Declawing Cats

It is our choice at Piney Creek Square Integrative Veterinary Medicine to Educate…..Not Amputate.

Declawing has been a commonly accepted practice in veterinary medicine for decades.  However, as science has advanced so has the awareness of what is entailed in a declaw surgery.  In many countries, declawing is either not done or is outright illegal out of humane concern for our feline companions.  Declawing a cat is a serious surgery that is widely recognized to be a very painful procedure. 

Declaw surgery has a number of potential complications.  The first is persistent pain.  It has been shown that some individuals will experience pain long after the post-op pain should have resolved.  Occasionally, the pain will persist for life.  We suspect that the cats feel phantom pain in their amputation sites, just as some human amputees feel phantom pain for years in limbs that are no longer there. The second complication is that some cats will not be able to stand normally on their paws.  The tendon structure never heals normally, leading to an abnormal posture.  Finally, infection is possible even though the cats walk around on the surgical sites post-op. 

At Piney Creek Square Integrative Veterinary Medicine, we do not perform declawing of cats unless it is medically necessary (i.e. irreparable trauma, infection, tumors, etc.).  We feel it is best to try and resolve the problems non-surgically if possible, as we know this is true of any medical condition:  If a viable non-surgical alternative exists, it should be tried before surgery. 

Non-Surgical Alternative Suggestions:

Additional Information on Declawing: