By Spooky on January 3rd, 2024 Category: Animals
Chinese media reports that a growing number of pet owners are putting their animals through painful cosmetic procedures in order to give them rounded ears inspired by Mickey Mouse.
Most cats and dogs have naturally pointy or droopy ears, but a new disturbing trend sweeping through China these days has pet owners ignoring common sense and their animals’ physical and mental well-being for the promise of stylish ‘Mickey Ears’. Apparently, some shady pet clinics will slice part of the animal’s ears off to achieve the Mickey Mouse look, but there are also a variety of special clamps available online for pet owners disturbed enough to perform the procedure themselves. Recent coverage of this bizarre trend sparked controversy online, with most of the general public urging authorities to ban the ‘Mickey Ears’ procedure and punish those who would torture defenseless animals purely for cosmetic purposes.
Hong Kong-based newspaper the South China Morning Post recently posted an article on the ‘Mickey Ears’ cosmetic procedure trend. It focused on an advertisement for a pet clinic in Chongqing which promised customers a discount on the procedure if booked by the Chinese Spring Festival. Shockingly enough, such procedures are perfectly legal in China, although most reputable veterinarians do consider the ethical implications and refuse to perform them.
“It is rarely performed in pet hospitals in tier-one cities but is common in dog kennels and breeding facilities. Currently, there are no legal restrictions on this surgery in China. It’s a moral issue, Liu Yundong, a dean at Loving Care International Pet Medical Centre in Beijing, told SCMP. “As veterinarians, we adhere to the principle of animal welfare and do not advocate these surgeries. The colleagues I’ve encountered are tacitly opposed to such surgeries.”
Liu added that the surgical procedure is a two-step process. The first stage involves the cutting and shaping of the pet’s ears and takes about half an hour, while the second stage takes between 20 and 60 days and ensures that the ears remain upright. The entire experience can be extremely traumatic for animals and can leave them with physical and psychological sequelae.
“Damaging the natural structure of the ears can cause psychogenic problems in some pets. For instance, some sensitive pets may scratch repeatedly due to excessive pain,” Chen Yong, a veterinarian from Shenzhen Lianhe Pet Hospital, warned.
It turns out that shady pet clinics aren’t the only way to give your pet Mickey Ears. Sohu News reports that a simple online search reveals dozens of online sellers offering DIY clamps based on the hemostatic forceps design. Most of them reportedly don’t even have the necessary license to sell veterinary equipment, but they’ve been getting away with it so far.