OK In Health - Paws 4 Thot

Declawing in Cats - May 2013

When Kitty just won’t leave the furniture alone…

By Dr. Moira Drosdovech, Kelowna, BC

declawing cats

Most normal healthy cats like to scratch things, whether it be trees, couches, stairs, even human skin! Occasionally, this normal behaviour becomes a nuisance when it involves household items such as furniture, stereo speakers and the like. As much as the cat might like to think of it as art, the overall effect tends to take away from the esthetic value of the item in question!

All cats should be provided with some object or structure to scratch on that they can call their own. This might be a scratching post covered with carpet or heavy rope, but I usually suggest something else in addition to this like a piece of a log or rough cedar that they can really sink their claws into. By providing them with something other than just carpet, all of the carpet in the house does not suffer from similar attacks. If the cat will not go for a vertical post, try one that is horizontally constructed.

When you first get a new kitten, make sure you begin right away trimming their nails, using scissors designed for cats, not human nail clippers. The latter tend to shred the nail more than cut it. Get someone to teach you how to do this. What this early trimming accomplishes is getting your kitten accustomed to this procedure and the fact that you are going to do it every few weeks, fully expecting them to allow it gracefully.

You will also want to “train” your kitten not to scratch on your favourite things. Despite their reputation for independence, cats can readily be trained to leave the sofa, curtains, or carpet untouched. Using surgery to prevent or correct a behavioral problem is expedient, but it is definitely not the smartest, kindest, most cost-effective, or best solution for you and your cat. Your veterinarian has an obligation to educate you as to the nature of the procedure, the risks of anesthesia and surgery, and the potential for serious physical and behavioral complications, both short- and long-term.

Cats with trimmed nails can still climb, so no need to worry if they go outside or that they will no longer be able to climb the curtains. The damage they inflict is somewhat less with short nails and not as much blood is drawn when they attempt to shred your arms during routine play!

If your cat has decided that no one will be giving them any more pedicures and that no one will dictate what they can scratch or cannot scratch, then, Houston, you have a problem. Declawing can solve this problem, but let’s take a look at how it is done.

Under anesthetic, your cat’s “finger-tip” from the last “knuckle” is surgically removed. Imagine the pain. Some cats, I feel, never seem to fully recover mentally from this and many become a little nasty over time, to put it mildly. They might brush up on techniques designed to inflict damage on you using hind claws and teeth instead of front claws. They might even stop using the litter box. You may have been told that declawing, which is now considered illegal in some countries, is the only option for cats that won’t stop scratching your stuff.

But, there are alternatives that are much more humane and effective at the same time. One such alternative is nail caps that are applied every 6-12 weeks with something like crazy glue. These can get a little expensive over years of use, but they do work as long as they are applied properly. You still have to trim the nails once the caps fall off and before the next application.

My preferred technique is called a Tendonectomy. This also involves anesthesia, like declawing, but no joints are incised and only mild and temporary discomfort is the result. The small tendons running along the bottom of each toe that allow the claws to be pulled in or flexed are cut through a tiny incision over each one.

What I have witnessed is the vast majority are up and acting normal very soon after surgery, the opposite of declawing where most are cowering in the back of the kennel with their paws tucked underneath them, even with pain killers. Most cats with the tendon surgery can go home the same day, certainly by the following morning and they do not need pain killers, bandages, etc.

One thing to keep in mind with tendonectomies is that your cat must allow nail trimming as the nails are still there and still grow, but they won’t be able to wear off the old growth by scratching and sharpening them anymore. So this procedure is not for the cats who become Tasmanian devils when they are restrained for manicures!




