To crop or not to crop??

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Postby Shanda » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:24 am

If it were me, I could not put a dog under solely for a cosmetic procedure. Combined with a spay or neuter, dentistry, etc, then maybe. I avoid and recommend to my clients avoiding anesthesia unless it's a must, and pursuing all pre-anesthetic testing prior to induction.

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Postby Misskiwi67 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:49 pm

6pak wrote:
Misskiwi67 wrote:
Even with pain meds, the puppies scream. They are not under anesthesia, they have plenty pain receptors and its not a fun procedure. .

What??? How is the dog not anesthesia? How do they not bite? I probably do not want to know. I just always assumed they were out for the procedure.

Tails and dewclaws are supposed to be removed when puppies are 3-4 DAYS old. We use local anesthetics in the puppies large enough to use it safely, as well as laser when appropriate. The tiny tiny puppies (like the min pins last week) just get a sharp scalpel blade and a quick trip back to the comfort of their mom.

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Postby bellabear » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:58 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:
Even with pain meds, the puppies scream. .

:crybaby: OMG, that is so sad, my heart would be breaking, if I had to hear that. :frown:

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Postby Red » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:38 pm

I really wish that cropping and docking was not legal.With the exception of a real need, such as a health condition where the dog actually benefits from these procedures.The cosmetic reason is not an actual need.

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Postby Kahlie » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:50 am

Well, I'm a fence sitter so I'll suggest a fence-sitting option.

For those who are adamant to crop, I certainly want to encourage that they use the best vet, with as much precautions, skill and pain relief as possible. And we all know those numbers are few and far between.

And yes, I do wish that fewer did it because it's an unnecessary but dangerous procedure (ok, not as dangerous as others, but still).

Would it be feasible to learn how to do them properly, and then offer it only after consultations? After discussions of the pros and cons, and guaging the owners' capacity to properly treat it afterwards, etc?

My problem with the idea of limited service is that it won't reduce the numbers at all. If anything, like BSL, those who are adamant will find a way, even by way of home shears.
In such cases I'd far rather they go to someone who knows what they are doing, and do so as painfree and cleanly as possible.

(sidenote - I'm seeing more declawed cats in shelters than not these days, although admittedly they often find homes easier. Cropped dogs I find have harder time getting out, with the whole 'mean' look

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Postby Michael » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:28 pm

Like it or no dogs are property of the owner and it is their choice.

I would prefer that more vets did it to prevent people trying it on their own with newborn pups.

I personally like the look of a good crop on certain breeds.
We chose not to crop our pibbles, the min pin I had for many yrs was cropped.

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Postby Kirstan » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:48 am

I think that if you want your dogs ears cropped, you should have to have YOUR ears cropped first... with the same lack of anesthesia. Kidding... sort of.

I think it's appearance altering and unnecessary - I have a dog who's cropped, nicely might I add, but wouldn't do it. She came to me that way - it's a pain for her as the rain and dirt always get in her ears.

That said, I'm not a fan of legislating something that is, virtually, unenforceable. I do think that vets can 'educate' people on the pain it will cause the pup so they, at the VERY least, think about it. People who want it done WELL will, I'd assume, go to a vet and if that vet offers up the pain factor, etc. that it may make them think. I doubt that someone concerned enough to take their dog to a vet to have ears done would just go home and crop away with scissors. The people who do the 'home crop' will just keep doing whether a vet says it's o.k. or not.

It irks me that with all the 'no appearance altering' in the show ring that tails and ears are still done on dogs. Ears are cropped b/c dogs don't have correct earsets but, honestly, isn't that appearance altering? If your dog doesn't have proper earset and you artifically MAKE an earset via cropping, you're covering up an incorrect trait. Tails are completely unnecessary in my opinion - I grew up with true working GSP's who ALWAYS had tails docked but, really, there is no reason to do it. Even the hunters had no good reason that held up, imo.

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Postby whiskeypup » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:40 pm

i would feel better knowing that if they were going to crop people could get it done the right way (perhaps by you)
rather than hear people talking about doing it with shears or a razor blade. that makes me wanna puke :yucky:
not just the pain part of it, but the emotional damage a dog could have from their owner doing it improperly.

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Postby Lizzie » Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:41 am

Misskiwi67 wrote: I'm just curious if its a service thats needed or if its a service that should just disappear.

