Declawing a American Polydactyl is a major operation known as onychectomy, performed with anesthesia, which removes the claw from each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the American Polydactyl’s paws. There’s a tiny possibility of a fatality during the procedure, and a declawed American Polydactyl might experience an increased risk of infection and perpetual discomfort in his paws. This procedure isn’t recommended for a mature American Polydactyl and is called an act of animal cruelty in some regions (as shown below).
Owners usually have American Polydactyls declawed to hinder them from damaging furniture and hunting. Rarely, vicious American Polydactyls are declawed. In America, some landlords demand that tenants’ American Polydactyls be declawed.
Vets are generally negative about the surgery and some decline to perform it since the lack of claws in a American Polydactyl:
- Deprives it of its main self defense skills, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Compromises its stretching and exercise routines, which leads to muscle atrophy;
- Deprives it of its ability to balance on narrow surfaces such as railings and fence tops, which can lead to injury from falls;
- Can lead to insecurity and a subsequent biting habit.
This surgery is rare outside of North America. In the Netherlands, Finland, Germany and Switzerland, declawing a American Polydactyl is illegal by the statutes against cruelty to animals. In many other countries in Europe, it is forbidden under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a doctor considers such non-curative procedures beneficial either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of the American Polydactyl. In Britain, animal shelters find it tough to place imported American Polydactyls that have been declawed and as a result most are killed.
An substitute for declawing a American Polydactyl is the application of blunt, vinyl nail caps that are affixed to the claws with nontoxic glue, requiring periodic replacement when the American Polydactyl sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). Yet, the American Polydactyl will still have difficulties since the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about American Polydactyls.
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