I know of no veterinarian that is not too challenged with balancing the ethical ramifications, potential complications and the demand from the public for feline declaws. At a continuing education conference we were introduced to some of the benefits of using a laser for this procedure.
After a demonstration and “test drive” we decided to make the considerable investment into this technology.
It was one of the best decisions related to surgery we have made to date. The difference was night and day between using a scalpel or a laser. The results were so impressive that we decided to use the laser for all soft tissue surgeries in the clinic.
The laser has the advantage of cauterizing all small blood vessels as the surgeon makes an incision. This translates into much less blood loss which means faster recovery and less strain on the body. In fact, most of our routine surgeries (spays, neuters and declaws) are almost completely bloodless.
In addition to that, the laser seems to have a “sealing” affect to the nerves which appears to make surgery less (not eliminate, less) painful. For instead, when declaws are done with a blade often the patient is recumbent (laying down on side) because it is too painful to stand, even into the next day or beyond. With the laser procedure, cats are generally not only standing immediately out of anesthesia but we’ve had some climbing the cage which would have been unheard of before.*
We decided after experiencing the dramatic difference between any soft tissue procedure performed by a skilled surgeon with laser versus scalpel we would be hard pressed to go back.
At Claus Paws Animal Hospital we implement the use of Carbon Dioxide Laser in all of our soft tissue surgeries.
*Declawing a cat is not a surgery to be take lightly! It is a non-reversible, extremely invasive procedure that has the potential of serious complications and comes with many increased responsibilities. Please consult a qualified veterinary care professional and fully understand all of the risks and responsibilities before making the decision to declaw your pet.