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June 19, 2017
This American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Cat Friendly Practice, recently posted a video on facebook of a ragdoll kitten that was just declawed and said he is doing “great” after having his toes amputated. Here is a screenshot of the video that was posted on June 15, 2017.
Here is the facebook link to this video- https://www.facebook.com/PurrSonalCareCatClinic/
I’m sad to say that this is one of the many declawing vet practices that is lying to the public and deceiving cat owners about the inhumane and mutilating procedure of declawing. Here is what the vet at this Cat Friendly practice says about declawing in a declaw pdf that is available on her website. (UPDATE IN FEB. 2018. THIS INFO WAS FINALLY TAKEN OFF THIS WEBSITE) Link to declaw pdf- Declaw PDF
The declaw procedure is a surgical removal of the claw. Contrary to rumors and misinformed sources, declawing is not the removal of any of the actual toe itself, just the claw. For this procedure we anesthetize your cat using an injectable medication. Once asleep, your cat is moved to the surgical suite and hooked up to an anesthesia machine that delivers a gas anesthesia and oxygen to your cat as it breathes normally, and a tourniquet is placed on the leg to reduce the amount of bleeding during surgery. Sterilized surgical instruments are then used to perform the surgery by making an incision around the claw and through the joint space. This process is repeated on each toe of the foot. The incisions are closed with surgical glue and a bandage is placed on the foot. The entire process is repeated on the next foot (or feet if you choose to have all four feet declawed). If you have opted for the therapeutic laser treatment to reduce inflammation and pain as well as reduce the recovery time, it is done at this time. An injectable pain medication is given and your cat is then placed on a soft towel in a heated cage and closely monitored as they wake from anesthesia. If your cat is an adult at the time of the declaw surgery a 24 hour antibiotic injection is given as a precaution. The morning following the declaw procedure the bandages are removed and, if elected, another therapeutic laser treatment is done.
Following every surgical procedure the surgical instruments are washed in an antimicrobial/antiviral solution and then are wrapped in a surgical towel and sterilized in our autoclave. An autoclave is a machine that uses hot steam and pressure to completely sterilize the instruments.
Our top concern is your cat’s health and safety, and for this reason we use the safest medications, the best supplies and techniques approved and recommended by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This is why we keep all our surgery cats overnight a minimum of one night following the procedure. This also gives us the opportunity to check the surgical incisions prior to going home to ensure there are no issues. We also want to make certain they are fully awake and eating and drinking well before we send them home. At the time of release we send home post-surgical instructions and pain medication.
This AAFP vet’s declawing information about how it is done is a lie. The facts are that a declaw procedure is a surgical removal of the last toe bone and claw on a cat’s paw. Sometimes declawing vets use a guillotine clipper and they chop part of the toe bone off but the toe bone must ALWAYS be amputated otherwise the claw will grow back!
UPDATE, Feb. 2018. Purrsonal Care Cat Clinic is no longer listed as a CAT FRIENDLY practice on catvets.org but this vet is listed as an AAFP veterinarian. This practice also offers cats and kittens for adoption when they get them in. They have an adoption section with an online form at the bottom with these questions.
Feb. 2018. When asked how much the declaw is for one of their adoptable cats, the employee on the phone said they can do either two or four paw declaw. A 4 paw declaw/neuter for a cat over 6 months is $264. They have no age limit for their declaws but said the older they are, the more complications they can have so they give antibiotics after the procedure.
This vet has posted about declawing on their facebook page throughout the years and even had contest to win a free declaw. (The person that won thankfully didn’t want a declaw)
Here are some examples.
This vet also has a “Kitten/Cat Adoption Questionnaire” on her website.
