Thread: Laser declawing
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Old October 31st, 2012, 10:59 AM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Originally Posted by coppperbelle View Post
I heard there was such a thing. Is it painful for the cat?
Yes. Don't believe the hype that a laser declaw is somehow less cruel than the scalpel method:

Is declawing with a laser better? What about tendonectomy?

No, laser isn't better. Neither is tendonectomy. Currently, the most common surgical procedures used to declaw cats are complete amputation using a blade, nail clippers or laser. Partial amputation, nail bed ablation, and tendonectomy (also called tenectomy) are also common declaw procedures. Some of these techniques were developed in an effort to compensate for the mutilating effects, extreme pain, or health complications known to be associated with the other techniques; however, each of these techniques has complicating factors or adverse health risks associated with them.

Lasers declawing is often marketed by veterinarians who have bought a laser. Laser beams are used to burn through the cat's toe joint instead of using a scalpel or guillotine blade. A study reported in the September 1, 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Association by Mison, et al., reported that lasers offered no benefit over the more conventional methods of declawing, stating "differences in discomfort and complications between groups treated via scalpel versus CO2 laser were not clinically relevant."

Levy, et al. (1999), found that complications (bleeding, limping, swelling, infection) were generally worse in the laser onychectomy (declawing) group, compared against blade onychectomy in the first 2 days after surgery. Laser declawing can result in 4th Degree burns (burning of the bone).

Tendonectomy or Tenectomy is a procedure in which the tendons in the toes are severed. The cat still has its claws, but is unable to control them. This procedure does not necessarily protect people from being scratched, and it is associated with a high incidence of abnormal claw growth and muscle atrophy. In a 1998 JAVMA article, Jankowski, et al., concluded that "owners should be aware of the high complication rate for both [tendonectomy and declawing] procedures and of the need for constant trimming of claws of cats that have undergone tenectomy."

Jankowski also reported that 55% of the cats having tendonectomy were still able to scratch with their claws to some degree, and that 10% of the cat's owners had the cats declawed after the tendonectomy procedure for this reason.

In March 2003, the AVMA stated that tendonectomy is "not recommended."

Dr. Wendy Feaga, a Maryland veterinarian, wrote in Veterinary Medicine (May 1998), regarding tendonectomy, "I hope this cruel practice is stopped immediately." She describes a post-tendonectomized cat that "had badly arthritic toes and did not move around comfortably. The toenails were thick and disfigured, and the toes were painful on palpation. I was horrified."

Robert Goldman, DVM, says, "Veterinarians who recommend tendonectomy for cats will tell their clients that they have to trim the cat's claws at least every week. If the client is going to have to trim the nails every week, why not just trim the nails and avoid the tendonectomy procedure all together?"
"To close your eyes will not ease another's pain." ~ Chinese Proverb

“We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.” ~ Gretchen Wyler
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