LIFE AS A DECLAWED CAT

 

Knowing that declawing is actually several separate amputations, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. 

Declawing is painful surgery, excruciating recovery period, serious health risks, and complications such as infection and death. 

Remember that during the time of recuperation from the surgery, your cat will still have to use its feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box regardless of the pain it is experiencing. 

Wheelchairs and bedpans are NOT an option for a cat.

Cat lovers know that cats suffer pain but hide it well. 

Cats are very proud animals. 

They instinctively know that they are at risk when in a weakened position, and by nature will attempt to hide it. 

But make no mistake: Declawing is not a surgery to be taken lightly!

Your cat’s body is perfectly designed to give it the grace, agility, and beauty that are unique to felines. 

The cats claws are an imperative part of this design. 

Amputating the vital part of their anatomy that contains the claws drastically alters the conformation of their feet. 

The cat is also deprived of its primary means of defense, leaving it victim to predators if it ever escapes to the outdoors.

Declaw surgery will produce permanent lameness, pain, and/or arthritis. 

Your cat’s personality will change after being declawed, even though much of the medical community does not recognize this side effect.

 

   THE MORNING AFTER DECLAW SURGERY

 

These are photographs of cats the morning after their declaw surgery.  Notice the looks on their faces.  It is obvious that the pain medication from the surgery has worn off, leaving them to suffer alone in a small steel cage.

"…  Staff of some clinics is bravely coming forward with stories and photos of the cats suffering which until now has been hidden away.  We must be brave too if we are to stop this premeditated abuse of kittens and cats."

“The client leaves their cat and picks him up 2 or 3 days later when the first agony of 10 (or 18) amputations is over, the blood cleaned from the cat's fur and the poor cat resigned to his fate of a life of disablement."

 

These are the claws that were amputated during the onychectomy procedure, also known as declaw surgery.

Thrown away, in the trash,  forever!

 

Recovery after declaw surgery.  Look at the expression on the cat’s face!

“This cat is in a small steel cage, no comfort, no litter tray, and only a blood splattered blanket to sit on.  It looks to me as if he has chewed off one bandage and his stumps were still bleeding.  Maybe he was stopped then by the uncomfortable ecollar put on him or the other bandage would be off too.

“Look at his eyes, he's squinting as if he has a migraine, we know how that feels don't we!"

 

“Who is to say that anesthetic doesn't cause a cat a bad headache, their brains are similar to ours so scientists say when experimenting on them.  His mutilated paws must feel as if they are on fire."

“He hunches there dejectedly, resigned to his pain and fate.  he can't even lick the blood from himself, and we know cats are fastidiously clean and hate their fur to be dirty.  He doesn't know what has happened to him or why."

“His family, the very people he trusted, have betrayed his trust along with a person who trained to help animals and who, knowing full well the consequences of declawing, performed this cruel and painful surgery! "

“How can this be allowed to go on?

 

“Surely anyone with even the smallest shred of humanity can see how wrong declawing is!”
http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/
declawed-cat-suffering-in-small-steel-cage.html
 

**********

Top of Page

 

 

   PAIN MANAGEMENT

 

Many humans express pain in a variety of ways, many of which are verbal.  Cats show pain in different ways than humans do.  Cats are very stoic animals and prefer to hide their pain.

B      Declawing is painful.  There is no such thing as a painless declaw... It is critically important to ensure proper pain management post-op
http://vmdiva.com/2009/01/
to-declaw-or-not-to-declaw-that-is-the-questionof-ethics/

B       Pain management in dogs and cats is an area where vast differences exist among veterinarians
http://www.avma.org/
onlnews/javma/dec01/s121501g.asp

B    According to anecdotal evidence, many dogs and cats still receive little to no analgesia following surgery or trauma.  Dr. Hellyer cited several surveys.
http://www.avma.org/
onlnews/javma/dec01/s121501g.asp

B    In a Wagner and Hellyer JAVMA survey of 2002, of 1000 vets in the USA, it was found that 44% did not administer pain relieving medication after surgery
http://www.ragdollrescue.com/
declaw.html

