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Russell Lake Animal Hospital does not offer declaw surgery.

Declawing is a series of bone amputations. Declawing is more accurately described by the term de-knuckling and is not merely the removal of the claws, as the term “declawing” implies. In humans, fingernails grow from the skin, but in animals that hunt prey, the claws grow from the bone; therefore, the last bone is amputated so the claw cannot re-grow. The last bone of each of the ten front toes of a cat’s paw is amputated. Also, the tendons, nerves, and ligaments that enable normal function and movement of the paw are severed. An analogous procedure applied to humans would be cutting off each finger at the last joint.

Declawing, also known as onychectomy (än-ik-ek-tō-mē), is a major surgical and potentially crippling procedure that robs an animal of its primary means of defense. Declawed animals may be at increased risk of injury or death if attacked by other animals. They are deprived of their normal, instinctual behavioural impulses to use their claws to climb, exercise, and mark territory with the scent glands in their paws.

While some felines will have immediate complications from the procedure, it may be many months or years before the damaging effects of declawing become obvious. Declawing may result in permanent lameness, arthritis, and other long-term complications.

There are humane alternatives to declawing.

There are many options available to prevent cats from harming the furniture that does not involve surgery. These include training, nail trimming and nail caps. We would be delighted to have the opportunity to discuss them with you and find the best method that would fit you and your cat.

Family members with compromised immunity:

People with compromised immune systems do NOT need to declaw their cats. In fact, declawing cats to prevent human illness is not recommended by the Center for Disease Control, the US Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health, or infectious diseases experts.

This information has been taken, with permission, from the Paw Project Website.
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