From tummy tucks to facelifts: pet plastic surgery takes place in Ohio


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(WJW) – From “tummy tucks” to “facelifts,” many plastic surgeries that were once the preserve of humans are now performed on pets.

It may sound outrageous, but these operations are in fact advanced procedures that can dramatically improve the life of the animal; including a pot-bellied pig named Winnie.

“We call it Winnie’s tummy tuck but it was really a medically necessary operation for her to walk and enjoy being a pig, ”said Lissy Kuhn, at Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary in Ravenna, Ohio.

The pot-bellied pig arrived at the sanctuary weighing well over 400 pounds and was unable to stand, let alone walk.

The loving Guardians of Happy Trails worked with Winnie for over a year to help her lose over 200 pounds, but it only created yet another painful issue.

“She was quickly developing a lot of excess skin and when she started walking she started walking on that excess skin,” Kuhn said.

It was then that the amazing surgeons at the Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine performed the abdominoplasty; removing over 10 inches of excess skin allowing Winnie to walk and finally live a happy life.

Other animals have undergone eye work, facelifts and rhinoplasty to improve their quality of life.

Dr Jason Lamb of the Avon Lake Animal Clinic says that although the operations appear cosmetic, they are actually often necessary for the health of the animal.

“We do anatomical variations in dogs, but we do it for medical reasons and not to make the dog prettier,” Lamb said, “Some diseases that we treat in dogs are diseases of the respiratory tract in which are considered brachycephalic dogs typically like your English Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, their noses are usually too small, so they undergo rhinoplasty to open up these airways.

Folds of skin around the eyes and other parts of the body are often removed to reduce painful chronic infections in some breeds.

A Shar-pei must have had “tight” eyes because his eyelashes turned inward.

“You have to remove them because it creates pathology rubbing the cornea,” Lamb said.

Advances in stem cell procedures are also underway at Avon Lake Animal Clinic by harvesting fat from animals.

When these cells are injected back into the animal, they can aid mobility in older pets and improve certain illnesses.

“Stem cells are very regenerative, stem cells are actually able to divide and become something else,” said Dr. Carmen Petti, “I think stem cells are going to become protocols for everything: diabetes, kidney disease. , etc. “

Previously, lipomas required surgery to remove fatty tumors, which could be dangerous for older pets, but less invasive liposuction is now an option for some.

And high-tech endoscopes are being used at the Northview Animal Clinic in North Ridgeville, said Dr. Randy Hutchison, “A lot of dogs that would automatically go straight for surgery because they swallowed something, we can get off and on. actually remove it without resorting to surgery.

Unfortunately, the procedures can be expensive right now, and vets say they should always be carefully considered when weighing the benefits against the risks to the animal.

“You have to assess the medical benefit of it, risk yourself anesthesia,” Lamb said.

Like Winnie’s case, and her tummy tuck which absolutely improved her quality of life.

“Oh my God, the first time we saw her ‘wallowing’ in the mud like a normal pig, it was so wonderful,” Kuhn said. “And now Winnie has been adopted by a very special family.

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