B       As at 2001 pain management at Colorado State University was not uniform.  Canadian veterinarians surveyed indicated that:  Analgesics were not administered to...  30 percent of cats undergoing surgery associated with tissue trauma and pain.
http://www.avma.org/
onlnews/javma/dec01/s121501g.asp

B    In about 1990 veterinarians were discussing whether animals actually hurt!
http://www.avma.org/
onlnews/javma/dec01/s121501c.asp

Bearing in mind the late awareness by veterinarians that cats can feel pain (extraordinary isn't it), it is my belief that veterinarians are still not fully aware of the kind of pain that they are causing when they declaw a cat.  In fact they will probably never know for sure.  There is a wide range of drugs used (when they are used) and some are less effective than others.  Are some (a lot) ineffective?  The type of pain that a declawed cat feels will probably include neurogenic pain.  This is the pain felt from an amputated limb and I will suppose that that applies to a part of limb as is the case in declawing.  Do vets fully understand this sort of pain?  And if not aren't they negligent in performing a needless operation that probably causes it.

B    Animals are a valued part of society and are to be protected from needless suffering.
Dr Hellyer -- Silent suffering AVMA Animal Welfare Forum addresses pain management in animals 2001

B    No consensus exists for what constitutes ethical treatment of animals with regard to pain, even among veterinarians, who are known to place a premium on relieving animal suffering.  Studies have shown that sensitivity to animal welfare issues among veterinary students varies according to gender and background.  Views may also vary according to nationality and religious beliefs.
http://www.avma.org/
onlnews/javma/dec01/s121501h.asp

B    The above statement clearly indicates that there are bound to be many instances of cats suffering acute post operative pain for up to 42 days.
Tobias KS.  Feline onychectomy at a teaching institution: a retrospective study of 163 cases.  Vet Surg 1994; 23: 274-280.

B    Sixty-one of 163 cats exhibited signs of pain for one to 42 days after declawing; however, the median duration of signs was two days.
http://www.avma.org/
issues/animal_welfare/declawing_bgnd.asp

B    Veterinarians would seem to hold a wide range of views and skills in regard to pain management making consistency impossible and the chances of a cat suffering post operative pain after a declaw is likely.  The problem is that vets don't know how much pain the cat is feeling.  It is all guesswork.  On this factor alone should vets be declawing cats, forgetting all the other extremely cogent and important arguments against declawing?
Myths and Misconceptions in Small Animal Anesthesia

The previous paragraphs are excerpts by Michael at Pictures-of-Cats.org.  For more information about pain medication, please follow this link: 
http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/
pain-management-for-declawed-cats.html

**********

The procedure is sort of a half pull, half cut kind of thing.  The nail clippers are doing their best to saw through the joint while the hemostats are ripping it away.  And please make no mistake here, this isn't a nail trim.  A cat's first joint, just like on your finger, is being ripped out.  Nala utters a half growl/meow of pain as the joint tears away, even after all this medicine..."
http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/
the-smell-of-the-blood-of-a-declawed-cat.html

**********

"We may not know when some cats are suffering because of their stoic nature, and the fact that some cats in great discomfort may actually purr and seem to be half-asleep.  Such self-comforting, so-called displacement behaviors are indicators of stress.  Cats may learn to cope with the chronic pain of onychectomy, but the absence of overt pain does not mean they are pain-free."  Dr.  Michael W.  Fox, D.Sc., Ph.D., B. Vet. Med., M.R.C.V.S.

**********

 

This 9 year old 4-paw declawed cat is in constant chronic pain and is currently on pain meds, joint support, and calming remedies.  This cat was 4-paw declawed because her trusted vet told her human it would makes things "easier".
http://www.facebook.com/
photo.php?fbid=169635886410516&set=a.
169635729743865.35039.100000923166351

 

"Virtually all human amputees report “phantom” sensations from the amputated part, ranging from merely strange to extremely painful (about 40% of such sensations are categorized as painful).  Because declawing involves at least ten separate amputations, it is virtually certain that all declawed cats experience phantom pain in one or more toes.  In humans, these sensations continue for life, even when the amputation took place in early childhood.  There is no physiological reason that this would not be true for cats; their nervous systems are identical to ours.  Cats are stoic creatures, and typically conceal pain or illness until it becomes overwhelming.  With chronic pain, they simply learn to cope with it.  Their behavior may appear “normal,” but a lack of overt signs of pain does not mean that they are pain-free".  Dr Jean Hofve, DVM
http://www.littlebigcat.com/
health/declawing-a-rational-look/

