I had gotten Razzerz as a kitten back in 1986 and he was such a healthy spunky little kitten. One bad habit he had was scratching the furniture though. Back then I didn't have a computer and I'm not sure if all the information available now on the net was even there. All I had was was a standard cat care book to base my decision of declawing on. It seemed the thing to do, but I really wasn't convinced. So, I observed some declawed cats of a couple of friends. They acted just fine. I made the decision to have it done. That was such a big mistake and nearly cost my Razzerz his life.
The vet was all too willing to declaw along with his neutering. He did tell me what I would have to do after I bring him home, but offered no alternatives or explanations as to what it all really entailed.
I chose the bathroom as his recuperation room and cleaned it to the hilt. I then laid freshly washed sheets down on the floor to prevent any chance of infections. I picked him up at 5:00 in the afternoon and took him right home. I spent some time with him in the bathroom and made sure he was comfortable. At 7:00 that evening I went in to check on him and for some reason, call it telepathy, I just knew something was wrong. He was just laying there, looking rather comfortable, but something just didn't seem right. My vet was closed so I was able to get another vet in my area to agree to stay open until I got there.
This vet wasn't too happy when he saw how well Razzerz looked, but stuck with my story that something was wrong. He ate his words when the thermometer read 105. He told me that his paws were probably infected and that given the time frame that I had him, he must have had it at the original vets and was sent home that way. I didn't have him home long enough for him to run up that kind of fever. He advised me to take him back to the vet that did the declawing, who would assuredly provide care for free.
The vet did just that. As it turns out, the tissue on his paw pads was dying. I don't recall the name for it, but he had to have portions of his pads removed to prevent this condition from spreading. My cat was finally cured, after a month of treatment. I had him looked at by yet another vet who agreed that he was over this condition. He also said that the cause was probably due to the failure of the vet to use sterile equipment. I
I did try to press charges, but at the time, cats in my state were considered vermin. But in my attempt I did learn that not only was this vet a "farm vet", but he hated cats as well.
Razzerz remained as sweet as ever and even continued scratching as though nothing ever happened. The only reminder of the horrible thing I had done was that occasionally he would put his paw down the wrong way and get a shooting pain.
If I had all the information available to me now on the net and in books I never would have had it done. And I certainly never will have it done or condone it. There are plenty of alternatives. I hope anyone reading this will look at the picture of his paws and think twice about what they are doing.
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