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Declawing Failure May Force Surgery

Q. About 1 year ago, I had my female Persian cat declawed because she was starting to do a lot of damage to my furniture. Everything seemed OK with her until just recently, when she started to limp on one of her front feet. I noticed a swollen toe and that the nails were starting to grow back. How is that possible?

M. Haverson

Los Alamitos

A. To do a proper declaw surgery, the entire third phalange or last portion of the toe containing the nail bed must be completely removed. In some instances, if a section of the nail bed is left behind, a new nail may start to grow and become a source of pain or infection. The only proper method to correct the problem is to surgically remove the remaining nail.

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Q. Is it OK to bathe our cocker spaniel with regular human or baby shampoo? We have done this several times with no problems, yet I’ve been told that this may be harmful to my dog’s skin.

Mrs. R. Willits

Tustin

A. Using shampoos that are made for people can cause a drying of your dog’s skin because the difference in skin pH and oil content between people and dogs is quite definite. Even so-called “baby shampoo” can be quite drying and eventually cause your dog to itch. I recommend that you have your veterinarian tell you which type of shampoo to use because he would be more familiar with your dog’s individual skin problems. Flea shampoos will be helpful in controlling topical parasites but special medicated shampoos may be necessary if your pet has a skin infection or other problem.

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