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Cosmetic surgeries in canines

by:
AMANDEEP KAUR MAUJ

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Cosmetic surgeries have been a hot topic for discussion between dog lovers for a long time. Ear cropping, tail docking and dewclaw removal are the most common surgeries done to improve the physical appearance of the dog. Many times veterinarians are requested to perform these types of surgeries on pets for various personal and other reasons. Whether controversial or not, the procedures continue to be performed.

Cosmetic surgery on ear is performed for the vanity of pet owners. Ear cropping is done on a select group of dogs for cosmetic purposes only. Boxers, Great Danes, Doberman Pincers, Miniature Pincers, Schnauzers, and American Pit Bull Terriers, are among the more common breeds in which ear cropping is performed.
Usually recommended to be done around the age of 10-14 weeks old, the procedure requires full anesthesia. The ears are then cut in a way that instead of flopping down to the side of the head, they stand erect on the head to a point.
In most breeds however, the ears require a period of bandaging and support splinting in order to get them to stand. This is essential for the ears to ultimately stand, and if not done sufficiently, the ears may not stand erect. The longer the ear length is, the more time required for splinting is necessary. Puppies who undergo this procedure expect at least a few weeks of painful, sensitive ears.

The docking of tails is a practice which has been carried out for centuries in order to avoid tail damage, for hygiene and other reasons. It is usually done in puppies less than 5 days old. It can also be done in older dogs but then it is called amputation.
Dewclaws are the vestigial digit or thumb present in feet of dogs. A practical reason to remove dewclaws, particularly in the hind feet, is to prevent trauma and tearing of the dangling digit. Dewclaw removal is usually a minor procedure in newborn puppies. The procedure can be performed later during routine neutering or any other procedure requiring anesthesia.
There is no medical reason for cropping or docking. But neither is cropping and docking cruel, or a mutilation. These are cosmetic surgeries, but must be performed under sterile and clean environments by a veterinarian.
Whether you want your pups to go through this just to increase its beauty depends on you but I strongly feel you don't love a dog because he is beautiful, he is beautiful because you love him.


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