Has the world really gone crazy?? Or is just another Californian lifestyle challenge for the rest of us to keep up with. As I caressed my Bengal cat, Cougar, this morning, a startling piece of information came across my desk... cosmetic surgery for pets is BOOMING in the US!
And it got me to pondering...
Do you think basset hounds say to themselves: "Ugh, look at these wrinkles!"
Do greyhounds worry about losing their trim waistlines over time?
When you call "Spot!" out loud, does he run to you - or run to the mirror to look at himself, thinking: "My goodness, where?!?"
Apparently, a growing number of people think this is what their pets are thinking. According to the article on MSNBC, an increasing number of wealthy Americans (especially Californians - big surprise) are forcing their pets - mostly dogs - under the knife for procedures like facelifts, tummy tucks, nose jobs and other cosmetic surgeries.
Although the article represents the first time I've ever heard of this sort of thing, cosmetic procedures on pets aren't performed exclusively in the California, I'd bet the farm that most of them are. After all, the number of fake (sorry, enhanced) lips, hairlines, noses, chins, tummies, butts and boobs per capita among PEOPLE in California exceeds every other place on Earth...
But I digress. Back to the topic at hand.
Proponents of cosmetic surgery for pets insist there are medical reasons behind many such scalpel-ings - citing skin-fold infections in certain breeds (bulldogs, for example), which can warrant surgical attention after topical antibiotics fail. Similarly, excessive drooling among mastiffs and bloodhounds can result in chronic mouth infections, kidney, liver, and heart issues.
However it's hard to buy the medical necessity of some of these procedures, including - get ready - "you know what" implants!
Yep, you read that right: Owners are now able to give pets back their "family jewels" during the course of routine neutering (or up to 5 years afterward). A silicone implant called a Neuticle is available that can restore Rover's manly assets. Since 1995, nearly 150,000 pairs have been fitted worldwide. According to the manufacturer, Neuticle buyers swear their pets have more dog-park swagger and higher self-esteem than other canines. But I have trouble buying this, since it's testosterone, not "you know what", that make a mammal masculine - and most all of that goes out the window after neutering.
Bottom line: Unless your pet's got a real, medical problem that warrants surgery of a coincidentally cosmetic nature, leave it alone to age gracefully. I've never once seen a dog, cat, ferret, parrot, or any other fluffy character staring intently into a mirror, pondering its facial wrinkles, sucking in its gut, or turning around to check out a sagging rump...