Tuesday 11 August 2009

Good Veterinarians Must Speak Out

The good veterinarians must speak out. What I mean is that the veterinarians in America who do see the cruelty in declawing cats and who do not carry out the operation need to provide courses and educational seminars for the public about declawing.

I don’t see this happening. I can understand why. It is totally understandable. They are in the minority and they might (probably would) alienate other vets. They might become outsiders in their own profession.

See lots more articles on why declawing is fundamentally wrong: Declawing Cats

And it is far better financially speaking to remain inside the group. But and this is a massive but, the good veterinarians who don’t speak out and try in a decent way to stop declawing, are undermining their own consciences. Indirectly, they are condoning it. In regards to such a profoundly abusive medical procedure as non-therapeutic declawing of cats the good and enlightened veterinarians who genuinely have the care of animals at heart (unlike the monsters who declaw) owe a duty to their patients to speak out.

This could, for example, take the form of giving seminars. Why not? The vet could charge a modest fee and present the facts about declawing to owners who were thinking of declawing their cats. There must be a large number of people who are unsure about it who simply need some clear guidance.

There is a lot of misinformation out there and very little really good research. All the vet has to do is to present the known facts, which can be summarised as follows:

Declawing is unnecessary. There is lots of evidence that tells us it can cause serious medical complications but we need further sound and objective research. Because of the real potential to cause short and long term complications that are unpredictable for any individual cat a vet should not carry out the procedure. The better course of action is to respect the cat for what he or she is and adapt to the cat’s behaviour and enjoy that behaviour. If that cannot be contemplated another animal as a companion should be chosen.

It a few hundred vets started educating the public about declawing by telling the truth (I am not asking vets to do what the AVMA does and peddle half truths and misrepresentations) then the gradual change away from this hideous practice would begin.

In lieu of that the only force for change can come from legislators who ban declawing at the local level - for example the West Hollywood ban. Come on good veterinarians you must speak out. The cat is looking to you for help.

From Good Veterinarians Must Speak Out to Home Page


  1. well i totally agree! my cat has been Laser-declawed on her front toes so she doesn't shred up everything. in case no one knows laser-declawing is simply safely lasering away the sharp tip of the front claws, the cat can still climb but she doesn't have sharp claws. it is a great safe procedure. the cat doesn't have to go through painful surgery, it only takes a short amount of time. some people say that its dangerous but my cat came home and ran around the house for hours happy as can be! i think it is a safe alternative for indoor cats. out door cats shouldn't be declawed at all.

  2. Laser declawed is still declawed anonymous! There is no reason on this earth to declaw a cat but doing so so that "she doesn't shred up everything" strikes me as pretty cruel and heartless. I think you need to spend a bit of time on researching laser declawing before you recommend it as safe, and imply that it is painless. My cats were born with claws and will keep their claws, as is their right, all of their lives.

  3. Another brilliant blog and very true, vets who don't declaw should speak out against those who do.But sadly I've not come across one yet who will,apart from those wonderful lady vets who have been battling for a ban for years ! But hopefully if more would speak out, others would follow suit.
    Anonymous you have got it totally wrong,laser declawing is still the amputation of the last joint of the cats toes,the same as by guillotine or scalpel.The cat is still mutilated for life and has chance to develop many problems because of the operation.Indoor cats still need their claws to walk, groom and exercise properly.Happy as can be doesn't describe a declawed cat at all, running around the house was probably a sign of the agitation your poor cat was in after discovering what had happened to her.

  4. Anonymous, I'm sorry to inform you that your vet LIED to you about laser only taking off the "tips" of the claw! Have you felt your cats paw to see that the knucklebone is now gone? It is impossible to declaw a cat by any means w/o removing bone or the claw would grow back, pls call your vet and give him hell for fraudulently lying to you! Your cat has been robbed of something that you can never give her back, and even if she was running around after (still pumped w/pain meds & elated to be home from a vet who betrayed his oath "to do no harm" by butchering her healthy body parts) she could be facing a life of pain issues, esp when the arthritis sets in since the joint as been severed. Nail trimming & scratching devices are all that are needed for claw care, not surgical mutilation.

