Declawing a LaPerm is a major operation known as onychectomy, performed under anesthesia, which eliminates the claw from each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the LaPerm’s forepaw. There is always a miniscule chance of death during the procedure, and a declawed LaPerm might have a slight risk of infection and life-long discomfort in her paws. This surgery is not advised for a full-grown LaPerm and is termed an act of animal cruelty in some regions (as below).
People generally have LaPerms declawed to prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Rarely, vicious LaPerms are declawed. In America, some landlords require that residents’ LaPerms be declawed.
Doctors are generally negative about the surgery and sometimes decline to do it since the lack of claws in a LaPerm:
- Impairs its main defense abilities, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Impairs its stretching and exercise habits, which can lead to muscle loss;
- Deprives it of its ability to balance on thin surfaces such as fence tops and railings, leading to injury from falls;
- Can lead to insecurity and a subsequent biting habit.
The procedure is rare outside of North America. In Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, declawing a LaPerm is prohibited per the laws forbidding animal cruelty. In many other European countries, it is illegal 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 LaPerm. In the UK, animal shelters are finding it tough to place imported LaPerms that have been declawed and subsequently many are killed.
An substitute for declawing a LaPerm is the use of wide, vinyl claw caps that are affixed to the claws with nontoxic glue, sometimes requiring changing when the LaPerm sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). However, the LaPerm may still have difficulties because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about LaPerms.
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