I read this article from a link on Twitter recently and thought it would make a good subject for my first ever blog post.
The piece is good but seems to me to miss the point. Yes, it’s great we can do these corrective surgeries to help pets with breed deformities (I can’t bring myself to call them ‘features) but why do we have to let them have them in the first place?!
Only the other week a young girl brought in a tiny Shar Pei puppy for a check over. The poor thing had so much excess skin on it’s face that all it’s eyelids (upper and lower on both sides) were rolling inwards and causing painful ulcers, not to mention the fact the baby couldn’t see!
Amazingly the breeders had told her this was normal and all Shar Pei pups had to have surgery to correct it!
Now I hasten to add these people weren’t KC registered breeders and the place was so awful the girl said she was considering she was ‘rescuing’ the pup (which is THE worst reason to buy any dog and, really, are you ‘rescuing ‘ it when you are handing over several hundred pounds, or are you, in actual fact, buying an already defective dog – cute and adorable though it is – and encouraging these clearly inadequate people to breed all over again?) but really, normal to breed an animal so deformed it has extruciatingly painful eyes and is blind?!
The pup had to have temporary corrective surgery at just 8 weeks old and it may need several more operations before it reaches maturity.
Here she is, isn’t she cute?! It’s just a shame she can’t see her adoring public.
Or how about this one.
I used to work at a practice where a client ‘rescued’ Persian cats from her friend a breeder. The ones she had were the individuals so deformed and flat faced that they couldn’t be sold. So you can imagine how dreadful the poor things were, given Persians are famous for their flatten features.
They would regularly come to the clinic to be sedated and have their coat’s clipped off (a bit like shearing a sheep) because they couldn’t groom themselves properly their faces were so deformed. Add to that the fact this breed has the thickest, longest coats imaginable and you have a recipe for disaster.
For cats, who have a compulsion to groom and keep themselves clean it must be a nightmare to not be able to do so, in addition to being barely able to breath and having eyes so sunken the tears drain down their faces, meaning they are constantly wet and sticky.
You only have to look at the pictures below showing a normal cat skull in comparison to Persian ones to see how malformed they are.
Compare the normal cat skull to even just the second of the persian skulls and you can see how deformed they are.
Of course, I am not saying that all breeds of animals are suffering and there are very many people out their striving to produce cats and dogs who look ‘right’ without being horribly deformed but I see pets everyday struggling because of how we made them.
While it is great we can perform surgeries to correct some of these issues, wouldn’t it be better for them to not need them in the first place?