I think it may create a Blackmarket for those who will declaw and find someone who may claim they are educated about the procedure. It is a personal choice and not one I can make for myself. But, if it is banned, there will be someone doing it with very bad results for the cat and the owner who may not realise the serious problems associated with what it really entails and the person doing the procedure, will be moving and hiding and never to be found. Reminds me of the era of Clothes Hanger Abortions! I am against banning declaw even if it isn't something I would do to my cat. The declaw procedure does seem cruel to many, but I see the benefits when those who do want to keep their furniture and their skin intact due to their attachment to their beloved cat and those sharp claws. It needs to be a legal procedure done by a DVM.
Anything the public wants and becomes illegal, it will go underground!!!!
Have you seen some of the cosmetic procedures done by Breeders or even owners? I met a little dog who had ears that were horribly damaged....but not by a DVM.
Working in this field, it is alarming what some think they can do as well as a Vet and the internet provides just enough info to give them the power to think they can.
I agree with 'bleedingheart' above. Those people who want to keep their kitties that are incorrigible scratchers will find a way to get it done. Just as many folks perform other veterinary care on their pets for various reasons, there will be people who will perform this surgery illegally. Or people will take their pets to a vet who will do it, out of the area.
Or, they will surrender their cats to a shelter, and the less scrupulous folks will abandon them. There really are cats who will simply refuse to use a scratching post, or who don't hesitate to attack their caregivers. Declawing really can save the lives of these cats. I think it's ridiculous to ban a procedure that is perfectly safe and relatively painless (in these times of nerve blocks, preemptive analgesia, and take-home painkillers). It is not any government body's right to tell you what you can and cannot do with your property, or yourself. I don't consider my pets property, of course, but that's where they stand in the law...for now.
I certainly do not advocate declawing. Many kitten/cat owners obtain a feline and want it declawed as a matter of course. There are still folks who don't realize that yes, cats can be trained! I feel that declawing should only be a last-minute resort, but that it should be available when needed, performed legally and properly by a veterinarian.
What will they ban next?
Edited by CatWoman, 3 years ago
I want to thank the previous poster for her well-thought out response to this topic. Very well said, on all points.
Pet owners look to veterinary professionals to guide them in their decisions regarding the health and well being of their pets, and they are being done a vast disservice in this regard by far too many veterinarians in this country. I wonder if the AVMA or the AAFP would care to sponser a study of exactly what passes for client "education" about declawing at a random sample of clinics across the country? I agree that some form of regulation needs to be put in place.
I also want to recognize the valid point that has been made earlier in the thread about anything the public wants that becomes illegal simply going underground. This does concern me too, yet I am still in favor of citywide bans on declawing. The comparison to coat-hanger abortions is compelling, but inaccurate; people who want their cat declawed will still be able to simply drive a little further to a vet in the next neighboring town, where the procedure is still legal...for years to come, most likely. Bans in individual cities send a message, however, that enough people in that city agree that declawing is inhumane. If vets refuse to volunteer all the pertinent information on the procedure, perhaps pet owners curious about the reasons for the bans might start asking more questions.
I believe there is another thread on declawing in the "Comment On Articles" forum.
Edited to add: And in regard to the question of whether or not declawed cats "know" their phalanges are missing- I would venture to say that they don't need to "know" it intellectually when they can FEEL it. The high sensitivity of cats should be well documented in veterinary medicine by now. A creature that has been shown through studies to have the ability to sense weather changes, earthquakes, and when its owner is about to unlock the front door can CERTAINLY tell if 10 parts of its own body are missing.
Edited by kathleen, 3 years ago
sounds to me like the ones who want us to be regulated just want some authority group to be able to make others practice how THEY see fit. if you dont like declawing,
What I want is alternatives. I want for there to be *at least* as many clinics that do not declaw as there are clinics that do, so that veterinary support staff like me who are against declawing are still able to continue working in the veterinary field without feeling that they are doing just as much harm as good. I want for every veterinary staff member to be able to believe in what they do and to support the doctors they work for 100 percent. This is impossible for too many of us right now. I am willing to bet that there are far more technicians and assistants who are opposed to declawing than there are doctors, because the technicians and assistants are the ones who typically have to care for the patients afterward, when they have torn off their bandages and painted the entire inside of their cages with blood and are crying and thrashing in pain.
If it sounds like I am angry, it's because I am. I entered the veterinary field because I wanted (and still want) to HELP animals, and once I saw for myself what declawing does to cats, there is no way I could ever believe that it is the right thing to do. Those in the field who support the "right" to declaw can claim all they want to that banning declawing will result in more homeless cats, but a) the statistics on cat relinquishment in countries where the procedure is banned do not bear this out, and b) even if we assume this to be true in America, then it should be the job of the veterinary community to address this problem as a legitimate threat to the health and well being of domestic cats. We should be striving to eliminate the demand for this procedure through education, not simply pandering to it as the majority of clinics do.
I am perfectly aware that there are many cats that recover smoothly after a declaw and do well throughout their lives. drsaxe, I am happy for you and for your cats, and hope that they continue to do well into their geriatric years- only time will tell on that. But just because some recover well does not mean that they all will, and it doesn't make orthopedic surgery on weight-bearing joints any less painful, and it doesn't make declawing any more necessary or humane.
Edited by rockstarzdaddy, 2 years ago
It would be wonderful if every vet hospital in the country that performs declaw surgeries would also offer, promote, and recommend alternatives, and would provide a thorough education to clients about the high risk of short and long term complications, but the fact of the matter is that this does not happen in every hospital. My personal experience is that it happens in relatively few hospitals. It seems far more common for receptionists to schedule declaw surgeries with absolutely no questions asked and without the client ever meeting with a doctor to discuss the procedure. This is not what I would call "informed consent". Furthermore, it would be wonderful if every hospital performing declaws would adhere to recommended pain control protocols, yet pain control medication remains *optional* for the client in far too many instances, which is simply unacceptable with a procedure of this nature. Until this profession makes client education about the risks and alternatives a genuine priority across the board and with better consistency, and until there are penalties from state vet boards or from AAHA for non-compliance with pain control protocols, I will continue to advocate for bans on the procedure.