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At Fullerton Animal Hospital in Baltimore, MD, we know that your cat is a beloved member of your family. We also know that despite the companionship they provide, cats are born with claws that can be destructive to your home and other people. Since they cannot be trained to avoid using their claws, we offer surgical onychectomy, or declawing, to safely remove the claws and prevent them from hurting or damaging people and things.
During a declawing procedure, your cat will be placed under anesthesia and given analgesics to prevent pain. A veterinarians will carefully screen your pet ahead of time to ensure it is healthy enough to be placed under anesthesia. We will also carefully monitor your cat throughout the surgery, and a veterinary technician will assess its vital signs.
There is more than one way to perform an onychectomy. In the excisional method, the entire last bone of the claw (P3) is removed using a scalpel. The guillotine method takes less time than the excisional method, but it involves cutting through the P3 bone and sometimes the toepad. Your cat will wear bandages after the procedure. It may also need to stay at our office overnight for monitoring. We will then assess your pet’s surgical area before releasing it to go home.
The decision to declaw your cat is one that you should make with your veterinarian. Pet owners should be well educated on the procedure and its long-term effects. While we will always go above and beyond to provide attentive care to your pet, we believe you should weight the benefits against the disadvantages to determine what is right for your pet.
One advantage of declawing your cat is the assurance that it will not be able to damage your belongings or harm other people. This is especially useful for pet owners who have expensive assets or who live with individuals who could suffer serious harm from a cat scratch, such as a person on anti-coagulant blood thinner medications.
On the downside, declawing is irreversible and requires that your pet live indoors for the remainder of its life, as declawed cats are unable to defend themselves. In addition, declawing is a surgical procedure that can carry risks of procedural and post-operative complications. Furthermore, the recovery period can be painful – though our office can help with post-surgical pain management.
If you are considering declawing as a possibility for your pet, contact our office to discuss your options and whether your pet could be eligible for this procedure. Young cats approximately 6 months old typically make good candidates so long as they are healthy and not overweight. They tend to recover faster and experience less post-operative pain overall than older cats that are overweight.
For more information about declawing your cat, call our office in Baltimore, MD to schedule your pet’s veterinary consultation at (410) 665-6996. We look forward to serving you soon.