Declawing the Napoleon is an intense surgery called a onychectomy, performed with anesthesia, which removes the claw from each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the Napoleon’s forepaws. There is a slight chance of death during the procedure, and a declawed Napoleon might experience a slight risk of infection and life-long pain in its paws. This procedure isn’t appropriate for a mature Napoleon and is called an act of animal cruelty in some places (shown below).
People typically have Napoleons declawed to prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Seldom, vicious Napoleons are declawed. In America, some landlords demand that tenants’ Napoleons are declawed.
Animal doctors are typically critical of the procedure and some refuse to perform it since the lack of claws in a Napoleon:
- Impairs its primary self-protection skills, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Hampers its exercising and stretching routines, which can lead to muscle loss;
- Reduces its ability to walk on narrow surfaces like railings and fence tops, which could lead to injury from falls;
- Can cause insecurity and as a result a tendency to bite.
This procedure is rare outside of North America. In Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, declawing a Napoleon is forbidden by the statutes against animal cruelty. In many other European countries, it is forbidden under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a veterinarian considers such non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the animal. In the UK, animal shelters are finding it difficult to place imported Napoleons that have been declawed and subsequently many are euthanized.
An alternative to declawing a Napoleon is the use of dull, vinyl nail caps that are affixed to the claws with safe glue, sometimes requiring replacement when the Napoleon loses its claw sheaths (about every 4 to 6 weeks). Yet, the Napoleon will still experience problems because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Napoleons.
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