March, 2016


There is a deeply troubling emerging picture of inappropriate standard of care and substandard practice of veterinary medicine with regards to declawing in America. Many vet practices like this one in Oklahoma are amputating cat’s toes and NOT using any pain management or very minimal pain management.

This is not happening in a 3rd world country folks. This is happening every single day to thousands of cats in America and there is great pain and suffering involved. This is 100% animal cruelty and cats are even dying from being declawed.

Remember the story about the 3 kitties who were declawed last year? 3 Kitties Story

When will enough be enough? When will major news media organizations or famous people pick this story up and help us end this injustice? When will veterinarians, who are deceiving cat owners like this, STOP doing this mutilating and inhumane procedure.

The veterinarian in Oklahoma at Jefferson County Animal Hospital that declawed these cats in this video is a 32 yr member of the AVMA and the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, Dr Jim Clark.


My researchers made calls to this practice posing as first time cat owners. Here is what they found.

They do NOT counsel you about the humane alternatives or educate you about what declawing entails when you ask to get your cat declawed at this animal hospital. (One employee said that sometimes when they declaw the cats they get mean and bite.)

They will declaw your cat for $95. They say this vet uses,  “special nail clippers/trimmer to pull the nails out while your cats are sedated.” (At least 30% of vets still use the guillotine clippers to declaw cats)

They say that for $15 more you can get their Cutting Edge MLS laser therapy treatment which cuts the healing and pain in half and will last 5 days.

When you ask them if you can get pain meds for your cats, they say that they don’t provide them.

They will send your kitties home the same day as these amputations with NO PAIN MEDS.

They say that they do at least 2 declaws a week.

They say they will declaw your kitty on all four paws but you have to get the front done first and then come back in 4 weeks to get the back two done.

They said that the owner of these cats chose to NOT get the healing laser therapy for these cats. The owner said the reason the cats were declawed was for a baby.

 This practice says that in 4-5 days you can take off the “little boots” but that sometimes your kitty will take them off themselves. They will do it for no charge if you want to bring them in.

The facts are that the laser therapy is NOT going to take away the cat’s pain for 5 days and that this vet is going completely against AVMA policy that says pain management IS necessary (not elective) and  required for this mutilating procedure.

This AVMA vet is NOT following AVMA guidelines. Sending these cats home the day of surgery is a dangerous thing. Keeping the tightly wrapped bandages on for 4-5 days is a dangerous thing. Doing these amputations to cats and not giving them any pain management is animal cruelty that is above and beyond what the procedure is.


The only drugs he uses for the amputations is Ketamine and Acepromazine.

The use of ketamine/ace as a sole anesthetic protocol for declaws is antiquated and inappropriate.  No one doubts that declaw surgeries are extremely painful and this protocol provides NO pain relief.

Dr James Gaynor, a pain management specialist, stated that lack of adequate pain control in the immediate postoperative period is the inciting cause of pain and behavioral changes within days to months to year. He says that chronic pain is due to an increase in pain intensity over time that, in the case of declawing, can develop during a surgical procedure or in the days to weeks afterwards. Please READ this story Chronic pain from declawing Chronic Pain of Declawing  


A spot check on 6 other vet clinics in this Oklahoma area revealed that many others are declawing cats with similar approaches and some are JUST using Ketamine. When you call them to ask for a declaw, they ask if you want two or four paws. they say it is a simple and routine surgery. They say cats only need their claws to defend themselves.

They say that if you have high dollar furniture (a veterinarian himself said this) you should declaw them.

They all say that there are no long term negative consequences. They say they will give your cat a pain medicine injection that will last 2 weeks. They say that their healing laser is all that your cat needs for the pain. They say that they use a guillotine and then scissors to cut the rest of the toe off and that your cat will still be able to climb a tree.

Here are the facts from Ronald Riegel DVM with AIMLA (American Institute Medical Laser Applications) They provide laser education for health care professionals; human and veterinary. 

Laser therapy is a proven scientific modality to reduce pain.  One treatment will not last 5 days.  Alone, it will provide some pain relief in this procedure but should be used in addition to other approaches. If this procedure is done, why would the owner even have a chance to not have laser therapy?  It should be a part of the procedure.  Pain management should be a consideration for every patient.”


Here is another sad example Declawed kitty in pain trying to walk

Please share this post and help us ban declawing in New Jersey AND  New York and support the bill in those states to end declawing! Bill in NY to ban declawing

I called the Oklahoma Veterinary Board of Medicine and spoke with their executive director, Cathy Kirkpatrick. She said that there is nothing that they can do since there is no law or required protocol that tells veterinarians that they must use pain protocols for declawing cats. She said, “there are a lot bigger things that I’m more concerned about.”

We MUST ban declawing and protect hundreds and thousands of cats that are having their toe bones and claws amputated in America and who are suffering through this unimaginable pain and torture. Please try to find a legislator in your state that will sponsor a bill to ban declawing like the ones in NY and NJ.

Here are some comments from veterinarians who have been asked about this combination of drugs for declaws:
There is no analgesia and likely an awake/aware but unable to respond cat.
 Ketamine does provide analgesia for superficial pain, but not for visceral pain. It has been established in humans that recall of the surgery does indeed happen, and with some glowing detail. There is no good reason to not believe that this happens in cats as well.
Ketamine can block NMDA receptors, but this does not do anything at all for the actual perception of pain. 
Acepromazine is in no way analgesic, so basically you are operating with simply restraint, not analgesia.

 On so many other levels though, I find this approach to feline anesthesia to be inappropriate.