Feline Onychectomy: What We Know and What We Don’t Know

American Association of Feline Practitioners

Feline Onychectomy: What We Know and What We Don’t Know

Feline Onychectomy: What We Know and What We Don’t Know


Palliative Care Webinar

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Onychectomy has always been a controversial topic, but over the last decade a large push to end this practice has revived the controversy. Declawing is an emotionally charged issue, leading to much discussion on Social Media sites, in social settings, at conferences and in the clinic. This presentation will provide a review of the current understanding of the surgical procedure known as ‘declawing’. We will discuss the factors behind the desire for declaw, as well as the shift that is diminishing that demand. Surgical, short and long-term risks will be reviewed. Given that much has yet to be learned about the long-term consequences of feline onychectomy, the presentation will also review applicable literature from other species undergoing similar surgical procedures.

Webinar Objectives

  • Gain an understanding as to why cats scratch
  • Review the reasons why people have pursued onychectomy in the past
  • Explore the short-term surgical risks of onychectomy
  • Explore the long-term surgical risks of onychectomy
  • Explore the long-term neurological side effects of amputation as it is understood in other species as well as in feline amputee patients.

Speaker Bios

Kelly St. Denis , MSc, DVM, DABVP (Feline)

Dr. St. Denis is a practicing feline medicine specialist, board-certified with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in the specialty of feline practice. In her early career she trained in molecular biology and immunology, working in the field of cancer research. In 1999 she graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College, going on to own and operate the Charing Cross Cat Clinic from 2007 to 2020. Dr. St. Denis is the 2020-2021 President for the American Association of Feline Practitioners and an active volunteer in the organization, participating in many committees and task forces. Dr. St. Denis is a consultant on the Veterinary Information Network in feline internal medicine.

RACE Credits

This program 20-800404 is approved by the AAVSB RACE to offer a total of 1.00 CE Credits (1.00 max) being available to any one veterinarian: and/or 1.00 Veterinary Technician CE Credits (1.00 max). This RACE approval is for the subject matter categorie(s) of: Medical Program using the delivery method(s) of: Non-Interactive (Distance). This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board’s CE requirements.