Nearly four years ago I wrote a post entitled “Laser Declaw: The Best Comfort For Your Kitty.” Since that time, the post has been read by internet searchers from all over the state, the country and in several part of the world. We’ve had feline owners come to us from many miles away so that we can declaw their kitty (or kitties) with our surgical laser. We have operated on cats as young as three months of age, and as old as 14 years, all with wonderful outcomes.
There are certainly strong opinions out there against declawing. What is most interesting to me is that the horror stories that are shared by the anti-declawers simply do not fit with the reality that we’ve experienced having been performing laser declaws now for over ten years.
Personality changes? Never seen them.
Chronic lameness? Not one.
Refusing to use the litter box? We often see cats for litter box issues, but none having anything to do with post-operative concerns.
What we do see is cat after cat walking on their feet shortly after surgery, eating normally, and engaging in normal social interaction at home. Are some cats uncomfortable following surgery? Yes, occasionally some are. A declaw is major surgery, and we work to manage our patients’ pain to the best of our ability. With appropriate rest and pain management, all of our patients return to normal function in a very short period of time… much shorter than we experienced with our patients when we used a blade prior to 2003.
Our stance on declawing: We’re not out to change anybody’s mind on the to subject, and we’re not on any sort of moral crusade. There are some for whom declawing their cat must be done for there to be peace and harmony in the home, and owners who provide loving care for their kitties at home ought to find a friend in their veterinarian. For those that want to have their cat declawed, we believe there is a superior way to perform the procedure. Laser declaw minimizes bleeding and pain, allowing for a quicker recovery, and it is our technique of choice.
I also want to mention one good development that has emerged since my last declaw post. The first non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for use in cats has been approved by the FDA, a treatment called Onsior. We have been more than thrilled to see how it has helped cats in painful conditions, and adding it as post-operative therapy for our declaws has given us one additional tool to make sure our patients are as comfortable as they can be.
If your cat has been declawed with a surgical laser, please feel free to share your comments and impressions below. It has been disappointing to witness how many owners received anti-declaw judgement from one source or another prior to their visiting our Clinic. For the benefit of those who have received such information, why not share some positive information and experiences here? And as always, if you’re interested in additional information about laser declaw, or you’d like to schedule a time to meet with one of our doctors, don’t hesitate to call us at 330-929-3223.