2760 Highway 325

Wileville, Nova Scotia B4V5G2 Canada

902-543-5602

Open mobile navigation

Declawing Consent Form

Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association

Information and consent form for clients who request cat de-clawing

The NSVMA added a legislative change (Section 46) to the Code of Ethics in September 2014, whereby an owner who is requesting feline de-claw must be provided with a clear outline of the procedure by the veterinarian intending to perform the procedure, prior to the owner considering surgical consent. In addition, all owners requesting the feline de-claw procedure must read, and sign this document, before signing a general surgical release.

Background:

The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association (NSVMA) recognizes de-clawing of the domestic cat is not normally a medically necessary act. However, there are circumstances where this surgical procedure may be used to support and protect the human animal bond as opposed to abandonment, relinquishment or euthanasia.

The NSVMA reviewed scientific data and supports controlled scientific studies that provide insight into all aspects of feline medicine. The NSVMA recognizes that feline de-clawing is an ethically controversial procedure; however there is no scientific evidence that de-clawing leads to behavioural abnormalities when compared to control groups. There is scientific data that shows that cats who have undesired claw behaviour are more likely to be euthanized, more readily relinquished, released or abandoned, thereby

contributing to the homeless cat population.  If scratching behaviour is an issue and may determine whether or not a cat can remain as an acceptable household pet, the decision to perform surgical de-clawing may be undertaken.

The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association strongly believes that it is the obligation of veterinarians to provide cat owners with complete education with regard to feline de-clawing. There are significant misconceptions about normal feline behaviour, and veterinarians are routinely presented with frequently asked questions. The following points are the foundation for full understanding and disclosure regarding de-clawing:

  • Scratching is a normal feline behaviour, is a means for cats to mark their territory both visually and with scent, and is used for claw conditioning (“husk” removal) and stretching activity.
  • Prior to considering de-clawing, owners must have provided suitable implements for normal scratching behaviour. Examples are scratching posts, cardboard boxes, lumber or logs, and carpet or fabric remnants affixed to stationary objects. Implements should be tall or long enough to allow full stretching, and firmly anchored to provide necessary resistance to scratching. Positively reinforcing cats in the use of these implements is recommended.
  • Appropriate claw care, consisting of trimming the claws every 1-2 weeks, can be performed to help prevent human injury or undesired damage to household items.
  • Temporary/replaceable synthetic nail caps are available as an alternative to de-clawing to prevent human injury or damage to property.
  • If you belong to a household where cats interact with geriatric, diabetic or immunocompromised people, extensive education about infection and zoonotic disease potential should be discussed and documented at this time. Surgical de-clawing is an option in such households to help protect this group of people against life-threatening complications from cat scratches.
  • It is recommended that de-clawed cats be housed indoors or leashed when outside.
  • If surgical de-clawing is performed, appropriate use of safe and effective anaesthetic agents and post-operative pain medication for an appropriate length of time are imperative and not elective.
  • De-claw procedures involving all 4 paws are strongly discouraged and rarely warranted. 

The procedure:

De-clawing is the amputation of a cat's last toe bone (3rd phalange) and attached claw.  The dotted line represents the incision made to permanently remove the claw from the toe.

 

The skin wound is typically sealed with tissue glue or absorbable stitches. Most cats will require 10-14 days to heal following surgery. Recovery times may vary depending on factors such as age or weight of the cat.

While rare in occurrence, there are inherent risks with any surgical procedure including, but not limited to:

  •  anaesthetic complications
  •  bleeding
  •  infection
  •  side effects of pain medication
  •  pain - including the rare possibility of long term "phantom" pain

The surgical alternative of tendonectomy has been considered, by some veterinarians and owners, to provide unsatisfactory and deleterious results due to the overgrowth of nails, the need for more extensive claw care to be provided by the owner than if not performed, and the development of discomfort in some patients.

Consent:

I have read and understood the above information with respect to de-clawing and have discussed the same with my veterinarian. I am prepared to proceed with having my cat surgically de-clawed.

Signature of owner or agent of owner

_________________________________________________________

Signature of Veterinarian

__________________________________________________________

Date: ____________________________________________________ 

Sign up using the form below or call 902-543-5602 to make an appointment.

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 am-8:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-8:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-8:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-8:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-8:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonial

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "I wanted to thank you again for your help last Friday. There are many animals on my farm. I love them all but I was particularly fond of little Gabby. It was only a couple weeks ago we saw her rolling in the dirt and so delighted with herself and I remember how she loved to lay on Jeff's chair and bat the tail of our other cat as she walked by. I had hoped she could have experienced more of these joys in her life.
    Your skill in diagnosing and presenting her case and your compassion in helping me understand what was best for Gabby was very much appreciated."
    Jacquelyn A. Wileville, Nova Scotia

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • 6 Questions to Ask At Your Senior Pet's Next Check Up

    Want to keep your senior pet healthy and happy? Ask these six questions at your pet's next check up. ...

    Read More
  • Why the Controversy About Pet Vaccinations?

    As with anything, pet vaccinations can be too much of a good thing. Similar to parents who are learning more about vaccinations for children, veterinarians and pet owners alike are beginning to question some of the standard wisdom when it comes to protecting pets. There are certain fatal diseases against ...

    Read More
  • Pet Clothes: A Fashion Statement or a Necessity?

    There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other ...

    Read More
  • Introducing a New Pet to Your Current Ones

    Pet Proofing Your Home Introducing your new pet to your current one is only a single part of the equation relating to taking a new pet home. You also have to make sure your new pet is comfortable in your home, which is a foreign environment to the animal. Like humans, animals can experience high levels ...

    Read More
  • Put Some Teeth Into Your Pet’s Dental Care

    According to the American Animal Hospital Association, nearly two-thirds of pets suffer from dental problems because their owners do not provide dental care for them. Imagine what would happen to your own teeth if they were never brushed or examined by a dentist. The same thing can happen with your pet’s ...

    Read More
  • Managing Pet Allergies in Kids

    Are you concerned that your child's allergies may mean that you will have to give up your pet? Although rehoming a pet may be necessary if allergies are severe, most children can live with pets if you are willing to make a few changes. The Problem About three in 10 people who have allergies are allergic ...

    Read More
  • Euthanasia: Saying Goodbye

    It's not easy to say goodbye to cherished pets, even those that have lived long, happy lives. Although you may hate the thought of life without your pet, euthanasia can be the kindest decision you can make when your friend is suffering. Making the Decision If your pet has been seriously injured in a ...

    Read More
  • Is a Wet Nose a Sign of a Healthy Pet?

    Have you ever heard that a wet nose is a sign that your pet is healthy? Although that's often the case, it's not always true. A moist nose can benefit your pet in several ways, but it doesn't necessarily guarantee good health. How Does a Wet Nose Help My Pet? Have you ever been woken at 5 a.m. by a cold, ...

    Read More
  • Obesity and Diabetes in Pets

    Think diabetes only affect people? Overweight pets may be at risk too. ...

    Read More
  • Does Your Cat Have a Grooming Problem?

    Noticed a sudden change in your cat's grooming habits? Over- or under-grooming can be a sign of trouble. ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles