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At Trinity Pet Hospital, pet declawing is one of the many services offered by our animal hospital in Laguna Hills. Declawing a pet refers to a surgical procedure that removes or amputates the tips of each paw, thus permanently removing the claw with it. Declawing is a permanent procedure, meaning there is no way to reverse it. And while it's most commonly performed on cats, we have had some dog owners inquire about the procedure in our office.
The most important thing to understand if you're thinking about declawing your dog is that your dog's claws are one of its first lines of defense if he or she is attacked by another animal outside. By declawing your dog, then, you are essentially removing your dog's first line of defense and reducing your dog's ability to protect itself. This is the same reason that we never recommend declawing an outdoor cat.
With this in mind, it is generally not recommended to declaw a dog that spends any significant amount of time outdoors. Smaller "apartment" breeds, such as Chihuahuas, can be trained to go to the bathroom indoors on a section of artificial grass or a potty pad, making declawing a more common procedure among these smaller breeds.
Even if you do have a smaller breed dog that doesn't spend any time outdoors unsupervised, we still recommend that you explore other alternatives to declawing first and foremost. Consider, for example, placing plastic caps on your dog's claws. These are pretty easy to use and can be purchased inexpensively at your local pet supply store.
Should you make the permanent decision to have a pet declawed, it is imperative that you understand how the procedure works. Specifically, your pet's last joint on each paw will be surgically amputated, and the remaining skin will be stretched and re-attached over the exposed bone. The claws will never grow back.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the procedure itself, declawing is always going to be painful for your pet. This is why we administer pain medication and do everything we can to keep your pet as comfortable as possible throughout the healing process. Still, the decision to declaw is not one that should be taken lightly by any means.
Are you interested in speaking to our Laguna Hills veterinarian about declawing? Or perhaps you'd like to schedule a routine veterinary care appointment for your dog.
feel free to give Trinity Pet Hospital a call at 949-768-1314 to get started.