Pet Plastic Surgery is becoming more common and likewise has become an increasingly controversial subject. While most pet plastic surgeries remain necessary for the overall health and well being of the pet, others are seemingly superfluous and at times painful.
Dr. Alan Schulman, a board-certified orthopedic veterinary surgeon who performs plastic surgery on pets says that "Pets are no longer considered property, but family members...with the evolution of this emotional bond, people with a discretionary income are taking advantage of technology and veterinary expertise to give their animals medically indicated reconstructive surgery resulting in a better quality of life." The key phrase being, "medically indicated," and of course most loving pet owner would agree with this.
Skin-fold correction, nose jobs and chin lifts may sound ridiculous for a a dog or cat, but they can be highly beneficial for certain breeds, as problems in these areas often result in infection or difficulties breathing. With their many skin folds, bulldogs are notorious for needing these types of surgeries. When the skin folds are deep and recessed, even the most diligent owner with the best topical antibiotics may have difficulty preventing infection. In addition to bulldogs, pugs and Boston terriers are also notorious candidates for plastic surgery (nose jobs and chin lifts being the most common). Chin lifts are performed on droopy lipped breeds like these, as well as mastiffs, bloodhounds and newfoundlands to prevent the excessive drooling that can cause mouth infections.
While many surgeries are recommended to ensure the health and safety of the pet, a few pet owners are insisting on surgeries for the assumed psychological health of their pet. Neuticals are testicular implants for dogs who have been neutered. John Ryan, owner of an Italian Greyhound with Neuticals and a firm believer in their benefit says "he licks them like they're real, and I can tell he would rather have them than nothing." Although Neuticals have no direct health benefits, owners are insisting that they improve the psychological state of their pets. Greg Miller, the inventor of Neuticals says "The animal doesn't know anything is missing or changed and the owner has a pet that retains his identity and self-esteem in the dog park." There is no way to prove if there are actual psychological benefits of the testicular implants, but in adding to the pet plastic surgery controversy, there certainly is quite a bit of speculation.
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