**********

According to a pain management article from 2005, Dr. Gaynor, DVM states, "It is becoming more and more apparent that the number of feline patients who have declaw procedures performed have subsequent chronic pain issues...Another client complaint is a cat who just has some behavioral changes which may include decreased activity, decreased appetite, or increased aggression...within days to months to years..."
http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/
ivapm/professionals/members/newsletters/IVAPM%20May%202005.pdf

**********

"Many cats find it painful to use the litter box, develop a conditioned aversion to using the box, and become un-housebroken.  This is why many de-clawed cats are put up for adoption or are euthanized.  They may also bite more, and become defensive when handled because their paws are hurting and infected...  I have received a few letters from some cat owners who claim that their cats never developed any problems after being de-clawed.  But have received many more letters to the contrary, so why run the risk?  Dr.  Michael W.  Fox
http://www.twobitdog.com/
DrFox/specialreport_Article.aspx?ID=
46b4b2c4-93d6-4582-b4ec-7d311782aab8

STELLA HAS NO FEET!

"In 2004, so I am told, her past “owners” brought her to a Vet and had her de-clawed because she was scratching her head repeatedly behind her ears and they were worried she was hurting herself.  That was the day that Stella, then named Molly, said good bye to her claws in what should have been a routine yet needless operation.  Stella’s rehab did not go well and within days both rear feet had become so infected that they had to be removed."
http://www.stellahasnofeet.com/
whois.html

 

"This declawed Abyssinian cat (left) shows 4 distinct signs of pain: (1) half-closed eyes, (2) pulled-back whiskers, (3) holding the right front foot up, and (4) placing the left front foot over the edge of the counter so there’s as little weight on his painful toes as possible."
http://www.littlebigcat.com/
health/declawing-a-rational-look/

**********

"In declawed (and tendonectomized) cats, the tendons that control the toe joints retract after surgery, and these joints become essentially “frozen.”  The toes remain fully contracted for the life of the cat.  In cats that were declawed many years ago, the toe joints are often so arthritic that they cannot be moved, even under deep anesthesia.  The fact that most cats continue to make scratching motions after they are declawed is often said to “prove” that they do not “miss” their claws.  However, this behavior is equally well–and more realistically–explained as desperate but ineffective efforts to stretch those stiff toes, legs, shoulders, and backs.”  Dr.  Jean Hofve
http://www.littlebigcat.com/
health/declawing-a-rational-look/

 

"...Raven before her declaw repair surgery.  Dr.  Gaskin said, "Notice the position of the knuckles of her front feet.  This position puts her amputated toes on the hard surface first."

To the right is Raven's radiograph which "illustrates the extreme acute angle between phalange 2 and phalange 1.  Also notice the foamy look on the end of phalange 2 on digits 2 & 3 (major weight bearing digits).  This foamy look is chronic damage to the cartilage & bone end from walking on the amputated toe tips."
http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/
dr-ron-gaskin-is-a-good-vet-who-
performs-declaw-repair-surgeries.html

 

"De-clawed cats tend to walk abnormally back on their heels rather than on their entire pads because of the chronic pain at the end of their severed fingers and toes.  They often develop chronic arthritis and as the front toe pads shrink, chronic bone infections are common....The tendons that control the toe joints retract after surgery.  These joints essentially become “frozen.”  The toes remain fully contracted for the life of the cat.  In order to keep weight off the tender amputated toes, cats shift their weight backward, the altered gait stressing the limbs and spine, which could lead to arthritis later in life.”  Dr.  Michael Fox
http://www.twobitdog.com/
DrFox/specialreport_Article.aspx?ID=
46b4b2c4-93d6-4582-b4ec-7d311782aab8

