Story published in April 2019 and updated in 2023.
Here’s our story about how all the veterinary colleges in America address declawing.
2023. There are 30 vet colleges in America and 3 of them still provide declawing services in their small animal hospitals.
Declawing is animal cruelty. Here are the facts. Declawing facts vs myths.
2 out of the 3 animal hospitals ARE AAHA ACCREDITED HOSPITALS.
AAHA SAYS THEY ARE STRONGLY OPPOSED TO DECLAWING YET THEY STILL ALLOW THEIR HOSPITALS TO PERFORM THIS INHUMANE AMPUTATION PROCEDURE. Here’s our story that shows why AAHA.org puts profits over the welfare of innocent cats. AAHA puts profits over the welfare of cats
Since only a few of these veterinary colleges replied to our questions for our study, we had to find out how they address declawing by calling their small animal hospitals.
Our researchers asked for the cost of a declaw procedure along with a spay/neuter declaw package. The researchers also asked if there are long term issues with declaws, how often do they perform them, and if students perform the declaws.
We have withheld the names of employees for fear that they might suffer a backlash for their honest answers.
Here are the 4 Veterinary Colleges that perform declawing in their small animal hospitals. (According to the employees at the clinics and PR staff.)
1) Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Pullman, WA. AAHA hospital. Email-Dr Farnsworth- email@example.com
UPDATE JAN. 2023. Two employees with WSU’s teaching hospital, including a coordinator, said they only do declawing if it’s medically necessary like if someone in the household has a bleeding disorder or some other medical reason that they would need to declaw a cat. They said a declaw is around $70 and that doesn’t include anesthesia.
We also received a note from Dr Raelynn Farnsworth, a WSU Professor Chief Medical Officer and Associate Dean of Clinical Programs Veterinary Teaching Hospital that said, “We support and operate in a manner consistent with the position statements of the AVMA, AAHA, and AAFP, that is, we do not support and do not offer declawing as an elective procedure. It is performed here rarely, when determined to be necessary for the health of the cat by the veterinarian.”
We wrote Dr Farnsworth a reply asking her about the conflicting information and why the employees at WSU’s small animal hospital say that they will only declaw if there’s a medical necessity for the cat owner and why she said they will only declaw if there’s a medical necessity for the cat, but never received a reply.
(The AVMA won’t completely condemn declawing and AAHA allows it in their Accredited Animal Hospitals. AAFP completely banned declawing in their Cat Friendly Practices. )
UPDATE July 2021. WSU’s Public Information Officer, Charlie Powell, said that the declawing policy that he stated below still stands.
Here’s a screenshot from their animal hospital on Jan. 24, 2021 that is advertising laser declawing. https://vth.vetmed.wsu.edu/animal-species/small-animals
UPDATE DEC. 2020- THEIR Employee said THEY WILL DO DECLAWS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES IF THERE IS A MEDICAL REASON.
APRIL 2019 -The employee said that a spay is $126-$146 and a laser declaw is
$218-$253. They said it is cheaper if you get both done at the same
time. They say that if you combine a spay with a declaw it is between
$296-$330 but they only declaw as a last resort. They say that when you
come in for the initial exam, they talk to you about why you want to get
the cat declawed and what options you’ve already tried to try to make
sure it really is the best choice for the cat.
They said a declaw is very traumatic to the cat since they are amputating the ends of the cat’s toes.
They said that Dr Raelynn Farnsworth, head of community practice, does the
declaws and the students are in there. They said she’s been a vet for
Employee was asked if the cat be ok long-term and they said that some
cats develop behavioral problems as a result which is the reason they
don’t like to do them. They said some cats stop using the litter box and
This is the response we received from WSU in April 2019.
“Declawing cats is not part of our required or elective
curriculum. We do not formally teach the procedure to WSU veterinary
students. We don’t teach it because there is little demand for the
procedure, there is not a competent, repeatable way to teach such a
procedure to 120 senior veterinary students each year, and our
curriculum is very crowded as it is. Shelters we contract with for
spay/neuter-and-return services (done free of charge and the method of
choice we use for teaching surgery), will not allow the procedure to be
done on their animals.
We do offer informal instruction in alternatives to
declawing and how to approach clients on the subject through our course
on Reverence for Life, our Veterinary Communications program, behavioral
services, and our community practice service. We also discuss it
annually in our Veterinary Law and Ethics Club meetings of which I am
the current advisor.
