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Eric Anderson, DVM

Eric Anderson, DVM is the owner of Best Friend's Veterinary Center in Oak Harbor, WA. He wrote an self-serving advertisement - masquerading as a news article - touting laser declawing in his local newspaper, the Whidbey News Times, "How Best to Declaw a Cat" to promote the use of his $45,000 laser.
Dr. Anderson wrote an article in in the January 27, 2007 issue of the Whidbey News Times one week after an article appeared in the same newspaper, which had advocated the use of Soft Paws.
Dr. Anderson uses bizarre logic when he writes that declawing is good for the cat. He writes, "Remember, the oath of the veterinarian, like the physician is 'First do no harm.' Unless we can help you find effective solutions to non-compliant destructive cats that work, we have failed you and we have failed your cat."
Failed, indeed! Let's try to understand this ... in oder to "do no harm," Anderson wants to declaw your cat. The Declaw Hall of Shame thinks Dr. Anderson is redefining the Hippocratic Oath as the Hypocrite Oath.
Here are few more "pearls of wisdom" from Dr. Anderson's article:
1. "Until breeders come up with a breed of cats with no claws, owners are left with two final choices ... declaw by guillotine/scalpel or LASER declaw."
2. A cat "with no claws is seldom a concern."
3. "Studies show that those who use the guillotine/scalpel declaw surgery have decidedly more complications. Cats take longer to recover, bleed more profusely and are in greater pain for a much longer time using this procedure. (DHOS note: This claim is dubious. A recent Journal of the American Veterinary Association article by Dr. Mison, et al., found that lasers offered no benefit over the more conventional methods of declawing. The scientific study found that "differences in discomfort and complications between groups treated via scalpel versus CO2 laser were not clinically relevant." In another study, Dr. Levy and others found that complications (bleeding, limping, swelling, infection) were generally WORSE in the laser declaw group, compared to blade declaw group. - source: www.pawproject.com/html/faqs.asp. No matter what method is used to perform the amputations, a declawed cat is a crippled cat and is subject to all of the risks and complications inherent in surgery and anesthesia.)
4. "At Best Friend's Veterinary Center in Oak Harbor. We use gas anesthesia, IVs, extensive monitoring and a $45,000 CO2 laser. ...laser surgery would probably be the most humane and possibly best economic choice possible. (DHOS note: If you have a $45,000 piece of equipment, Dr. Anderson, you have 45,000 reasons to declaw.) Dr. Anderson investment in his laser was probably threatened by the practice of his more humane and compassionate colleague, Donna Debonis, DVM. The January 20, 2007 article in the Whidbey News Times, "Control those claws with Soft Paws," begins:
"A Coupeville veterinarian is using a safer and more humane alternative to declawing cats. Dr. Donna DeBonis of All Whidbey Pet Hospital and Supplies uses a product called Soft Paws, which are vinyl nail caps that glue onto a cat's claws. The amazing product effectively covers the claws so no damage occurs when the cat scratches. "What I find particularly appealing," DeBonis said of the product that was developed by a veterinarian, "is that they still allow the cat to exercise its shoulders by making a clawing motion, so these muscles do not atrophy...."
A video on YouTube shows Dr. DeBonis applying Soft Paws to the clinic mascot cat, Mike. "'In my experience, approximately half the declawed cats become very hard biters because they can no longer defensively claw,' DeBonis said. 'Some cats can experience longterm problems from a declaw, including pain, limping, re-growth of nails, protruding bone from the incision, and bleeding'. ...The Coupeville vet is hoping to educate pet owners with the video and dissuade them from declawing their animals, a practice that has been banned in the city of West Hollywood, Calif. The one-minute video can be viewed from All Whidbey Pet Hospital and Supplies' Web site at www.allwhidbeypet.com. Once on the Web site, click on Declaw or SoftPaws For more information about Soft Paws, call DeBonis at 678-0888.

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