Pet plastic surgery on the rise

Thursday, August 25, 2011
Pet plastic surgery on the rise

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Gone are the days when silicone implants and nose jobs were just for humans — dogs and cats are increasingly going under the knife as their owners strive for pet perfection.

Last year, pet owners in the UK reportedly forked out more than $3 million on nose and eye surgery for their dogs and cats, a report by the country's largest pet insurance provider Petplan claimed.

Related: Is dry pet food okay?

This represented a 25 percent rise over the past three years.

Petplan claims the cosmetic surgery is not done for vanity reasons, but because it allows animals to live "healthier and more active lives" as they could see and breathe more easily.

"So-called plastic surgery is something we have to do regularly to improve the quality of lives in the pets we see as well and repair injuries and deformities," Petplan vet Brian Faulkner said.

"For example, facelifts are commonly required in breeds with excessively drooping eyelids, skin grafts for wounds, soft palate trimming in short faced breeds."

Like many bizarre things, the trend for pet plastic surgery started in the US.

Silicone testicle implants — known as 'Neuticles' — became popular in the 1980s. The implants were surgically inserted into neutered dogs to make them look more masculine.

In recent years, liposuction has become popular in American dogs and cats, who are increasingly obese like their owners. However, most veterinarians recommend weight loss pet food, exercise or medication instead of surgery.

Related: Asthma, allergies and owning a pet

Non-essential surgery for purely cosmetic reasons — for example tail docking and ear folding — has been banned in many countries around the world.

Australia imposed a national ban on tail docking in 2004 and only allows surgeries that a vet declares necessary to improve the quality of life of the animal.

Your say: Do you think pet plastic surgery should be banned?

Video: Hollywood pets

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