    Please see http://www.pawsneedclaws.com to get the facts about this surgery:

    "Because claws grow directly out of claw forming bone, "declaw" surgery has to irreversibly carve out and sever, by either a scalpel, nail trimmer, or burned off with a CO2 laser light, the third or distal phalanx to keep the claw from growing back. It's literally "de-fingering", "dis-jointing" and "dis-membering" the last digit of a cat's finger including the outmost joint bone."

    Laser surgery is being marketed as the "better" or more "humane" way to declaw a cat, but it is not without complications & consequences and the end result is still the same - amputation of healthy cat toes - done by burning, which can result in fourth-degree burns in the bone as seen in this picture.

    "Declawing, when performed by laser, is still the amputation of the last toe bone of the cat and carries with it the same long-term risks of lameness and behavioral problems as does declawing with scalpels or clippers. Studies have failed to show that laser declawing is less painful for the cat in the post-operative period." Humane Society Veterinary Medical Assoc Cosmetic & Convenience Surgeries Position Statements

    "I had Roscoe and Jaspurr laser declawed about two months ago and it has been nothing but pain and suffering for them. I chose to do it with the laser because the vet said 'it was less bleeding, less painful, and less swelling.' What she did not tell me is about all the complications that go along with the surgery." Lisa Violet's Declaw Horror Stories

    "Complications (bleeding, limping, swelling, infection) were generally worse in the laser onychectomy group in the first 2 days after surgery but were equivalent thereafter." My Vet Said Laser Was Better, Dr. Jennifer Conrad, DVM, The Paw Project

    "...she jerked her body, meowed at me twice while looking into my eyes and then she died. Laser Surgery was not better...the decision to get her declawed is the worst decision I have never made, it took a life, my Tazzy's life. I will not be able to get past this, what I have done, the torture my baby went through. Cat Dies from Infection After Laser Declaw Surgery

    "No matter how the claws are removed, a cat without claws is missing part of his toes and has to go through life without being able to perform one of the most enjoyable and beneficial parts of being a cat: scratching - with claws. The whole basis of scratching; the aspect that provides the refreshing workout and exercise, is pulling against the resistance of dug-in claws". Gary Lowenthal, author of "Why Cats Need Claws" from Is Laser Declaw Better?

  5. I can't believe that someone was either purposefully lied to by their vet about this procedure, or is so incredibly unobservant that they truly believe that lasering is "simply safely lasering away the sharp tip of the front claw".

    If this were true, she would see the cat's claws still present in the paw, but apparently the anoynmous commentor has not observed that the last joint on the cat's paws have been removed completely.

    When are people going to become humane and refuse to have this surgery performed. If everyone would refuse it, vets might think twice about offering it, especially as a package deal with neutering/spaying.

    You are right! The GOOD veterinarians must speak out and remind their fellow vets who are doing this procedure that they took an oath to "do no harm" when they were in school.

    Thanks for a great post.

    Jo Singer

  6. Thanks Jo for your support and to Susan and the other great people who understand the problem,

    Living in England as I am, I am constantly shocked how American veterinarians act. What do they think they are doing? They have completely lost their way. We should not have to plead with them to do the correct and moral thing. But we are. They are paid, and take an oath, to serve the PATIENT and they have forgotten that. Oh, in case a vet reads this the patient is the cat! Yes, I know it comes as a shock to a lot of vets in America to be reminded of that simple and obvious fact.

    The American vet does not think in terms of "service" but of "profit". He/she is totally unsuitable to be a veterinarian. There needs to be a vetting process of applicants to veterinarian college and only those of the correct mentality get into college. 90% of those practicing in the US would not pass this process.

    Wake up USA vets. Where are the good vets with courage to do the right thing? Are you going to hide? And in doing, so support through apathy and acquiescence the brutal and unsuitable ones who mutilate our cat companions at the request of ignorant "owner".

  7. hey... that's nice blog... it remembers me of my school days.. thanks.... hope u'll keep doin it...!!!!


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