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  • Are you in favor of cosmetic ear cropping?

    The AVMA has taken an official stance on ear cropping and tail docking for cosmetic services. Read the story here.

    What is your stance on cosmetic procedures like ear cropping, and would you be in favor of ap rofession-wide ban on these kinds of services? What effect will a statement like the one made by the American Veterinary Medical Association have on your practice procedures?

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    • By DVMnewsmagazine
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  • Ear Cropping

    Seems as if this thread has scared people away!   Oh well...I am never afraid to voice my opinion, so here goes...

    Until the breed clubs start moving towards a similar stance, ear cropping and tail docking will remain part of owning certain breeds of purebred dogs.

    Although I applaud the steps in the right direction (AVMA's statement), we are still far from a time when floppy eared Danes, Boxers, and Dobies are the norm in our practices.  A good majority of owners of these breeds like the appearance of trimmed ears versus floppy ears.   And, as everyone has already thought, if the dog's ears aren't trimmed by a veterinarian, someone somewhere will do it for the owner.

    In our emergency practice, from spring until fall we dealt with a rash of pit bull puppies coming into us for various reasons (mainly bloody stool, i.e. parvo) and most of them had ears that were quite obviously trimmed by someone other than a veterinarian.   In addition, several pups each summer were brought in with ear problems (bleeding, etc) from botched owner assisted ear trim.

    I firmly believe that unless we get cooperation with breed clubs the only result of the veterinary profession banning cosmetic surgeries will be the development of an underground network of breeder surgeons providing this service.  For those of you who counter that current laws against unlicensed persons providing veterinary services will stop this movement, I give you the case of the NJ man posing as a female veterinarian for more than 2 years before he was caught.   It will be very difficult to enforce this type of action!

     

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    • By tomcat1765
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  • TORTURE??????

    Pullleeeeze.  Illinois considering a cosmetic surgical procedure TORTURE?  Same felony as someone who shoots cats for fun, I suppose.  Chalk one up for the "Animal Rights" whackos.

    Personally, I do not perform tail dockings or ear croppings; never have, and I think for the most part that it's an infrequently performed procedure.  I'm glad that the AVMA FINALLY came out against it as an unnecessary cosmetic procedure, as I would prefer that dogs have their ears left alone.

    But torture???  During the Inquisitions they didn't use anesthesia, anti-inflammatory meds or analgesics.  THAT is torture. 

    All it would take is for the veterinarian to decide that such a procedure is "medically necessary".  Then the burden of proof would be on any namby-pamby animal rights whackos to prove otherwise. 

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    • By drjsp
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  • Ear Cropping

    I agree with DRJSP for the most part. I am a LVT and when we do ear crops the puppies are certainly not tortured! I feel the animal rights people are totally out of control. I have owned 4 Dobermans over the past 30 years and have yet to see an ear infection or hematoma. I am sure it can happen but I believe the incidents are low. Dobermans are such loyal dogs and very Regal looking. I can not imagine mine without cropped ears.

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    • By rio
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  • lack of pain meds

    Djrisp said that during the inquisition they didn't use anesthesia, pain meds, or NSAIDS...but they don't use these for tail docking (and dewclaws) in puppies either.  I have heard too many puppies screaming in pain at 3-5 days old during these procedures.  How can we justify that as veterinarians for a medically unnecessary procedure?  It is horrendous.  We have an obligation to "do no harm," and this includes not performing unnecessary and painful procedures.  Although torture is innappropriate language for this bill,  it is our responsibility to advocate for animals and work with breed groups instead of against them, to come to a common ground.

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    • By catkrauss
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  • ear cropping

    Elective cosmetic surgical procedures on animals is a perverted hijacking of our veterinary skills, education, and Oath.  I whole heartedly support a bill which would see the end of ear crop and tail dock surgeries.

    As with anything, education is the key. Until we begin to educate the pet owning public as to a new way of viewing those particular breeds' natural born ears and tails, the "average Joe-pet-owner" will continue to think and act as they have been accustomed to and to request the same frivolous cosmetic procedures. That sort of education begins with us as Veterinary Medical Doctors.