Here are some of the questions-
LIFESTYLES & BEHAVIOR
** Do you plan to have this cat/kitten declawed? _______
- Do you plan to declaw the FRONT 2 or ALL 4? (please select one)
- What would you do if your cat/kitten started biting? _________________________________________
- What would you do if your cat/kitten started scratching? ______________________________________
- Please briefly explain your reason for not declawing. _________________________________________
**Do you plan to let this kitten outside at all? ______
**Do you have children? _______ If YES, how many and what ages? _________________________________
**What would you do if your kitten/cat started urinating or defecating outside the litter-box? _______________
Link to this questionnaire- http://purrsonalcarecatclinic.net/online-forms.html
FOR FULL DISCLOSURE, I respectfully reached out to the vet tech who works at this practice and is also breeder with Macushla Ragdolls and asked her if they allow their ragdoll cats to be declawed. She said, “Yes I do. My veterinarian here uses a scalpel. She’s not fond of the laser because it burns the tissue which delays healing time.“
Their “About” section on facebook says, “Waterloo’s premier Ragdoll breeder. Macushla (my darling) Ragdolls breeds high-quality pet Ragdolls for the entire Midwest and beyond. Breeding since 2013.”
So then I asked her if most people get their ragdoll cats declawed, if there are any long-term negative consequences to declawing, and if her vet just removes the claw. Her response was, “The nail and the bone are one. That’s why cats can climb trees and rip their prey apart without losing the claw. There are only long term issues if the procedure was done incorrectly. In those instances is usually that the bone was broken due to the method the vet uses and it gets left behind. I’ve seen it done at other vet clinics where I’ve worked. I’ve been a vet tech for nearly 20 years and have seen thousands of declaws. I’ve only seen a few with issues and it was because of what I explained earlier. A successful pain free declaw is all about the surgical technique that is used and the surgical ability of the veterinarian performing it.“
Then I asked if she is the actual breeder and if she works at this practice and she said, “ I am a Ragdoll breeder and yes I work for Purr-sonal Care Cat Clinic. As far as what the new parents of the kitties do I only know about the ones who stay local which has only been about 3. Of those 3 I believe they were all declawed.“
I asked her if Dr Julie takes CE classes to get updated about the facts about declawing and also asked this, “Also you are a cat friendly American Association of feeling practitioner silver cat friendly practice. Do you believe that declawing is friendly and good for cats? Have you read the position statement from AAFP about declawing? When a customer asks for a declaw do you guys counsel them about the facts on declawing to try to talk them out of it and educate them about the simple humane and common sense alternatives like nail trims, sturdy scratching posts, and soft paws? Or do you just do the declaw, no questions asked. I see that you have a form on your website that also asks about 4 Paw declaws. How often do you do those and how much do you charge for a two paw and Paw declaw. You say that you like to do them with the spay and neuter packages so how much are those packages.”
This vet tech said, “The law requires all veterinarians to have continuing education classes. I would appreciate it if you and your group would stop harassing the clinic and now me personally. Many of the things being posted have been reported to Facebook. Harassment is a crime and if it doesn’t stop then we will have no choice but to contact the authorities.“
I wrote her back and said, “So reaching out to someone in a respectful conversation is now considered harassment and a crime? I am a journalist and was a journalist at the LA Times for 25 years and I do stories that have all facts in them. Your video was sent to me by other people and it was already out and shared on the Internet FYI. I can’t control what others do towards you or on your social media pages. I report the facts and that is not a crime. The actual crime is that she (the vet) is lying about this procedure to all of your clients and deceiving them that it is OK for their health and well being. I educate the public about the truth and facts about declawing.”
Please sign my petition to the Cat Friendly folks to ask them to STOP allowing declawing at their Cat Friendly practices. It takes 30 seconds to sign- City the Kitty Cat Friendly Petition
Please respectfully reach out to AAFP and ask them to not allow declawing at their Cat Friendly practices- firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, please reach out to the Better Business Bureau in this town and express your concerns that this veterinary practice is lying to the public about the facts about this inhumane, harmful, and mutilating procedure. The public should know the truth about declawing before they order this procedure to be done to their kittens or cats. Declawing always involves removing the last toe bone or part of the last toe bone in a cat’s paw along with the claw. Here is the link to the BBB – www.welcometoiowa.org
*** Please always remember to be respectful and try to educate your family and friends about declawing. Never threaten or be rude since it is wrong and only hurts our cause. Plus if you do, they will turn things around and play the victim and we all know the only victims are all the cats who are barbarically having their toes and claws unnecessarily amputated. Take the high road. We will win for the cats someday and declawing will be banned and all kitties will be safe and protected from this inhumane and very harmful amputation procedure.