Is my cat suffering paw pain from a declaw she endured as a young kitty?

My name is Tina and I believe that my cat, Mollie Ann, is having paw pain from a declaw she endured as a young kitty. I’d like her paws to be X-rayed to find out if anything is wrong but I can’t afford it.

cat who may be suffering paw pain due to declaw surgery

Mollie originally lived with an elderly lady who died. My cousin found her in the shelter, adopted her and gave her to my aunt who had cancer. After living with my uncle for a year and a half after she died, Mollie came to live with me.

Mollie is 7-8 years old and is a Siamese/Himalayan cat. She is a very proper kitty and does not like disappointing her human! Except she knew when she came home with me her life would change, drastically.

Mollie urinated on a brand new black/white comforter shortly after arriving here then spent some time where life was good and there were no accidents. I then saved a Cairn Terrier/Poodle 6 month old puppy who peed and pooed everywhere. As the only human in the house, I never knew who peed or pooed on the carpet. The dog picked one spot and stuck to it until he was house broke, but there were accidents. The dog was put on Prozac (whole other issue now) so I thought putting Mollie on Prozac would give similar results.

Once I began the pills, baby gates went back up to keep things “clean.” One day I came home to find poo in the bathroom and the dog was on the other side of the gate. I closed the door to the bathroom and the next day there were little, cat-like, turds on the living room floor with a huge pee spot. I stopped dead in my tracks! I knew what was wrong! Mollie was lethargic, probably Prozac, and could no longer jump in her basket where the heater was.

The next morning I cleaned the office where the boxes are, put down a soft towel in between the boxes, set Mollie up with a covered cat kennel and blankets with heating pad. I was able to get the plants off the office floor and light rearranging to protect stuff from dogs. There has not been any further ‘accidents’ on the floor.

Mollie, however, still won’t jump and shakes her paws more than I have ever seen. She goes in the box, but does not cover her mess up so I do. I promised my Aunt Ann before she died that I would take care of Mollie when the time came. I kept that promise thus far. Now I am financially strapped, Mollie needs vet care, and I have a promise to keep.

Her paws are painful and I need to know if her declaw went wrong and don’t have the money.

Thank you,

Tina

P.S. Jo says: Kirsten Doud said she would help her if she had X-rays to prove that her issues are declaw related.

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Is my cat suffering paw pain from a declaw she endured as a young kitty? — 100 Comments

  1. Hi Tina. Thank you for posting your story on this website. We would like to help. Could you tell me how much the x-rays would cost?

    Every month, depending on the number of comments maybe during the month, this website donates some money to a cat charity. What we could do is put together 2 month’s donations and see if that is enough to pay for the x-rays.

    Please get back to me as soon as possible so we can get on with the job of checking out whether Mollie is in pain because of the declaw surgery.

  2. Poor little Mollie Ann. I hope you can arrange those xrays asap Tina, it does sound to me as if her paws are painful, she is showing the classic symptoms, not digging in the litter tray, shaking her paws, avoiding jumping, as she ages she may be developing painful arthritis too in her legs and back.
    It breaks my heart that this was deliberately done to her by some butcher masquerading as a vet!
    How many thousands of cats are suffering from this cruel surgery!
    Michael you are a Saint, I think the monthly donations to help Mollie would be a wonderful gesture.
    Long live PoC, THE BEST cat web site on the internet!

  3. Poor little soul she does deserve as much help as we can give, I hope these xrays can be organised and someone can do something to help Mollie. Michael you are a good man.

  4. I’m onboard for helping Mollie Ann. If our declaw expert, Ruth AKA, says Mollie Ann is showing classic signs of declaw pain, you can take it to the bank!

  5. Poor Molly – she’s an incredibly beautiful and sweet looking cat is’t she. Very special. Poor lady – her paws must hurt 🙁

    • Thanks Marc! She is very sweet and loving. She is not active at all any more! Thank you for helping Mollie Ann and the other place Michael donates to 🙂

  6. Michael, thank you. Ruth, thank you! Everyone who has seen Mollie Ann or heard her story, thank you. I finally figured out what was wrong as I entered my last two weeks of my college career. I will get an approximation of the cost to you, Michael, today sometime. Thank you to everyone and “Meeeeeew mewww” from Mollie Ann!

      • So for 2 different clinics and I have yet to find a vet here who does NOT declaw……..pricing for exam and xray range from $70-100 for x-rays and $23-69 for exam.

