Declaw salvage surgery occurs when a vet repairs the damage done to a cat by the declaw surgery of another vet² which usually entails the removal of the last phalange of each of the ten toes of the forepaws of the cat. The world’s best known veterinarian who does declaw salvage surgery is Dr. Jennifer Conrad of the Paw Project. She is an expert in salvage surgery on large declawed wild cats as well as domestic cats.

Vets do the declawing operation (onychectomy) very quickly. We don’t know how many of the operations are done well or badly. No one is keeping records. Someone should. In my opinion, all the operations are bad because the operation should not be done in the first place. Some of these operations are doubly bad because the veterinary surgeon screws up. And you know, if a vet screws up once, you can bet your bottom dollar he screws up over and over again, turning out disabled cats like this one (Trinity) in the video below:

This is the same cat after the declaw salvage surgery:

You want to know how botched and bad the operation can be? Click on this link and be flabergasted

I like the terminology “declaw salvage surgery”. It is the first time I have read it. It is very descriptive. A vet doing post-declaw repair work is salvaging what is left of the disabled cat. The cat will never be the same as a cat with claws but the repair work at least removes the pain and gives the cat back a bit of that part of her life that she lost when a declaw vet amputated the tips of ten of her toes.

I think the vet who did the declaw salvage surgery on Trinity is Letrisa Miller DVM.

There is a substantial risk of complications after declawing surgery. There is always tons of pain and piles of strong painkillers after the surgery and that is putting to one side all the other stuff like psychological damage which vets don’t understand.

Please don’t declaw your cat. The are many alternatives all of which are a million times better.

Search result for “declawing” on PoC.

Notes:

  1. Sometimes videos don’t work because of something that happened on YouTube. I can’t control that.
  2. I suppose the same vet could repair the botch he made but I suspect it is usually a different vet who does the repair work.
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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Are there any vets in South Texas that has experience with the salvage procedure. Is there a web site that has vets who focus on this type of help?

    • You can contact The Paw Project via their website Mel. Branches are starting to spring up in various cities as more vets are speaking out against declawing, I'm sure they will help you find a vet who repairs declawed cats paws.

      http://www.pawproject.org/

    • Hi Mel. There is no website listing declaw salvage surgery vets. There are very few who do this. I would contact Dr Doub in Utah and see whether she can recommend someone. It sounds like poor advise but as I said declaw salvage surgery is a new idea and most vets do the opposite ;)

  • Physical Consequences of Declawing - If you haven't shared this yet, you really should. The vet who posted this info has given permission to share it if you provide a link back to the site (mostly info on site). Her name is Dr. Jean Hofve (rhymes with Bon Jovi). She's in Colorado and supports efforts to ban declawing there and elsewhere.

    Comparitive photos and x-rays between declawed cats and those with healthy paws. If you click on the first photo on her page, you will see more photos in the slide show than are displayed on the page. None are gross.

    http://www.littlebigcat.com/declawing/physical-consequences-of-declawing/

  • All homeless cats deserve to get adopted, but did you know that declawing reduces possible homes for cats waiting to be adopted?

    14.5% of adoptable declawed cats were listed as NOT suitable for homes with young children vs. 8.64% of non declawed cats*.

    *Using data crunched from http://www.Petfinder.com March 11, 2013.

    Declawing is illegal in many other countries and needs to be prohibited in Canada and the USA too.

    Photo of JJ, a cat who started biting after being declawed. He was such a danger to her kids that the woman had to either rehome him or euthanize him. My brother took him in. The cat bit my mom while she was visiting (she told him to "Shoo!" and waved her hand to scare him away from the door); within a day or so she required IV antibiotics in the emergency department because the bite was deep and appeared infected.

    JJ started having more issues when my brother took in another cat who'd been abandoned. When my brother found he was travelling too much and didn't have anyone to look after his cats, we took JJ in and had to keep him separate from other cats.

    We rehomed JJ with my aunt who's kids were grown. When he was covered with a blanket, JJ bit her grandson who'd been warned to leave the kitty alone. JJ lived with her for several years until he died of old age.

    JJ's original owner could have saved money by not declawing him. He might have been able to stay in his original home and not cost taxpayers money for biting my mom if he'd never been declawed in the first place. This issue is also one of consumer protection, public health, reducing costs as well as ethical concerns and accountability of the veterinary industry in North America.