Declawing remains a legal procedure in the state of
Washington. WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital is a fee-for-service
facility open to the public. On rare occasion (~< 1 in 3-4,000 total
cases annually) we are asked to perform the procedure. Those cases may
or may not involve senior veterinary students working alongside our
clinical faculty. In total, there have been three such procedures done
in our hospital in the last full year of operation. One could argue
that a student who chooses to scrub in on a declaw procedure learns
something about the procedure but that is voluntary on their part.
We reserve the right to allow our clinical veterinarians
to choose whether or not they want to perform legally approved
procedures based upon their professional judgement and the situation
presented by the client, exclusively.
Thank you for your concern.
Charlie Powell, Public Information Officer, Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine”
2) Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Manhattan, KS . (Not an AAHA hospital.) Dean- firstname.lastname@example.org
They have a saying, “K State of mind. The humanitarian Veterinarian” yet they perform declawing.
UPDATE JANUARY 2023. A neuter is $130-$200. The employee said that a scalpel declaw is $210 and a laser declaw is $325 and give cat owners a choice for the laser or scalpel. They said that the Pet Health dept. is who does the procedure. When asked if they do declaws regularly, the employee said yes they do them quite often.
UPDATE Dec. 2021- Employee said that Dr Burke, Dr Upchurch, and Dr Klockey do their declaws. A spay/declaw is $244 and a declaw is $159.
UPDATE DECEMBER 2020- A regular declaw is $151 and a laser declaw is $251. They said that their residents do the declaws.
JULY 2020 UPDATE. Employee said that the student work hand and hand with their 3 senior clinicians to do the declaws. They said that their vets do declaws regularly.
April 2019. A laser spay/declaw is $321 and a regular declaw/spay is $224. The employee said the laser is typically better for healing. They said that their 4th year students assist with the declaws and they do them regularly.
3) Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Tuskegee, AL. (AAHA hospital) Email- email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
January 2023. The employee said that a neuter is $60. Researcher asked for the cost of a declaw and the employee asked, “For 2 feet or 4?” They said a two paw declaw is $57 and a 4 paw declaw is $115.
JULY 2020 UPDATE- The employee said that a front declaw is $75 and an
all four declaw is $120, and they have 4 vets who do the declaws. The
employee was asked if a declaw is ok for a cat long term and they said
April 2019- Spay/declaw is between $200-$275. The students do them with a senior veterinarian watching over. They do declaws regularly.
Here are the 27 veterinary colleges that don’t perform declawing in their small animal hospitals according to employees that work there or according to officials at the colleges.
(The ones who recently stopped declawing are listed first on this list.)
Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, Iowa. (AAHA hospital)
UPDATE. FEB. 10, 2023.
We received an email from Iowa State.
“I double checked with the hospital director just a few minutes ago. The cost for a de-claw remains on our price list in case the procedure needs to be done for the health of the animal.
Neither primary care, nor any other service, is currently doing de-claws, nor is de-clawing a part of our veterinary education to our students. Dave Gieseke, Communications Director,Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine.”
UPDATE JANUARY 2023. The employee said that they don’t have enough primary care doctors on staff to do a neuter or spay, but they said that they can do a declaw and it costs from $800-$1000.
They said that a declaw is done by doctors who are in a different department than primary care. They said they cannot do a neuter/declaw but can do the declaw.
UPDATE Dec. 2021- Spay/declaw is $300.
UPDATE DECEMBER 2020- If the cat is over 1 year old they will use a laser for a declaw. They have two vets who do the declaws, Dr Bryce Kibbel and Dr Jennifer Scaccianoce.
JULY 2020 UPDATE- A front declaw is $60.50. The employee said that Dr
Kibbel and Dr Jennifer Scaccianoce do the declaws regularly and said that they use a
laser and it is not as invasive because they are not cutting using a
tool. When asked if a declaw is ok long-term the employee said yes.
APRIL 2019 – A spay/declaw is $185 and it is $95 extra to have the declaw done with a laser. They do declaws regularly and the students are fully involved with performing the declaws.
We emailed the Dean of the college, Dan Grooms, along with a few other veterinarians. The Dean wrote us back and said he isn’t the best person to answer our questions. We never heard back from anyone else at his college.
Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, West Lafayette, IN. (AAHA hospital)
UPDATE JANUARY 2023. Lots of conflicting information about Purdue and declawing from one of their employees. We reached out to the PR folks and Dean at Purdue so they could clear this up but never received a reply.
