Different kinds of declawing?

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Delyte, Dark- Angel, at- Bridge

Me and my- person, together- against all
Purred: Sun Jul 8, '07 10:54pm PST 
This is Delyte. Someone mentioned in passing that there are different ways to declaw a cat. We only knew of the one, where they lop off the last joint of your digit with the claw. We had heard that someone had invented another kind, where they just cut the tendon that pushed the claw out of the skin, so that the cat still had his claws and digits, just could not put them out. We've never actually heard of a cat having that operation, though. Is there any other way?

Please don't get riled up by this, my person is just asking from intellectual curiosity. I am certainly too old to have any unnecessary surgery done, and in any case she thinks it is cruel to cut off the digit like that.

Any of our vet tech kitties know about this or can point us to someplace where there is info on it? Thanks!

Sassy Baby- Mew

Whatcha Mewing- At!
Purred: Sun Jul 8, '07 11:28pm PST 
yuck, doesn't sound good to me either way.

Tom- Berzerker- Xyro Bosley

Crazy Pants- Magillicuddy
Purred: Sun Jul 8, '07 11:30pm PST 
Yes, this newer, more "humane" type of declawing involves snipping the tendon so that kitties can't extend the claws, but are still there. A kitty friend of mine had it done and he said it wasn't bad! I think it's called a Tendonectomy: http://www.pet-dog-cat-supply-store.com/tendonectomy.php

Also, there are always soft paws, which are just a cap on the nail:


Purred: Mon Jul 9, '07 3:42am PST 
well, I don't personally think a tendenectomy (think I spelled it wrong) is any better or more humane. I think it's worse to let them keep their claws (fingers in humans) & not let them stretch their fingers (digits).

Laser de-claw I heard is less evasive, less bleeding & less recovery time.
Although it's a bit more pricey. The older a cat gets though the more unsafe it is to de-claw because of possible complications that could arise like premature arthritis, and balance problems.


Treat me like- the princess I- am
Purred: Mon Jul 9, '07 5:49am PST 
Do any of you kitties use SoftPaws? Mom REALLY wants to get them for me so I stop accidently scratching Harley (the other kitty) but Daddys afraid i would just bite them off. Daddys too lazy to go to their website and read all the testimonials about how great they are. Mom and Dad say a de-claw of any kind is out of the question because 1. Im older (2+ years) and very mushy and they dont want to hurt me, or have my mood change. (Harley was a kitten when they got him declawd and he was fine.) 2. Its expensive all at once. I know the Softpaws would be about $20 every 4-6 months.


Lazy, Lazy, Lazy
Purred: Mon Jul 9, '07 5:53pm PST 
Soft paws are great. Initially you may chew them off until you get used to them, then you should leave them alone.

Here is some declawing info for the OP.


http:// www.marvistavet.com/html/body_declawing_and_its_alternatives.html


Linus- (Dreamboat- #72a)

So many toys, so- little time.
Purred: Mon Jul 9, '07 6:16pm PST 
I wear Soft Paws and they work great! They come in many fun colors too, or clear. You can see them on me in some of the pictures in my photo album.

Just an FYI: the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA) show rules prohibit showing any cat that has had declawing or tendonectomy surgeries. However, claw covers (like Soft Paws) may be worn on cats being shown as Household Pets.


The Alley Cat
Purred: Tue Jul 10, '07 4:31am PST 
My cat as been wearing soft paws for a couple of years now. The soft paws were great in the beginning but now she can scratch and I have to put foil around my couches so she doesn't make a mess of them. Anyone else with this problem? I also know there is a laser surgery to remove the claws.


Purred: Fri Dec 12, '08 10:23am PST 
The debate to declaw cats is an ongoing discussion even among veterinarians. Some veterinarians advocate declawing for two reasons. First, it may help a cat get adopted as it reduces the risk of damaging furniture. Second, it may prevent some cats from being humanely euthanized owing to furniture damage or scratching children in the house.

