Recently released data from the largest pet insurance provider in the United Kingdom, Petplan, has shown that last year there were almost $2.5 million (1.5 million pounds) in claims made for dog and cat nose surgery.
This represents an increase in 25 percent in this type of claims over the previous three years. Furthermore, that same insurer also paid more than $1.5 million for young dog eye lifts, and over $400,000 for household pet dental work. According to Petplan, the increase in veterinary plastic surgery makes it possible for pets to live “healthier and more active lives.”
This plastic surgery trend began in the United States, where a number of different types of procedures have been developed for pets. In the 90’s, one of the most popular forms of veterinary cosmetic surgery was the chin lift, which would minimize excessive drooling. Even before then, in the mid 80’s, “Neuticles” – testicular implants – were invented, so that male pets would look the same even after they were neutered.
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A Petplan vet named Brian Faulkner explained that U.K. pets frequently require plastic surgery procedures in order to rectify medical defects, and that it is not always a cosmetic treatment. For example, in the case of the popular eyelid lifts, which are especially common among bulldogs, bloodhounds, and mastiffs, this can help to overcome a commonly inherited condition known as entropion. Similarly, nose jobs aren’t simply to make the dog more physically appealing, but can widen the nostrils or airway along the muzzle in order to improve the dog’s ability to breathe.