Lifestyle & Belief

Fatal dog facelift prompts lawsuit


This photo taken on April 6, 2012 shows pedigree Tibetan mastiff dogs on display at a dog show in the town of Daxing near Beijing. The animals which have now become the world's most expensive are much prized in China where owning one is seen as a status symbol and a coal baron in northern China recently purchased one for ten million yuan (about 1,500,000 USD).


Mark Ralston

A case of pooch plastic surgery in China has gone horribly wrong for everyone involved.

A Chinese man is reportedly suing his veterinarian for 880,000 yuan (over $140,000) after his male Tibetan Mastiff died during a facelift aimed at making him "more attractive" to female mates. 

"The skin of my dog's head was very flabby, so I wanted to cut part of his forehead and straighten the skin. And also in this way, his hair would look longer as the rear part of the head will have more hair," the man, who goes by the name Yu, told the Global Times.  

"If my dog looks better, female dog owners will pay a higher price when they want to mate their dog with mine," he added, ever the reasonable pet owner.

The poor pup didn't make it through the surgery, suffering from a heart attack as a result of complications with the anesthetic, according to the Daily Mail

"A sad and absurd story," says GlobalPost's senior correspondent covering China, Benjamin Carlson.

He says Tibetan mastiffs have become big status symbols in China, primarily because of their expense.

"Unfortunately, that means they're sometimes viewed like any other commodity. The owner here evidently was just trying to improve the value of his 'investment' and ended up killing a $100,000 dog instead," Carlson says.

And now Yu wants the full price of his pup back; hence, the 880,000 yuan asking price, the South China Morning Post reported. After all, the breed has become the ultimate signal of wealth for many Chinese — in some cases, valued higher than a Lamborghini or mansion, according to millionaire dog breeder Li Yongfu.

Life lesson for you dog owners out there: no matter what the breed, canine facelifts are not the best idea.