Last week, a debate about cosmetic surgery at GetDocSays provoked a heated discussion amongst the readers. This week, it’s time for humans to move aside, because we will be talking about animals. Yes, you heard me right. It seems that animals need makeovers too. A generous amount of money has been spent by South Korean pet owners to alter the physical appearance of their pets.
Popular procedures include widening the eyes, removal of stretch marks, and even Botox injections to remove wrinkles!
Is cosmetic surgery on pets considered animal abuse?
“Plastic surgery for pets in the past were for medical reasons, but the result also brought better-looking dogs, so there is a growing customer base getting plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons on their dogs,” one unnamed veterinarian told the Chosun Ilbo, according to Kotaku.
Pet owners may refer to show dogs as to how their pets are supposed to look. They perform unnecessary cosmetic surgery purely for aesthetic purposes. None of these procedures improve the life of the pet and are merely representative of the owner’s vanity.
In a study conducted by South Korean veterinarians, over 60% of the pet owners polled stated that plastic surgery for dogs should be illegal. The majority of pet owners are enraged by those pet owners who treat their pets as ornaments or decorations. Pets are altered to appear cuter and attractive.
On the other hand, advocates of cosmetic surgery on pets claim that pets belong to the pet owners. If the pet owners are the ones who care for and attend to the pets, they should be allowed to give consensus for cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic surgery may be medically necessary.
The non-pet-owning public who are appalled by pets’ cosmetic surgery should be aware that there are reasons that may constitute medical necessity to have cosmetic surgery. Some procedures are compulsory to improve the health and welfare of their pets.
According to the Animal Medical Center of Southern California, the most common surgery include entropion and ectropion surgery (“eye lift or tuck”), nasal alar fold and deviated septum surgery (“nose job”), cheiloplasty (“facelift”), facial fold reductions, orthodontic and maxillofacial surgery, breast reduction, vaginal fold and tail fold pyoderma surgery, skin grafting and myocutaneous flap surgeries, and the placement of prosthetic implants for limb salvage procedures.
We need to know where to draw the line. If cosmetic surgery is medically beneficial, then go ahead; but if it serves no known medical benefits, then we should not put our pets under the knife.