    • 14.5% of adoptable declawed cats were listed as NOT suitable for homes with young children vs. 8.64% of non declawed cats*.

      This completely undermines the vet's feeble argument that they declaw to save cat's lives by preventing cat relinquishment. How cynical can vet's be?

  • The Guidelines on medically unnecessary veterinary surgery published by the CVO (College of Veterinarians of Ontario, the association that governs them)

    It is VERY dog-centric to oppose declawing, "except in domestic cats" and to ban the removal of dew claws but still permit the amputation of one third of ten (or more) weight bearing digits on felines.

    Discussing the CVO (College of Veterinarians of Ontario)
    "Medically Unnecessary Veterinary Surgery (“Cosmetic Surgery”)" publication, from March 21, 2012,
    See pdf that includes info from other provinces in Canada - http://bit.ly/Yqi8my

    Cosmetic surgery, such as (on dogs) removing dew claws or cropping ears and tails to conform to breed standards is already illegal, considered misconduct or unprofessional conduct in four provinces in Canada:

    Newfoundland/Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI.

    No provincial association opposes onychectomy (declawing), except "in species other than the domestic cat".

    That means they oppose declawing dogs, rabbits, etc, but not cats.

    The CVMA opposes declawing wild felids in captivity, but that's just a position statement, not a regulation, and it is still happening.

    The huge majority of feline declawing is NOT medically necessary, but it isn't even mentioned in the list below!

    "Surgeries that could be considered Medically Unnecessary"

    "The list below is not inclusive and will be amended over time as the profession’s views evolve.

    canine tail dock > 4 days (96 hours) of age
    canine ear crop
    canine debarking
    canine dewclaw removal
    canine or feline healthy tooth extraction/blunting
    canine or feline cosmetic eye surgery
    dairy cattle tail dock
    equine tail nick/set or tail dock
    equine ear setting"

    • It is sick that the veterinary profession can be so blatantly biased against the cat as demonstrated in your argument. We know the dog gets a better deal with vets in North America. This is not the case in Europe, certainly not England. This is a North American phenomenon and I think (with due respect to these countries) it is a sign of backward and less civilised thinking.

      They are thinking like some tribe from 10,000 years ago who preferred dogs because they were useful.

      https://pictures-of-cats.org/why-cats-are-second-class-citizens-in-a-cat-and-dog-home.html

  • Veterinarian Oath published on the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) website.

    Only vets who are members must take the Oath. Vets only have to belong to their provincial association that governs them, not the Canadian one. I have not found a similar oath on the site governing Ontario veterinarians.

    The position of "Paws with Claws - Ban Declawing in Ontario is since declawing causes unnecessary pain and suffering when there are humane alternatives, and the long-term physical consequences are devastating and all vets should be educated about them, declawing should not be permitted (only exceptions would be those listed in petition - .

    Veterinarian Oath

    "As a member of the veterinary medical profession, I solemnly swear that I will use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society.

    I will strive to promote animal health and welfare, relieve animal suffering, protect the health of the public and environment, and advance comparative medical knowledge.

    I will practise my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.

    I will strive continuously to improve my professional knowledge and competence and to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards for myself and the profession."

    - CVMA 2004 -
    - From http://www.canadianveterinarians.net/about-veterinary-medicine/oath.aspx#.UliXf1CsiM5

  • I have to discuss the interview idea with Camille. She was interviewed out of the blue by CBC radio. This issue definitely needs exposure and the law changed. If I had my way it would include all wild carnivores in captivity as well (like the ban in the USA).

    Picture of petition to "Save as". I meant to include the Ontario petition. Ontario residents of any age may sign. Blank, unsigned pages can be photocopied and given out.
    I suggest grouping signatures by provincial riding (everyone with the same member of Parliament sign the same page. Once signatures are obtained and sent to address at bottom, they are then mailed to the MPP represented by the majority of the signatures on the page. The signed pages cannot be photocopied, so they can only be mailed to the one MPP, that's why I recommend grouping signatures by political ridings.)

    • What I would like to understand better is the mental process that takes place in vets who decide to stop declawing. They must reach a point where they can no longer justify or accept it. What is the mentality? Is it because they learnt the truth: that declawing is unnecessary and it can cause disability, putting aside for the moment the ghastly amount of pain it causes. You would have thought that all vets know all about it but continue because it makes lots of money. A terrible abdication of their responsibility towards the cat and a big breach of their worthless oath.

