Ron Hines DVM PhD is quite a well known American veterinarian and he describes cat declawing in a very irresponsible and careless way that is bound to mislead cat owners. A lot of cat owners are simply not aware of what declawing entails. This factor alone – a lack of knowledge of the operation – is a major factor why declawing exists.
What makes Ron Hines particularly irresponsible is that he has a successful website that receives lots of visits. He is, therefore, misleading hundreds of thousands of cat owners. He needs to be publicly criticised and he needs to amend his page on declawing which he entitles: “Should I Declaw My Cat“.
This is what he writes:
The claws of animals, like the fingernails of people are modified hair. When the front claws of cats are removed at an early age (less than six months of age) it is a minor procedure. No worse than circumcising a baby.
So what is wrong with that? Well, he correctly states that a cat’s claws are made of keratin. More precisely most of the claw is made of keratin but part of it is living tissue. He then writes “When the front claws of cats are removed….” This strongly implies that the removal of a cat’s claw is confined to the removal of the actual claw when we know that it is far more than that. It is the removal of the bone that supports the claw which is the last phalange of the toe. This is done ten times.
How can this operation, therefore, be described as “a minor procedure”. The pain produced is very severe and vets admit that.
Another mistake he makes is to write this:
I would much rather see a cat declawed than allowed loose out-of-doors.
What in heavens name is he saying? This is a bizarre statement.
Rone Hines DVM has made a mess of his page on declawing. It is interesting that he writes that he has not declawed his own cat but immediately follows that by stating, “But I understand why owners who love their cats very much sometimes have their pets declawed.”
Vets have a duty to fully inform clients what declawing actually entails. Dr Hines fails miserably in that duty.