Declaw Discount Coupons: Not Such a Great DealPublished December 6, 2010
It isn't any secret that I abhor the practice of declawing cats. It is not a simple procedure; it is the amputation of the first joint on the paws. Thirty-seven countries around the world have banned this unnecessary and inhumane practice. Several cities in California have already banned the procedure as well. Veterinarians take an oath, "Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health [and] the relief of animal suffering." However it has been well documented by veterinarians who refuse to do this procedure, that declaw surgery causes cats serious suffering. According to Michael W. Fox, noted veterinarian, bioethicist, syndicated columnist and author several books, including Cat Body, Cat Mind, "De-clawed cats tend to walk abnormally back on their heels rather than on their entire pads because of the chronic pain at the end of their severed fingers and toes. They often develop chronic arthritis and as the front toe pads shrink, chronic bone infections are common. Many cats find it painful to use the litter box, develop a conditioned aversion to using the box, and become un-housebroken." So much for the rationale that declawing cats preserves their homes! Many veterinary clinics eager to bring new clients into their practices by offering discount coupons on declaw surgery. I recently saw a coupon for a discount on declawing if the surgery was done in conjunction with neutering or spaying. One practitioner in Florida advertises discount coupons and recommends kittens may be safely declawed when 3 months old. This violates the American Veterinary Medical Association's recommendation that the procedure to be done only "after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively." Another clinic in Detroit, Michigan offers "bargain" rates for declawing two paws for $ 76, with all four paws for only $96. Gotta keep that cash register overflowing! Many practitioners are unwilling to disclose what declawing surgery entails, even though the American Veterinary Medical Association believes that veterinarians are obligated to provide complete education in regard to declawing. Many paws have been saved by our veterinarian. She is strongly against declawing so she fully describes the procedure and offers alternatives. Since most folks inquiring haven't a clue about what declawing entails, once informed, they change their minds. Regularly trimming nails, patiently training cats to use appropriate scratching posts and material is all that is needed to preserve "precious" furniture; the main reason why people consider declawing. It infuriates and breaks my heart that the majority of veterinarians in the United States and Canada, (many of which are unwilling to learn about or appreciate the gravity and dangers connected with declaw surgery), routinely declaw to keep their clients happy, and of course to make money. With the abundance of feline friendly alternatives to declawing on the market, I cannot fathom why anyone who understands cat's special needs and truly loves them would ever declaw them. For more information about the dangers of declawing, read Dr. Jean Hofve's excellent article at littlebigcat.com. After fully understanding the negative effects of the procedure, would you declaw your cat? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.