**********

Facts about declawing:  Declawing the cat causes hyperflexion of the phalanges I and II.  This leads to the cat walking on its digit 2 & 3 bone ends.  These cats are very painful.  Digital dental x-rays of the front digits show the pathology and painful changes in black and white.  They bite and act out a painful creature.  Litter box problems are very common as the litter hurts their feet more.  Obesity and activity exacerbate the problem.  Anatomically; the deep digit flexor tendon on phalange II is unopposed by any extensor tendon.  Vets are NOT trained to look for these changes in a declawed cat.  Many declawed cats in pain go misdiagnosed as "behavioral problems".  A very few vets know how to relieve the pain with surgery.  Saying that declawing will keep the cat a good home is an oxymoron and emotional black mail.  Do not declaw your cat!"
http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/
dr-ron-gaskin-is-a-good-vet-who-
performs-declaw-repair-surgeries.html

 

"The claw in the picture, which was originally in one piece before surgery, was removed from inside the paw of a 10 year old cat.  The cat had been declawed as a kitten and what you see is the regrowth that occurred.  This was discovered when, during a recent routine examination, the vet felt something odd in the cat's front paw.  The poor cat spent years living with this problem unnoticed and it was undoubtedly painful.  This is just one of the many complications that can and do occur when a cat is declawed. 

 

"...Declawing that results in biting or inappropriate elimination outside the litterbox may result in the cat being permanently locked in the basement, dumped at a shelter, or simply abandoned.  Many cats are exiled to a life outdoors because of these unwanted behaviors.  There, they also risk injury or death by dogs, cars, wild predators, disease, poison, and other hazards of outdoor life; even more so than clawed cats who retain their primary defenses.  People who work with feral cat Trap-Neuter-Release programs often find declawed cats in their traps--cats that should never have been outside at all.  These cats once had homes, but were abandoned in an alley or field--almost certainly due to behavior problems resulting from declaw surgery.  The claim by veterinarians that "declawing keeps cats in their homes" clearly isn't true for these declawed cats that lost their homes and were abandoned to an uncertain fate.  There is no way to know how many cats are dumped this way, but based on experiences in Denver, a typical urban environment, the number is likely in the many thousands.  "Declawing: A Rational Look" Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM
http://www.littlebigcat.com/
index.php?action=library&act=show&item=002

**********

... (declaw surgery)..."I've counseled too many cases when these cats becoming biters and/or develop litter box problems due to painful paws" Amy D.  Shojai, IAABC Certified Animal Behavior Consultant
http://www.heralddemocrat.com/
articles/2007/08/29/life/life04.txt

 

**********

Unfortunately, some veterinarians are not aware of the consequences of this procedure...some think the cat will lose its home if they don't declaw it, but if you statistically analyze it, you realize that the cat has a higher chance of losing its home because of the subsequent behavioral changes," Conrad said, "It does not behoove the cat in any way.”  Dr.  Jennifer Conrad, DVM, "Supreme Court Upholds Ban On Declawing", Beverly Press, Vol. 17 No.  42, Oct 18, 2007

**********

From an Ontario animal shelter: "Many vets and people have argued that if they did not offer declaw surgery people would either surrender their pets to shelters or have them euthanized for unwanted scratching behavior.  I believe that if declawing was not an option, the people who were that concerned about their furniture and belongings would not get a cat to begin with.  Through the years, we have seen many declawed cats surrendered to our shelter for behavior issues that can be related to being declawed.  Over the past two years, 75% of the declawed cats that were surrendered to us had behavioral problems.  In that same time frame, only 4% of clawed cats were surrendered to us for the same behavioral reasons.  I think those statistics speak for themselves.  Studies show that declawing is a very painful procedure that can lead to long term issues, both physical and emotional.”  From the Cats Anonymous Rescue & Adoption, spring 2010 Newsletter.  They are a no kill shelter in Orton, Ontario that re-homes about 100 cats every year.
http://www.catsanonymous.ca/
Newsletter%20-%20May%2015%202010.pdf

**********

From vet staff: "This cat was declawed (toe amputation) when she was a tiny kitten....her owner came in and said that she has cried every time - her whole life :( - that she jumps off of anything.  She is 9 years old.  She came in FINALLY when her paws started bleeding where she was declawed.....her bones were pushing through the skin.  So painful and she was very scared and aggressive.  These photos were during her "re-declaw" surgery done to TRY and correct the problem.

**********

Working for a vet that declaws, a vet tech says she hates the procedure but feels she can do more good by ensuring the welfare of her patients by being there on the spot, and she can also help educate people as to the cruelty of declawing:

   'Even with our supposedly superior methods of pain control, we still routinely have declawed cats tearing off their bandages and thrashing in pain upon awakening from the operation.  It was the sheer amount of pain control medication that we give these cats that first clued me in to how truly odious this procedure is. 
   ‘Typical pain control protocol for a declaw at the clinic where I work includes both pre- and post-operative injections, nerve-block injections in the paws, oral meloxicam to go home with, and the application of a transdermal fentanyl patch- this last of which is such a strong opiod-based painkiller that, when used in human medicine, I have heard it is typically only prescribed for the terminally ill.’

This demonstrates just how much agony cats suffer from declawing, and we already know that some vets not only declaw, but give clients the choice of using pain medication by paying extra!

The thought of how many cats are suffering from this senseless abuse is heart breaking.

**********

 

Top of Page

   PADS and FEET

 

Declaw surgery causes unnatural changes to the pads and feet with crippling effects to the cat.

 

The Pysical Consequences of Declawing Your Cat is an article about declawing. It was written based on scientific  studies using bothcats with claws and without claws.
http://www.federaljack.com/the-physical-consequences-of-declawing-your-cat/comment-page-1/#comment-477354

DECLAWING COST THIS 6-MONTH-OLD KITTEN HIS LEG!! He was turned in to the Greenville County animal shelter by its owners because they couldn’t afford the surgery to amputate the kittens leg- the kitten was declawed a couple of weeks ago and one of its feet got infected… treatment was not possible- the tissue in the leg was dead- so the whole leg was amputated.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?
fbid=327966360614966&
set=a.323758537702415
.74873.19
4011810677089&type=1&theater

 

STELLA HAS NO FEET!

"In 2004, so I am told, her past “owners” brought her to a Vet and had her de-clawed because she was scratching her head repeatedly behind her ears and they were worried she was hurting herself.  That was the day that Stella, then named Molly, said good bye to her claws in what should have been a routine yet needless operation.  Stella’s rehab did not go well and within days both rear feet had become so infected that they had to be removed."
http://www.stellahasnofeet.com/
whois.html

 

**********

Radial neurapraxia associated with onychectomy.
Picture courtesy of College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University
http://maxshouse.com/
facts_about_declawing.htm

**********

'Many vets and clinic staff deliberately misinform and mislead clients into believing that declawing removes only the claws in the hopes that clients are left with the impression that the procedure is a "minor" surgery comparable to spay/neuter procedures and certainly doesn't involve amputation (partial or complete) of the terminal-toe bone, ligaments and tendons.  Some vets rationalize the above description by saying that since the claw and the third phalanx (terminal toe bone) are so firmly connected, they simply use the expression "the claw" to make it simpler for clients to "understand".  Other vets are somewhat more honest and state that if they used the word "amputation", most clients would not have the surgery performed!'
http://www.declawing.com/
htmls/declawing.htm

"In declawed (and tendonectomized) cats, the tendons that control the toe joints retract after surgery, and these joints become essentially “frozen.”  The toes remain fully contracted for the life of the cat.  In cats that were declawed many years ago, the toe joints are often so arthritic that they cannot be moved, even under deep anesthesia.  The fact that most cats continue to make scratching motions after they are declawed is often said to “prove” that they do not “miss” their claws.  However, this behavior is equally well–and more realistically–explained as desperate but ineffective efforts to stretch those stiff toes, legs, shoulders, and backs.”  Dr.  Jean Hofve
http://www.littlebigcat.com/
health/declawing-a-rational-look/

**********

"De-clawed cats tend to walk abnormally back on their heels rather than on their entire pads because of the chronic pain at the end of their severed fingers and toes.  They often develop chronic arthritis and as the front toe pads shrink, chronic bone infections are common....The tendons that control the toe joints retract after surgery.  These joints essentially become “frozen.”  The toes remain fully contracted for the life of the cat.  In order to keep weight off the tender amputated toes, cats shift their weight backward, the altered gait stressing the limbs and spine, which could lead to arthritis later in life.”  Dr.  Michael Fox
http://www.twobitdog.com/
DrFox/specialreport_Article.aspx?ID=
46b4b2c4-93d6-4582-b4ec-7d311782aab8

