Declawing a Cornish Rex is an intense procedure called a onychectomy, performed with anesthesia, which removes the claw of each toe (from the first knuckle out) of the Cornish Rex’s forepaws. There is a slight possibility of death in the surgery, and a declawed Cornish Rex might have an increased risk of infection and permanent pain in its paws. This surgery isn’t suitable for an adult Cornish Rex and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some regions (below).
Owners typically have Cornish Rexs declawed to stop them from damaging furniture and hunting. Rarely, vicious Cornish Rexs are declawed. In the United States, some landlords demand that tenants’ Cornish Rexs be declawed.
Vets are generally negative about the surgery and some decline to do it since the absence of claws in a Cornish Rex:
- Reduces its primary self defense abilities, like escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Hinders its stretching and exercise routines, which leads to muscle atrophy;
- Inhibits its ability to walk on narrow surfaces like railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falling;
- Can lead to insecurity and a subsequent biting habit.
The surgery is not common outside of North America. In Germany, Finland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, declawing a Cornish Rex is illegal per the statutes against animal cruelty. In many other European countries, it is not allowed under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a veterinarian deems such non-curative procedures beneficial either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the animal. In England, animal shelters are finding it difficult to place imported Cornish Rexs that have been declawed and as a result most are killed.
One alternative to declawing a Cornish Rex is the use of blunt, vinyl nail caps that are stuck to the claws with nontoxic glue, sometimes requiring changing when the Cornish Rex loses its claw sheaths (about every 4 to 6 weeks). Although, the Cornish Rex will still experience problems because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Cornish Rexs.
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