Yesterday’s News litter to the cause to end declawing OR used that money to make educational videos about why cats need their toes and claws, it would save hundreds and thousands of cats from going through this very inhumane procedure.
It would show that Purina truly cares about helping to end this horrific and unnecessary procedure that is done to millions of cats in North America mostly for the welfare of a sofa.
The AVMA position statement on declawing is purposely deceiving.
The AVMA says that there are no studies that show that declawed cats have more behavior problems when compared to a control group.
The AVMA’s intention is to make it sound like there is no evidence that declawed cats have more behavior problems but, the reality is that there really are NO STUDIES, (meaning none have been published), that compare declawed cats to those in a control group.
Isn’t that the most super slimy way to deceive people?!?
Why would they do that?
Photo is from an AAHA hospital with American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) vets, that declaws cats with their laser, tells cat owners there are no long term negative consequences from this inhumane procedure, suggests declaws with neuter surgeries to first time cat owners, doesn’t offer any behavior advice for scratching issues and cats, doesn’t suggest scratching posts or Soft Paws (they have a section on their website called “Behavioral Medicine” with a photo of a dog with a torn up pillow and say they help with behavior issues.)
They say their laser declaws aren’t painful, and say that it’s $199 for the front declaw, and they say, “doing it by a laser doesn’t hurt them as much as it used to when they used to just pull them (claws) out and it hurt them more.”
“We do 4 or 5 a week, your cat should be fine in 15 days, and they are back to normal quickly.”
“we have older people whose skin gets real thin and their doctors tell them to get rid of their cats because one little scratch from their claws will just make a big gash so we declaw their kitties so they can keep them. 18 yrs old is the oldest cat that she’s declawed and we’ve never had any problems.”
“She (Dr Rigoni) wouldn’t do it (delcaws) if it caused long term health issues. Everyone has their own beliefs they consider that to be, she declaws almost all her cats. Do you want the front paws done or all four done?”
“She also does canine by the way, which very few people do. She taught herself, it’s a totally different method. They (dogs) can ruin walls by scratching and thing, drives her nuts. She taught herself how to do it. It’s a different technique. They don’t teach that in vet school. It’s not something we normally show.”
“Most people will just have the front claws taken out , the only time we would recommend having the rear claws removed also is there was a small baby at home or if you have leather furniture but if that isn’t an issue we would recommend the front.”
“We do several declaws a day. There is no age limit for a declaw.”
“Yep they should be ok unless it’s an outdoor cat and we don’t recommend doing it because they learned how to use their claws . I got mine declawed at 3 yrs and she was completely fine. The 4 paws is ok too? “yea that’s what I did on my cat. It’s more common to get the front ones done just because the front ones are what they claw with and tear your furniture up with but you could get all four done.”
“there’s no consequences or anything like that. Why people think it’s inhumane is just because it’s like cutting their knuckle off, which it isn’t, we’re taking the nail out of the cat and that’s where a lot of people think it’s inhumane but personally I don’t just because indoor cats don’t use their nails that much and but if it’s an outdoor cat and catches mice and all sorts of stuff like that, then yea I could see it, but indoor cats don’t use their nails much for anything.”
City, I need help urgently. I am a seventeen year old college student at Northwest Missouri State University. I recently qualified for an emotional support animal for my various mental health problems. Over the weekend, I got a kitten to come live with me after the processing is finished. However, today I learned that they are requiring me to front declaw him before he moves in. Obviously, this is not going to happen, but I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to have to drop out/transfer schools, but I will not mentally make it through the semester without him, and there is no way I am going to mutilate my baby just so he can live here.
Near Pain Free Cat Declaw By An 18 yr AVMA Member Veterinarian. This is another example of why declawing needs to be banned.
I did receive your email and discussed it internally with the regional managers yesterday evening before we left for the day. We have come to the agreement that we are going to remove the declawing policy in our current Resident Policies. However, due to hardwood floors and trim, we will be increasing our Pet Deposit. I appreciate you reaching out to us and we are more than happy to accommodate our furry friends the way they are! We plan on having another internal meeting within the next week (most likely after Labor Day weekend) and will re-write the policies to become truly pet friendly across all 6,000 units across Indiana & Ohio.
Here’s another BIG veterinary convention with so many CE courses that help the health and well being of animals. Unfortunately there is also a course that basically promotes radiosurgery as a cost effective way to amputate cat’s toe bones and claws.
“We can’t declaw a dog. Dog’s nails are different than cat nails and dogs nails have veins in the nails. Cats don’t have veins inside their nails,” said the employee at this veterinary practice after asking the veterinarian.
An international group of Pro bono animal advocates is looking for people who had their cats declawed at VCA Hospitals, Banfield Hospitals, any hospital chain or even single private practitioners in the last 4 years and who want to participate in a class action lawsuit, based on the failure of these veterinarians to disclose the true facts, risks, and consequences of declawing and based on the inappropriate veterinary recommendation of declawing cats to protect human health.
Two separate vets — one with over 30 years of experience as a veterinary surgeon — both commented that this was the worst mutilation of a cat’s front feet that they had ever seen.