    Should a Bill be passed, those who might seek other perhaps nefarious ways to get their dogs' ears and tails surgically altered will do it no matter what and probably tend not to seek professionals for the job even now. Pitbulls ears are cropped so that when fighting there is less for the opponent dog to hang onto.  Those who fight dogs don't care if there is an ear cropping Bill or not. However, the average client who adopts a Rottie or a Dane can evolve and, with a large scale nation wide Veterinary professional campaign, eventually  be educated to see things differently. Hardcore breeders may be resistant to an anti cropping/docking Bill but even they will eventually be persuaded by the enforcement and the popularity of a new era Bill supported by our nation's Veterinary Professionals.

    As Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Its way past time that we usher in a new era, the next level of evolved thinking, compassion and caring.

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    • By petvete
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  • am i in favor of cosmetic ear cropping?

    I am NOT in favor of ear cropping or tail docking for cosmetic reasons.  I may not completely understand breed STANDARDS, but how did they come up with these standards to begin with? There are plenty of breeds(GSD, Labs, G. Retrievers etc.) that are working dogs that do just fine without cosmetic surgery.  I completely agree with the AVMA's statement, but the AKC should have been involved to give their side of the argument.  I do not agree with AKC or most breeders, but not being in that field, I may not know all the reasons for breed standards.  All I know is that these poor animals can not make their own choices and who are we to question how nature designed them?  

     

    Sincerely, Dawn Brownlee-Tomasso,   RVT

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    • By DawnBT
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  • Ear cropping and tail docking

    My husband and I are both veterinarians. We are also the owners of a Doberman, and I have owned a Doberman before.  I am a huge fan of the breed.  They are really solid citizens, and if you do your genetic homework, they can be a very healthy breed.  We chose a puppy three years ago from a reputable breeder in California.  We reviewed the genetics and testing on both parents and were impressed.  We also took our children to meet both dogs.  Their temperaments and confirmations were wonderful.  We are probably the only perspective puppy buyers who examined both parents, and eventually the puppies we were interested in.   We were very clear that our intent for the dog was strictly as a family pet.  That it would be spayed or neutered and not used as a breeding or show animal. We even offered to sign something to that effect and pay the amount that would go to the veterinary services.  However, even with that assurance, the breeder was absolutely unwilling to sell any puppy that had not had its tail docked and ears cropped.  We are not fans of these procedures and while they are done for cosmetic reasons only, they are not without a considerable amount of post-procedural pain and discomfort.  We thought long and hard as to whether we would still get a dog from this breeder.  We decided that of all people, we were able to treat the ears and pain associated at home and that these dogs would be altered whether we purchased one or not.  

    If you look at the show Doberman's of Europe, they have the beautiful floppy ears.  The AKC is to blame here as they require the changes for the breed standards.  Our personal protest was to not register our dog with the AKC.  I applaud Ill. for the effort, and I hope that if more states follow suit, the AKC will reconsider the breed standards for the benefit of the breed and their own reputation.  It has to start somewhere.  

    Anyone who equates tail docking and ear cropping to a human cosmetic procedure is off their rocker.  A person seeking a rhinoplasty or breast augmentation is choosing the procedure voluntarily and able to discuss the post-operative care and management before deciding to undergo the procedure.  I assure you, that neither the puppies nor the bitch and dog gave informed consent.  This is not a life saving or quality of life issue.  

    We may be working in Europe in a few years and I am thinking that I may need to get a sandwich board for my dog that says "my owners did not do this to me", since these alterations are truly frowned upon overseas.  

    These comments can obviously be applied to the other breeds which require such alterations to the beauty that is a dog.  And lest you think that I am some PETA weirdo, I am an F350 driving, meat eating, leather seat sitting, occasional firearm shooting, equine veterinarian, and the mother of two children and adoptive mom to Omar our Doberman Pincher.

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    • By blakedvm
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  • Cosmetic Ear Cropping

    I have been a veterinarian for 22 years and have never performed a cosmetic ear crop. I have never been in favor of this surgery, but have performed tail docks, which I quit doing at least 10 years ago, also due to never seeing the necessity to put animals through the pain associated with either procedure. I think it is unfair to  label veterinarians or others who call this kind of procedure torture as wackos. However, it is also using inflammatory language to refer to the surgery as torture, since torture is, by definition, inducing pain intentionally. I don't think there is a veterinarian out there who would intentionally cause pain in an animal. The days of ear cropping and tail docking are numbered. Let's hope the days of name calling and inflammatory statements by professionals will also come to an end.