Here’s info on Purdue’s declawing veterinarian’s bio on their education portal that says she is involved with their laser for pain-free declaws. Dr Lori Corriveau and pain free declaws
Researcher asked for the cost of a declaw and the employee asked, “Are you wanting to declaw the front and the back?”
Researcher asked what their cost is for both of those. The employee said they only do declaws it if it’s a medical necessity for the cat. They said the veterinarian would have to determine if it’s something that can be done.
They said that they only do one declaw a year and is not something they do a lot of anymore.
They said the cat has to be evaluated first to make sure there’s not an underlying health issue whether or not declawing would the best thing to be done.
They said if you already have a veterinarian to have them call one of their vets to see if there was a real necessity to have the cat declawed. But if you don’t have a veterinarian, the cat will be evaluated by one of their vets to see if there’s any type of underlying medical reason a declaw would have to be done.
(We are trying to get confirmation from Purdue that they will only declaw a cat if it’s a medical necessity for the cat but haven’t heard back. If you can get an answer, please email us at email@example.com)
JULY 2021- Employee asked,”Are you wanting the front or back claws?” An all four declaw and neuter is $455-$500 and a two paw declaw/neuter is $360-$405.
DECEMBER 2020 UPDATE- LASER declaw is $332-$350 for two paws. A four paw declaw is between $455-$500.
JULY 2020 UPDATE- Employee said that a spay/declaw is $600-$800. They said that Dr Corriveau does the declaws with a laser, the laser is less invasive, and when asked if a declaw is ok long term for a cat the employee said yes.
APRIL 2019. A spay for a cat is from $300 to $400. The researcher asked about the price for a declaw and the employee asked if they wanted a, “two, four, or just the front or the back paws? “
Researcher said the front paws and the employee said that would be between $350-$450. The employee said the veterinarians are highly skilled and they do the surgery. Researcher asked if she’s seen any long term problems with their declaws and how often do they perform the declaws? The employee said, “that is a matter of opinion, we are not allowed to give out that information.”
Here is more about how Purdue addresses declawing from a story we did in 2017- http://citythekitty.org/purdue-vet-wellness-clinic-offers-pain-free-declaws/
Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Auburn, Alabama. (AAHA hospital and CAT FRIENDLY Practice.)
UPDATE 2023. We received a note from Dr Diane Delmain who said, “Declawing is no longer offered at Auburn.
Diane Delmain DVM DABVP Feline
Associate Clinical Professor of Community Practice
Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital
1220 Wire Rd.
Auburn AL 36849-5540 “
Jan. 2023. Employee at Auburn’s AAHA Accredited Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital said their general surgery service’s doctors do their declaws.
They said that they don’t typically declaw a cat unless it’s necessary, so you have to have an evaluation and discussion at their Community Practice, Cat Friendly Practice, before they will declaw the cat.
Another employee said that before a cat can be declawed, the cat owner will have to have an evaluation with Dr Diane Delmain about the process and ways you can try to avoid a declaw and they try to refrain from doing it. But if Dr Delmain feels it’s necessary the cat is sent to the small animal hospital to be declawed.
Dr Delmain is a Fear Free and AAFP veterinarian.
We reached out to Dr Diane Delmain about this and she said, “This issue has been under consideration at the Auburn CVM. We have been in the process of formally aligning with AAFP recommendations. Please note that we have not performed declaws in quite some time.
UPDATE SEPT. 2021. Auburn Univ. Veterinary Clinic is listed as a Cat Friendly Gold Practice. According to employees at Auburn Univ. Veterinary Clinic, if you want a declaw you make an exam appointment with this Gold CAT FRIENDLY PRACTICE and after the exam, if the owner still wants to have the declaw performed, they send the cat owner to the Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital for the declaw.
July 5, 2021. AAFP banned declawing in all their Cat Friendly Practices and according to employees at this clinic, they are still offering declaws.
A standard declaw is $150 and a laser declaw is $250. They only have one vet who does the laser declaws and that’s Dr Michael Tillson. Employee said that you have to make an appointment to evaluate the cat to see if it’s healthy enough for the surgery and get blood work done.
DEC. 2020- Standard declaw is $112 and a laser declaw is $205. Employee said that the laser declaw is better because it is less invasive and Dr Tillson is the head of the hospital and he does the laser declaws. The recovery is 1-3 weeks.
JULY 2020 UPDATE- A scalpel declaw is $112.90 and a laser declaw is
$205.88. The employee said Dr Tillson does the declaws. Employee was
asked if a declaw is ok long term and the employee said their cat was
declawed and is fine.
