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Plastic Surgery In Pets. Case Studies in Ethical Choice Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Dec 28th, 2021

Plastic surgery on pets has been on the increase in the recent days. Media attention on plastic surgery on pets has helped to increase public awareness regarding the subject. On certain occasions, plastic surgery on pets is performed for medical reasons but in most cases, for cosmetic purposes. Some Plastic surgery operations performed on pet include tail docking, debarking, declawing, ear cropping and facial reconstruction (SimplePetCare par. 3). Plastic surgery evokes ethical issues. Plastic surgery on pets also involves ethical issues. The SWOT Analysis below addresses ethical issues involved in plastic surgery on pets.

Internal Strength
Enhance the look of a Pet
Pets have an important place in some peoples’ lives. Pets are not only valued for accompaniment but also for their look. Plastic surgery enhances the looks of pets. This makes them more attractive to their owners.
Prevent Injuries
Some plastic surgery is beneficial to pet. Tail docking, for example, helps to prevent injuries. Without tail docking, pet dogs are more susceptible to injuries. The injuries can be prevented through tail docking before five days after birth.
Medical Reasons
Not plastic surgery is harmful to pets. Some of plastic surgery operations have medical benefits to a pet. For instance, plastic surgery can be used to correct breathing impairments in some breeds of dogs. Boston Terries, Pugs and Bulldogs are some of the breeds that suffer from breathing impairments (Perini par. 4). Plastic surgery to enhance their breathing can be beneficial to them.
Quiet Environment
Debarking helps in keeping living compound quiet. With many families owning dog pets, the noise produced by dog’s barks can be a nuisance. Debarking helps in making having dog pet convenient.
Internal Weaknesses
Procedure Painful and dangerous to Pets
Plastic surgery operations on pets are generally painful. Tail docking, ear cropping, declawing and other surgical operations performed on pets are very painful. Although pets may not be able to communicate the pain, the pain involved is enormous (SimplePetCare par. 4). For instance, cats’ claws are connected to their bones. Declawing is not just a simple operation but involved a lot of pain to cats (Schelling par. 5).
Plastic surgery operation poses pets to unnecessary danger. Some operations such as tail docking and ear cropping are sometimes performed by unqualified individuals. This can expose the pets to diseases, body mutilation and other health risks. Some operations are experimental thus exposing the pets to dangers.
Procedure unfriendly to pets
Plastic surgery on pets is generally selfish. The pets have no say on operations performed on them nor are interested with beauty. Plastic surgery can be viewed as unnecessary and cruel to pets (Lusted, p. 67). Instead of cosmetic plastic surgery, proper nutrition and good living environment is sufficient.
Procedures can lead to emotional and behavioral problems
Plastic surgery operations on pets such as declawing, debarking and tail docking affect natural operations of pets. For instance, a dog uses its tail for communication with other dogs and to shows emotions such as pleasure, appreciation and fear (Whitney par. 7). Tail docking thus interferes in the natural way of life of a dog.
External Opportunity
Growth in plastic surgery
Plastic surgery is popular not only for animals but also for people. Plastic surgery on pet provides opportunity for development plastic for animals. Technology advancement and development of new and better methods may lead to safer procedures in the future.
Availability of services
Plastic surgery procedures for pets are easily obtainable at many veterinary clinics throughout the US. Pet owners that need such operations for their pet can be able to get them easily.
Media attention
Media attention on plastic surgery on pets has led to increase in demand for the operations. Plastic surgeons on pets can use the high demand to increase their services and develop safer methods.
External Threat
Animal right activists
Animal rights activists are strongly against plastic surgery on pets. Plastic surgery operations on pets are viewed as cruel and unnecessary (Mcneal, p. 7). Animal rights activists are especially against surgical operations performed for aesthetic reasons alone without benefit to pets.
American Kennel Club
Some pet owners are motivated by pet shows to perform plastic surgery on their pets. American Kennel Club, which is responsible for setting standard for dogs show community in US, does not allow any plastic surgery apart from tail docking and ear cropping.
Many people are against plastic surgery on pets. Pets that are performed plastic surgery are increasingly being disallowed in competition. West Hollywood, California is one of institutions that are against placed a ban on plastic surgery on pets (Beauchamp, Orlans, Dresser and Gluck 81). Ban on plastic surgery is already in effect in many countries in Europe. For example, ear docking is illegal in England and Wales where dogs that are ear cropped is not allowed to participate in any event. Although plastic surgery on pets is not illegal in US, many States are considering bills to illegalize cosmetic surgery on pets.
American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
AVMA is strongly against cosmetic surgery on pets.

Works Cited

  1. Beauchamp, Tom., Orlans, Barbara., Dresser, Rebecca. And Gluck, John. The human use of animals: case studies in ethical choice. London: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  2. Lusted, Marcia. Cosmetic Surgery. New York: ABDO Group, 2009.
  3. Mcneal, Kelly. Death: the price of beauty: animal testing and the cosmetics industry. 2005.
  4. Perini, Bennett. Tail docking in dogs: a review of the issues. Australian Veterinary Journal 81.4 (2008).
  5. Schelling, Christianne. . 2007. Web.
  6. SimplePetCare. Simple Pet Care. 2010. Web.
  7. Whitney, Smith. . 2005. Web.
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