Dr. Moira DrosdovechDr. Moira's Bio: A practicing veterinarian for 20 years, has been in Kelowna since 1990, first owning Rutland Pet Hospital and now, after selling the former, Pawsitive Veterinary Care, opened in 2000 and focused on primarily holistic health care. She welcomes new clients and loves to educate! Kelowna (250) 862-2727. - Dr. Moira Drosdovech Website - Email


Johnsons Landing Retreat center - BC retreat - workshops

Copyright © 2004- 2011 OKinHealth.com. This article is of the copyright of OK in Health and the author; any reproduction, duplication and transmission of the article are to have prior written approval by OK in Health or the author.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
This information and research is intended to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All material in this article is provided for information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this newsletter / e-magazine / website. Readers should consult their doctor and other qualified health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided in this newsletter / e-magazine/website are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors. Readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions. OK in Health is not responsible for the information in these articles or for any content included in this article which is intended as a guide only and should not be used as a substitute to seeking professional advice from either your doctor or a registered specialist for yourself or anyone else.
Connect with Us
facebook    twitter

14 Day Celtic Angel Tour to Ireland with Maria Carr & Cindy Smith


Wellness Tip
Greens
Have you heard of arugula? It is a green, leafy vegetable that contains about 20 times more beta-carotene and vitamin C than iceberg lettuce. It also has 8 times more calcium. When making green salads at home, consider choosing dark green leaves, such as arugula, romaine, and chicory. Using these greens in salads and on sandwiches creates a more nutritious meal.





Wellness Directory
CranioSacral Therapy & Rhythmic Reflexology with Judy Lamb-Richardson
Specialty: Reflexology
Every session is an ecclectic mix of various training modalities that best suits the client on any given day. Judy offers treatments in South Slocan, BC
View Details


Anatomy for the Healing Arts - Level 1 with Joan Moffet


Event
Acupressure Oil Massage Workshop
Date: Oct 29, 2014
Location: Kelowna & Central Okanagan
Discover how to combine Acupressure points, Shiatsu, and an awareness of the meridians (energy pathways) in a relaxing, balancing & energizing oil massage given on a massage table.
View Details


Celebration Centre and Metaphysical Society – Penticton, BC


Article
150 Organic and Natural Gardening Tips ~ Part Six ~ 125 to 150
We come to our last 25 Tips, Hints, Tricks and Facts for Natural Gardening. June is all about getting ready for the summer growing season. Put your hanging plants on pulleys to allow for easier watering. When you first see evidence of pests in your garden, don’t go for the harmful pesticides first. Begin your attack by picking them off by hand, spraying them off with the hose, or clipping them off with pruning shears. Paint the handles of your gardens tools a bright, contrasting color other than green to help you find them amongst your plants. Read more tips...
Full Article


Sacred Tour in Hawaii with Maria and Cindy 2014


Recipe
Fresh Cherry Crisp
Category: Desserts
Description: What says summer more than cherries?
This is a delicious cherry crisp made with fresh cherries instead of canned. It may take a little longer to make because you need to pit the cherries, but it is well worth it when you taste the finished product.

The nutritional benefits of cherries are pretty big, particularly when you consider their small size. Many of the health benefits of cherries are related to the natural chemical that gives them their color.

Anthocyanins give flowers, berries and other fruits the colors ranging from red to blue. Some of the best food sources of anthocyanins are red grapes, chokeberry, eggplant and, of course, cherries.
These pigments attract pollinators, act as a “sunscreen” and protect the plant from radicals formed by UV light, so they act as antioxidants. The antioxidant benefits are transferred to people when the fruits or vegetables are eaten.

Anthocyanins are also natural pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. They inhibit the production of COX-2 enzymes, as do over the counter and prescription pain relievers. Natural anti-inflammatories are believed to reduce the risk of many types of cancer. But, there are more nutritional benefits of cherries.

Cherries contain melatonin, another natural pain reliever and COX-2 inhibitor. Melatonin also helps to regulate sleep cycles and has been sold as a natural sleep aid. Reduced levels of melatonin have been associated with heart disease and increased cancer rates in night workers. The human body naturally produces melatonin, but primarily in darkness.
Constant artificial lighting present in most homes and work places reduces the amount of melatonin that the body produces. So, one of the health benefits of cherries to modern day man has to do with replacing some of the melatonin that has been lost to artificial light, unhealthy work schedules and unnatural sleep patterns. And, there are more nutritional benefits of cherries.

Cherries, like most fruits, contain vitamin C. The proven and suspected health benefits of cherries and other vitamin C rich foods are too numerous to be covered in this recipe.
Full Recipe