  • "Some 37.7 per cent of Canadian households include one, often two, cats, compared to 30 per cent with dogs." (source -

    Human Population of Canada: 34.88 million (2012)

    37.7 per cent of that is 13,149,760 owned cats.

    25 per cent of the cat population is estimated to be declawed.
    That's about 3,287,440 Canadian cats!

    If there are more people acquiring cats vs. dogs, this is a growing issue.
    (My city has four vet clinics. All declaw cats. Here's a video one clinic provided on their website. As you can see, no info on alternatives is provided with this video. Commenting allowed -

    • I had believed that there was slightly less declawing in Canada than America. That seems to be incorrect.

    • Christine. Thanks a lot for these excellent comment. I need a bit of time to digest them, then I'll respond. For your information the reason why 2 of your comments were not published immediately is because software picks up links in comments and holds them for moderation. That is all.

  • Deidre Muñiz has her own group and a legal petition to ban declawing in Canada. My understanding is that it's more difficult to change federal laws than provincial ones. Online petitions are not accepted to change laws in Canada, only printed ones. The info and link is here:

    http://adoptmecanada.blogspot.ca/p/help-ban-delcawing-in-canada-sign-my.html

    Camille created a printable petition for the province of Ontario. The petition can be emailed, otherwise the photo of it can be printed off the Facebook page here - Ban Declawing "Paws with Claws" (Facebook page) -

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ban-Declawing-Paws-with-Claws/124582847726152

    The existing short interview with Dr. Gaskin is really worth reading or listening to. The transcript is provided in my above post.

    In other news, a group in Nova Scotia appears to be on track to ban declawing in that province and have given many vets congratulatory certificates who have agreed not to declaw cats. Link to their Facebook page - Ban Declawing in Nova Scotia - https://www.facebook.com/BanDeclawingInNovaScotia

    CBC news: "Cat declawing to be reviewed by Nova Scotia vets" -

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/cat-declawing-to-be-reviewed-by-nova-scotia-vets-1.2439905

  • The surgery on this cat was done by Dr. Ronald Gaskin of MS Vets in Minnesota. That is his YouTube channel. He used to declaw cats but stopped when he realized the damage that was being done, especially how the deformities and problems get worse over time. He has educational videos on the surgery on his website under "Declaw Salvage". Site is http://www.MsVETS.com

    I've spoken with Dr. Gaskin a few times by telephone. Since he has such amazing knowledge of paw anatomy, he stated that declawing was "Much worse than people realize." I've sent photos of x-rays of two of our rescued declawed cats paws to Dr. Gaskin and others are welcome to do the same to contribute to the research (x-rays obtained by digital dental sensor are much more useful and detailed, if you can get them).

    Check out out the PowerPoint presentation. - It has up close macro photos of the digital pad callouses and x-rays on the paws of declawed cats.

    His clinic sponsored the showing of the "Paw Project Movie" in his city of Shakopee, MN. He's working on a research paper on the subject and is a supporter of banning the surgery.

    This is a link to a terrific interview he did with Animal Ark shelter:

    "The Systematic Multilation of America's Most Popular Pets-
    Animal Ark to partner with local veterinarian to provide relief for suffering cats"

    I'm a member of the group trying to educate and change the law about declawing cats in my province of Ontario, Canada.

    • Thank you for commenting Christine. Well done is fighting this horrible practice. When is Canada going to ban declawing? Or Ontario? Was is Ontario who had ideas about banning declawing?

      Could you do an interview of Dr Gaskin for this site (PoC)? I'll pay for it if you can arrange it and if it is for the exclusive use of PoC.

  • It is heart breaking just horrible, even without starting the video I can clearly see that Trinity has stumps not normal paws :( if someone saw that who had no clue about de-clawing or what it was they would think ' oh what a shame she has a birth defect' after all thats the only other thing that would cause such a deformity! And the brave little soul trying her best to run to that box it made my so damn angry to think that someone did that for money!!!

    Thank God there are compassionate dedicated individuals who can help with the pain of these horrible surgeries and groups like The Paw project who have made amazing strides to get the barbaric practice banned!!

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