Declawing the Persian is a major surgery called a onychectomy, performed with anesthesia, which eliminates the claw of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the Persian’s paw. There is always a miniscule chance of a fatality in the procedure, and a declawed Persian may have an increased risk of infection and long-term pain in her paws. This operation is not suitable for an adult Persian and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some countries (shown below).
People usually have Persians declawed to stop them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Seldom, vicious Persians are declawed. In the United States, some landlords require that residents’ Persians are declawed.
Veterinarians are typically negative about the surgery and many decline to do it because the absence of claws in a Persian:
- Impairs its main self-protection skills, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Hampers its stretching and exercise routines, which leads to muscle atrophy;
- Inhibits its ability to balance on narrow surfaces such as fence tops and railings, leading to injury from falls;
- Can cause insecurity and a subsequent tendency to bite.
This procedure is uncommon outside of North America. In Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland, declawing a Persian is prohibited by the statutes forbidding cruelty to animals. In many other European countries, it is forbidden under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a doctor deems such non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the animal. In the United Kingdom, animal shelters find it hard to place imported Persians that have been declawed and subsequently most are killed.
An substitute for declawing a Persian is the use of wide, vinyl claw caps that are adhered to the claws with safe glue, requiring periodic changing when the Persian sheds its claw sheaths (about every 4 to 6 weeks). Although, the Persian will still have problems because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Persians.
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