Declawing the Sphynx is an intense procedure called a onychectomy, performed under anesthesia, that removes the claw from each toe (from the first knuckle out) of the Sphynx’s forepaws. There is always a small possibility of a fatality in the operation, and a declawed Sphynx may have an increased risk of infection and permanent discomfort in its paws. This procedure is not suitable for an adult Sphynx and is deemed an act of animal cruelty in some regions (below).
Owners typically get Sphynxs declawed to impede them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Seldom, vicious Sphynxs are declawed. In America, some landlords demand that tenants’ Sphynxs are declawed.
Veterinarians are usually negative about the operation and at times decline to perform it because the absence of claws in a Sphynx:
- Impairs its primary self defense skills, like escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Impairs its exercising and stretching habits, which can lead to muscle atrophy;
- Hampers its ability to walk on narrow surfaces such as railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falls;
- Can lead to insecurity and as a result a tendency to bite.
The operation is uncommon outside of North America. In Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, declawing a Sphynx is not allowed by the laws forbidding 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 necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the Sphynx. In England, animal shelters are finding it hard to place imported Sphynxs that have been declawed and subsequently most are killed.
An substitute for declawing a Sphynx is the use of wide, vinyl nail caps that are adhered to the claws with nontoxic glue, requiring periodic replacement when the Sphynx sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). However, the Sphynx will still have difficulties since the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Sphynxs.
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