After performing declaw procedures for years with a surgical blade, the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic purchased a surgical laser in 2003 and began performing declaw procedures exclusively with the laser. We haven’t regretted this decision for a single minute since.
Cats that are declawed with a blade often recover well and are very comfortable… in the long-run. Immediately after surgery and for the next several days (and sometimes longer), though, their feet are sore and many of these patients are reluctant to move as they normally would despite being given appropriate pain medication. There is also a significant amount of bleeding that must be controlled at the time of a blade declaw, and sometimes bleeding can be a post-operative complication with blade declaws, as well.
Cats declawed with the surgical laser, on the other hand, are up and moving around comfortably the evening of surgery. The procedure is virtually bloodless, as the laser cauterizes the blood vessels. Declawing is significant surgery, and cats have reason to be uncomfortable. However, by performing the procedure with the laser which cauterizes the nerve endings, as well as giving appropriate pre-operative and post-operative pain medications at safe doses, we’ve been able to make sure our patients are as comfortable as possible.
The first kitty that we declawed with the surgical laser, way back in 2003, dug at and flipped over the mat in his cage following surgery. Cats with sore paws simply do not dig. The difference that we saw with laser declaws from Day One was dramatic. We will not declaw a kitty with a blade again.
If you are considering having your kitty declawed, make sure to consider their post-operative comfort and recovery as a top priority. Laser declaw is the best way to know that your kitty will be as comfortable as possible.