**********

"Virtually all human amputees report “phantom” sensations from the amputated part, ranging from merely strange to extremely painful (about 40% of such sensations are categorized as painful).  Because declawing involves at least ten separate amputations, it is virtually certain that all declawed cats experience phantom pain in one or more toes.  In humans, these sensations continue for life, even when the amputation took place in early childhood.  There is no physiological reason that this would not be true for cats; their nervous systems are identical to ours.  Cats are stoic creatures, and typically conceal pain or illness until it becomes overwhelming.  With chronic pain, they simply learn to cope with it.  Their behavior may appear “normal,” but a lack of overt signs of pain does not mean that they are pain-free".  Dr Jean Hofve, DVM
http://www.littlebigcat.com/
health/declawing-a-rational-look/

 

"This declawed Abyssinian cat (left) shows 4 distinct signs of pain:

(1) half-closed eyes,

(2) pulled-back whiskers,

(3) holding the right front foot up, and

(4) placing the left front foot over the edge of the counter so there’s as little weight on his painful toes as possible."
http://www.littlebigcat.com/
health/declawing-a-rational-look/

 

"Without the third phalanx to keep the digital pad pulled forward in its normal position, the pad begins to regress and move backward, atrophying with disuse.  The second phalanx, unable to be stretched now that the claw has been removed, will tighten into a hammer toe position.  The cat will be forced to walk on the tip of the second phalanx, the hammer toe, without the protection of the digital pad.  Very often the hammer toe will pop through the skin and the cat will have to live with chronic ulceration of the skin in what appears to be a pad, but is actually a callus.”  Dr.  Jennifer Conrad, DVM
http://www.pawproject.com/

 

DE-CLAWED PAWS are de-formed paws, disfigured paws, dismembered paws, destroyed paws that are prone to a lifetime of pain & discomfort. 

 

 

**********

Ulcerated paw pads.

 

Post-op picture of "bad" declaw.  Notice how mangled and deformed these paws are.


(As if there are any "good" declaws!
  -
Save Our Paws)

 

Necrotic (dead) tissue rotting off the foot and leg, 2 weeks after declaw surgery on a 3 year old cat. 

 

"The photo on the right shows complications from declawing a 6-week old kitten.  Because she kept bleeding after surgery, bandages were applied; they were too tight.  Subsequently, the skin on her lower legs and feet as well as paw pads became necrotic (dead) and sloughed off."
http://www.littlebigcat.com/
health/declawing-a-rational-look/

**********

"Monkey was released with bleeding front paws.  There were large areas of tissue missing, and the pads were either cut or missing."
http://www.cleveland.com/
living/plaindealer/index.ssf?%2Fbase%2F
living-0%2F1200216641105730.xml&coll
=2

 

On the left is an x-ray of a normal cat's front paw.  Notice how the fingers are extended and relaxed. 
On the right is an x-ray of a declawed cat's front paws.  Notice the deformed finger ends.  This declawed cat is a 3 year old male who had his hands de-fingered 2.5 years ago at age 6 months.  He has had chronic Urinary Tract Infections for the last 1.5 years (UTI's can be stress induced), is aggressive, inactive, and overweight.

 

To the left is Raven's radiograph which "illustrates the extreme acute angle between phalange 2 and phalange 1.  Also notice the foamy look on the end of phalange 2 on digits 2 & 3 (major weight bearing digits).  This foamy look is chronic damage to the cartilage & bone end from walking on the amputated toe tips.”  Dr.  Gaskin said, "Notice the position of the knuckles of her front feet.  This position puts her amputated toes on the hard surface first."
http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/
dr-ron-gaskin-is-a-good-vet-who-
performs-declaw-repair-surgeries.html

 

