Declawing the Burmese is a major operation called a onychectomy, performed under anesthesia, which removes the claw of each toe (from the first knuckle out) of the Burmese’s forepaws. There’s a slight possibility of death in the operation, and a declawed Burmese might have a slight risk of infection and perpetual displeasure in her paws. This operation is not suitable for a full-grown Burmese and is referred to as an act of animal cruelty in some places (as below).
People typically get Burmeses declawed to impede them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Seldom, vicious Burmeses are declawed. In America, some landlords demand that tenants’ Burmeses be declawed.
Animal doctors are typically critical of the operation and sometimes decline to do it because the lack of claws in a Burmese:
- Reduces its primary self-protection abilities, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Reduces its stretching and exercise habits, which can lead to muscle atrophy;
- Inhibits its ability to walk on narrow surfaces such as fence tops and railings, which can lead to injury from falling;
- Can cause insecurity and as a result a tendency to bite.
This operation is not common outside of North America. In Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland, declawing a Burmese is prohibited by the statutes against animal cruelty. In many other countries in Europe, it is forbidden under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a vet considers such non-curative procedures beneficial either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of the Burmese. In Britain, animal shelters are finding it hard to place imported Burmeses that have been declawed and subsequently many are killed.
One alternative to declawing a Burmese is the use of blunt, vinyl claw caps that are attached to the claws with safe glue, requiring periodic changing when the Burmese loses its claw sheaths (about every 4 to 6 weeks). Although, the Burmese will still have difficulties since the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Burmeses.
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