Dew claw problems

Twocoastscat

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I posted here recently explaining that my 12 year old male cat is a beast regarding trips to the vet, etc. I used to be able to clip his claws after training him to tolerate it using treats although I’ve always had trouble getting the right angle to reach his dew claws. I was not vigilant about clipping due to a lot going on in my life and have tried to start the routine again. While he is quasi cooperative for his other claws he will not let me near his dew claws and I think it’s because they’re overgrown. My son was able to clip the tip of one a few weeks ago because I was frantic that the tip was growing into the pad - he got it but i think he nicked him and the cat went insane. I have tried the fingerless protective long gloves and he went berserk again and managed to get me anyway on the open part of the thumb - not too deep but broke skin. I immediately stopped - and removed the treats that I use after I successfully clip one claw. But he’s winning this battle and I don’t know what to do. The vet cannot handle him and gave me gabapentin to use prior to the next time I try to bring him. The med is actually so that he can be calm enough to sedate him so they can examine him! Should I try the med to see if it helps us get to his claws at home or should I cut to the chase and make a vet appt? The last time he was fully clipped was months ago by a vet and an assistant who came to the house and wrangled him. They were able to do it but it was brutal and the cat hissed at everyone for days afterwards.
 

di and bob

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Having him clipped at the vet is usually a lot easier because they are scared and don't fight as much as they do at home. I would make a mental note to have him clipped every time he is at the vet and under sedation for other things.
 
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Twocoastscat

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Actually he fights even harder at the vet. The vet has called it “fear-based aggression.” I have seen two full grown male vets wearing full length leather gloves in our own home have to struggle to manage him. I am really thinking sedation is the only way - also would you try a muzzle (when he’s sedate enough?)
 

di and bob

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No, because he still has his claws. Unless his biting would cause him to be in quarantine, then I would have him muzzled. There are liquid calming agents you can put in a lickable treat or calming treats on Amazon. The ones from the vet are much stronger and may be needed too. I had a Flame point Siamese that 3 men tried to hold and give a pill to, no go. I gave him liquid medications by grasping the scruff on the back of his neck, lifting him high enough to get his front feet off the ground, and leaving his back legs on the ground to support him. lifting them this way instinctively quits them, mom carries them and disciplines them this way. It worked! He is the ONLY cat out of about 50 I had to do this to!
 

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If the vet prescribed gabapentin, ask if you can try giving it to your cat at home to see if he might become sedate enough for you to handle him - it may need to be higher or lower depending on how sedate he becomes. Dosage varies by cat, but if you think you need to try again with a higher dosage, check with the vet first to determine if they will approve a higher dose.
 

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Our younger one was born with a wonky dew claw on one of her feet. We always brought her into the vet to have all claws clipped. There was no way we could get the right angle to get that weird claw done so let them do all of them. We talked about removing it when she was going in to be spayed at 6 months but the vet said don't bother since we were so good at bringing her in regularly.

All was fine until the pandemic hit hard and they were closed except for emergency visits for a while. The claw, wound up growing into her foot and then, into the bone itself. She had to have the claw surgically removed. Our vet felt so awful and gave us a deep discount on the surgery since she felt they were somewhat to blame by not doing it at her spay like I wanted.

Anyway, I'd also recommend having the vet prescribe gabapentin to take the edge of your cats mood and let them handle it. We have used this also, for the same cat, as she was very vet adverse as a youngster to the point of being tagged as fractious for a while. Thankfully that's changed as she's matured but the gaba really did help calm her down so they could examine her properly.
 
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Twocoastscat

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Thanks. Fortunately the dew claws are not embedded in the pads at this point - I am just trying to avoid that nightmare scenario for obvious reasons. When he “got” me despite wearing the gloves it was a bite not a scratch and that’s his typical “go to” maneuver. He’s a nipper even in less dramatic circumstances. That’s why I wondered about a muzzle which the vet may want to try if the cat is sufficiently sedated to get it on him. So I’m going to try the gaba at home as if he was going to see the effect and go from there. He’s pretty tough to pill due to his nature - so that’s a challenge in and of itself - but I’m thinking of opening the capsule and dissolving it in tuna juice may work.
 

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i use gabbapentin on graycie prior her vet visits or nail trims at home. it works great makes her really lazy and sleepy but she is still aware of things going on around her ust be aware of your cats warning signs the lashing tail protesting meows etc. that precedes a bite or swipe its ok to get one claw at a time since the gabbapentin will last the day atleast a 2 mil dosage does on graycie she is 11 pounds good luck
 

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Try these pilling tips if opening the capsule and mixing the powder into food/ treats/ etc doesn't work. Some medicines taste really nasty to cats or have an odor which is why they are put into capsules to somewhat mask the taste and / or odor.

Pilling Cats: Must-know Tips For Hiding Pills – TheCatSite Articles
The Best Pill-taking Secret I Know...
Pilling Cats and Dogs Safely
How We Give Our Pill Hating Cat A Pill
Getting Cat To Take Pills... Post Tips Here.