Radiographs depicting inadequate amputation of the third phalanx in a cat with regrowth of claws following onychectomy.  When there is evidence of regrowth at one site, it is common to find an excessive amount of the third phalanx remaining at additional sites.
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmaxshouse.com%2Ffacts_about_declawing.htm&h=34de0

 

"Facts about declawing:  Declawing the cat causes hyperflexion of the phalanges I and II.  This leads to the cat walking on its digit 2 & 3 bone ends.  These cats are very painful.  Digital dental x-rays of the front digits show the pathology and painful changes in black and white.  They bite and act out a painful creature.  Litter box problems are very common as the litter hurts their feet more.  Obesity and activity exacerbate the problem.  Anatomically; the deep digit flexor tendon on phalange II is unopposed by any extensor tendon.  Vets are NOT trained to look for these changes in a declawed cat.  Many declawed cats in pain go misdiagnosed as "behavioral problems".  A very few vets know how to relieve the pain with surgery.  Saying that declawing will keep the cat a good home is an oxymoron and emotional black mail.  Do not declaw your cat!"
http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/
dr-ron-gaskin-is-a-good-vet-who-
performs-declaw-repair-surgeries.html

 

**********

These photos were during her "re-declaw" surgery done to TRY and correct the problem.

From vet staff: "This cat was declawed (toe amputation) when she was a tiny kitten....her owner came in and said that she has cried every time - her whole life :( - that she jumps off of anything.  She is 9 years old.  She came in FINALLY when her paws started bleeding where she was declawed.....her bones were pushing through the skin.  So painful and she was very scared and aggressive.


**********

 

Curled toes and small pads are both signs of declaw mutilation.

Ken Jones, DVM photos.  Dr.  Jones does not declaw cats, but repairs and rehabilitates declawed cats.

 

Top of Page

 

 

   SELF DEFENSE

 

Declawing robs cats of their main means of self defense.  These cats are not able to scratch the attacker.  These cats are not able to run well because of pad deformities.  These cats are not able to climb anything to get away.  These cats have trouble jumping any great height with no claws to help them make it up.

It is a myth that cats can still climb trees after being front-paw declawed because they still have their rear claws.  That is simply NOT true.  Cats need their front claws to dig into and grab the tree while climbing.  Their rear claws also dig in and help keep them from sliding down the trunk.  Claws are a Cat’s Defense! 
http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/
claws-are-a-cats-defense.html

 

"...She is declawed and stayed out overnight about three weeks ago.  The family found her the next morning – she had been attacked by an animal.  They brought her to the vet and her back wounds were cleaned and dressed, and she was given antibiotics.  Two weeks later the wound remained grossly infected and became necrotic.  The family was given a $4,000 or greater estimate to surgically debride and graft her back.  That is when the cat came to AG.  The family could not afford the expense..."
http://www.handicappedpets.com/
Articles/declaw/index.html

**********

A woman I once worked with was haunted by a tragic accident that befell her two beloved cats when she and her husband left them alone in the house with two young dogs they had recently adopted.  Her husband returned home to find the torn apart, dead bodies of the cats and their dogs sitting quietly nearby.  She blamed the incident on leaving the animals alone together too soon, and on the fact that the puppies happened to be Huskies (Huskies have a reputation for acting aggressively toward cats).  But the most significant fact to me was one that she wouldn't even begin to consider, for understandable reasons.  Her cats were declawed.  They had been deprived of their first line of defense.  When the dogs cornered them, it was all over for the cats.

**********

“So for those of you that don't see anything wrong with declawing your feline friends, if they would get outside they will NOT be able climb a tree to escape an attack.  I know someone that had their cat declawed vowing that it would NEVER go outside.

Needless to say one day he managed to slip out the door and run.  Later that afternoon she heard a lot of noise outside and to her surprise when she looked out, there were 2 dogs playing tug o war with her cat.  She wasn't in very good spirits when she had to bury the 2 halves of her cat.  He didn't have a chance.  I was particularly upset about this because he was one of the first rescues that I had found a home for.”  Copied from Pictures-of-Cats.org

 

Top of Page

 

 

   RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERIES

 

The following photographs show some of the physical problems caused by declawing.  Other photographs demonstrate that some veterinarians offer surgery that tries to help correct the problems of declawing.