        • I’m really suspicious of the findings a prodeclaw vet may render. I don’t see those vets coming forward with the truth.
          How can we get a real unbiased reading?

          • Kirsten Doub of the Utah branch Paw Project is willing to look at the X Rays and to help Mollie if Tina can get a local vet to take some to send to her. She is doing wonderful work repairing the paws of declawed cats, but apparently she’s a long way from where Tina lives.

            Kirsten says:
            Paw Project-Utah’s first paw reconstructive surgery was a GREAT SUCCESS! Meet Davis, a 14 year old kitty with a botched declaw. The first picture shows his pre op back feet with huge left over P3 fragments. The next Xray shows his back feet post op (notice no fragments!!). The next photo shows an abcess….every single one of his toes had an abcess from the left over fragments and the splintered bone schrapnel left over from the Rescos used for the improper declaw. The next photo is Davis post op, happy as a clam chowing down!!! We can hear him purring from across the hospital! The final photo shows the pebbles (p3 fragments) that were in his shoe, so to speak, that Paw Project-Utah director Kirsten Doub, DVM surgically removed…Davis is thrilled to be starting a pain free life and is doing splendid JUST HOURS after his procedure!! Videos of his surgery to come….#ThePawProject
            — at Union Park Veterinary Hospital (5 photos)

            • Oh, R! Have you shown this before and I missed it?
              Fragments, abscesses…
              I could hurt someone over this.
              If the xrays are sent to Kirsten Doub for review and confirmation, maybe she has a data base of vets in Tina’s area that could help.

              • This is very recent Dee, I ‘met’ Kirsten Doub on facebook as she is using some of my anti declaw posters to educate with and we’ve kept in touch and she’s started the Utah Paw Project, via Jenifer Conrad of the original Paw Project. Jennifer is hoping to have vets in various cities doing the same, repairing paws and educating but the wonderful Kirsten is also gathering scientific evidence by xrays to prove how cruel declawing is and the consequences to cats.
                I so much admire every one over there who is doing this, once there is hard scientific evidence I don’t see how vets can carry on declawing, they can pretend for now that it doesn’t cripple cats but one day soon they will have to admit that it does!
                I also ‘met’ Tina on facebook and Mollie’s plight touched my heart.
                There are many cats with botched declaws but not enough anti declaw vets who will admit it and try to help them.
                Declawing is bad enough, botched declawing is even worse, there are no words to describe how passionate I feel to help get it banned worldwide!

            • Fantastic comment, Ruth. We need more vets who do declaw repair surgery. I hope this will project will work. The trouble is the whole veterinary profession in the US is swamped with declawing vets.

              • TRUE! For every vet who is anti-declaw there are 20 or more who are pro-declaw. This is NOT a lost cause for the cats of America. There needs to be more vets trained to do the repair surgery and they will learn how crazy it is to declaw.

          • Yes! I’m hoping they will only need to take one view, like Dr. Kirsten does. She also might need to be sedated and I’m waiting for the vet tech to call me back for an estimate of price.

            • I would say since the vet tech is pushing for urinalysis on Mollie and I am refusing, the sedation should not be much since it will be a quickish x-ray. I’m not really thinking it will go over that amount, Michael.

        • I believe I found a clinic that will x-ray, exam, and send the x-rays to Dr. Kirsten. They do declaw, they also educate hoping the human will try alternative procedures instead. This is the only clinic I have found in my area that would rather educate and teach alternatives rather than declaw. Their costs are $80 for one view of x-ray then it goes up for other views and $46 for the exam. I have left a message for a friend to see if this clinic is what we need. Thank you for all your support, Michael and everyone!

          • Hi Tina,

            I asked my vet what she would charge for xraying a cats front paws. Of course there is the clinic visit fee (which ranges considerably) but she charges $149 for two views (this includes both front paws). She would share results- of course she is much too far from you Tina.

            My vet tends to be on the “pricey” side, but within fair costs. When I told her about your issue, she totally understood and thought it was an excellent idea.

            So compared with the clinic you mention here her fee for xrays is actually FAR less expensive.

            • I got a bit erked last night. The vet tech from said clinic wants to run urine tests, but I know there is nothing wrong with her bladder/kidneys. With baby gates gone and she goes in box but doesn’t cover her stuff. I need to call again, but will wait til next week just to let the issue settle with them. If she isn’t jumping like she used to and hasn’t covered her stuff for a good year in the box and without baby gates she is back to using the box, it is paw issues. Her vet had checked her last year for urine problems and nothing so the issue has been going on since I’ve had her, 2 years.