APRIL 2019- Their “Soft Tissue” facility uses laser and their Community Practice uses a blade. Costs for a spay/declaw are around $400. Employee says that the vet does them and the students scrub up and observe.
Employee was asked if they see any long-term problems with the declaws and she said her father has two declawed cats that are “perfectly fine” and she’s seen no problems in their hospital.
They said Dr Tillson does the declaws.
Here’s info about Auburn from our 2018 Cat Friendly Practice study. According to one of their employees, they mostly use a blade for their declaws. $270 for a 2 paw declaw. The employee said that they typically stay away from doing all 4 paw declaws because if the cat gets out it can’t defend itself. When asked if the cat would be ok long term from a declaw they say that as long as you follow the aftercare instructions the cat should be perfectly fine.
Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Fort Collins, CO. (AAHA hospital)
UPDATE JANUARY 2023. A voice recording on their line that gives out prices for spay/neuters and also says, “We do not recommend feline declaw surgery for non-medical purposes.”
A veterinarian with CSU, Dr Heather Weir, wrote us today and said, “The CSU veterinary teaching hospital only performs declaws if there is a medical reason for the cat to have the surgery performed.”
UPDATE DEC. 2021- A voice recording on their line that gives out prices for spay/neuters said that they don’t recommend declawing for non-medical reasons.
UPDATE DECEMBER 2020- The employee said they will declaw if it’s medically necessary for the cat or for the owner. For example if there is a pre-existing medical condition in the human.
April 2019. Employee said that the students do the declaws under supervision of a licensed veterinarian. A declaw is $450 and the employee said they do them regularly.
Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Starkville, Mississippi. (AAHA hospital.)
UPDATE JANUARY 2023. The employee said that they do not do declaws anymore because it’s inhumane.
Update, Dec. 2021. The employee said that a spay/declaw is $520. A front or back declaw is $310 and you can only get two paws done at once. You can’t get a 4 paw declaw at the same time. The researcher asked if the cats are ok long term after the declaw and they said they can’t comment but that their cat is front declawed and she is fine.
JULY 2020 UPDATE – One employee said that they will only declaw if there is a medical reason for the cat.
Another employee said that they do declaws and it’s $128.30 for a regular declaw and it’s $248.20 for a laser declaw. The employee was asked if laser was better and they said that they had their cat declawed with the regular way at a different vet practice and their cat isn’t having any problems.
A spay/declaw is $450 and they said that they don’t get as many request for declaws anymore.
Here is the reply we received from Mississippi State –
“The Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine
(MSU-CVM) follows the AAHA and AVMA guidelines related to feline declaw
(onychectomy). To paraphrase these policies neither the AAHA nor the
AVMA support the practice of declawing of cats. Both sets of guidelines
encourage veterinarians to educate clients on what declaw involves and
to explore with clients all possible alternatives to declawing.
At MSU-CVM the techniques for feline declaw are not taught in any of
our lecture or laboratory-based surgery courses. The Surgical Service
in the College Animal Health Center does not perform feline declaws.
When clients request Community Veterinary Services clinicians to perform
a declaw, the clinicians extensively discuss alternatives and even
involve our behaviorist (Dr. Calder), as needed. Essentially, the client
is strongly encouraged to try alternatives.
When circumstances warrant a declaw, which is rare, the procedure is used as a learning tool.
How to perform the surgical procedure correctly, proper perioperative
analgesia, and proper postoperative care. The lecture-based Feline Class
teaches students about the harm caused by feline declaw and teaches all
the possible alternatives.
Phil Bushby, DVM, MS, DACVS, Marcia Lane Endowed Chair of Humane
Ethics and Animal Welfare, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi
University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine , Columbia, MO. (AAHA hospital.)
UPDATE JANUARY 2023. The employee said that the the doctors decided to not offer declawing anymore.
UPDATE DEC. 2021. A two paw declaw is from $600-$800. They said that they don’t do a lot of declaws but they offer that service. Researcher asked if a declaw causes any issues for the cat long term and the employee said that they do the standard declaw procedure.
UPDATE DECEMBER 2020- A TWO PAW DECLAW IS BETWEEN $600-$800.
JULY 2020 UPDATE- The employee said that because of the coronavirus the surgery dept. isn’t scheduling elective procedures and they aren’t sure if they will ever be performing declaw procedures in the future. The employee said they are trying to get away from declaws.
