Look at this Can of Worms…

Isn’t it a lovely can, all shiny and new…I think I should open it…

Our clinic got an impassioned email today from a Dobie breeder, imploring their breeder/enthusiast masses to join together and protest the utterly unreasonable AVMA position statement opposing cosmetic ear cropping and tail docking. 

Just so we’re clear, here’s my official position on the matter:   It’s barbaric, unnecessary, and I sure hope it gets banned in my lifetime. 

If people want to risk their lives undergoing elective procedures so that they can look a different way, that’s fine, it’s their prerogative.  Putting your dog through cosmetic surgery (and this is a little bit of a stretch but not really since they’re both unable to speak for themselves) is like getting your baby a nose job. 

Dolittler.com covers the issue in a more succinct, journalistic, and thorough yet equally impassioned manner on her blog:   http://www.dolittler.com/2008/11/24/Tail-docks-and-ear-crops-pit-the-AVMA-against-the-AKC.html

There is no medical reason for ear cropping or tail docking.  (In case you were wondering, ear cropping is where you cut off the flappy part of the ears of dogs like Dobermans so they can look all mean and stuff, tail docking is how Boxers, Schnauzers, Rottweilers, etc. get their look…we have to chop their little tails off when they’re 3 days old…)  They still get ear infections, and frankly, short of saving some coffee table Knick Knacks and wobbly little kids, I don’t see any reason to dock tails. 

Yes, declawing could be looked at as cosmetic surgery as well, but here’s my view on that issue:  with proper pain management, declawing makes the cat a safer, better pet.  Note the safety issue here, barring the wobbly kid (again), there are no safety issues involved with tail/ear docks. 

Breeders are having trouble finding vets to do these surgeries for them.  Here’s a secret:  we don’t like doing them.  We took an oath to do no harm.  This surgery, in our hearts, feels harmful. 

AKC:  come on, if Europe can change their “breed standards” to include normal, natural ears and tails, why can’t you?

AVMA:  Kudos!  Stick to your guns!

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