An AAHA, CAT FRIENDLY, and “Pain-Free” Declawing Hospital

November 16, 2018

Please take 20 seconds and sign my petitions to AAHA and AAFP-

https://www.change.org/p/feline-practioners-aafp-stop-allowing-declawing-at-your-cat-friendly-practices

https://www.change.org/p/american-animal-hospital-association-stop-declawing-at-your-hospitals

———————————————————————————————-Riverside Drive Animal Care Center in Dublin, Ohio, a “Cat Friendly” AAFP,  AAHA hospital, posted this review on their facebook and twitter page.

I reached out to this hospital in an email to ask them questions for this story but never received a reply.

Here’s the summary of how this hospital addresses declawing in phone calls with researchers posing as a first time cat owner.

An employee at this hospital said, “Sometimes they will have a declaw, that’s up to you. We don’t like to do them on older cats so the younger the better if you are going to choose to do a declaw,” after my researcher asked if there’s anything else they recommend or what people have done with a neuter, all 6 doctors do declaws regularly according to an employee, their telephone voice recording says, “We are proud to be a pain-free hospital”, an employee said the laser is better because there’s “less swelling, less risk of infection, and a lot less painful,” and after the researcher expressed that they were concerned about declawing being bad for the cat because they had read some scary things online about it, the vet tech said, “Oh gosh no, please don’t google it, just call and talk to one of us.” They said, “you’ll just scare yourself if you do that.”

Not once did any of the three employees ask if there are scratching issues, talk about the easy, humane options, or tell the researchers that it was an amputation procedure that is not recommended because it is harmful to the health and well-being of a cat.


The details.

My researchers called Riverside Drive Animal Care Center posing as a first time cat owner and asked for the price of a neuter and also asked what else do people have done or what do they recommend with this procedure while the cat is out.

The employee said, “Sometimes they will have a declaw, that’s up to you. We don’t like to do them on older cats so the younger the better if you are going to choose to do a declaw.”

They said a neuter/declaw is from $485-$614.

Researcher asked which vet is the most skilled at the declaw and the employee said they have 6 doctors and all of them are capable of doing a declaw.

They use a laser and when asked why it is better the employee said it is less swelling, less risk of infection, and a lot less painful.

Researcher asked if they see cats coming back after getting declawed at their hospital and the employee said they have had some come back but it depends on the cat and what they do when they get home. They said if there’s not limited activity then there is risk of them to open up the incisions. They said that they provide special litter called Yesterday’s News (Purina) that they send you home with. (Please take 20 seconds and sign my petition to Purina- https://www.change.org/p/joseph-r-sivewright-ceo-purina-inspire-purina-to-help-end-declawing-with-some-of-the-money-they-are-making-from-it

Researcher was put on hold and the recording talked about their pain management protocols and then said, “We are proud to be a pain-free hospital.”

Another employee was asked about a price of a spay. Then the researcher asked if they can do a declaw also. The employee said, “We can do that, and we would recommend doing that at the same time because you are paying less for anesthesia.”

A laparoscopic spay/declaw is $800-$900.

Researcher asked for Dr Stephanie Miner for the spay/declaw and they said she can do those on a Tuesday. (Their website says Dr Miner is “completing her Fear Free certification which includes techniques developed to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with veterinary visits. This promotes a healthy, calm, and positive experience for her patients!”

Researcher asked if Dr Miner was skilled at the declaw and the employee said that all 6 of their vets do them very regularly, it’s a pretty basic procedure there, they do quite a few of them there on a regular basis. The employee continued to reassure the researcher by saying, “We do so many here it’s a pretty regular occurrence.”

Researcher asked the employee when their cat would be recovered from the declaw and they said the cats usually bounce back very quickly and they don’t normally see complications and that it would probably be a couple of days and the cat would be acting “perfectly normally.”

The employee put a vet tech on the phone to answer more questions about the declaw recovery time.

Vet tech said that it depends on if the vet uses glue or sutures and put the researcher on hold. The recording on the phone talked about how their hospital was AAHA accredited and they have to uphold the association’s high standards.

The vet tech said that it usually takes about two weeks for the skin to fully heal  but sometimes they do break open. The only other thing to worry about they said is litter getting in the paws but they send you home with Purina’s Yesterday’s News litter.

They said that the laser is better because it cauterizes as it cuts.

Researcher asked if they see cats coming back with issues from their declaws and that they were concerned about it being bad because that they read some horror stories on the internet about it. The vet tech said, “Oh gosh no, please don’t google it, just call and talk to one of us.” They said, “you’ll just scare yourself if you do that.”

Here’s another screenshot of a post on their facebook page from 2015.

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