AVMA releases educational declawing video

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has released a new educational resource for cat owners who are considering declawing their pets.

The video--along with the AVMA policy on declawing--offers guidance for pet owners who are considering the procedure, and offers alternatives.

"Scratching is a normal cat behavior used to mark territory, condition claws and stretch," said Dr. Bruce Nixon, incoming chair of the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee, in an AVMA news release. "Unwanted clawing can be reduced by providing cats with suitable scratching surfaces, regularly trimming their nails and using synthetic nail caps. While our priority is to avoid declawing through the use of these alternatives, there are situations in which declawing may be necessary. If thats the case, aggressive pain management is absolutely necessary."

According to the policies of both AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), veterinarians have an obligation to provide cat owners with complete education with regard to declawing prior to performing the procedure, including providing information about the procedure and its alternatives.

"Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents a zoonotic risk for its owner(s)," the AVMA policy says.

The video demonstrates a laser procedure (one method of surgical declaw) and provides owners with information about cats normal scratching behaviors, other types of declaw procedures and the importance of pain management.

Click the video to watch, or go to http://www.avmatv.org/media.cfm?m=4316