Plastic surgery for pets on the rise

From Botox to braces, learn about this new trend: puppy plastic surgery.
Nov 01, 2011
By staff

When you think of plastic surgery, you may think of Hollywood celebrities like Dolly Parton, but these procedures are becoming more popular for veterinary patients. While cosmetic procedures such as ear cropping and tail docking have petered out, plastic surgery for dogs continues to boom. In an interview with Good Morning America, Dr. Marty Becker says he doesn’t usually perform pet plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons—there’s usually a medical reason.

For example, bulldogs’ deep skin folds are prone to infection, and their flattened noses and soft palates can complicate breathing and cause loud snoring. But a tummy tuck or a nose job helps these dogs—and their owners—rest easy. Dr. Becker has even used Botox to relax tight puppy wrinkles. Crooked teeth can cause painful sores, Dr. Becker says, describing one dog who had to sleep with a toy in his mouth before he got braces.

When it comes to testicle implants—which are for purely cosmetic reasons—Dr. Becker says it’s typically men who want them for their dogs. “And you can always tell when a dog has them because when he sits on the exam room table, they clank,” Dr. Becker says. While some veterinarians are on board with the procedure, others oppose the testicular implants. Dr. Becker has his own theory. "If it makes pet owners have a closer relationship with their dog and take better care of him, I'm all for it," he said.