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Canine Cosmetic Surgery

Great DaneThrough genetic manipulation, we have created dogs as small as two pounds and dogs as enormous as 200 pounds. We have long-haired dogs, short-haired dogs, and hairless dogs. We have dogs with long snouts and dogs with blunt faces. As if these alterations to the domestic dog were not enough, many humans go so far as to make surgical alterations to their companions. Cosmetic surgery for dogs is not only completely unnecessary, but can be harmful and painful as well.

Ear Cropping

  • Ear cropping is commonly performed on Doberman pincers, mastiffs, boxers, and other breeds.
  • Ear cropping is generally performed on puppies between 10-14 weeks of age under anesthesia.
  • Tissue is cut away from the ears in such a way as to make them stand upright rather than flop down.
  • Afterwards, the ears are taped to splints and then bandaged for a period of time so they will stand upright.
  • As with any surgery, problems can occur during and after the ear cropping procedure. If the splints are not removed early or if the puppy damages them in some way, the puppy’s ears may have to be re-splinted and re-bandaged.
  • Nine states regulate or prohibit cosmetic ear cropping.

Tail Docking

  • Tail docking generally performed on five-day-old puppies.
  • A rubber band is placed over the base of the tail, cutting off the blood supply to the tail, which falls off within three days. In other cases, a veterinarian simply cuts the tail with surgical scissors. The process severs skin, nerve, cartilage, and bone.
  • No anesthesia is used at any point before, during, or after the procedure.
  • Later in life, the dog may experience pain at the stump.
  • The American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) opposes tail docking and ear cropping for cosmetic purposes.

How You Can Take Action Against Canine Cosmetic Surgery

  • Accept dogs as they are.
  • If you wish obtain a dog from a breeder, let the breeder know you oppose tail docking and ear cropping.
  • Support legislation to outlaw these unnecessary surgeries.
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