April 2019. Spay $265 A declaw is around $800. They said that they don’t do them as often anymore since it’s not a completely painless procedure and said it’s getting to where it’s considered cosmetic surgery and they don’t do cosmetic surgeries, typically.
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, Madison, WI. (AAHA hospital.)
UPDATE DEC. 2021. MADISON, WI BANNED DECLAWING SO UW MUST STOP PROVIDING DECLAWING.
We reached out to the folks at UW and here’s the reply from the hospital director.
“Thank you for reaching out. I am serving in the role of hospital director previously occupied by Dr. Chun.
To follow up on your questions- Our small animal hospital is AAHA accredited. In alignment with AAHA’s guidelines and recommendation, and the AVMA’s recommendations against declawing, we invest our efforts in client education against the procedure. So long as the AVMA strongly discourages the procedure, we continue to have multiple locations within the curriculum where we spend time discussing the ethical issues surrounding procedures such as declaw as well as investing efforts in describing alternatives. As long as the AVMA recommends against the declaw procedure, yet leaves it ultimately up to the practicing veterinarian’s discretion, we will continue to describe the procedure in a classroom setting, emphasizing alternatives while still describing the procedure in a manner that we feel confident that graduating students are familiar with the surgical tenants involved in the procedure and are aware of resources so that the procedure can be performed using the safest, most effective techniques and in a manner providing robust analgesia. Thank you for being proactive and an advocate for feline patients.
Christopher Snyder, DVM, DAVDC
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Director of UW Veterinary Care
Clinical Professor, Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery
University of Wisconsin-Madison”
He also said, “It is only performed when absolutely medically necessary and no alternatives exist. This is in accordance with AAHA’s position statement with declawing cats. In 2020 zero were performed.”
(No elective procedures were done in 2020 because of Covid19.)
We asked Chris this, “Medically necessary for the cat, such as a tumor or an injury, or medically necessary for a human like someone with thin skin or who is immune compromised? Or both? Also can you send me AAHA’s position statement that says that. “
We didn’t hear back from him so we called UW’s small animal hospital.
We asked the staff at UW’s Soft tissue department if they have criteria for performing declaws and the employees in the appointment dept, the billing dept., and one of the coordinators said that there are no criteria to do a declaw and the cat owner does not need to have a reason provided to have a declaw procedure done.
Also, a coordinator confirmed the info below with another employee in that department fyi.
They said that they like to find other options but they will do the declaw if the cat owner wants it done.
They said that Dr Sample is the declawing vet and she uses a laser which makes for less blood involved.
They said that Dr Sample is really good at doing the declaws. They even said that she did one a couple months ago.
We told Chris about this and here is his reply.
“Our hospital has not completely banned performing declaw as stated below by Dr. Chun’s original response. We encourage consultations for the face-to-face delivery of options, discuss alternatives and an opportunity to educate clients as why the procedure is discouraged. I was not present when you called to speak with our employee and they are gone for the day.
Your question about why we follow the AVMA can be found in Dr. Chun’s response.
Thank you for the link to VCA article.
Medically necessary may be related to the client’s health recommendations or all other recommended options have been explored.
Regarding your question about the behavior department, we look forward to the day when we can expand our hospital to include a behaviorist.”
We sent him another email with lots of questions about the AVMA comment and why his staff said the things they did and he said, “I will review the communication practices with our staff” and said he had nothing further to add.”
DECEMBER 2020 UPDATE- Employee said that they still do declaws.
An employee was asked if they do declaws regularly and they said that they do declaws every Monday, they do multiple declaws, and they do them all the time.
They said that their 4th year vet students do the declaws with a doctor looking over. They said a declaw is $158 and they have a package for the spay/declaw that is $331.
When the employee was asked if any of their declawed cats come back with issues and they said very rarely.
On March 19, 2019, the director of the hospital, Ruthanne Chun, replied to our questions with these answers in bold italics.
“There is no policy about doing declaw procedures. However, students and postgraduate trainees are not required to perform the amputation (because that is what it is) of the third phalanx of the digit.”
I received word that the local Banfield Pet Hospitals were referring people to your hospital for declaw procedures since they aren’t performing them anymore.
Why is it that some of the best vet schools in America like MSU, Tufts, UC Davis, and Cornell don’t teach or perform declawing anymore because of how inhumane and mutilating it is, and yet your school is doing them regularly and even offering declaws in a package deal with a spay/neuter.