              • Tina, additionally, cats feeling insecure (as all declawed cats must feel I believe) often don’t cover their excrement. It is their way of marking their territory, and the litter box is one of their prime territories.

  7. Tina, Praying you can get some answers for poor Mollie. You know how I feel about the declawing issue! On board all the way for Mollie!!!!!

  8. Best of luck. I hope Mollie gets the relief she so deserves. I have strong opinions about the declawing issue and feel it is wrong, often resulting in issues such as what your poor Mollie is now enduring. I wish you and Mollie much luck.

    • I didn’t know there was an Applehead Siamese! The shelter, before my cousin rescued her for my Aunt Ann, said she was Siamese/Himi so that is what I’ve been going by. Doesn’t really matter, I love her. And to update: Mollie has been residing in the office all the time where the boxes are and last night slept on the corner of my bed again 🙂 She knows I know. she runs to the box to do her business and runs out without covering. I wait a bit and go in to cover for her 🙂

        • Thank you! Now that I’ve spent three days crying from all the generosity of complete strangers from the US to the UK and elsewhere. I’m forging forward. Thank you so much for helping Mollie Ann!

    • The more I researched the traditional or Apple Head, Mollie really looks like one. I love her so it doesn’t matter 😀

  9. want this to all make a difference, hopefully our country will follow all the other countries that have deemed declawing cruel and inhumane.

  10. The biggest obstacle to getting the right veterinary care for Mollie is that 99.9% of veterinarians in America declaw cats and so it is almost impossible to find a genuine veterinarian who will have the health and welfare of Mollie at heart.

    I think that Tina has to go to a veterinarian who does not declaw cats and as I say in response to Ruth’s comment the nearest one is in Denver which is about 400 miles away and an estimated 6 hour drive or you could fly if you want to spend $420!

    • I believe the vets at Canyon Lake have the best percentage than any other here to be unbiased and to be able to evaluate Mollie fully. The fact they are willing to send the xrays to Utah is huge! No other vet has been willing. They have all wanted the ‘control’ of the situation!!

  11. Tina, I am so sorry for Mollie’s pain and plight. Please let us know if you set up some kind of GoFundMe or something similar; I’m sure many of us would like to pitch in a few bucks toward this sweetheart.

    • I am happy to pay for this through the website but the biggest obstacle is finding the right vet (one who does not declaw and who is skilled at repair work).

      Thanks Lesleigh for commenting and contributing.

      • Thanks so much Lesleigh!!!! I do believe you are the only one who really gets how much I care for these kids of mine, fur and all!!! Thank you for reposting on FB for Mollie Ann!

      • Michael, as you know, I don’t have access to a vet who does not declaw here, but the ones at Canyon Lake Veterinary Hospital prefer to educate and work with the cat and human before declawing. Gia said they have many who opt not to declaw after learning about scratching posts, behavior modification of the cat, etc. If they want to do an exam to get the xray, fine. I just want the xray and have it sent to Utah! I know Dr. Kirsten will be able to read it and tell if she is a surgical candidate.

        • OK that sounds fine. Let’s do that. Next…how to get the money to you. Do you have PayPal? If not it will have to be bank transfer. You’ll need to provide your account details which (as I recall) should include the address of your bank and your details too, just in case. It is quite tricky doing international payments. In case you weren’t sure I live in London, UK!

            • Tina, Jo Singer, one of the writers for this website and a friend knows an experienced veterinarian who can read the x-rays to check whether there are any fragments of bone etc in the paw so when they are done I wonder if you could instruct the veterinarian who does the x-rays to e-mail them to you as digital images and then they can be sent to the specimen area that Jo knows who can then provide a free assessment. The veterinarian who I’m talking about is Kirsten Doud. Jude lots of experiencing declaw repair work etc..

              • Yes!! I have already or also been in touch with Dr. Kirsten!! She did say if they get the xrays to her she would read them so I will refuse any radiology reading here. Michael, I would say no more than $200 or whatever you can.

              • Such a relief, Michael.
                I’ll do my best to put as many nickels into the pot as I can.
                There is such happiness and love at POC.
                Such good work.

  12. Poor girl! In the past all my kitties were declawed because I had no say in the matter but it’s absolutely inhumane and I’m avidly against it!

    • I didn’t realize there was a litter made of newspaper!! The only thing is since I tried Swheat Scoop, my other cat Maggie has really concentrated urine and it smells horrible. Mollie won’t use the box with an organic type of litter like that. Although, I am using the Tidy Cats Lightweight. She uses it, just does not cover her excretion so I do.