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    • By bradkerr
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  • against ear cropping

    ear cropping does not seem to give the dog any benefit, and it puts the dog through numerous risks and a great deal of pain and discomfort.  This occurs at a time in its behavioral development when the adverse experiences have negative effects on attitudes toward veterinary hospitals.  This could make the dog more difficult to treat when it later needs veterinary care.

    I am against preventing veterinarians from performing ear crops unless there is also a criminal penalty for non-veterinarians performing them, and strong enforcement.  It would be a further disservice to our patients to have them mutilated by non-veterinarians.

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    • By Ghancock
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  • Across the board ban

    Ghancock brings up what I consider to be the crux of the matter.  Until the procedures are prohibited and the prohibition enforced for all people, licensed or not, these procedures will continue.  I've never done an ear crop and no longer dock tail because it is cruel.  I'm glad the AVMA has finally made a statement about it.  But getting the AKC-dog show culture behind it will be critical to ultimate success and until that agreement is reached, people will take their animals out of state or to unlicensed lay people.

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    • By emfdvm
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  • Re: Are you in favor of cosmetic ear cropping?

    While I am not "in favor of" cosmetic ear cropping, I am not deadset against this surgery when performed by a veterinarian, where there is guided appropriate aftercare, provision (we hope) for postoperative analgesic medication, etc.   This surgery, assuming anesthesia and analgesia, is not torture.  And, if tail docking is torture... so is circumcision of human male infants.  Will there be an anti-circumcision law?  I doubt it. 

    I am astounded that there are members of the veterinary profession who no longer dock tails or remove dewclaws in puppies because of the pain.  Do we not have appropriate analgesics and anesthetics available to us?  Why not use appropriate pain prevention and relief?  There ARE veterinarians who use anesthetics and analgesics for these procedures, even in neonatal puppies.  

    If cosmetic ear cropping is going to be banned, what other procedures will be banned?  What about kidney transplants in cats, where a healthy cat undergoes surgery to become a donor?  That is certainly an elective surgery and potentially harmful (and absolutely unnecessary) to the healthy donor.  Or what about amputating a limb on a large breed dog that has osteosarcoma?  Who is to say what is and isn't necessary or "torture"?  Will the upcoming "pet hospice" programs and clinics be banned because this might be considered torture, prolonging suffering?  I'll bet not, because these clinics are considered progress, much to my dismay. 

    I own and show docked (but not cropped) breeds.  Is there a purpose?  So people say.  Docking certainly does prevent the tails from curling over the dog's back. 

    Like most veterinarians, I never learned to crop ears, and I have no interest in doing so.  Leave that surgery to those who have the eye for it, a love for the cropped look, and the desire to provide the aftercare and instructions. 

    Few veterinarians know breed standards, and few veterinarians are dog fanciers.  You can bet that those who are behind the AVMA policy and the IL bill are not dog fanciers. 

    Let me add, the veterinarian with the cropped dobe who may be going to Europe should not walk in shame- unless she did the crop surgery without use of anesthesia and analgesia. 

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    • By LisHeath
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  • Too much Free time !

    70 Million feral cats-

    Millions of healthy animals euthanized-

    Animals being chained to trees 24/7-

    Animals being abandoned and abused-

    Backyard breeders and pitbull fighting-

    Animals rescue and humane societies going bankrupt-

    And they are passing bills banning ear & tail cropping????!!!  If this is so inhumane-why do my patients wag thier tails and never miss a meal after surgery?!

    This is a legitiamate and safe practice when done through qualified Veterainarians. I too often see this procedure being done by backyard breeders w/o proper medical equipment and procedures. I would be in favor of limiting this to accreditated veterinarians only. But common sense never seems to work it's way into the law!

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    • By mthomann
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  • cropping ect...

    I find no reason for this being done in this day and age!!!   It is purely cosmetic!!

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    • By kasiazwol
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  • Ear Cropping & Tail Docking

    Have done these for 30 years plus. Patients eat, drink, ect after surgery. Breeders demand procedure, and better a trained professional do it than a layman. If AVMA is so concerned about animal welfare, why are antibiotics, dewormers, and other products still sold over the counter and have been for decades. The AVMA will never take a stance on an issue that benefits the veterinary profession that is controversial. I recently hired a veterinarian from England, where the do not teach these cosmetic procedures and apparently no others! She had never done one surgery while in school. I suggest the AVMA contact the AMA to see if plastic surgery could be outlawed!!