“We want our students to learn how to talk with clients about alternatives to the amputation procedure. There are still plenty of cat owners out there who ask for this disfiguring procedure to be done. Our graduates are asked to do the procedure when they graduate and we want our students to be able to counsel clients on more humane options. Telling students what to say to clients in a classroom setting is very different from having the students interact with the clients and the veterinarians during an appointment to talk about the declaw procedure.
And, if for rare times when it is medically necessary (e.g. digital cancers, traumatic injury to the toe, or being owned by an immune suppressed person) to perform amputation of the third phalanx, we want our graduates to know how to do the amputation in as humane and correct manner as possible (including, in addition to general anesthesia and the use of injectable pain medications, the use of a digital block to numb the area and control the pain associated with the amputation).
Our hospital performs approximately 12 declaw procedures a year.
Thank you for pointing out that these procedures are part of a package deal. That is inappropriate and we will no longer offer declaws as part of a package deal.
Your school requires an appointment to see the history of the cat and have a physical done on them to see if they are healthy enough to have the procedures done. Why don’t your veterinarians counsel clients about the easy, humane options and how bad declawing is for the health and well-being of a cat?
Our surgery team spends the majority of the appointment with the client doing exactly that, in addition to providing the client with literature on alternative options. This is one of the most important educational opportunities for our students (and the clients), as real-life communication experience and expertise is key to a successful veterinary medical career. We are animal lovers and as veterinarians we need to be able to educate clients about the best options. This is likely one of the main reasons why our hospital does so few of these per year.
Does your school believe that declawing is harmless? If so, please explain.
We do not believe that declawing is harmless.
Are you aware that Canadian vets are voting to ban declawing and so far 5 Provinces have banned it?
I personally look forward to the day when the amputation procedure for non-medical reasons is banned in Wisconsin and the United States. Currently, declawing cats is still legal in the US. If the owner still requests a declaw procedure, our surgeons would rather perform this procedure than euthanize an otherwise healthy animal. They also would rather have the procedure done here with local digital blocks and appropriate systemic pain control, than have the procedure done elsewhere with less pain control or less discussion with the owner before the procedure is performed.
Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, Pomona, Ca. (Not an AAHA hospital.)
An employee at their animal hospital said declawing is not a service they offer. Employee said that it’s an ethical reason and declaws are very painful and they cause a lot of problems for the cats like arthritis.
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, New York. (AAHA hospital.)
An employee at their animal hospital said declawing is not a service they offer. The employee was asked why they don’t declaw and they said it is not a medical treatment and they don’t do cosmetic procedures. They said they trim toenails but don’t do declawing.
Employee was asked if declawing is bad for a cat and they said it is good for some cats but not good for other cats. They said it’s up to the owner.
(Please take 60 seconds and sign our petition to Cornell in honor of Rhoda Hogan. Mrs Hogan wanted her $125,000 to help end declawing when she passed away. What did Cornell really do with her $100k? https://www.change.org/p/cornell-feline-health-center-honor-rhoda-hogan-s-2007-125-000-bequest-condemn-declawing )
Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, Harrogate, TN. (Not an AAHA hospital.)
They do not have a clinic. They do not teach the students how to declaw cats.
Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, Baton Rouge, LA. (Not an AAHA hospital.)
An employee at their animal hospital said declawing is not a service they offer. They said they don’t do any elective surgeries except spay/neutering and said the declaws can be painful.
Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, East Lansing, MI. (AAHA hospital.)
They don’t perform or teach declawing.
The Director of Marketing and Communications told us, “We do not teach nor do we perform declaws at MSU. This has been in practice for several years.”
Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine, Glendale, AZ. (AAHA Hospital.)
They don’t declaw unless it’s medically necessary for the cat. They said it’s a very risky procedure and can alter the behavior of a cat.
North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, NC. (AAHA hospital.)
An employee at their animal hospital said declawing is not a service they offer because they consider it a cosmetic procedure.
Response received from NC State’s Dr Steven Marks, Clinical Professor, Critical Care and Internal Medicine/Associate Dean and Director, Veterinary Medical Services.
“Thank you for your inquiry on this important topic.
As a clinical policy at NC State, we do not perform elective declaw procedures. We will only perform digit amputations if they are medically necessary.
There are medical conditions that may necessitate partial or full digital amputation as an appropriate medical therapy, such as biopsy for diagnosis, severe trauma, or medical conditions affecting the health of the nail (i.e. onychodystrophy, paronychia, neoplasia of the nail bed/phalanges), and we remind students that digit amputation is a surgery with medical implications.
