More Pets Having Plastic Surgery

Nips, tucks and testicular implants aren't just for people.

ByABC News
August 17, 2011, 11:54 AM

Aug. 18, 2011— -- Munson, a burly 7-year-old English bulldog, has a secret: His testicles are fake.

Neutered as a puppy, Munson (named after Larry Munson of Georgia Bulldog fame) got a pair of synthetic stand-ins to preserve his manly pride. Not his idea, of course, but his owner's.

"A lot of dogs have a lot of hair back there so you can't tell they're neutered. But with bulldogs, it's just right out there for everyone to see," said Jaime Davenport of Atlanta, whose husband, Jim, stood up for Munson's mojo.

Over dinner with a veterinarian friend, the Davenports learned about Neuticals -- bean-shaped silicone implants swapped in through a tiny scrotal slit during the neutering procedure. The vet even had a catalog detailing faux sets from "petite" to "XXL."

"We were just hysterical," said Davenport. But her husband was sold. And for $99, Munson got a shiny new pair of testicles.

While cosmetic procedures such as ear cropping and tail docking have petered out, plastic surgery for dogs continues to boom -- most of it, Munson's testicles aside, for medical reasons.

"We don't usually do things for cosmetic reasons in pets, there's usually a medical reason," said Idaho-based veterinarian Marty Becker.

With the famously high-maintenance bulldog breaking into the nation's top 10 registered breeds, those medical reasons are mounting. The breed's deep skin folds are prone to infection, and their flattened noses and pillowy soft palates can complicate breathing (not to mention cause loud snoring).

But a tummy tuck or a nose job can have dogs and their owners resting easy. Becker has even used Botox to relax tight puppy wrinkles, he said.