Dogs: Elective Cosmetic Surgery?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Julian Reville, May 1, 2003.

  1. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Rather than hijack the Cat Declaw thread, I thought I would open another can of worms ask your opinion on some surgerys for dogs, that are usually not medically necessary, but are frequently requested by owners:

    Ear cropping: commonly requested for Dobermans, Pitbulls, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Great Danes, Miniature & Giant Schnauzers, Bouviers.

    Tail Docks: commonly requested for Cocker Spaniels, Pointers, Weimeraners, Vizlas, Bouviers, Boxers, Dobermans, Schnauzers, Rottweilers, Pembroke Corgis, many varieties of Terriers, Poodles.

    Dewclaw removal: many hunting and working breeds.

    Ear piercing: mostly small breeds.

    Declaw: sometimes requested by people with fragile skin and/or expensive floors.

    Tail docking and/or ear cropping is not required by the AKC in order to show a dog, and is not supposed to decrease the dog's score. Elective tail docking and/or ear cropping has been banned in some countries.

    Your opinions, please?
     
  2. ChadM

    ChadM Stunt Coordinator

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    As a dog lover I will chime in here:

    Ear Cropping: I would not have this done. I just do not like how it looks. Also, if I were a dog I would not want this done. Plus it is a royal pain in the ass, we had a boxer growing up and I swear my parents went back to the vet ten times having the ears taped back up after the dog clawed the box (or whatever) off.

    Tail Docks: I think this looks good and I would probably have it done. If I were a dog I do not think I would mind as much as someone cutting off half of my ears.

    Dewclaw: No, my current dog (Bubba O'Malley) uses these to scratch his face and head. However, from what I understand if these get ripped off during hunting or working it can leave a nasty wound.

    Ear piercing: WTF? This is a dog not a human. Just seems sillier than the rest of these procedures.

    Julian, can I ask why you are asking? I know you are a DVM is this related to your practice?
     
  3. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I think having the tail docked and dewclaws removed on a young puppy isn't too cruel. I do think there are certain benefits to having a short tail dog sometimes, but I'm not sure that justifies such things.

    Julian, have you ever treated dogs for injuries because of the dewclaw? I've never really understood why those are removed.

    I'm not sure declawing is a good idea. After all, if its to protect your floors, that means removing all the claws. How is the dog going to scratch itself? With cats don't most people only remove the front claws?
     
  4. ChadM

    ChadM Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention declaw. No way in hell absolutely not!

    If you have a dog declawed to protect your floors (or whatever) you should rethink owning an animal altogether.

    Same goes for cats too. (and I do not usually take up for cats).
     
  5. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    No to ear cropping—I’ve seen owners who believed that was the only way that their Boston Terriers would wind up with erect ears (they are very floppy when they are puppies—as I’m sure you know).

    No to tail docking, although I can understand why owners of breeds that classically have short tails (.e.g Boston Terriers) would want an abnormally short one cropped. But as to why any owner would care is a bit beyond me.

    Maybe to dewclaw removal. If this is going to be potentially injurious in some situations, I suppose that it could be beneficial.

    Ear Piercing—I have not clue as to the reason, but no.

    Declaw—no.
     
  7. JayV

    JayV Supporting Actor

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    What's with all the dog topics lately? Not that I'm complaining.

    Tail-docking and ear-cropping seem pretty cruel to me. I'm not aware of any real benefits except to meet someone's artificial standard. I imagine that puppies suffer a significant degree of pain in these procedures.

    Besides, I like the way my dogs ears flop up and down when she jogs and the way she demurely covers her privates with her tail when she lies on her back. I'm sure she likes them natural as well.

    Dunno about dewclaws, I can see where removal might prevent it from being torn off in a painful and unsanitary manner.

    Ear-piercing seems silly, but I don't think it's as painful as some of the other procedures.

    I didn't know that some people declaw dogs; it seems almost shocking to me for some reason.

    Two questions for you folks:

    1. Why doesn't my dog have dewclaws on her hind feet? After a lot of training, I realized that this is why she is unable to count higher than 19 (using her tail).

