So last week there was the gushing blood from the dehorning of the bull. And then yesterday the fun hour in clinics hanging out with cute kittens and whatnot.
Today was the surprising combination of those two things (surprising because really, who’d think there’d be a nice combo of a bull dehorning and kitten, right?), in the form of an onychectomy I performed on a cute little shelter kitten. (Onychectomy = declaw) It was really pretty gruesome, I have to say. Less blood because we were using a tourniquet further up on the arm, but still. Ugh.
I’m not going to get too high on my horse here. There are wonderful people out there who are much more likely to adopt a declawed cat, and a declawed cat is infinitely happier than a euthanised cat who couldn’t find a home. So no, I’m not categorically opposed to the procedure.
That said, I didn’t feel good about it. It actually really bothered me on some strange level…I felt like I was doing the cat more harm than good. There are considerable inherent health risks: you slice into the joint between the last two digits of the “finger”, and completely remove the last digit. A gaping hole is left behind. Because you can’t really shave the paw cleanly it’s very difficult to have a very really clean, sterile surgery, and with so much exposed bone…I’ll be very interested to check in and see how the cat heals. I’ll be most impressed with myself if it heals well. At my old hospital, we had a steady-if-slow stream of cats with bloody, sore, sometimes necrotic paws from a declaw gone wrong, sometimes even requiring amputation.
Probably the bigger point is that I don’t think I did a good job…it wasn’t a complicated procedure, but honestly I feel like it’s something the more experienced surgeons should do. Blah.
If anyone needs a REALLY cute, sweet, freshly fixed and front-declawed cat, I can get you one in yellow, tiger, grey, calico, etc.
Now, I have a huge equine exam tomorrow which I have to study for and I DON”T WANT TO. C’est la vie. Have I mentioned i’m only 196 days away from Clinics? True statement.