Declawing a Australian Mist is a major procedure called a onychectomy, performed under anesthesia, that removes the claw of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the Australian Mist’s forepaws. There is always a remote possibility of death during the operation, and a declawed Australian Mist might experience a slight risk of infection and life-long discomfort in his paws. This procedure isn’t appropriate for a full-grown Australian Mist and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some places (below).
People generally have Australian Mists declawed to impede them from damaging furniture and hunting. Rarely, vicious Australian Mists are declawed. In the United States, some landlords require that tenants’ Australian Mists are declawed.
Vets are typically critical of the surgery and many decline to do it since the absence of claws in a Australian Mist:
- Reduces its main self-protection skills, including running away from predators by climbing trees;
- Hinders its stretching and exercise routines, leading to muscle loss;
- Inhibits its ability to balance on narrow surfaces such as railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falling;
- Can lead to insecurity and a subsequent tendency to bite.
This surgery is uncommon outside of North America. In Germany, Finland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, declawing a Australian Mist is not allowed by the laws against cruelty to animals. In many other countries in Europe, it is illegal under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a veterinarian considers such non-curative procedures beneficial either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of the Australian Mist. In England, animal shelters find it hard to place imported Australian Mists that have been declawed and subsequently most are killed.
An alternative to declawing a Australian Mist is the application of wide, vinyl nail caps that are applied to the claws with safe glue, requiring periodic changing when the Australian Mist sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). Yet, the Australian Mist will still have problems since the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Australian Mists.
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