Animals and plastic surgery aren't two terms you usually hear in the same sentence, but recently, pet plastic surgery has become trendy. Yes, people are opting to put their pet under the knife in the name of vanity.
So, why does plastic surgery on animals happen? Sometimes it's because plastic surgery addicts want to make their pets just as beautiful as themselves. Other times it's to help a show animal pick up more prizes - surprisingly, illegal pet plastic surgery was inflicted on camels in Saudi Arabia for this reason. In some cases cosmetically changing your pets has a legitimate medical reason - like when dogs with short snouts receive rhinoplasties to help them breathe better. No matter why it's being done, it's a highly controversial topic that has been stirring up a lot of people's emotions.
The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival is a yearly event in Saudi Arabia where camels are entered in various competitions, including a beauty contest. In 2017, some camel owners turned to injections to make the camel's ears smaller or their facial features bigger.
The festival organizers have not taken kindly to this. Not only are camel owners who do this disqualified from the competition, but they are also required to pay fines.
Depending where you stand on the issue, the amount of procedures possible for animals is either impressive or disturbing. Here are some of the possibilities.
Breast Reductions: This involves removing fat from the dog's undercarriage and reducing the loose skin that remains afterward. Basically, it's canine liposuction.
Eye Replacement: If a dog is missing an eye, a false eye can be implanted to fill the space. There are two types. The first is an orbital prosthesis, which is a solid black ball that fills the eye socket. The eyelid is typically sewn shut around the prosthesis. The dog can no longer open that eye, but it simply appears closed, not sunken.
For the more appearance-conscious dog owner, there's the intrascleral prosthesis, which involves emptying the original eyeball out and inserting a prosthesis inside, leaving the original eyeball intact. Neither procedure will restore the dog's sight and are purely cosmetic.
Botox Injections: Some dogs receive botox injections to smooth out wrinkles. That said, it can also be used to treat arthritis, masticatory myositis (muscle pain), and symptoms of distemper.
Denise and David Smart of Selby, North Yorkshire, have spent upwards of £10,000 on various surgical procedures for their pet bloodhound, Junior. At first glance, this seems completely absurd - but some of the procedures were intended to be therapeutic. Alongside surgeries that simply made the bloodhound appear less droopy, others were intended to remove eye tumors and infected skin.
Because they have pet insurance, the Smart family didn't actually have to pay the exorbitant fees. However, the couple claimed if had they been responsible for the bill, they would have gladly paid it.
One of the most surprising forms of animal plastic surgery are silicone testicular implants called Neuticles. Neuticles are intended to mimic the appearance of a full scrotum after an animal is neutered. They can be used on dogs, cats, horses, bulls, or any other pet that has been neutered. About 500,000 people have chosen this route for their pets.
It's hard to say whether animals care about the appearance of their nether regions, but the implants are usually harmless and may convince pet owners who otherwise wouldn't neuter their animals to do so.