Declawing From The Veterinary Staff’s Point Of View

Declawing From The Veterinary Staff’s Point Of View

As a veterinary assistant for several years, I’ve worked for two practices that performed cat declaws. I see what the cat owner doesn’t see after they drop their kitty off the morning of surgery.

I wish I could show them pictures beforehand of post-declaw cats lying in their cage looking miserable, shaking their feet and trying to chew off their bandages.

I wish they could see the cages where the cats have gotten the bandages off, with blood splattered over the cage walls, floor, ceiling and door (and sometimes even onto the floor of the room).

I’ve seen declawed cats have claws that try to re-grow, and instead of growing out they grow into the inside of the paw, requiring more surgery to correct. I’ve seen infected feet that looked horrible.

I’ve heard all the excuses and stories — people who complain that the cat scratches the furniture but who have not bothered to provide a scratching post, people who just HAD to buy the $3000 leather couch and chair, people who show me a couple of minor scratches on themselves, people who just can’t wait for a kitten to outgrow the urge to climb the curtains.

Oh, and someone who said her senior cat was snagging her shirts when she picked him up (I talked her into Soft Paws, at least for one application).

I don’t buy the excuses. Cats scratch, dogs bark (and have tails and ears), and if you can’t live with them as they are, don’t get one. Buy yourself a nice goldfish.

From Declawing From The Veterinary Staff’s Point Of View to Declawing Cats

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Declawing From The Veterinary Staff’s Point Of View

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Dec 29, 2010 Full of admiration
by: Leah (England)

Thank you so much for your honesty and bravery. I cried when I read your article even though I’ve read and commented on so many.

It must be so heartbreaking for you when clients won’t listen but you should be so proud when you manage to get clients to change their minds.

You are amazing and I don’t know how you do it day after day but do it you do and thank God there are vet techs like you who speak out against these poor little brutalised little souls.

I thank you with all my heart.

Dec 29, 2010 To the writer
by: Ruth

Is there any chance some of your co workers would write some articles too do you think ?
Yours is so valuable and the more veterinary staff we can get who actually see what happens and how they feel about declawing, to write about the cruelty of it, the more we have to use to convince people not to do it.
Thank you again for your compassion and what you try to do to educate clients.
I admire you very much.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Dec 28, 2010 Thank you all
by: Anonymous

Thanks so much for your feedback (I’m the author of the original article). I don’t want to leave my profession, as I love working with and helping animals (the only job I’d like more would probably be working at a cat sanctuary or no-kill shelter). It’s frustrating dealing with people who don’t want to be educated or just don’t care. A client recently flat out told us that his expensive Italian leather sofa is more important than his cat, and that he wouldn’t try Soft Paws “if there’s any chance they won’t work” (despite having told our receptionist that he had “already tried everything”). He started out by saying he didn’t want to declaw his 4-year-old cat but that he had to (right, because of the inanimate sofa). I try (along with a few of my co-workers) to promote alternatives to declawing, but we don’t always succeed.

Dec 28, 2010 Thank you!!!
by: Kathleen

Thank you so much for coming forward with your story!! Veterinary support staff are the ones who can change the public’s opinion on this issue, and it is VITAL to the cats that we speak out about what we see and what the DVM’s making the big bucks for the surgeries won’t tell. I worked in the veterinary industry off and on for most of the past decade. The first vet I worked for did not declaw and would educate her clients as to exactly why she did not, and would tell them point blank that if they wanted it done, they could go elsewhere because she didn’t want their business. Sadly, she is retired now. I knew she was a rare breed in taking a stand against this socially acceptable form of animal abuse, but I didn’t realize exactly HOW rare. For years I tried to reconcile my feelings about declawing with the belief that the good done for animals in the veterinary industry helped to balance it out. But I simply could not make myself accept declawing as something that has to exist, or the fact that most vets in this country do little or nothing to educate people or to help make declawing a thing of the past. So finally I did something about it…

and was fired from my job as a result. But I can face myself in the mirror a lot better now. As Boris Pasternak wrote in “Dr. Zhivago”, “Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you believe, if you grovel before what you dislike.”

Dec 28, 2010 Well said
by: Anonymous

I have held these same views for a long time and even started boycotting veterinary practices that provided declawing service. It’s the highest act of arrogance and selfishness to bring an animal into a household thoughtlessly and then decide to have it tailor-made for convenience’s sake.

Thank you for speaking out against this atrocious behavior.

Dec 27, 2010 Thank you
by: Kathryn

I wouldn’t have the courage you must have to stay in that job and watch cats suffering.
I’d have taken the cowards away out and left which wouldn’t have done the cats much good would it.
By staying there and trying to stop people from declawing their cats you are doing something very valuable.
I also wish there were more like you but sadly most just get their pay packet full of blood money and ignore the fact that healthy body parts have been sacrificed for it.
Please write more,maybe examples of some individual cases,it makes sad reading but if we can use it to help us save cats claws then I’m all for reading it.

Dec 27, 2010 We need more vet staff like you 🙂
by: Susan

Thank you for your article, it is certainly distressing to read, but the TRUTH very much needs to be told since so many vets hide it. Thank you too for not becoming desensitized to the cruelty & abuse that declawing really is like so many in the vet industry do. I really wish there were more vet staff like you, and I hope your article empowers them to expose what they have witnessed. I consider vet staff accomplices to this crime when they don’t speak up about it to their clients. And heroes of those like you who write articles, or photograph the suffering, and let the public know and see.

