Plastic surgery for dogs is the hottest thing in Hollywood right now, and many practitioners are struggling to keep up. Not so Dr Michael Sag, a leading plastic surgeon who predicted the trend over a decade ago and runs the wildly successful Canine Cosmetic Clinic.
So what kinds of procedures are on offer at the C.C.C., and who is getting them?
"The number one request," says Dr Sag, "is for our Shar Pei Total Body Lift. We eliminate all the excess fat and skin and tighten the entire body, including the head, for that smooth, youthful appearance. Best of all, once the coat grows back there are no unsightly scars. Almost as popular is our Pug and Bulldog Face Reconstruction. By removing the wrinkles, lifting the eyelids and creating a prosthetic snout, we can give your dog that Cavoodle look that is so in at the moment."
Dr Sag is creating a buzz with a new technique he calls Bitch to Bitch. "Many of our A-list clients want a dog that looks like them, and thanks to plastic surgery this is now more achievable than ever. In fact, by operating on the owner and their dog simultaneously, we can fashion a remarkable likeness using the owner's offcuts. We are also making great advances in doggy dentistry. A 'Julia Roberts' smile has become the latest must-have accessory. It's not that difficult really; some laser teeth whitening, a quick file down of the canines and you're on your way."
It all sounds very impressive, but Dr Sag didn't earn the nickname 'Medical Maverick' by resting on his laurels. "We are the only clinic in the world offering leg lengthening surgery for Daschunds," he says proudly. "By smashing and stretching the tibias over a period of 9 months we are able to add an incredible 2 inches of height."
It seems Dr Sag has scaled his own incredible heights with his work at the C.C.C., but he remains refreshingly modest about his achievements. "At the end of the day," he says, "We're just fixing dogs' flaws and making them feel better about themselves. It's not brain surgery. Although that could be an option down the line."