The NJVMA has to lie and use fake facts to protect their right to declaw cats.
It’s almost as if they know there is no good reason to declaw but are trying to convince themselves that it’s ok to still make money from mutilating cats.
We used to believe that declawing cats saved their lives. We feared that cats with claws would be turned in to the shelters in record numbers, and that we were doing a good thing by making cats more likely to stay in their homes.
As it turns out, the numbers do not bear this out. When areas have stopped declawing, the number of surrendered cats actually dropped. This left us with a question. We know that even under the best of circumstances, a declaw is a major and painful surgery, (and no less so when it is performed with a laser, by the way.) It is an amputation of the end of the cat’s “finger,” not just the removal of the claw itself. And even when performed perfectly, can have life-long complications.
So we wondered, if we weren’t saving cats, and this procedure can be painful to cats, why were we doing this? Although we know furniture destruction can be a problem, it can almost always be prevented with the right techniques. Besides, when it comes down to it, as veterinarians, our main concern is the cats, not the couches. We have to do what is best for our patients.
When cats start walking on their balls then we will start believing the NJVMA’s spokesvet Dr Yurkus and his animal hospital that declawing isn’t more painful than neutering.
Meanwhile, the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ policy on declawing states:
“Physically, regardless of the method used, onychectomy causes a higher level of pain than spays and neuters. Patients may experience both adaptive and maladaptive pain; in addition to inflammatory pain, there is the potential to develop long-term neuropathic or central pain if the pain is inadequately managed during the perioperative and healing periods.” [AAFP Policy Statement on Declawing, 2007.]
To put these all this in perspective, there are, more or less, 80 million pet cats in the U.S. At least 20% are declawed (estimates range from 20-45%), which is 16,000,000 cats. If even only 5% have long-term painful complications (and the number is likely far higher), that’s still 800,000 cats with known chronic pain, obvious pain.
How many is too many to suffer?
Clearly, veterinarians as a profession have failed to keep up with modern medicine, failed to govern themselves, and failed to understand the universal, serious, and potentially lifetime pain they are causing cats by declawing. Sadly, there is no mechanism to enforce changes in the profession.
Therefore, legislation is necessary to stop the cruel and unnecessary practice of declawing.
Declawing changes the conformation and weight-bearing characteristics of a cat’s paws. This paper graphically shows these physical changes.
January 23, 2017 UPDATE! THIS NJ BILL PASSED IN THE ASSEMBLY 43-10. The bill was put on hold and is back on the table for 2018. It will have to be voted on in the Assembly again. Here is the audio testimony by the NJVMA’s 2017-2018 President of the NJVMA, to the New Jersey […]
Dr Mike Yurkus, NJVMA board member, said, “It is incorrect that the last bone of the finger is removed. It is the nail bed. The claw bed is removed and the tendons are detached. Bone is not removed. We do not cut bone.”
FACT- Declawing is always the amputation of the last bone that the cat’s claw is attached to. Many of the New Jersey veterinarians, including one of the NJVMA board members practice Oradell Animal Hospital, in my study, uses the old school clipper method, which often cuts just part of the bone off and the cats are left with painful bone chips in their paws.
Just like the tobacco companies did in the 30’s and 40’s for smoking, the veterinary profession started deceiving cat owners in the 50’s to believe that declawing was humane.
The veterinary associations and pro-declaw veterinarians are still perpetuating these lies and deception about declawing so that they can keep making money from this very inhumane procedure.
Let’s thank the NYSVMS for reminding us that we must use our VOICES and EDUCATE the public and CAT OWNERS that DECLAWING is ANIMAL AB– USE and that we must protect all cats from LICENSED VETs who are doing this mutilating and inhumane procedure!
Purina’s Yesterday’s News cat litter is purchased and recommended by most veterinarians who declaw cats, as their go to, post-surgical litter for declawing.
Sadly, around 2 million cats a year in America are declawed. That’s a lot of sales of Yesterday’s News cat litter from this very harmful and inhumane procedure.
If Purina donated just 50 cents from every sale of Yesterday’s News litter to the cause to end declawing OR used that money to make educational videos about why cats need their toes and claws, it would save hundreds and thousands of cats from going through this very inhumane procedure.
It would show that Purina truly cares about helping to end this horrific and unnecessary procedure that is done to millions of cats in North America mostly for the welfare of a sofa.