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Declawing is a common surgical procedure for cats. In the procedure the claw and the corresponding first bone of the toe, which the claw grows from, are removed. Cats do not bare weight on this portion of their toe, which is why it can be removed without affecting their ability to walk. Dogs however, do bare weight on this portion of their toe and should not be declawed.

In recent years there has been some debate about declawing and whether it should be a common practice. Owners may debate the choices for their own pets and individual situations. Laser surgery has been shown to benefit in declawing by reducing pain, bleeding, and swelling. With the advent of laser surgery, declawing has become far less painful and recovery has improved greatly.

At Allison Lane Animal Hospital we have taken some measures to minimize discomfort in our declaw patients. They are as follows:

1) Pain Medications are required for all patients, both prior to surgery and for several days after surgery (surgery is, of course, done under general anesthesia).

2) Laser surgery is mandatory for all declaws we perform.

Some other information that may be helpful for you to make a decision on declawing are listed below.

*Cats typically do most of their claw damage with their front claws. Leaving the back claws intact gives your cat a defense as well as an ability to climb if needed (ie. your cat accidentally gets outside).

*We recommend cats stay indoors due to all the risks to there safety found outdoors (ie. cars, dogs, other cats, people, etc.). If your cat spends time outdoors, we do not recommend declawing for your pet.

*Laser declaw surgery eliminates the need for a tourniquet during surgery and usually does not need post-operative bandaging. It also reduces hospital stay to only one day (hospital stay without laser is two days).

*We commonly advise that if the choices are a cat stay in a good home but need to be declawed, or have to be given up to a shelter or unknown situation, the best choice for that particular cat is likely to stay in a good home environment even if that means declawing.

*Our own cats have been front declawed and are happy, healthy members of our family. We have not seen any evidence that tells us it was a mistake to have them declawed.

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1660 Allison Lane
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
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