While declawing is a legal surgical procedure, we emphasize to our students that it should not be done as an elective procedure to manage scratching behavior. We teach declawing on an elective basis because it can have severe complications if improperly performed. The technique we teach is third phalanx disarticulation by blade or laser, which have been shown to have fewer complications. Additionally, we stress that multimodal pain control and peri-operative management are critical.
As an AAHA and AAFP certified Feline Friendly Practice, we are dedicated to teaching and supporting the health care needs of cats and their owners.
Sincerely, Dr Steven Marks”
University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, St. Paul, MN. (AAHA hospital and AAFP Cat Friendly Practice.)
An employee at their animal hospital said declawing is not a service they offer.
Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, Corvalis, OR. (AAHA referral hospital.)
An employee at their animal hospital said declawing is not a service they offer.
Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, N. Grafton, MA. (AAHA referral hospital.)
An employee at their animal hospital said declawing is not a service they offer because they say it is inhumane.
JULY 2020 UPDATE
Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Stillwater, OK. (AAHA hospital.)
Spay is $125 and Declaw is between $275-$300. The employee said that they do them regularly.
The public relations and marketing coordinator for the Oklahoma State University, Center of Veterinary Health Sciences, wrote back and said, “We appreciate you offering us the opportunity to participate in your study; however, we do not wish to participate.”
JULY 2020 UPDATE- THE EMPLOYEE SAID THAT THEY DON’T PERFORM DECLAWS ANYMORE.
University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Gainsviille, FL. (AAHA hospital.)
A laser declaw costs between $380- $430. The employee said that the
students do the spays/neuters but they don’t do declaws. They said their
hospital does declaws regularly.
JULY 2020 UPDATE- THE EMPLOYEE SAID THAT THEY DON’T PERFORM DECLAWS.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Veterinary Medicine. Urbana, IL. (AAHA hospital.)
APRIL 2019. Vet tech said that a spay/declaw is $310. They said that their boarded surgeons do declaws routinely.
The vet tech was asked if they see any issues with their declawed
cats and she said no, they only do front paws. They said it is owner
preference and if the cat is indoors.
Researcher said that they read on the internet that a declaw is bad.
Vet tech said there are several different approaches to declawing. She
said a laser is less invasive. They use a scalpel.
She said one method they don’t recommend is the guillotine approach that chops off the whole digit and is the most traumatic.
Researcher asked, “So there won’t be any problems with the scalpel
method and the tech said, “right.” Researcher said that they read bad
things on the internet about declawing. Vet tech said you have to be
careful with what you read on the internet.
She said that they see no long term issues with their declaws. You
should use special litter called Purina’s Yesterday’s News or shredded
Vet tech said that her cat was declawed 9 years ago and he is ok. “He does fine.”
JULY 2020 UPDATE- EMPLOYEE SAID THEY DO NOT PERFORM DECLAWS.
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Ryan Hospital for Companion Animals. Philadelphia, PA. (AAHA hospital.)
APRIL 2019 A consult exam is $172, and it is so you can meet with the surgeon, talk about the procedure, and evaluate your pet.
Spay/declaw- $754 All their vets know how to do the declaw. They
said it’s hard to get on their spay/neuter/declaw schedule because they
only do one a week.
JULY 2020 UPDATE – EMPLOYEE SAID THEY DON’T PERFORM DECLAWS.
University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, Knoxville, TN. (AAHA hospital.)
APRIL 2019 It is $450 – $500 for laser, front declaw. It is $350-$400 for a “surgical” front declaw.
The employee said that the students don’t perform surgeries.
The employee was asked if the cat would be ok long term from the
declaw and they said yes. They were asked if they do a lot of declaws
and they said, “Several of them.”
JULY 2020 UPDATE- EMPLOYEE SAID THAT THEY DON’T PERFORM DECLAWING.
University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, CA. (AAHA hospital.)
UPDATE DEC. 2020- THEY WILL ONLY DECLAW IF THERE IS A MEDICAL REASON FOR THE CAT AND ONLY IF IT WILL BENEFIT THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE CAT.
JULY 2020. An employee said they only do declaws if a cat is causing harm to
themselves, for example, if her claws get stuck or the cat is getting
injured because of her claws.
Texas A & M University Veterinary Medicine, College Station, TX. (AAHA hospital & AAFP Cat Friendly Practice.)
DECEMBER 2020 UPDATE: The employee said that they don’t do declaws because it’s a painful procedure and they were having issues with their laser machine so they stopped. JULY 2020 UPDATE- The employee said a spay/declaw is $555 and their 4th year students perform the declaws. When asked if a declaw is ok long term for a cat, the employee said that they will go over the advantages and disadvantages.
