Dear American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP),
“Cat Friendly” should mean exactly that and should be reserved for vets who actually don’t declaw cats.
“Surgical declawing is the removal of the nail at its base. This is done under general anesthesia and there is very little post-surgical discomfort, especially when it is performed on a kitten. Contrary to the belief of some, this surgery does not cause lameness or psychological damage. Actually, a declawed cat will not realize the claws are gone and will continue to “sharpen” the claws as normal without inflicting damage to your furniture. This surgery can be done as early as 12 weeks of age or anytime thereafter. It can also be done the same time as spaying or neutering. Once declawed, your cat should always live indoors since the ability to defend itself is compromised.”
This is what is written on the 2017 AAFP President, Dr. Lauren Demos’, vet practice website.
The president of the AAFP works at a “Cat Friendly” clinic that can’t seem to bring itself to tell us that declawing actually involves removing the bone!
It also seems to go against AAFP guidelines, which clearly state that declawing should only be performed as a last resort.
Instead, they are touting its merits in young kittens!
This is why AAFP is no longer a leader in the movement to protect cats.
They have made a choice to honor an outdated surgery that has no benefit to the patient, instead of speaking out on behalf of that patient.
Shame on you, American Association of Furniture Protectors.
You just proved you are the caboose of the animal welfare train.
PLEASE SIGN MY PETITION TO INSPIRE AAFP TO STOP ALLOWING DECLAWING AT THEIR CAT FRIENDLY PRACTICES! – AAFP PETITION
More about how they address declawing at this Cat Friendly practice where the new President of AAFP works.
You would think the the new 2017 President of the “Cat Friendly” organization would set a good example and be a vet who doesn’t perform this inhumane, mutilating, and very unnecessary procedure but unfortunately this isn’t so.
When a cat owner called for a price for a neuter and a declaw and asked if Dr Demos is skilled at the declaw procedure and how often does she do them, an employee at her practice said yes and that she performs declaw procedures, “very, very frequently.”
Her vet practice’s website also has the declaw option suggested at age 3-6 months old, in their “Wellness Care” section. (See screenshot at the end of this story) Recommended Wellness Care
Here is some more info on the website of the practice where Dr Demos works. In their Kitten FAQ section it says, “Surgical declawing is the removal of the nail at its base. This is done under general anesthesia and there is very little post-surgical discomfort, especially when it is performed on a kitten. Contrary to the belief of some, this surgery does not cause lameness or psychological damage. Actually, a declawed cat will not realize the claws are gone and will continue to “sharpen” the claws as normal without inflicting damage to your furniture. This surgery can be done as early as 12 weeks of age or anytime thereafter. It can also be done the same time as spaying or neutering. Once declawed, your cat should always live indoors since the ability to defend itself is compromised.”Exclusively Cats Declawing info
The President’s website says that declawing will not cause lameness or psychological damage, yet the AAFP declawing position statement says, “There are inherent risks and complications with declawing that increase with age such as acute pain, infection, nerve trauma, as well as long term complications like lameness, behavioral problems, and chronic neuropathic pain.”
Here is the AAFP’s position statement on declawing- AAFP declawing position statement
From what I have searched, there is not one thing about scratching posts and other helpful tips about cat scratching behavior on your website Dr Demos.
Dr Demos’ practice was called by investigators posing as cat owners (most commonly a first time cat owner) who was adopting a young kitten and needed it spay or neutered. This cat owner also asked about getting an older cat declawed. The “cat owner” had concerns about the declawing procedure and asked for a vet who was skilled at declawing. The “cat owner” asked if it was a regular and routine procedure that the vet does and also asked if the practice did more than one declaw a month.
The cat owner asked which vet is the best to do the declaw and the employee said that all three vets are good at them, the owner vet is out of town often, but that Dr Demos and the other vet are more available.
We have withheld the names of employees for fear that they might suffer a backlash for their honest answers.
When a cat owner asks if Dr Demos does one declaw a month or one every six months, one employee said, “Neither, it’s pretty much multiple times a month.”
One employee said that you can come in for the declaw and they do the declaw counseling in the exam first and said, “the younger the cats are, the better they heal from it and the more comfortable they are after the procedure.”
A cat owner said to one employee that they didn’t want their furniture scratched. This employee said, “You can do scratching posts and trim the nails and add catnip to the post and there are different things you can try. “
Cat owner said that they just wanted the declaws for an 8 month and 2 yr old cat and they didn’t want to lose the money for the exam, and asked if there is a chance that the doctor wouldn’t do the declaw. The employee said, “No they will, we will discuss the different options. We would just have to see your kitty for an exam and discuss with you the different options and then if you and the doctor still decide that’s the route you want to go, we certainly can.”
One employee said that once a cat reaches a certain age they, “generally discourage it more heavily for the ones that are older but at 8 months they generally heal really, really well from it.”
The employee said the cat owner can schedule it so you can have the consultation that morning, have the declaw surgery that day, and then your cats can go home the next day.
They use a scalpel to amputate the cat’s toe bones and claws and charge $195 for a neuter/declaw for 8 month old, lab work $24, and they highly recommend pain patch which is $53.
The declaw for the 2 yr old is $170 plus lab work and the pain patch is required.
Cat owner asked if a laser declaw is better. Employee said that they don’t use a laser because it can, “scar the tissue really bad, it can burn the tissue and there can be delayed healing as a result of that.”
They said the scalpel is incredibly sharp and extremely accurate so that’s the technique they use.
Cat owner asked if their cats will be ok, long term from the declaw. Employee said, “Absolutely, yes.”
Cat owner asked about the aftercare for the declaws.
Employee said that you don’t need any special litter and that some facilities will use Purina’s Yesterday’s News cat litter but they “don’t typically recommend that.” They say they recommend plain clay litter that the clients are already using. They say that they’ve actually found in the past that kitties that will use Yesterday’s News cat litter sometimes will go out of the litter box, just because the texture is different, and they’re not used to that kind of litter, and they don’t necessarily identify as it as their own litter so it actually can cause more problems with them going outside the litter box. They said that it is no softer than the clay and is quite compact.
Another cat owner asked a another employee at Dr Demos’ practice about a price for a neuter and a declaw for a 3 month old kitten. They said it costs $170 for neuter & 2 paw declaw along with an exam at $68 and labs. The pain patch is optional after a pain injection.
Cat owner asked about a declaw for a 4 year old female cat. They said she would need an initial exam, labs and the two paw declaw would be $170. They require the pain patch which is from $50-75 for any cat that is over 1 yr old for a declaw.
Employee said that during the initial exam, alternatives might be mentioned, since they don’t just “jump” to declawing.
Asked if it would be possible to do the exam & surgery on the same day, employee said yes.
Cat owner asked if their cats would be ok, and would their cat have any problems or long term effects from the declaw. The employee said they rarely see any complications but there’s always a risk with surgery just like with humans . Cat owner asked if Dr Demos was skilled at the declaw surgery, employee said, “yes her schedule is booked out a few weeks.”
Screenshot from the website of the vet practice of the 2017 President of AAFP. http://www.ecats.vet/recommended-wellness-care.pml
Here is another story I published about AAFP and declawing AAFP and Declawing