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    • By drbobbyd
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  • Ear cropping

    My answer to clients, when they ask about cropping their puppies ears, is: What sense does it make to intentionally breed dogs so that their ears lay down and then cut them so that they can be caused to stand up?  Dogs would not have droopy ears if it were not for human intervention and selective breeding to develope and perpetuate the characteristic.  Why then should we subject dogs to a surgical procedure that does indeed affect them adversely even when initial pain is "managed".  I speak from personal experience having had an ear injury that was less traumatic than any dog ear cropping.  and though it was more than 25 years ago that it occurred I still feel discomfort if not outright pain on a regular basis; especially if my ear is subjected to cold extremes.  I don't buy the argument that an experienced surgeon can prevent such pain from occurring in all or even in most cases.

    As for tail docking, I have to believe that there is similar risk of long term discomfort.  But, I believe, just as imprtant is the negatve effect that tail docking has on a dogs ability to communicate with people and with other dogs.  We have five dogs, all of which were rescues or "given" to us.  One of these has a docked tail and though she does quite well. I suspect that the other dogs don't respond as well to her in part because she is nearly tailess.

    I look forward to the day that tail docking and ear cropping no longer occur.  I have, by the way, done both before I realized how the dogs were truely impacted.

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    • By mdddvm
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  • Re: DRBOBBYD

    Comparing cosmetic procedures on dogs to cosmetic procedures on humans is absurd. Anyone using that as an argument is grasping at straws.  Dogs don't get to choose whether they want such a procedure done or not.  What humans choose to do to themselves, though it may be ill advised by some, is their right.

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    • By mdddvm
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  • Drop-earred dogs have more ear infections

    Why are we always calling it "cosmetic?"  Of the hundreds of dogs that pass by my way, it is very obvious to me that the drop-earred dogs have a lot more trouble with their ears in the long run.  A few minutes of pain vs a life-time of itchy ears?  I'd take the few minutes of pain.

    The other thing that slays me is that these are the same people who are for mandatory spay-neuter.  I gotta tell you -- I'm guessing a hysterectomy causes a lot more pain and sequelae than an ear crop or a tail dock!

    Edited by tony, 5 years ago

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    • By tony
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  • re: drop-eared dogs have more ear problems

    I have to disagree, as it relates to the percentage of each (erect-eared vs "drop-eared"). There are just greater numbers of retrievers, spaniels, shih tzus, dachshunds, etc.  I am quite certain that I have seen several more erect-eared dogs in the past week with ear problems than drop-eared dogs, cropped and uncropped, e.g. schnauzer, westie, german shepard, min. pincher, pit bull.  We all see more labs and other retrievers with ear problems but how many would suggest to a client that cropping ears would cure these problems even if it were considered completely ethical by all? Not many, I would guess.

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    • By mdddvm
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  • Cosmetic Ear Cropping

    Edited by BobGV, 5 years ago

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    • By BobGV
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  • Docking/Cropping and breed standards

    "The AKC is to blame here as they require the changes for the breed standards."

    Don't blame breed standards on the AKC. The AKC does not set breed standards - it's the national breed club that sets the standard; the judges (some judges) enforce their interpretation of the breed standard that docking/cropping is required. There is nothing in the Dobeman breed standard that requires cropping of ears, just like there is nothing in the Rottweiler breed standard that requires docking. If you've owned Dobermans before, you should know this.

    In the past couple of years, some member of the national Rottweiler breed club have tried to change the Rottie standard to not allow tailed Rottie to show in conformation (I voted against the standard change both times). AKC denied the change, stating you could not make having a tail a disqualifying feature.

    Yes, my Rotties are all docked - they were docked by the breeder. Am I pro-docking/cropping? No, I'm pro-choice. People should have the right to chose to dock/crop or not dock/crop.

    Forbid vets to do docking/cropping and breeders will either do their own or find someone to do it for them. Rear dewclaw removal, I feel, is a necessity. If you've ever had a dog tear off a rear dewclaw, the pain and agony is much worse as an adult than having them removed as a pup.

    The governement SHOULD NOT be making this decision for veterinarians and their clients.

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    • By rottieluvr
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