The Cosmetic Surgery You Never Knew Your Dog Had

Tail docking and ear cropping are the two most common cosmetic procedures among dogs, and most people don’t even know about it.

1. Tail docking is a procedure done when a puppy is less than 10-14 days old

2. Veterinarians will typically use a scalpel to remove all or part of the puppy’s tail

Sometimes, a tie is wrapped tightly around the tail to make it go necrotic and fall off on its own

3. Because the pups are so small, the procedure is done without anesthesia

4. Ear cropping is performed under anesthesia on puppies 7-12 weeks of age

Up to two thirds of the ear is removed by laser, scalpel, or surgical scissors

5. The puppies then have their ears wrapped for months to make their ears heal to a desirable shape

6. First done to benefit working and fighting dogs, most vets now view these as cruel and unnecessary cosmetic procedures

7. Both procedures have been banned in several countries, but many, including Canada and the US, have them largely unrestricted

It is also not unheard of for breeders to perform the procedures themselves in places where it is banned for vets to do so. Amateur cropping is not illegal in the US, but one case that made it to court stated:

“During the procedure, Elisea had an assistant bind the dogs’ legs and mouths with tape. Once immobilized, Elisea marked a line along each ear with an eyeliner pencil and, after numbing the ears with ice, but without any anesthetic, cut the dogs’ ears with a pair of office scissors. Vaseline and Bactine were placed on each cut, and Elisea told [the owner] to keep the puppies outside in the cold because their ears would heal more quickly.”

8. These procedures exist because they are the “breed standard” and people are used to the look, so it’s time to change the standard

This Cane Corso agrees

9. Look at how happy these Boxer puppies are to have their ears and tails!

10. This Rottweiler is just so proud of her tail

11. This Jack Russell loves the feeling of the wind in her tail hair

12. This Poodle has no IDEA why you would want to cut off this noble bush of a tail

13. This Doberman is just so grateful that you let him keep his ears and tail

14. This Pitbull knows you wouldn’t think her cousins were so mean looking if they had big, floppy ears like her

15. This Dachshund gets to be even LONGER with his glorious tail

16. These Old English Sheepdogs know that their tails help them balance

17. This Yorkie’s long tail will help her commuicate with other dogs when she grows up

Studies have shown that dogs with docked tails are approached by other dogs with far more caution. This is because tails are such an important way for dogs to communicate their moods (as are their ears). This treatment from other dogs can lead to increased risk of aggression in the docked dog.

18. This Schipperke can sleep soundly because she knows that no matter what pro-docking advocates say, her risk of a tail injury sits around 0.23%

19. This Cocker Spaniel can’t believe you didn’t know this is how her tail should look

20. This Schnauzer is sad that you thought his floppy ears looked funny

21. But this Great Dane knows she looks fabulous!

22. This Corgi is so happy that tail docking and ear cropping is banned in England and Wales

23. But this Boston Terrier knows that when he’s the only one of his kind on Google Image search with natural ears and a tail, there’s still work to be done

24. So this Neapolitan Mastiff urges you to check if the dog you plan on owning is one of the many breeds with cropped ears or docked tails

25. Ask the breeder if they perform these procedures, and if so, ask to have your puppy left natural, or take your business elsewhere

If breeders think that these surgeries will stop people from wanting to buy their pups, then they will hopefully stop.

26. Changing the way we see these breeds and refusing to support breeders and vets who practice these procedures is the best way to keep our best friends in one piece

27. For the sake of wagging tails everywhere!

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