Companion Connection

Questions People Often Ask

What does it mean to declaw a cat?

Humane Society of the United States:

If performed on a human being, declawing would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.

 

The standard method of declawing is amputating with a scalpel or guillotine clipper. The wounds are closed with stitches or surgical glue, and the feet are bandaged.   

 

Another method is laser surgery, in which a small, intense beam of light cuts through tissue by heating and vaporizing it. However, it's still the amputation of the last toe bone of the cat and carries with it the same long-term risks of lameness and behavioral problems as does declawing with scalpels or clippers.

 

A third procedure is the tendonectomy, in which the tendon that controls the claw in each toe is severed. The cat keeps his claws, but can't control them or extend them to scratch.

 

The Paw Project— Utah

Facts About Declawing

WHAT IS DECLAWING?

Declawing is amputation; it is not merely the removal of the claws. To declaw a cat, the veterinarian cuts off the last knuckles of a cat's paw – cutting through bone, tendons, skin and nerves. In a person, it is equivalent to amputating each finger or toe at the last joint.

 

Declawing is a serious surgery.
People often mistakenly believe that declawing cats is a harmless, quick fix, for unwanted scratching. In fact, it is the equivalent to amputating a human finger at the knuckle closest to your nail. Unlike humans whose nails grow from the skin, cat’s nails are embedded within the bone. To completely extract the nail, both the nail and the bone need to be removed. The removal of the bone and claw has unhealthy, harmful side effects for your feline, including infection, abnormal claw growth within the toe, inflammation, arthritis, behavioral changes such as increased aggression and biting, as well as emotional trauma and an inability to walk comfortably. The entire claw can grow back inside it's toes and the infection to cause puss to enter their bloodstream and effect their liver and heart. Declawed cats will often resort to biting and becoming more aggressive. The pain may also discourage the use of the litter box or cause them to walk on their wrists which will result in early onset of arthritis. A lot of people will wind up surrendering their cats due to these behaviors. 

Declaw surgery can be an extremely painful procedure with associated health risks and complications such as infection.

Declaw surgery can produce permanent lameness, pain or arthritis.

Declawing is the same mutilating procedure for house cats or big cats.

 
These results have led to its ban in over twenty countries. 
Some alternatives to declawing are: Scratching Posts, Nail Caps, Frequent Nail Trims, Feliway.
The Paw Project has a great documentary if you are interested in watching it. 
www.pawprojectmovie.com
Just Remember:
Scratching is an instinctual habit for your cat– and a healthy one too since it helps them stretch, release pent up energy, and shed loose layers from her claws.

 

 

Read about BlueBoots and how declawing almost cost him his life!

 

What can I do to prevent scratches?

Soft Paws are lightweight vinyl nail caps that you glue on the cat's front claws. They're great for households with small children and are extremely useful for people who are away from home all day and can't exercise the watchfulness necessary to train a cat to use a scratching post. Soft Paws® are easy to apply and last about four to six weeks. They come in clear or colors--which are really fun. Now that's a kitty manicure! The colored caps look spiffy on Tabby or Tom and have the added advantage of being more visible when one finally comes off. Then you simply replace it. You can find Soft Paws® on the web 

 

 

What do I do when my companion animal is lost?

There are many things to do.  Read the suggestions by Pet Rescue.   Check the links at www.austinrescue.com for assistance.

 

 

Don’t ever give up! 

Contact Information:

Companion Connection

P.O. Box 875

Elgin, TX  78621-0875

Fax: 512-285-5614

E-mail: VillageRescue@gmail.com

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated...

I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man." -Mahatma Gandhi-

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What do I do—my dog is afraid of thunderstorms!

Pet MD

It can be heartbreaking to watch: Even before the first clap of thunder, otherwise well-behaved dogs begin to pace, pant, cling to their owners, hide in the closet, or jam themselves behind the toilet. In severe cases, they'll claw through drywall, chew carpets, or break through windows in their escalating panic.

Thunderstorm phobia in dogs is real, not uncommon, and shouldn't be ignored, experts say.

