Cattle Today

Cattle Today



by: Lee Pitts

Did you hear about the mutt who won a big dog show only to be disqualified when it was discovered that the pooch had undergone extensive cosmetic surgery prior to the show. I guess if it's good enough for people it's good enough for a Pekingese.

It turns out that cosmetic surgery for pets is big business, and I'm not just talking about trimming up a Doberman's ears or docking a cat's tail. Bulldogs are getting nose jobs and Bloodhounds are getting chin lifts so they don't drool. Birds are having beak reductions, cats are being defanged and some breeds of dogs are having unwanted hair removed with lasers. Although, as a bald man I must say that I never knew there was such a thing as “unwanted hair.”

Many dogs are having part of their larynx removed so they'll no longer be able to bark. So, now in addition to horse whisperers we have dog whisperers. There are millions of kids born with cleft palates and other impairments struggling to cope in this cruel world of ours while at the same time some pet owners are paying for facial implants so that their pets will look better. I swear we're going nuts.

Speaking of which... you aren't going to believe this. After having their male dogs neutered over 150,000 people have chosen to have testicular implants put in their pets which are designed to “give their neutered animals a more masculine look.” These implants are called Neuticles and they are supposed to give neutered pets more self-esteem. Veterinarians say it only takes minutes to insert Neuticles and one vet said that the procedure was so easy “it was like changing a light bulb.” Neuticles come in three sizes to fit dogs, horses and bulls, although you can't tell me that some dog owners aren't cheating and upgrading their pooches.

I suppose we in the livestock industry should not cast any stones because we have been known to do similar crazy stuff. I remember in the old days of showing cattle, in order to make the animals look more muscular, oil would be injected under their skin. Steers and heifers would be put under heat lamps to soften their fat and then their backs would be rolled with a rolling pin so they'd appear more blocky. These days steers are often kept in cold storage so they'll grow longer hair. Thirty years ago sheep jocks put Borax soap crystals in the lamb's wool to make the animal seem more muscular. I don't know if they still do that or not.

Some activists think things have gone too far when pets are undergoing liposuction. Movie stars in Hollywood tried to get a citywide ban on all elective surgery for pets. They want to ban tail docking and the defanging of pigs, although one would think there'd be no pigs in Hollywood, other than those who appear on the Jerry Springer show, of course. I believe that Hollywood was also the first city in the nation to ban the declawing of cats. This should not surprise anyone. Keep in mind that six years ago the residents of tinseltown passed a law that said that pets residing in Hollywood would no longer have “owners” but “human guardians” instead.

On one level I agree with the movie stars. I can see all this getting out of hand to the point that Jersey cows will have udder enlargements and Holsteins will be having breast reductions. Merino sheep will have their wrinkles removed with Botox, Berkshire hogs will have nose jobs and Appaloosas will undergo skin resurfacing. Large-girthed horses will have their stomachs stapled, Beagles will be Botoxed, Thoroughbreds will get tummy tucked and Chester Whites will undergo face lifts to raise their sagging jowls. Soon we'll be watching a reality TV show called Nipped, Tucked and Sucked featuring millionaire veterinarians who will also run disgusting ads in the newspaper about enlarging certain body parts. Vets will get so rich putting dentures in chickens, collagen into poor doing steers and big Neuticles into mules that you won't even be able to find a vet willing to come out to the ranch to preg check a common cow.


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