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Push to stop dog devocalization surgery

By Eric Singer, Anchor/Reporter , e.singer@krdo.com
Published On: Nov 27 2012 08:36:08 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 27 2012 11:33:31 AM CST

Vets with reaction to petition push to stop dog devocalization surgery.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo -

There's a huge online push to stop devocalization surgery on dogs.   Basically, it stop dogs from excessive barking.   Veterinarian, Dr. Gretchen Kassameyer from Cheyenne Mountain Animal Hospital explained to me how the surgery works, "What specialists essentially do is scar down the vocal folds so you're not getting the vocalization that makes the noise."

Dr. Kassameyer is not in favor of the procedure. and tells me it's rarely done in Southern Colorado.   She believes that appropriate training and other behavior modification should be initially done to stop the excessive barking of your dog.  However she also believes, "I think this is an issue between a dog owner and a veterinarian to find out what's best for the dog.  Sometimes it's the best option for the dog.  If it means euthanasia, I'm going to recommend the surgery every time.  

Veterinarian, Dr. Susan Bloss adopted Pete, six months ago.  He is a big dog with a big barking problem.  Dr. Bloss told me, "It's been a challenge for him for basic manners and his barking."  She's worked with Pete to teach him what's appropriate to bark at and what is not acceptable barking.  As far as devocalization surgery, Dr. Bloss is in agreement with her colleague, "Barking is best managed behaviorally, but if it can't be done with behavior modification, it's a viable option." 

The online petition is nearly 140-thousand signatures strong to send a message to the American Veterinary Medical Association to stop this procedure.  Currently, Massachusetts is the only state that has banned the procedure.  I've put a link to the petition on our front page, links we mentioned.

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