APRIL 2019- A declaw/spay is $556 . Their laser machine has been broken for 1 ½ months and they are waiting for a part from Japan.
We reached out to the Texas A & M DVM who is the author of this story in 2014 to ask him our questions. https://vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk/to-declaw-or-not-to-declaw/
He responded back with an email that said, “I would change some of the wording I used 5 years ago, but, yes, the information is still correct.” – Mark J. Stickney, DVM, Clinical Associate Professor, Small Animal Clinical Sciences”
We reached out to Dr Stickney to ask him what wording would he change but never heard back.
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, VA. (AAHA hospital.)
DECEMBER 2020- They don’t declaw because it is harmful to cats the employee said. JULY 2020 UPDATE- The employee said all their vets do declaws, a declaw is $165 and a laser declaw is $225.
April 2019- A declaw price is $165 or $225, with laser. According to the employee, the doctors do the declaw and the students help out.
University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Athens, GA. (Not an AAHA hospital.)
JULY 2021. Employee said they stopped declawing earlier this year.
DECEMBER 2020- The employee said a 2 foot declaw is $190 and a 4 foot declaw is $240. They said their interns are licensed veterinarians and they do the declaws. JULY 2020 UPDATE- The employee asked if you want two feet or four
feet. A four paw declaw is $240. The employee said that they are a
teaching facility and the students are assigned to the surgery along
with a doctor. They said that they will go over the declaw details in an
April 2019. A spay/declaw is $300. The interns do the declaws. They have graduated from vet school and are on their rotations. They don’t do them regularly anymore since not many people ask for declaws.
Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Columbus, OH. (AAHA hospital and AAFP CAT FRIENDLY PRACTICE. )
JULY 2021- Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center was a Cat Friendly Practice up until this year.
OSU’s Medical Center performed declawing in their clinic but this month, the employees say that declawing is not being performed now in the Frank Stanton Clinic.
According to employees at OSU’s vet med center and the new Frank Stanton clinic, OSU’s higher ups are deciding whether they will resume their declawing services.
DECEMBER 2020- The cost for a two paw declaw is $650-$850. JULY 2020 UPDATE- The employee said that they have around 5 vets who
do the declaws, it’s a common surgery, they do a great job, and that the
cats are ok long term with a declaw. A spay/declaw is around
Update Sept. 2019
OSU Veterinary Medical Center removed this page from their website. They still perform declawing at their medical center and require the declaw procedures to be paid upfront according to their website.
APRIL 2019- A spay & 2 paw declaw is $985-1200. They said the cat would have to stay there for 2 days, possibly 3 days. They said the students do the declaws with the doctor assisting. The employee was asked if they do declaws regularly and she said they do “tons.” The employee was asked if they see any issues with the declaws and she said the doctor would speak with you regarding problems.
Here is a story we did in 2017 on how Ohio State addresses declawing- http://citythekitty.org/ohio-state-vets-ensure-their-own-job-security-by-declawing-cats-thus-creating-a-lifetime-of-serious-and-costly-medical-problems-for-their-patients/
OSU’s Director, Strategic Communications and Marketing, sent us this note with their position on declawing on April 19, 2019 – “We saw your post today, the dean is traveling today and wanted to make sure you had our position on declawing.
Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the Veterinary Medical Center follow the American Veterinary Medical Association’s official policy on cat declawing. Students are educated on the policy and coached on how best to provide client education on the policy. In support of the AVMA policy, we believe that declawing should only be undertaken if it is medically necessary or if alternatives to eliminate harmful or destructive scratching have failed and the cat is about to be relinquished or abandoned. For more information on the AVMA’s policy on declawing, visit https://www.avma.org/KB/
(Photo of declawed toe bones and claws is not affiliated to any of these vet schools. )
Here are the questions that we sent to all the colleges to ask them how they address declawing.
“We are doing a story about how all the veterinary colleges in America address declawing.
Can you please give us a short statement for our story about what your veterinary college’s position is on declawing.
Does your school teach or perform declawing?
If you teach and perform declawing, can you please give a reason why you do.
Does your veterinary college do declaws regularly and what method is used?
If you don’t teach and/or perform declawing then can you give the reason why you don’t.
Do you have any classes to teach students how to educate their future clients about the easy, humane options to declawing like sturdy scratching posts, scratching pads, nail trims, deterrents, Soft Paws, etc.?”