In general, I’m a fan of trying behavioral modification, training, and prevention instead of declawing. I personally don’t declaw. Sure, I’ve learned the procedure and have done it once or twice in veterinary school, but I’m no expert at it. That’s because I completed my internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital (associated with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), where the procedure wasn’t performed on ethical grounds.

If the tricks of the trade (like behavioral modification and training) don’t work and your cat is blowing you off, he or she may need to be declawed. First, know that there are many different options for declawing: onychectomy, laser therapy, tendonectomy, and the use of Soft Paws. Generally, when veterinarians declaw, they typically only do the front toenails, as these are the nails that rip up your sofa. While it’s less expensive to only declaw the forelimbs, please know that declawing the back leg nails is generally unnecessary and probably putting your cat through more pain than necessary. Keep in mind that if you have your cat’s front nails declawed, you still have to remember to trim those back leg nails every few months.

Onychectomy is removing the third digital phalanx with a scalpel or nail clipper. This removes the last part of your cat’s digit (i.e., the top third of your finger with the nail on it), and should prevent nails from ever growing back. This is the most common type of declawing available by your veterinarian and generally goes off without a hitch. Occasional complications from this method include pain, bleeding, pad damage, transient paw swelling, infection, or chronic lameness. Rarely, incomplete removal of the germinal cells during the procedure can cause the nail to grow back. Because this type of declawing is the most painful method, make sure your vet is treating your brave kitty with lots of pain medication both before and after surgery.

Laser therapy is another method of nonsurgical onychyectomy. Laser therapy is quick, causes minimal tissue injury, and results in rapid healing. However, not a lot of veterinarians have this expensive gadget, so there’s limited availability. Also, the use of laser therapy is dependent on the experience of the veterinarians so be sure to consult with your vet to see if this is an option.

Deep digital flexor tendonectomy is less invasive, as the actual nail is not removed. Rather, the tendon in the wrist is cut, making it impossible for your cat to protract his nails. In other words, he has his loaded gun but can’t whip it out. The claws remain retracted after these tendons are severed, which limits the ability to scratch, but the nails may become blunt and thick, and will still need to be trimmed regularly. With tendonectomy, rare complications can occur. For example, if your vet accidentally cuts the wrong tendon (the adjacent superficial digital flexor tendon), your cat may have a permanent, abnormal flat-footed stance. The good news is that he can’t be drafted.

In general, if you’re going to get your cat declawed, do it sooner rather than later (around three to six months of age). You want to do it before your cat learns to scratch furniture. More important, do it sooner because young cats recover and heal faster – they are back to playing and running within days. Despite the urban myth, declawing older cats doesn’t screw up their balance and agility, but their recovery can take a few weeks longer. Finally, find a veterinarian who uses pain medication after surgery. I always like to send cats home on an oral pain medication, Buprenex (a morphinelike drug), for several days after any kind of surgery.

For those of you who are scared or nervous about surgery, a nonsurgical option includes Soft Paws. These are vinyl caps that you glue to your cat’s front claws and are a noninvasive way of attempting to prevent your cat from damaging furniture. While it may not be comfortable (imagine typing with fake nails), cats seem to tolerate them reasonably well. The Soft Paws website also provides useful tips on how to cut your cat’s nails, how to fill the caps with adhesive, and how to adhere them to your cat quickly and safely (see Resources). Supposedly, Soft Paws stick on for four to six weeks (depending on your skill in gluing), but I’ve randomly found them throughout the house, in the litter box, and in Seamus’s poop (they’re pretty safe and are supposedly easy to pass, as Seamus proved) when I tried them. The good thing is that it lets you try on all the different colors and styles in the process. And no, you can’t drop your cat off at your manicurist to have this done, but you will become a pro at it after your first ten or twelve Soft Paws get stuck to your hair, your cat’s face, your fingertips, and your clothes.

Dr. Justine Lee

Material from "It's a Cat's World... You Just Live In It" Copyright Justine Lee Veterinary Consulting, LLC. 2008.


The Rat
Purred: Fri Dec 12, '08 10:28am PST 
I had laser with AWFUL results (hospitalized for 2 weeks), mommy isnt going to declaw anymore!

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