Declawing a Oriental is a major operation known as onychectomy, performed using anesthesia, that removes the claw of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the Oriental’s forepaws. There’s a remote possibility of a fatality during the procedure, and a declawed Oriental may experience an increased risk of infection and long-term displeasure in her paws. This operation is not advised for a full-grown Oriental and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some places (as below).
People generally have Orientals declawed to prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Rarely, vicious Orientals are declawed. In America, some landlords require that residents’ Orientals are declawed.
Doctors are typically critical of the operation and sometimes decline to do it since the lack of claws in a Oriental:
- Reduces its main self-protection abilities, like escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Hampers its stretching and exercise habits, which can lead to muscle loss;
- Deprives it of its ability to walk on thin surfaces such as railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falling;
- Can lead to insecurity and a subsequent tendency to bite.
This procedure is rarely performed outside of North America. In Germany, Finland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, declawing a Oriental is forbidden by the laws against animal cruelty. In many other countries in Europe, it is prohibited 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 health of the animal. In Britain, animal shelters are finding it difficult to place imported Orientals that have been declawed and as a result many are euthanized.
An substitute for declawing a Oriental is the use of dull, vinyl nail caps that are applied to the claws with nontoxic glue, sometimes requiring changing when the Oriental loses its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). However, the Oriental may still experience problems since the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Orientals.
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