"Most of the time they don't grow out of it on their own, and many will get worse with time if nothing is done," says Matt Peuser, DVM, a veterinarian at Olathe Animal Hospital in Kansas.

Why does storm phobia happen, and what can you do if your dog suffers from it?  Read On

What do I do when I have found an animal?

Most stray animals are someone's companion—don’t keep an animal that you find without making a real effort to locate the guardian.  Talk to neighbors and post signs all around the neighborhood as well as nearby veterinary clinics.

 

· Take the animal to a local veterinary clinic to be scanned for a microchip.  If the animal has a microchip, the guardian can usually be contacted.

· If you can keep the found pet temporarily, please call or contact 311 (for Austin) online to submit a Found Animal report.

· Check the links at www.austinrescue.com for assistance.

· Contact local animal shelters and animal control agencies. File a found pet report with every shelter within a 60-mile radius of your home and visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible.

· Post signs in the neighborhood. Post signs and hand out flyers of the pet and information on how you can be reached.

· Advertise. Post notices at grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices, traffic intersections, at pet supply stores and other locations. Also, place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include the pet's sex, age, weight, breed, color and any special markings. When describing the pet, leave out one identifying characteristic and ask the person claiming the pet to describe it.

· Be wary of pet-recovery scams. When talking to a stranger who claims to be the guardian of the pet, ask him to describe the pet thoroughly before you offer any information. If he does not include the identifying characteristic you left out of the advertisements, he may not really be the guardian.

Has Your Dog Ever Been Sprayed by a Skunk? Here’s How To Get That Smell Out!

Whole Dog Journal

Skunks, skunks, skunks! Half a dozen of my friends have reported skunk/dog encounters in the past WEEK! These usually happen late at night, when the dog goes out for his last potty of the night before bedtime . . . and suddenly the whole family is wide, wide awake and facing an odoriferous emergency. What to do?

Why did my cat stop using the litter box? (Revival Animal Health)

Cats who start to house-soil after having been reliably using their litter box may do so because of a litter box aversion, a surface or location

preference, or to mark territory.  Determining the reason that you cat is house-soiling is the first step toward solving the problem.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Fact Sheet

Many vets are not up to date about FIV since the virus was only discovered 15 years ago.  A positive test result only confirms the presence of FIV antibodies.  Such antibodies could be the result of actual exposure to the virus OR the result of receiving the FIV vaccination itself.

 

The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a slow virus that affects a cat’s immune system over a period of years.

 

FIV is a cat-only disease and cannot be spread to humans or other non-felines.

 

Most FIV+ cats live long, healthy, and relatively normal lives with no symptoms at all.

 

FIV is not easily passed between cats.  It cannot be spread casually – like in litter boxes, water and food bowls, or when snuggling & playing.  It is rarely spread from mother to kittens.

 

The virus can be spread through blood transfusions, badly infected gums, or serious, penetrating bite wounds.  (Bite wounds of this kind are extremely rare, except in free-roaming, unneutered tomcats).

 

A neutered cat, in a home, is extremely unlikely to infect other cats, if properly introduced.

 

FIV+ cats should be kept as healthy as possible.  Keep them indoors and free from stress.  Feed them high-quality diets. And treat any secondary problems as soon as they arise.  

Best Friends has a great article.

Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

Pet MD

Dogs love to munch away on grass, and some even make it part of their daily routine. Fortunately, most experts believe it isn't something you should worry about. So why exactly do they gobble up that green stuff in your yard?

Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

Pet MD

Veterinarians commonly deal with owner complaints that their dog eats its own or another animal’s feces or poop. Although there is much speculation why dogs indulge in this behavior, we still don’t know exactly why some dogs have this disgusting habit.

There is a product called “ForBid” that may help stop this habit.

How do I read my Cat’s mood?

 

How do I read my Dog’s mood?

Read Nina Mason's answer to Which is kinder to a cat: leave it in a shelter or have it declawed so we can adopt it? on Quora