      • Tina, I just saw this post. Beware of the TC Lightweight. There are starting to be reports of cats having breathing problems with this litter. I tried it for about 10 days and quit using it because of the dust. One FB site I am on has a write up where a vet is linking the deaths of two senior cats to the litter. Please look into it.

  13. oh god did the poor thing get declawed??????/ why thats just so horrible i hope so much that someting can be done for her a lovely name too mollie.

    • Thank you Kylee! Yes, she was declawed as a young cat, before I got her. I am doing everything I can to help Mollie Ann!!! Thanks for your support 🙂

      • thats very much ok tina i live in new zealand where declawing is illegal. I couldnt think of anythng worse. Such a lovely name my nanas name was mollie and also marcs cat is called mollie as well. Thats horrible anything we can do to help we can. ur doing a great job.

  14. One day I pray that all vets who won’t declaw will “come out of the closet” and advertise that openly! There are vets who won’t declaw but they are worried about how other vets in their area will react, I bet.

    But with the growing attention that truly is getting out there about how horrendous this procedure is for cats, my thoughts are that folks who want to preserve their cats’ claws will gravitate toward that practice.

    I spend lots of time checking out vet’s websites. Some of them boldly advertise declawing at a bargain rate along with neuter/spay. But as of yet I haven’t seen hardly any website that boldly advertises “no declaws”. We must get that to happen. If for no other reason, it will open a door to newcomers who may want to know WHY they won’t declaw.

    What do you think?

    • I couldn’t agree more, Jo! Why would someone declaw, which we know causes excruciating pain, and spay/neuter at the same time?? Good Lord! I wish I could go vet to vet and beg them to stop declawing for one year and educate the prospective human wanting the procedure. I am willing to hold a clinic at the Civic Center on the alternatives if a vet would stand with me!!! I am willing to shout from the roof tops, stand at the doors of every vets office and stop this procedure!!!

    • Jo, I think that is a great suggestion. I would much rather go to a vet that would refuse to mutilate a cat. I am sadly surprised that more cat people will not speak out on this horrible procedure. They will agree that it should not be done, but always add that “well, if it saves the cats’ life”. Frankly, that is a cop out and I am tired of hearing it. They need to stand up for the right thing.

  15. Jo, thank you for helping to bring Mollie Ann’s issue forward.
    Tina, you stand strong for that beautiful girl.
    Michael, a brilliant idea for POC to help.
    Maybe, if there are enough declaw repairs being done, a light bulb will go on someday that this is just wrong.

  16. exactly dee i just couldnt imagine doing that to a young cat. the poor baby. great idea of Michael too. It just sickens me of animals having that done to them.

  17. I wanted to extend a hello to everyone involved, as I just went through and caught myself up with all of the messages here. I was only hearing them verbally through Tina and Jo Singer up until now.

    I have drafted the letter to be sent to the veterinary hospital Tina has spoken with. Tina did a great job finding a practice that at least discourages the procedure and tries to change minds about declawing, even though they do declaw. Several years ago, I spent a lot of time in my own home town calling EVERY veterinarian to find out their views on declawing. I realised early on that if I was going to advocate for not-declawing, I better have a veterinarian with my same views. I know this is not always easy, so at least finding one that tries to talk people out of it is a start. At least they kind of ‘get it.’ I was lucky enough to find a vet who does not declaw.

    The letter I wrote was written with precise x-ray guidelines needed for review by Dr. Doub, as she assisted in drafting the letter with me today. Stay tuned as we hear from the veterinarians within the next few days.
    Carla
    Paws Need Claws

  18. Update from Tina:

    “Mollie Ann has an appointment for x-rays next Thursday 22nd of May! I will need to get the okay from the vet to video everything. Get ready, I am praying this makes a world of change for how cats are treated by veterinarians in the United States!”

  19. Update from Tina:

    Hi Michael!!!!

    X-rays done this morning and Mollie did not need sedation!!!!!!!! The vet is extremely professional and Mollie did great. Her weight is fine and examination was perfect. She is in good shape and the x-rays are being sent to Dr. Doub in Utah. Do not know when I’ll hear back, but will let you know!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. That is really good news! I’m sure Kirsten will get back to Tina when she’s studied the x-rays and seen if Mollie can be helped. I do hope she can.

  21. Hoping and praying for a good outcome from this, well done Michael for funding the xrays and everyone for all the constant on-going work and campaigning against declawing.

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