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Claws for pain 

To the editor,

Re: "Best of Halifax," November 8: Congratulations to Carnegy Animal Hospital for winning the Best Veterinarian category.

I was disappointed, however, to see their hospital manager claim that:

1. "Declawing cats has become much more humane..."

2. Advantages of the laser are "no pain and no bandaging."

Declawing is becoming a more controversial procedure and numerous veterinarians now refuse to perform the procedure. (It is illegal in many countries, who consider it inhumane.)

Nerves, blood vessels, muscle, tendons and skin are all severed during the procedure which is equivalent to amputating your 10 fingers at the joint behind your fingernail. You can't make it painless! You can reduce pain with good surgical technique and analgesics, but no surgery is ever painless.

The best option for cats is to let them keep their claws but keep them trimmed and provide posts where they are allowed to scratch. For more information, readers should go to pawproject.com.

By Dr Hugh Chisholm

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