Declawing a Somali is an intense procedure called a onychectomy, performed using anesthesia, that removes the claw of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the Somali’s paws. There’s a tiny possibility of death in the surgery, and a declawed Somali might experience an increased risk of infection and perpetual displeasure in its paws. This procedure isn’t recommended for a full-grown Somali and is called an act of animal cruelty in some regions (as shown below).
Owners usually have Somalis declawed to prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Seldom, vicious Somalis are declawed. In the US, some landlords require that tenants’ Somalis be declawed.
Veterinarians are generally negative about the surgery and some refuse to perform it because the absence of claws in a Somali:
- Compromises its primary self-protection skills, like running away from predators by climbing trees;
- Impairs its exercising and stretching routines, which leads to muscle atrophy;
- Hinders its ability to walk on thin surfaces like railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falls;
- Can cause insecurity and as a result a tendency to bite.
This surgery is rarely performed outside of North America. In Germany, Finland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, declawing a Somali is not allowed per the laws 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 vet deems such non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the animal. In Britain, animal shelters are finding it tough to place imported Somalis that have been declawed and subsequently most are killed.
An alternative to declawing a Somali is the application of blunt, vinyl nail caps that are stuck to the claws with nontoxic glue, sometimes requiring replacement when the Somali sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). Yet, the Somali will still have problems since the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Somalis.
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