Tearing the tips of a cat’s claws off…

Blue boots after surgery

Just imaging letting a doctor cut the end bones in your fingers and toes off… I found this story on Facebook today and just had to share. Blue Boots is doing fine now as far as I am aware…

Blue Boots. In 2013 Blue Boots was surrendered for behavioral issues including litter box avoision and extreme aggression. Fortunately, someone stepped in and Blue Boots went to a Specialty Purebred CAT Rescue foster. The vet through SPCR found the cause that explained everything, though most people would not have connected the dots, as Blue Boots’ original owner did not. See, years earlier, Blue Boots had undergone a 4-paw declaw procedure. It’s quite routine and widely accepted in the US and even vehemently defended. What you see in these photos are the deformed claws that were growing WITHIN and THROUGH Blue Boots’ paw pads.

claw
removed

In one study of declawed cats in a particular shelter, one vet found that 66% had left over P3 fragments from the declaw being performed improperly. 33% of them had more than 5 fragments. Of those with fragments, 45% had at least one fragment larger than 5 mm. 28% had a 100% fully BOTCHED declaw procedure, meaning they had bone fragments larger than 5 mm left in each declawed toe.

In the case of Blue Boots, he was 100% botched, meaning those bone fragments left behind in each toe also included a part of each nail bed. Over the space of time after his declaw, the ingrown claws caused constant pain and resulted in his litter box issues and his aggression. Again, his owners weren’t able to connected the behavior with the cause and he would have been killed.

If an individual MUST have a declawed cat, either due to the potential health risks of a possible scratch or due to the rules of their living arrangement, please consider adopting an adult feline from a rescue or shelter that has already been declawed. If a child colors on a wall, you do not cut off their fingers. You teach them not to. The same applies to kittens and training them to use an appropriate scratching surface. There are so many alternatives and humane solutions. This is not merely my opinion, but a truth based upon the research of countless veterinary professionals, proven statistics and studies done throughout the world. Declawing is now banned in at least 22 countries.

Personally this is a surgery that I consider cruel, we should not be modifying animals to fit our needs.

The impact of decisions…

Sometimes when you look back on something you start thinking about other things you could have done. Tonight if I had kept my original flight I would have been in Slovakia, I would be £200 poorer, and I would have failed to sell all my stuff. Its also sad as there is a festival on currently in Slovakia which if I had made it over today I would have been able to attend with my new classmates. However I believe that I made the right choice, I am not as stressed as I was about getting everything done, and tommorow should be selling the last of my stuff.

Anyways in talking to vets the common decision is that of where to draw the line. With pets it is possible to treat many diseases aggresively, however it comes down to a vet to help a owner decide when or if there is no quality of life. The biggest ethical dillemma facing animals is that it is impossible to communicate to them that they are going get better. Whilst the owner and vet may know this, the animal (which in some cases may be in extreme pain) doesn’t. With more and more advanced (and more agressive) treatment being developed sometimes its difficult to see where the line is.

If you contrast these decisions you can see that decisions made that affect yourself tend to be easier than those that affect others. I believe that it is important to understand the responsibility I am taking on in becoming a vet, firstly to animals, and then to clients. Within veterinary medicine they say you do not really start learning until you are in practice, and as such I both look forward to graduating in 4 years time, whilst also dread the mistakes I am bound to make…