Dr Neunzig has written a blog in which he expresses his dismay at the American Association of Feline Practitioner’s (AAFP) harder stance against declawing. He wheels out the same old cliched arguments about greater abandonment of cats and more euthanasias if declawing is stopped.
There is no evidence that this happens. The opposite in fact. See for example the testimony below from a shelter director who is referring to another vet who declaws:
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Dr Neunzig is one of those old dinosaur vets living in the past. Times have moved on. I think he needs to swat up on the consequences of declawing cats. He says that the pain it causes is temporary yet many other vets say that there are permanent negative consequences such as phantom pain and altered gait causing further issues such as arthritis.
He actually admits that the quality of declaw operations is poor. This compounds the immorality of the practice. In earlier posts I have mentioned the numerous botched declaw operations causing mountains of permanent pain in long suffering domestic cats.
He denies that declawed cats can tend to become biters. He denies that there are complications if the operation is carried out properly. He says that complications come from bad operations (of which there are many). I say he is wrong on that too because the operation is inherently hurtful to the cat.
He supports declawing because it stops cats destroying furniture. He says declawing prevents children being scratched when they pick up the family cat but does not consider the more moral alternative: educating the child to pick up the cat properly and respecting the cat and her claws. And accepting some damage to furniture: big deal. If you have a cat accept it or don’t have a cat. Simple.
He supports declawing to protect the elderly who are on blood thinners and who have compromised immune systems. He does not consider the possibility of these people not having a cat if they fall in the small bracket of the elderly with these conditions.
Clearly he has entrenched views about declawing. He fails to address the ethical issues. He fails to address the conflict between declawing and the veterinarian’s oath. He fails to address the potential for lifelong complications. He fails to address the fact that very many countries have banned it because it is cruel and is a breach of their general animal welfare laws. He fails to mention a European treaty which specifically bans declawing.
Dr Neunzig, I urge you to stick to the oath that you swore about 40 years ago to only treat animals when it is in their best interests and not to do it at the convenience of the cat’s owner. Please reconsider your attitude to this unnecessary mutilation.
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