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Improving Your Dog’s Quality of Life Through Surgery

Think these well-known cosmetic procedures are just for humans? Think again.

Many pet parents are having these procedures performed on their dogs — not for cosmetic reasons, but to ensure their four-legged pals enjoy a healthy and happy life.

When skin-folds aren’t cute

Shar-Pei, Bulldog and Boxer owners know from first-hand experience that their furry kids’ skin folds, while undeniably cute, are also magnets for dead skin cells, moisture, smelly yeast and bacteria — all of which can lead to skin problems.

Owners often find it difficult to keep the area between the skin folds clean. A tummy tuck, face lift or abdominoplasty can remove the excess skin and help to prevent infections. However, note that most pet insurers will not cover the procedure. Also be sure to thoroughly discuss the pros and cons with your vet in order to properly assess the risks inherent to surgery, as well as the necessary recovery time.

The nose knows

There’s no denying the cuteness of a dog with a smooshed nose. However, these breeds often suffer as a result. Pugs, Bulldogs and Boston Terriers often experience breathing problems such as brachycephalic syndrome. This simply means the dog has narrow nostrils, an elongated soft palate, or large floppy tonsils. These conditions can leave your pup feeling like he’s breathing through a clogged-up straw.

A nose job can widen the nostrils and get rid of the loose tissue at the back of your dog’s throat. This can help him or her breathe more easily. Many pet insurers consider that brachycephalic syndrome is a pre-existing condition or congenital disorder. Therefore, they may refuse to cover the procedure.

Lift those eyes and chin

Humans often have eyelifts to regain their youthful look. A pup that gets an eyelift, also known as entropion surgery, has the procedure done to fix an eyelid that has curled under, causing the eyelashes to rub up against the cornea. The vet removes some of the muscle and skin along the eyelid, allowing it to rotate outwards and not inwards. This condition generally impacts Shar Peis, Chow Chows, retrievers and Rottweilers.

And if you have a big dog such as a Mastiff or Bloodhound, you don’t have to be told that they drool. A lot. These breeds have signature droopy lips, and excessive drooling can lead to chronic mouth infections, which in turn can have a harmful effect on internal organs. A chin lift can help curb excessive drooling and alleviate the associated health concerns.

Oh, that smile

Pups with abnormal tooth alignment or pronounced overbites can be outfitted with braces, retainers or bands to correct the problem. Unlike headgear for humans, pups only have to wear theirs for weeks instead of years. However, it’s crucial that the owner be readily available and willing to spoon feed their furry friend through this process, as they won’t be able to chew any kibbles or toys during treatment.

Smaller is breast

Is there anything more heart-breaking than seeing a rescue dog that has been so overbreed that her mammaries are sagging? Canine breast reduction surgery can help eliminate the discomfort caused by this condition while improving the dog’s self-esteem and overall health.

Final thoughts

Pup parents should know that many vets will not perform any of these surgeries simply for cosmetic reasons. The majority of these surgeries and procedures are done to correct medical issues that negatively impact a dog’s quality of life.

Remember, if you decide to proceed with any canine surgery, your dog won’t be able to vocalize the level of pain he or she is experiencing, so it’s important to take time off from work or ensure that someone will be responsible for your pup during surgery and recovery.

dog plastic surgery

Thank to you  for this guest blog post.

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  1. Wow, I never knew that there are a lot of procedures available for dogs out there. And I found it interesting that dogs can also get chin lifts to prevent chronic mouth infections, especially to Mastiff and Bloodhound breeds. I heard that my sister will be bringing her pet to the vet for a surgery because the lips of her pet are already too saggy. She told me that she thinks that it might cause some diseases which it actually does as per your article. Thanks a lot for the information!

  2. I object to the assumption that sagging breasts are caused by over breeding. I have a dog that carried a lot of fluid in her last pregnancy (only her second) and has been left with very sagging breasts. It can happen just from one pregnancy not necessarily from over breeding. We are retiring her and looking to get a tummy tuck to make her more comfortable.

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