593 – Taking on the Taboos: Learn the Inside Story of Veterinary Procedures

Veterinay-Voice-Taking on the Taboos Learn the Inside Story of Veterinary Procedures

Taking on the Taboos: Learn the Inside Story of Veterinary Procedures

Dr. Marty Greer, DVM and host Laura Reeves take on the recently taboo subjects of veterinary procedures such as bark softening, tail docking, ear cropping and dewclaw removal. Greer covers the how, when and, importantly, WHY of these procedures.


Some people call it urban bark. Some people call it bark softening. It kind of gentrifies the term a little bit because you’re really not taking away the bark. You really are softening it. And there’s a lot of misconceptions about it. I’ve heard all kinds of stories about how cruel it is and how difficult the procedure is for the patient. And honestly, none of them are true.


I don’t see problems with the dewclaws coming off. I know there are people who feel that it weakens the carpal joint in the dog and I, to this day, have not seen a dog breakdown it’s Carpus and have difficulty with its carpal joint related to a declaw removal. We do see dewclaws that get torn off during hunting, during other kind of activities …. I actually haven’t seen any literature that suggests that they’ve got proof that (dewclaw removal) makes a difference.

Tail Dock

Nothing, nothing is more horrible than a broken, bleeding tail. Nothing. They crack them on the wall in the crate, in the kennel. And then they start to bleed. And then, oh my God, it looks like an axe murder happened in your house. It is unbelievable how much blood they can spray around from the end of their tail, and they’re very hard to bandage. They don’t heal very well, so they can be a real challenge.

There’s a lot of reasons that people do tails. It’s not just about breed type, it is really about function as well.

Watch Dr. Greer perform this simple procedure.

Ear Crop

Breed type is a big deal. If you don’t crop the ears on a Doberman, it doesn’t look like a Doberman.

I think we have to be really honest with ourselves that it’s about appearance, it’s about breed type. It’s primarily a cosmetic procedure and we have to be honest about it. But you have to decide what you’re breeding for because again, ear set and ear leather has changed because people don’t really pay attention to it.

In Closing

I will tell you that a lot of the procedures that (some folks) are telling people not to do are far less invasive and far more beneficial for the pet than spaying and neutering. Because why do we spay and neuter our dogs? Because we’re too lazy to control their sexual behavior. It’s not for their health. The American public has become complacent and will not (train) their dogs.


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