At last! Declawing Renamed “Amputation” by AVMA

Declawed Cat

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The American Veterinary Medical Association are being forced to change their ways thanks to the pressure put upon them Jennifer Conrad and her team at The Paw Project and enlightened veterinarians such as Kirsten Doub of the Paw Project-Utah and Aubrey Lavizzo of the Paw Project Colorado. The changes are painfully slow but not as painful as the suffering of a declawed cat. There is a gradual trickle of change in the air. For example, the Truro Veterinary Hospital have stopped declawing as of 1st August 2014! They made the announcement on their website.

The latest development is very welcome by people who are educated enough to realise that declawing for non-therapeutic reasons is plain wrong.

At the AVMA national convention it was decided to come clean about the nature of the declaw operation. For donkey’s years the AVMA has been hiding the truly gruesome nature of the declaw operation by calling it “declawing”; a smoke and mirrors act of disguise to fool the public.

They reluctantly decided to clarify things – at last – by using the word “amputation” in its description. Let’s not forget that this is only the truth. It is not a revelation. The AVMA have decided to tell the truth 50 years after one of their members invented the ghastly operation. Better late than never I guess.

Dr Ted Cohn is the new AVMA president. He says that the intention is to “elevate the seriousness of the procedure in the minds of veterinarians and, hopefully, the public”.

Is he actually saying that the veterinarians don’t realise how serious the operation is? I find that astonishing. It could be true and if it is, it tells us how out of touch with reality the vets are who carry out this operation for non-therapeutic reasons (almost all of them).

The AVMA has been criticised for doing a poor job of educating the cat owning public about declawing. In truth it is actually worse than that. Some vets have actively deceived and mislead the public by understating the severity of the operation and the potential complications which can be lifelong and debilitating.

The AVMA have also justified declawing on the basis that is protects people with compromised immune systems. However, Aubrey Lavizzo the director of Paw Project Colorado, says that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines for immunocompromised people makes no reference to declawing cats. This is another example of veterinary dishonesty.

Dr Cohn is old-school. He believes that the partial amputation of ten toes (at least) is “still necessary in some cases”. He believes this because he says that if vets stopped doing the operation all together there would be “many more cats running feral or in shelters”.

Yes, initially some cat owners would abandon their cats to shelters because they are the wrong people to keep a cat. Then gradually less people would abandon their cats as they found ways to respect the whole cat, claws and all. Quite soon only people who were genuinely suited to owning a cat would care for cats and then we would see the long term benefits of many less abandonments and much less careless breeding and unwanted cats.

There would be major benefits to cat welfare in the long term if there was a nationwide cessation of cat toe amputations for convenience (aka declawing).

Aubrey Lavizzo wants more than a change in the words describing the operation. He is correct. I feel that more changes are to come but change is slow because these bad veterinary habits are deeply entrenched.

Source: Story on Denver Westword Blogs – photo by angela n on Flickr

30 thoughts on “At last! Declawing Renamed “Amputation” by AVMA”

  1. I agree with Dr. Lavizzo, that this is “one step forward, and two steps back.” The AVMA is stalling. Declawing has been described as amputation in AVMA literature for years. The one good thing is that this announcement shows that the AVMA is responding to the opinion of those who wish to see an end to declawing.

    • Hi Kim, I see the point. I just feel that the AVMA is showing us that they are aware of the anti-declaw campaign and the criticism. I also feel that they are under more pressure than ever to change. People want to see real change – a cessation in declawing – but that won’t happen quickly.

  2. Ruthie, ol’ pal — Yes…I agree with your observations. With one exception. You can draft your prime questions days in advance, then rattle them off at a leisurely pace when you sit down with him or her. The rest of the time? All you need do is listen and keep listening! People are thrilled by your interest. If you want them to, they can keep going for two or three days. Why? Because nobody really gets listened to in this Vale of Tears. Am sure I told you this once,but one of our top government big-wigs, several years back, got caught paying a call-girl $5,000 an hour.For what, pray tell? Well, ‘that,’ presumably. But MOSTLY – and this is the pitiful part – because she offered him a sympathetic ear. You were born with a kind heart, and anyone would love to tell you the story of their life whilst you jotted it down (tape recorders make people freeze up).
    But still can’t believe the vets can hold on much longer, can you? Yet it’s partly the ‘owners’ who are to blame. Last night I was surfing a Texan website and this Hogan the Hulk type was telling the world how he was in ‘charge’ of his blithering cats, and he could do anything to them that he wanted, blah-blah. Scary as heck.
    The MM has vanished into the mists? You know, I found him touchingly harmless, poor guy. Is there no known way to get someone congenial in there? You & your sister have suffered for years, ever since – if I rightly recall – the New Zealanders folded their tent.
    As for departures, yesterday morning I just about had a massive stroke when I moseyed out into the driveway, craned my neck and saw – OMG!!!!- that the other car was gone! Thank heavens the car was back by last night, so now she keeps him busy as a bee. Can only take one day at a time in this neck of the woods.
    Have to do laundry, then will drive on up to the library to gather the e-mails. Sorry….have fallen by the wayside — meant to get up there yesterday. xxxx Hi to Babz, & pet the Wees.

  3. The general concensus on the facebook anti declaw groups is that declaw vets still won’t tell their clients the truth, unless they ask. How about the advertising they do, are they going to offer neuteur/amputate toe ends packages and amputation with discount? I very much doubt it. So if not then they are selling a service by false misrepresentation!
    Oh I’ve some posters in my mind right now for the Paw Project and facebook anti declaws to use.


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