What I want to know is, where is the vet in all of this? Why isn’t the vet, the animal’s doctor, educating the human and protecting the animal???

Dec 27, 2010 Me too
by: Sue

I agree with everyone else about your courage in speaking out about this atrocious cruelty and I too admire you for trying your best to educate clients.
Please keep up the good work until declawing is banned.
This article would have gone well with a picture of a suffering cat,I wish you’d had one to use.

Dec 27, 2010 Butchers
by: Edward

Man thats so brave of you when you work for vets who dont like people to know what goes on behind the scenes.
If you know how much pain cats are in and the blood all over then Im damned sure those butchers called doctors know it as well yet still they cause it.
Keep up the good work letting people know about it.

Dec 27, 2010 THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
by: Jo Singer

Hearing this from someone who has personal experience in dealing with cats who have been so brutally “treated” by veterinarians who apparently declaw cats “willy nilly”, thinking that they are preserving homes, but in reality may be putting cats at far more risk of being surrendered to shelters due to “unacceptable behavior”… which of course the cat’s owner has caused by actually requesting this surgery.

These kitties can suffer horrendously no matter how practitioners pooh pooh the risks and claim that post surgery pain is managable and “not to worry”. I can only imagine the stress that you felt under those conditions. I feel for you too.

Thanks for getting the truth out. Perhaps with more professionals who agree that this surgery should be banned and a thing of the past will step forward and speak the truth, declawing surgery will finally cease.

Dec 27, 2010 Good to have the truth exposed
by: Barbara

Thank you for telling us the truth from your own experience, and for trying to talk people out of declawing. I think it must take a lot of courage to actually work there and witness declawing procedures when you obviously are against this horrible and unnecessary mutilation of cats. This is exactly what is needed to convince those people who don’t believe how bad it really is.

Barbara avatar

Dec 27, 2010 Kudos
by: Anonymous

I love your article

It would be great if more vet staff followed your example and helped expose the reality of declawing.
It’s been hidden for far too long.It sometimes seems like some kind of conspiracy among USA declaw vets to keep this horror hidden.

Could you tell us more please,why vets are selling lasering as more humane when it isn’t. Because it’s surely burning off toe joints instead of cutting them off.

Do the vets who do it actually care about the fact they cripple cats?

I think by your courage you are liable to save lots of toes in your job and by telling people about declawing on here.

THANK YOU from a fellow lover of cats.

Dec 27, 2010 Outrageous!
by: Judy S

I do not believe in declawing! It is terrible. I really dont think people know what actually happens to the cat. They dont just pull out the claw, they have to REMOVE the cats 1st knuckle so the claw doesnt re-grow! How would you like your knuckle cut off? I dont think so! My vet WILL NOT perform the surgery. He is against it! Very well said in your blog! We may have some shredded furniture, but hey, that’s what we took on! <3

Dec 27, 2010 Great blog
by: CJ

Hopefully your great blog will show the idiots who pay to have their cats disabled why the poor things are kept in the clinic for the first horrible aftermath of their legal torture.
If anyone thinks it’s OK for cats to go through that,let alone the life of problems it causes,then they are not people who love cats,they are monsters.

Dec 27, 2010 Praise and thanks
by: Rose

Certainly lots of praise and thanks from me.
I also think it’s very brave of you to come here and tell the truth about declawing.
We in the UK just can’t understand the mentality of people who want this done to their cats and we despise the vets who push declawing to make money out of it.
I worked for a vet a good while back but only for a short time and as Ruth said,it’s horrible enough seeing animals suffering through necessary surgery.

Dec 27, 2010 THANK YOU
by: Ruth

THANK YOU very much for writing this article.
We have written many about the cruelty of declawing and the alternatives but we can only write about what we’ve been told or researched, where as you have written what you have actually seen.
You’ve seen cats suffering pain and fear and have had to care for them and that must be heartbreaking.
Caring for any animal post op and seeing them in pain and afraid and vulnerable is hard enough, but to have to care for cats going through such cruel uneccessary surgery must give you nightmares !
You are doing a wonderful job educating clients about the truth of declawing, I’ve heard of vet techs being in trouble for that !
We have one very brave lady here who lost her job because of photos showing the truth. There is another picture here too of a cat suffering post declaw, the photographer protected by being anonymous.
I admire all veterinary staff who are coming forward beause what you have seen and write about may convince someone who wouldn’t believe the truth otherwise.
I hope your bravery will encourage more ‘eye witnesses’ to come forward and help us get declawing stopped !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Dec 27, 2010 I agree!
by: Maggie

I agree with you, if people can’t handle a cat with claws they shouldn’t have a cat. The convenience of declawing has made people assume that cats are simply possessions that anyone can do whatever they want to.

It’s nice to know that there are some vets/vet staff out there who haven’t been sucked in to the corrupt concept of declawing. It’s people like you who will influence others not to declaw!

Dec 27, 2010 Thank You
by: Michael

Thank you very much indeed for sharing your point of view on cat declawing.

Your contribution is extremely valuable in our efforts to stop this ghastly, cruel and unnecessary practice.

You will get a good number of comments I assure you and all will be praise and thanks.

Michael Avatar

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