Here you have a very heartbreaking story about someone who is a true hero. This vet tech tried to do the right thing and she was fired.
She simply tried to help save kitties from having this mutilating, unnecessary, and inhumane procedure done to them at this Wisconsin veterinary practice.
She was fired by the two veterinarians at this practice who have been members of the AVMA for 36 and 46 yrs.
So just to confirm everything, my mom called this practice today. Sure enough, they will amputate your kitties toes and claws, 2 paw or 4 paw, no questions asked. They will EVEN do a four paw declaw on an older cat OR for your younger cat with its spay/neuter surgery for $476. The one they do most often is the two paw declaw for $276.07 they say.
When asked if it is bad to do to a cat, they say no but an old cat might take a little bit longer to heal. They say, “We like to do what’s best for your relationship with your cats.” And they say that they are good at them and do a lot of them.
Yep, greed over the welfare of little kitties. Not one mention of using any alternative or counseling. Just to bring them in for an exam for $42 . They even offer you additional $ervices like Iv fluids or pre-anesthetic blood work, but only if you want and can afford it.
They did say that the 4 paw declaw might have more chances of complications because they don’t have the back feet to put their weight on while the front paws are healing so it takes them a little bit longer to heal. But their two paw declaws heal in 10-14 days they are proud to say.
( I am NOT posting the name of the practice or veterinarians because this vet tech is worried for her safety and well being from these veterinarians. She had a hard time finding a job after she was fired because they bad mouthed her all over town she said. Ruthless and nasty “doctors” turning on someone who was just trying to do the right thing)
Here is her sad note,
I have a confession to make. I used to be a vet tech in a clinic that was pro-declawing. I participated in several of the surgeries. The declaws were just awful.
These “doctors” were not concerned about the welfare of their patients. It was all about the mighty dollar. They would routinely overbook surgical procedures and would have the techs handle declaws. Techs are not licensed to perform surgical procedures.
Looking back, I can see how wrong they were on a lot of things. It all goes back to money.
I was very young and didn’t think about the pain I was putting my patients through. It’s embarrassing that I did this to animals and it makes me sick. I was supposed to help heal them and not do harm.
The declaws we did were done using two different methods. The first is the excisional where we used a scalpel to remove the P3. We had to cut into the paw and sever the bone. We also used the guillotine method. It depended on the size of the paws and what doctor was on duty as to which one we did. We had to tourniquet each paw to lessen the bleeding. There was always a lot of blood. Then we would use a super glue to glue the toe shut.
I saw many cats that were in excruciating pain afterward. You could give them Bute but it didn’t always help. We had 6 kitties die while I was on duty after having the declaw surgery. Four had complications from the anesthetic and the other two bled out overnight. No one stayed at the clinic overnight to make sure the cats were ok.
Imagine coming in the next morning and finding that. It still gives me nightmares.
I had several patients who could no longer walk properly because of the damage done. I saw three cases where the damage was so bad that full leg amputation was required. I saw countless infections.
One so bad that the kitty had gangrene, which led to full leg amputation. Another one that the infection caused sepsis and the kitty couldn’t be saved.
That was the case that broke me to where I went to the vets and told them that what we were doing was wrong. I mentioned numerous cases to them and how it was a surgery that wasn’t necessary.
I offered to start an education program to at least give clients the information to help them make an educated decision. I told them that I would work with the clients who opted out to help them with activities to work with their kitties on scratching.
I was told that the clinic was not there to push their beliefs onto their clients and they would continue to honor the requests of their clients.
It was all about making money.
I reiterated that I would no longer participate in the procedure because I thought it was wrong. They told me that since I wasn’t going to participate that I was replaceable and was told to pack my things and leave. I asked them if I was being let go and the owner said “yes, you’re fired”. I will never declaw another kitty.
I had signed my exit paperwork and at the time I didn’t even realize what I was signing. I was so upset that I just signed everything, packed my things, and left. Later I saw it said I couldn’t work at any clinics within an 8 mile radius. They didn’t want me to take any of their clients with me. I looked around for other vet opportunities but between the contract I signed and the bad mouthing, I didn’t have a lot of options. There was an another clinic that interviewed me by phone but it would have been an hour commute each way for not much money.
So, I started volunteering with different animal organizations and shelters and went back to college and got out of the veterinary profession.
I appreciate the work that you do advocating for paws with claws. I’m hoping that someday declawing will be illegal. Amputation when not medically necessary is wrong. Thank you for speaking out and not backing down! And thank you for letting me tell you my story and help clear my conscience!
Oh, and don’t let the haters get you down. Every revolution has opponents, but we will overcome! One paw at a time!”
THESE CATS ARE FROM A DIFFERENT PRACTICE BUT WERE DECLAWED BY A 30 yr member vet of the AVMA and the owners were talked out of using SoftPaws. All three have had all or most of their paws amputated due to complications.
Here is the AVMA’s declawing policy
The AVMA strongly encourages client education prior to consideration of onychectomy (declawing). It is the obligation of the veterinarian to provide cat owners with a complete education with regard to the normal scratching behavior of cats, the procedure itself, as well as potential risks to the patient. Onychectomy is an amputation and should be regarded as a major surgery. The decision to declaw a cat should be made by the owners in consultation with their veterinarian. Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents an above normal health risk for its owner(s).
The following points are the foundation for full understanding and disclosure regarding declawing:
- Surgical declawing is not a medically necessary procedure for the cat in most cases. While rare in occurrence, there are inherent risks and complications with any surgical procedure including, but not limited to, anesthetic complications, hemorrhage, infection and pain. If surgical onychectomy is performed, appropriate use of safe and effective anesthetics and perioperative analgesics for an appropriate length of time are imperative. Pain management is necessary (not elective) and required for this procedure. Multimodal pain management is recommended, and there should be a written aftercare plan. The surgical alternative of tendonectomy is not recommended.
- Scratching is a normal feline behavior, is a means for cats to mark their territory both visually and with scent, and is used for claw conditioning (“husk” removal) and stretching activity.
- Owners should provide suitable implements for normal scratching behavior. Examples are scratching posts, cardboard boxes, lumber or logs, and carpet or fabric remnants affixed to stationary objects. Implements should be tall or long enough to allow full stretching, and be firmly anchored to provide necessary resistance to scratching. Cats should be positively reinforced in the use of these implements.
- Appropriate claw care (consisting of trimming the claws every 1 to 2 weeks) should be provided to prevent injury or damage to household items.
- Temporary synthetic nail caps are available as an alternative to onychectomy to prevent human injury or damage to property. Plastic nail caps are usually applied every 4 to 6 weeks.
- Declawed cats should be housed indoors and allowed outside only under direct supervision.
- Scientific data do indicate that cats that have destructive scratching behavior are more likely to be euthanatized, or more readily relinquished, released, or abandoned, thereby contributing to the homeless cat population. Where scratching behavior is an issue as to whether or not a particular cat can remain as an acceptable household pet in a particular home, surgical onychectomy may be considered.
- There is no scientific evidence that declawing leads to behavioral abnormalities when the behavior of declawed cats is compared with that of cats in control groups.