Cosmetic Dog Surgeries

Cosmetic dog surgeries are something beyond what mother nature created. Special Cosmetic surgeries are some times warranted. Some are medically sound ideas and with strong merit. Others are purely cosmetic and a matter of taste.  All have a reasonable history to support their rise in popularity.  Ear cropping and tail docking are among those special Cosmetic surgeries commonly performed on certain breeds. They are to achieve that picture perfect breed standard we have come to recognize.  Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, Great Danes, Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Schnauzers are among the most common breeds on which these special Cosmetic surgeries are preformed.  The original intent was utilitarian.

Cosmetic surgeries historically, most of these breeds were used in some form which would require that they might engage in battle with another dog or person.   The short tail and short ears were less likely to be grabbed by the opponent.

Tail Docking And Ear Cropping Are Cosmetic Dog Surgeries

Tail docking is usually done at 4-7 days old and usually does not involve the new owner.  If you got your puppy from a breeder who did not dock her tail and it is a breed on which that is usually done, it still can be.  It will be much more involved than when she was newborn.  It will now require anesthesia and sutures. As well as being a bit more messy and painful.  Tail docking is to keep with the breed standard.

Ear cropping is done at 9 to 12 weeks of age.  It is a procedure that not a lot of veterinarians perform because it is artistic, quite specialized, and the follow-up is tedious.  The surgery usually involves an overnight stay, and for good reason. Once the puppy’s ears are cropped, they are sutured and placed in an aluminum rack.  The sutures will be removed after no more than seven days so they won’t scar. The rack however will stay in place for three weeks.

After the ear edges are healed, the ears will be wrapped in cotton and tape and checked every ten days until they stand.  This is can range from a relatively short amount of time in a short eared breed but can take months in a long eared breed.  This takes some getting used to for the puppy and often requires pain medication for a few days.  Follow up care is more critical and precise than the original surgery.  Many things can go wrong with disastrous results.

Ear cropping is generally cosmetic. It does offer the advantage of better air circulation and fewer ear infections.  Something most Labrador and Golden Retriever owners may envy.

Dewclaw removal is much less cosmetic. It is a very good idea in most breeds, especially if the claws are ‘not attached’.  These are deciduous claws which may have served an ancestral purpose. They are no longer necessary and often cause problems when they get caught on things and torn.  These claws can be found on one, two, three, or all four feet. They are part of the way up the foot, as if it were a thumb in placement.  They may either be ‘unattached’ in which they flop around loosely, only attached by skin, or ‘attached’ in which they grow from a joint.

Since they do not touch the ground they are never worn down.  They can be kept cut short but that is often overlooked.  They often grow around into a circle and can cut into the dogs leg.

Dewclaws commonly get caught on things like wires, blankets, and afghans, and tear, causing a lot of pain and blood.  It is an unnecessary trauma. If they weren’t removed at birth, they should be removed when the puppy undergoes his first anesthesia for a procedure.

Entropion One, Is One Of The Special Cosmetic Dog Surgeries

Entropion One, of the special Cosmetic surgeries that some dogs require is due to Entropion.  This is a condition in which the eyelids curl under.  It can affect one lid or all four and tends to affect some breeds more than others.  The Rottweiler, Chow Chow, Golden Retriever, and Shar Pei seem to be most susceptible.  Dogs may develop this at a young age, when they get older, or never.  If it occurs, the procedure to correct it is not elective.

As the eyelids curl under, the eyelashes scrub the cornea with every blink.  You will notice tearing and discharge. Eventually a pigment will grow on the cornea. The dog will be blind from the damage.

Cosmetic surgeries involving the rolling out of the eyelid. Removing a small sliver of skin and suturing it in place so that as is heals the dogs eyelid will close normally.  A dog having undergone this procedure will temporarily have a ‘surprised look’.  This look will relax as the swelling goes down and the hair grows back around the surgery site.  Don’t be alarmed.  This is the proper way to correct the affliction

De-barking Is Another One Of The Cosmetic Dog Surgeries

De- barking is not as widely performed on pets. It is quite common in show dogs. Anytime you have hundreds of dogs in one place, it seems like a good idea.  There are some breeds that are more vocal than others.  It may pose no problem at all.  Those dogs who do create problems for their owners, such as making enemies out of the neighbors, it is an option.

De-barking is a very quick procedure and causes about as much discomfort as having ones tonsils out.  It involves removing a piece of the vocal cord so that it doesn’t vibrate effectively.  The dog will still have a hoarse bark.  Instead the sound will not carry well.  Most dogs that went to sleep barking seem to wake up barking.  They just don’t make as much noise.  It doesn’t seem to dampen their spirits or slow them down a step.  They need to eat soft food for a few days.  There is usually very little after care besides encouraging them to rest.

About The Author

This article was written by Laura Anderson, a veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the veterinary field. The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice.

Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.

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