Pet plastic surgery a growing trend

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drkatysmallDr Katy Nelson, host of ABC’s The Pet Show, reported on an interesting topic – pet plastic surgery.  You can read the article here:

Pet plastic surgery a growing trend |

I thought this was an important passage from the article.:

And while plastic surgery in people is generally done for cosmetic reasons, in pets it’s primarily done to improve their overall quality of life. Most canine plastic surgery procedures are medically necessary. They can cost thousands of dollars. But unlike with human cosmetic surgeries, these procedures are typically covered by pet health insurance.

Pet plastic surgery Photo by Rebecca McDevitt

Pet plastic surgery    Photo by Rebecca McDevitt

I spoke with Dr. Katy about this last week, after we finished filming this weeks episode of The Pet Show (watch for us in the first segment, right after “ShedLine News”).  The dogs mentioned in the story had pretty severe health issues that markedly decreased their quality of life and these surgeries made a huge difference. These procedures can be necessary so I hesitate to label them as ‘plastic surgery’, which has historically been about cosmetic appearance.  It is great to hear that the pet insurance companies agree, as evidenced by their willingness to cover the costs.


Has anyone had a dog that had plastic surgery to fix a health problem?  Did your pet insurance cover it?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

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  1. Interesting – our insurance would cover this since it’s for medical reasons. I agree, though – the term “plastic surgery” is a bit misleading for procedures that are medically required. At least to a layperson, who was expecting to read about tail docking/ear cropping, which are really just cosmetic alterations.
    Jen K recently posted…Monday Mischief, 13th editionMy Profile

    • I thought that too – plastic surgery seems the same as cosmetic to me nowadays.

  2. Hmmm I’ve helped with some surgeries that might classify as “plastic surgery”… A long time ago I had also heard about botox for the wrinkly breed dogs somewhere… Oh this post finally decided to work for me by the way – thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Ann “Paws” Staub recently posted…Cute Baby Cardinals!My Profile

  3. I think my pet insurance would cover a surgery like that if it was medically necessary…although I doubt the insurance company classifies it as “plastic surgery”.
    Jessica recently posted…WW #73 – Play TimeMy Profile

    • Agree, ‘plastic’ surgery has a different connotation. I’m psyched we got so many good responses to my question on FB re: Pet Insurance. We really have to get some ASAP.

  4. I have never known an insurance company as having willingness to cover the costs. Of course I have not had reason to use my pet insurance, I am going to take a close look at it tonight.

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