NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) — The American Animal Hospital in Neenah says they will no longer perform declaw surgeries at its clinic.
“Research has shown that cats need their claws for their physical health and emotional well-being,” says Dr. Kenneth Bero, owner of American Animal Hospital, “Our top concern is the long-term health of our clients’ cats, and declawing can cause many health and behavioral issues.”
American Animal Hospital says declawing a cat “is actually an amputation of the first digit of a cat’s toe.”
They add that the procedure is not only painful for the cats and kittens but can cause “a lifetime of serious health conditions and behavioral problems, including chronic pain, early-onset arthritis/lameness, nerve/tissue damage, gangrene, abscesses, paw pad atrophy, claw regrowth/scurs, cystitis (stress-related bladder inflammation) and increased risk of aggression.”
“We are here to protect our patients and be proactive about their health needs – both physically and mentally. We take an oath as veterinarians to ‘practice our profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.’ Now that longer-term research has come out about the negative health and behavioral effects of declawing, it is time to change our mindsets and our actions,” says Dr. Bero.
Dr. Bero goes on to say one-third of cats suffer at least one behavioral problem after being declawed.
“Osteomyelitis (a painful bone infection) affects 30% of declawed cats, and litterbox issues are two times as likely to occur with cats who have been declawed,” says the American Animal Hospital.
New York became the first U.S. state to ban declawing in July of this year. Declawing is also banned in 37 countries and nine U.S. Cities including Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco, along with the Canadian Provinces of British Columbia and Nova Scotia.
American Animal Hospital joins over a dozen veterinary clinics across the state to become “no declaw,” including Fox River Animal Hospital in Appleton and Green Bay and Allouez Animal Hospital.
For more on American Animal Hospital, click here.