    2. Are frozen grapes okay for her? She really likes them as an occassional treat.

    -j
     
  8. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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    Guys, NO ONE declaws dogs. I can't imagine what kind of person would do that no matter what their reasons. Dewclaw removal is a good idea though. They're usually very tenuously attached to begin with (my border collie has one that's only being held on by a flap of skin - no tendon or bone connection at all). Being poorly attached they can be torn off if they get caught on something, and are really a mess to fix up after that (also tremendously painful for the dog). Removing dewclaws is safe, painless, and prevents future injury to the dog. The only reason I haven't had it done to my precious Cali is that I haven't had her put under for any other surgery (she came spayed), and see little reason to do it just for the dewclaw removal.

    I'm also indifferent to tail docking and ear cropping. It doesn't affect the natural defenses of the animal (unlike declawing a cat, which is a bad idea) and I don't have enough reliable information beyond that to form an opinion. But just because some people say it's cruel, doesn't necessarily make it so.
     
  9. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Potentially dangerous food items would include:

    Alcoholic beverages
    Chocolate (baker's, semi-sweet, milk chocolate)
    Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
    Moldy or spoiled foods
    Onions, onion powder
    Salt
    Yeast dough
    Macadamia nuts
    Raisins and Grapes


    I have seen many dogs where the front and/or hind dewclaws/nails got caught on something and were broken or torn. Some dogs have none, some have 2 or 3 on each foot. Briards and Great Pyrenees are supposed to have double hind dewclaws; I guess this means they can count to 22. [​IMG]

    If your dog has dewclaws please trim the nails periodically to prevent the nail from growing in a circle into the pad. OW!!

     
  10. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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  11. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Julian, what's wrong with grapes, raisins, onions and macadamia nuts? I'm curious because I had a Cocker (docked and de-dewclawed) who'd eat just about anything that she could swallow (food or not) except certain raw vegetables. I'm sure she ate some of the things on that list and never did she have a medical problem related to something she ate.
     
  12. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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  13. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I swear to gof that my dog told me he wanted his hindquarters shaved and get a flaming dog-skull tattooed there[​IMG]
     
  14. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    You're a good man. That's a very hard job you do, dealing with your more despicable pet owners.
     
  15. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I've most always owned springer spaniels, and like the tail dock, I've seen a few springers with a full tail and really, picking burrs out of her ears are enough after a day in the field, that tail too? no thanks.

    I have not heard of anyone de-clawing a sporting breed for sporting purposes, I like my dogs to have traction thanks [​IMG]
    sometimes my old man used to put rubber boots on her so she didn't get cut up on the snow and ice though... if you don't they'll run and run and run and cut their pads all up. They REALLY love to hunt, it's great to watch.
     
  16. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Philip, on sporting breeds he's referring to removing the dewclaw, which is higher up the front leg on the back side. I guess the concern is that if they're stepping over something it could snag the claw and cause a nasty injury. Which makes me wonder what possible purpose that claw could be for.
     
  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    ah, the declaw and dewclaw lines were close and I misread it. Yes, I'd remove it also.

    my highschool biology teacher had some evolutionary explanation for the dewclaw but I can't remember what it was, I'm sure the good doc could fill us in [​IMG]
     
  18. Debbie_L

    Debbie_L Stunt Coordinator

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    Based on an experience with my Border collie, I am not opposed to dewclaw removal. Esther (my Border) tried to climb my old chain link fence several years ago and in the process, tore off one of her dewclaws. It was a nasty injury that caused damage to the skin above the dewclaw as well. I have since replaced my chain link with a cedar slat fence and have had no problems with dewclaw injuries on any of my other dogs.

    Debbie

    PS -- PLEASE spay and neuter your dogs and cats! If you don't think it's necessary, go spend an hour at your local animal shelter.
     
  19. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    removing the dewclaw - yes
    pretty much everything else - I would say no. If there is some health/well-being advantage to docking or cropping, then sure. If not, I think its just a waste of time as well as just being cruel. I seriously doubt the dog cares about what his ears look like; he just wants to be petted and get another milk bone.

    If you could just remove their teeth until they learn not to chew through your coffee table, then put them back....that would be a great one [​IMG] . I think my first dog is part beaver.
     

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