Gabapentin can also be compounded into something easier to give to a cat like a flavored treat or a transdermal gel. A compounding pharmacy can do this with a prescription from your vet. You choose what form to have the medicine compounded into and what flavoring if that is an option and the phamacy does the rest. Wedgewood Pharmacy is a popular compounding pharmacy but any local compounding pharmacy can be used.
 
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Twocoastscat

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Ok so I gave him the prescribed dosage of gabapentin - 2 100 mg capsules - opened them up and dissolved them in tuna juice. He lives to eat so he lapped it up. Tried to do a nail clip using my old strategy - a clip, a small treat, a clip, a small treat, etc. He was okay but can’t say the drug made him calmer - he still hissed, for example, when my grandson brushed by him which often causes him to hiss, we think because grandson has the scent of his mom’s cats on him. My son then tried to clip a few more nails using same strategy and said he was still “bitey.” Next thing I knew he was vomiting - about 2 hrs after the gabapentin - defecates in litter box first then vomited. Appeared that whole morning feeding came up which was surprising since he had eaten about 7 hrs earlier. And this cat never vomits. Am I dosing incorrectly? Not sure of next move - this was an attempt to calm him not only for nail clipping but also to see if drug can help for vet visits where he is impossible. They cannot handle him.
 

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As far as I know that dosage seems really high, so I am going to guess it was too much for his system to handle. That along with the nail trimming and related stress from that, it could have been enough to make him sick. Don't know how that ties to vomiting food that was eaten 5 hours before the gabapentin, but it could have appeared to be his whole meal and wasn't really.
Gabapentin For Cats: Usage, Safety, Dosage and Side Effects - All About Cats
You are going to have to talk to the vet about what happened. It might be that your cat cannot take gabapentin, or at least not that much at once.
 
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Twocoastscat

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As far as I know that dosage seems really high, so I am going to guess it was too much for his system to handle. That along with the nail trimming and related stress from that, it could have been enough to make him sick. Don't know how that ties to vomiting food that was eaten 5 hours before the gabapentin, but it could have appeared to be his whole meal and wasn't really.
Gabapentin For Cats: Usage, Safety, Dosage and Side Effects - All About Cats
You are going to have to talk to the vet about what happened. It might be that your cat cannot take gabapentin, or at least not that much at once.
 
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Twocoastscat

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Yes it seemed like a lot to me and now that I read the info in the link you included it appears that it is way over the recommended dose. He is a huge cat - 14-15 lbs - and maybe vet prescribed such a high dose because she saw and heard him at his absolute worst in the carrier - she made no attempt to get him out which I totally understand given the way he was acting. He’s resting on my bed now and lethargic - somewhat ataxic - both of which I know are typical effects - but is rousable so l am hoping he got some of the drug out of his system. Will call the vet Monday
 

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I used to have to sedate our cat Kokanee to go to the vet, No way she would let me touch her nails! The usual dose didn't do anything at all so the vet told me that it was no problem to give her up to 200 mg (4 X 50 mg pills) just for the visit. TBH that freaked me out a bit and I never did give her that much. It did take at least 2 pills (100 mg) though, to sedate her enough. She would just sleep it off for the rest of the day.
 
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Twocoastscat

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As far as I know that dosage seems really high, so I am going to guess it was too much for his system to handle. That along with the nail trimming and related stress from that, it could have been enough to make him sick. Don't know how that ties to vomiting food that was eaten 5 hours before the gabapentin, but it could have appeared to be his whole meal and wasn't really.
Gabapentin For Cats: Usage, Safety, Dosage and Side Effects - All About Cats
You are going to have to talk to the vet about what happened. It might be that your cat cannot take gabapentin, or at least not that much at once.
I spoke with the vet and she recommended that I try giving the gabapentin to the cat on an empty stomach to hopefully prevent the vomiting that occurred. She did not suggest reducing the dose from 200 mg. What constitutes an “empty stomach?” Also her directions were to dose him the night before a vet visit and then again two hours prior to the appointment but then I wouldn’t be feeding him for over 24 hrs which trust me will not go down well since he lives to eat! I’m more inclined to experiment by giving him a lower dose just to gauge his response. He certainly did respond to the meds after he vomited and became lethargic and a bit ataxic and definitely very mellowed out. Any thoughts on timing and coding given your experience? He weighs about 14 lbs and is generally a beast.
 
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I spoke with the vet and she recommended that I try giving the gabapentin to the cat on an empty stomach to hopefully prevent the vomiting that occurred. She did not suggest reducing the dose from 200 mg. What constitutes an “empty stomach?” Also her directions were to dose him the night before a vet visit and then again two hours prior to the appointment but then I wouldn’t be feeding him for over 24 hrs which trust me will not go down well since he lives to eat! I’m more inclined to experiment by giving him a lower dose just to gauge his response. He certainly did respond to the meds after he vomited and became lethargic and a bit ataxic and definitely very mellowed out. Any thoughts on timing and coding given your experience? He weighs about 14 lbs and is generally a beast.
I meant timing and dosing not coding
 
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