Dog health care extremes: Pet plastic surgery

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A bloodhound without dog insurance may have plastic surgery.

Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance

With the advancement of dog health care and online pet insurance, today’s pets are living longer, happier, healthier lives. Just like for humans, life expectancy is increasing and medical procedures are advancing.

Also just like for humans, pets are going under the knife today for cosmetic rather than medical reasons. While ear cropping and tail docking have been around for hundreds of years, the practices were developed with a purpose. Reasons included silencing and protecting the wagging tail of a hunting dog, or cropping and taping a guard dog’s ears up to help him appear more alert.

These practices became commonplace even after the necessity had waned. Some dog owners dock and crop purely for a preferred look, while others find the practice cruel and unnecessary. Many dog insurance companies consider cropping, docking and even feline declawing elective surgeries and do not cover them.

Other cosmetic surgeries that dogs are undergoing include eyelifts, facelifts and wrinkle reduction, according to an MSNBC report by Sandy Robins called More Pets Getting Nipped and Tucked: Cosmetic Surgeons Balance Medical Needs with Owners’ Egos. Excessive droolers like Mastiffs and Bloodhounds can get chin lifts to curb droopy lips that allow drool to escape the mouth. While most cat and dog insurance companies will not cover elective proceedures, some Bulldog owners opt for doggie facelifts becasue skin folds can trap bacteria. While facelifts may keep the wrinkles more sanitary and manageable, the less invasive alternative is to bathe and properly dry this breed more often.

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Currently in the United States, there is no ban on cosmetic procedures for pets apart from some California cities, like San Francisco, banning feline declawing. Last year, a bill was vetoed that would have made it illegal for landlords in California to require tenants declaw or devocalize their pets. Some states are working to ban devocalization, where the vocal chords are surgically cut so that dogs cannot bark. In the United Kingdom, all elective surgeries on pets are prohibited, including docking tails, cropping ears, declawing cats and devocalizing pets.

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