From vet staff: "This cat was declawed (toe amputation) when she was a tiny kitten....her owner came in and said that she has cried every time - her whole life :( - that she jumps off of anything.  She is 9 years old.  She came in FINALLY when her paws started bleeding where she was declawed.....her bones were pushing through the skin.  So painful and she was very scared and aggressive.

 

These photos were during her "re-declaw" surgery done to TRY and correct the problem.  

 

**********

Ken Jones, DVM photos.  Dr.  Jones does not declaw cats, but repairs and rehabilitates declawed cats.  Here are some of his photographs:

This declawed cat is 15 years old and lived at least 8 years outside.

He is unable to move his toes and can only bend his feet at the wrist.

Notice the small atrophied pads and curled toes.

This cat also has thickened metacarpal pads as well as atrophic and non-functional P2 pads which are not capable of protecting the P2 bones.

 

This cat was declawed as a kitten and then 8 yrs later disposed of when his owner was moving - she took her other cats & dog but dumped this cat at a vet’s office. 

Why? 

Because he had several issues - all related to his declawed paws - which included crying incessantly, chronic UTI's (which can be stress related), flicked and shook his paws in the air, and he didn't use the litterbox. 

This cat was immediately put on Prozac and joint support treatment by the vet and a few weeks later had a tendonectomy performed to release his flexor tendons that had become stiff - the flexor tendons retract and stiffen after they are sliced or burned off during declaw surgery and cause the joints that they once helped to move to "freeze", which is very painful.

"In declawed (and tendonectomized) cats, the tendons that control the toe joints retract after surgery, and these joints become essentially “frozen.”  The toes remain fully contracted for the life of the cat.  In cats that were declawed many years ago, the toe joints are often so arthritic that they cannot be moved, even under deep anesthesia.  The fact that most cats continue to make scratching motions after they are declawed is often said to “prove” that they do not “miss” their claws.  However, this behavior is equally well–and more realistically–explained as desperate but ineffective efforts to stretch those stiff toes, legs, shoulders, and backs.”  Dr. Jean Hofve http://www.littlebigcat.com/
health/declawing-a-rational-look/
 

 

These are radiographs of his declawed paws before surgery.  The inflammation at the toe ends and stiff joints look very similar to a human with rheumatoid arthritis.

"...the foamy look on the end of phalange 2 on digits 2 & 3 (major weight bearing digits).  This foamy look is chronic damage to the cartilage & bone end from walking on the amputated toe tips."

http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/
dr-ron-gaskin-is-a-good-vet-who-
performs-declaw-repair-surgeries.html


"These problems are compounded by the chronic pain that many de-clawed cats suffer, and show lameness and abnormal vertebral and postural misalignments due to paw-pad pain from abnormal weight distribution on certain pads, and also from chronic inflammation, post-surgical infection, chronic arthritis and osteomyelitis, and contractions of the flexor tendons." http://www.twobitdog.com/
DrFox/specialreport_Article.aspx?ID=
46b4b2c4-93d6-4582-b4ec-7d311782aab8
 

 

A tendonectomy is being performed to release the frozen tendons in his front paws many years after his initial 'declaw' surgery.  You can see how tight (look like "tents") his other toes are in comparison to the one that has been released.

 

 

Post surgery, his stiff "tented" looking tendons have been released and he walks flat footed now.

Radiographs of pre-op (left) and post-op (right) of the repair surgery - his stiff tendons are flat after being released and there is much less inflammation.  After surgery he was weaned off Prozac, his incessant crying has stopped, and he has had no more UTI's.  He still occasionally flicks his hands but he is much more comfortable considering the chronic pain he lived with needlessly for the first half of his life.  He is still on Glycoflex (joint support) and Composure (emotional support).

Some GOOD news... a little kitten at the vet office fell in love with this cat, and 2 days after she was adopted, the family came back for him,

(no one wanted to adopt him because he needed daily pain meds) 

They are now living happily ever after!  J

   

Top of Page

 

Prevent unwanted animals in overcrowded shelters.

Their only crime is being born.

Their punishment is execution.

Please spay and neuter your pets.

 

Make a Free Website with Yola.