It seems that face lifts and nose jobs aren’t just limited to the bright lights of Hollywood, with more and more pooches now going under the knife.
However, vanity and the desire to raise eyebrows at the local dog park isn’t what’s driving this trend. Veterinarians are urging that a range of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures be carried out for medical reasons, and for the health and well-being of our pets.
“With the increased popularity in designer breeds, such as French bulldogs, Pugs, and Boston Terriers, there has been a spike in breed-related health issues - including snoring from narrow nostrils and eye and skin infections from facial skin folds,” explains Dr Nick Wonders, director of the pet health website, Vetico. “These conditions aren’t ordinarily seen in mixed breed dogs, but are common-place in these new breeds, which tend to have lots of skin folds, and a ‘squashed face’ appearance.”
Therefore, cosmetic surgery is being performed to correct these problems. For instance, nose jobs are being performed to open up the nostrils and allow them to breathe a little easier. Eye tucks and face lifts are done to flatten the facial folds, and hopefully reduce the number of skin and eye infections that are likely to develop.
However, are there also some procedures being performed that aren’t strictly for health reasons? Apparently so. “Some owners are coming into the clinic requesting ‘neuticles’ - which are prosthetic testicles to replace the real ones when the dog is neutered,” says Dr Wonders. I’m on the fence with this procedure at the moment. If it’s the difference between a dog being left entire or desexed, then I’d happily support the procedure. But outside of this, I personally feel the money would be best spent on more important things, such as pet insurance.
I guess the final question I pose is this: Are we doing the right thing by choosing dogs based on popular trend? By choosing to own dogs with underlying problems which are likely to cause health issues in the future, are we really making decisions in the best interests of our pets?
I’m not sure about this. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
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