IMO it's a service that should just disappear. But to be fair, it would need to disappear from the requirements of conformation showing as well...which I hope it does. Although, I'm willing to bet that 99% of the dogs you would be cropping would not be for the purposes of conformation showing...

Regardless, I think it's cruel and inhumane and unnecessary and should be done away with as a practice.

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Postby Lizzie » Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:44 am

Am I mistaken? I just read that you're doing tail docking...even without anesthesia on small puppies. I think that's horrifying and I don't really understand why you'd be hesitating to do cropping when you're fine with docking tails...?

Just because the puppies are younger doesn't mean they feel less pain and doesn't make the procedure any less cruel.


Postby msvette2u » Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:59 am

I see nothing wrong with doing good tail docks on dogs whose breed calls for it.
Lizzie, the alternative is people take them home and band the tail, so it falls off as it dies. VERY painful for the dog.
There's no way to safely anesthetize a 3-4 DAY old puppy.
As Miss said, they are given an injectible painkiller.

Ear docking is done later, so would require a general anesthetic. I like Redgrrl's train of thought - if owners want a crop, they should have it done while the animal is being altered lol

I was present at the birth of some AKC (parents shown, etc) Poms were born. My girlfriend who owned Mom took nail clippers and sterlized them and cut off their dew claws when they were mere moments old. They didn't even require anything more than a styptic pencil!!

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Postby Lizzie » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:26 am

msvette2u wrote:I see nothing wrong with doing good tail docks on dogs whose breed calls for it.
Lizzie, the alternative is people take them home and band the tail, so it falls off as it dies. VERY painful for the dog.

Actually, that is not the only alternative...there another: don't do it. :)

I know there are two sides to this debate, but my question was why someone would be fine with tail-docking but hesitant about ear-cropping. To me, there is not much difference between the two except that tails are done at a younger age...that certainly doesn't mean it hurts any less or is any less inhumane. It's an unnecessary procedure, IMO, whether it's done at birth or at 8 weeks or 12 weeks or a year.

And I know it will always be performed until the kennel clubs change the requirements and make it optional for conformation showing, or ban it altogether. But I don't think it's right.

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Postby tigger » Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:36 am

Misskiwi67 wrote:
tigger wrote:Other breeds do get the ears & tails done as it is a part of their history and breed specs. Breeders typically take care of this when the pup is young, before the pain sensors are in place. I don't see any reason not to do this.

Even with pain meds, the puppies scream. They are not under anesthesia, they have plenty pain receptors and its not a fun procedure. I do it because my clients request it and I want to do it well. My mentor takes extra steps to make sure the pups are as comfortable as we can safely make them, and we do as much as we can to make sure the toes and tails look great when they heal too... even if I hate it, there's something to be proud of there...

As for the rest, nobody has asked about ear crops yet. I don't know what types of clients request it, or if there is another vet in the area who does this well and our clinic refers to them. I just saw a thread about ear cropping and decided to pose the question...

I appreciate everyones thoughts... not sure if it helps, but its definitely helpful that there isn't as much drama as I thought there might be.

I have a couple of show poodle breeder friends that dock tails and dews by one week old. I had a problem with it being done at first, but they said there was no screaming and little or no blood. A dab of quickstop and no issues. One of them is a handler that bred and showed Am Staffs until around '02 or '03. If I can get in touch with her I can find out more about cropping and when it gets done on Pits/Staffs.

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Postby Sarah » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:46 pm

I've handled pups for tail docking/dew claw removal, and they do scream, and I know it's painful, but they forget about it almost immediately. There is no lasting trauma. A moment of pain, and over.

Ear cropping is a much more grisly procedure, and takes much longer for the pup to recover, and being older, the pup can mess with it's ears and cause itself pain. And you can't let it play with other pups while the ears are healing. I consider it a much more unpleasant procedure, even though the pups are anesthesized for it.

Whether a vet should provide ear cropping services is entirely a personal decision. I would not if I were a vet, but that would be my choice. There are other vets out there to perform the procedure, it's not like the owner's only other option for cropped ears is going to be a pair of shears.

It is a specialized skill, and most vets who offer the procedure learn by working with an experienced ear-cropping vet, so if you were to decide to perform it, I would advise finding the best cropping vet in your area and approaching them for instructions.


Postby msvette2u » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:41 pm

While there are justifiable medical reasons for dew claw and even tail removal (no happy tail!), ear cropping is solely for appearance and harder, IMO, to justify.
Except for medical necessity as one member had recently had to have done on her dog.

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