What Are the Long-Term Effects of Laser Declawing on a Cat?


Quick Answer

Long-term effects of declawing a cat through laser surgery include risk of lameness and behavioral problems, according to the Humane Society. The cat may experience pain, infection and tissue necrosis, or death of the tissue, in its paws. Declawing is performed by amputating the last bone of each toe in the paw. It often causes back pain over time as a result of the way the paw meets the ground when the cat walks.

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Full Answer

Poorly performed declawing procedures can result in bone spurs and nerve damage, explains the Humane Society. In some cases the claws may begin to grow back in. Behavioral problems occur in many declawed cats, including biting which becomes the primary defense mechanism in the absence of clawing. Following the surgery, the pain of scratching, as well as the unfamiliarity of shredded newspaper as a substitute litter, may cause a cat to stop using its litter box.

Laser surgery is a method of declawing a cat that involves a small beam of light which heats, vaporizes and cuts through the tissue, explains the Humane Society. Long-term effects of laser surgery are the same as those of the traditional style of amputation with a scalpel or clipper. A tendonectomy, which is the severing of the toes' tendons, can be performed to declaw a cat, in which case the cat keeps its claws, however it can no longer scratch and extend them properly.

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