PET SURGERY PROCEDURES
Surgical procedures are often a necessary component of your pet’s health care plan. My Best Friend Veterinary Center provides the highest quality surgical care, recovery, and pain management for your pet. Our veterinary clinic offers state-of-the-art surgical and anesthetic equipment to perform a variety of surgical procedures.
Dog and Cat Surgery Process
We know that surgery can cause a lot of anxiety, and we are devoted to providing a reassuring and compassionate experience for you and your pet! Prior to surgery, your pet undergoes a full physical examination; we use this examination to develop an anesthesia protocol specifically for your pet. For most pets, we also run preoperative blood work to rule out underlying health conditions and make sure they are suitable candidates for anesthesia.
To prevent post-surgical infections and cross-contamination, surgeries are performed in a sterile surgical room. Our staff takes all necessary precautions, and surgical instruments are carefully cleaned, sterilized, and wrapped prior to each procedure to help prevent infections.
During surgery, your pet’s vital signs, oxygen levels, and heart rate are monitored using advanced monitoring equipment. A trained veterinary assistant will constantly monitor your pet’s vital signs throughout the procedure. After surgery, we observe your pet closely to make sure they’ve recovered from anesthesia and that their body temperature returns to normal. They are also given pain-management medications to keep them comfortable.
Once we are done, the doctor will call you to let you know how the procedure went and when you may pick up your pet. Your veterinary technician will go over post-surgical medications and other instructions with you.
Veterinary Surgical Services We Perform
Spay and Neuter
Spaying and neutering your dog or cat is not only a preventive measure to avoid raising a litter of your own puppies and kittens, but it’s critical for their health too. Physical health benefits associated with spay (ovariohysterectomy) and neuter (castration) in pets include reduced risk for mammary and testicular cancer, as well as life-threatening uterine and prostate problems. Just as importantly, spaying and neutering can also prevent or help with a variety of behavioral problems as well. We understand that all pets are different and that the timing of your pet’s spay or neutering procedure will vary with breed, size, and other factors. Our veterinarians can help make sure the surgery is done at the right age to ensure he/she has the best outcome. Learn more about our spay and neuter services.
Pet Teeth Cleaning
Just like humans, pets need routine dental care to keep them comfortable and prevent dental disease. Unlike humans, pets need to be placed under general anesthesia for us to be able to perform a cleaning, take X-rays, and perform any necessary extractions—that’s why, even if no extractions are required, this procedure is treated like a surgical procedure. Learn more about our dog and cat dental cleaning services.
Advanced Pet Surgeries
Some of the other more advanced surgical procedures we perform include:
- Tumor & mass removals – Most pets will develop a lump or a bump on internal or external tissue during their lifespan. Many types of skin tags, skin masses, and tumors can be treated or even cured with surgical removal. Removing the mass allows your veterinarian to send it to a laboratory for further diagnostic testing to determine whether the mass is malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). Some types of skin tumors can spread or grow back in the same spot, that’s why it is important to frequently examine your pet.
- Cystotomies (bladder stone removal) – This surgical procedure involves making an incision into the urinary bladder to facilitate the removal of bladder stones.
- Hernia repair – A hernia is a collection of intestine, fat, and sometimes other internal organs that escape the abdominal cavity. Most hernias will require surgery to put the organs back into place and repair the hole or tear.
- Gastropexy – This surgical procedure is often performed in large breed dogs and involves surgically attaching the stomach to the body wall to prevent volvulus, which occurs when parts of the digestive tract twists around itself.
- Amputations – Limb amputation is often the best way to relieve a pet’s suffering if it has a debilitating and painful disease, a bone that cannot be repaired, or tissue damage that is too extensive to heal. The limb should be amputated close to the body so the remaining portion will not be subject to repeated trauma and interfere with movement.
- Vulvoplasty – Also known as episioplasty, this surgical procedure involves removing excess folds of skin that cover the vulva (the external genital organs of the female) which often leads to urinary issues.
- Enucleation (eye removal) – This surgical procedure involves removing the eye and sewing the eyelids closed. This may be the best treatment if your pet’s eye is injured beyond repair, has a cancer growing on or inside the eye, or is constantly painful due to a condition such as severe glaucoma.
- Cherry eye repair – Cats and dogs, along with many other mammals, have third eyelids that are located inside their lower eyelids. These third eyelids are known as nictitating membranes and when they prolapse they cause a medical condition that is commonly referred to as “cherry eye” because the prolapsed gland appears as a red mass that protrudes from behind the third eyelid. Repositioning the prolapsed third eyelid through surgery can repair the condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes you different from other facilities that do surgery?
Our cost includes the surgery/dental procedure, dental X-rays, fluid therapy, pain management, anesthesia, etc. Other places may charge/quote those separately.
- Each pet receives a physical exam prior to surgery.
- Preoperative bloodwork (within three months prior) is required for all procedures because we believe it is necessary to make sure your pet is safe to undergo an anesthetic procedure.
- A trained surgery technician stays with your pet the whole time monitoring vital signs, reflexes, pain, respiration, etc.
- We place IV catheters on every pet to provide fluid therapy during surgery to help stabilize blood pressure. This also gives us quick access to a vein if we need to give your pet medications.
- We use medications for the “premedication,” “induction,” and postoperative parts of the procedure that are more expensive than other options because we believe them to be the best for your pet.
- We closely monitor pets as they are waking up from anesthesia, sometimes to the extent of being in the kennel or running with them if necessary.
- We provide heat support throughout surgery and during recovery.
- The pets also have pain management during their surgery, which then continues through recovery.
- Anesthesia is tailored to your pet based on their age, special medical conditions, breed, and what surgery they are getting.
Why does my pet have to fast for surgery?
They are fasted to reduce the risk of regurgitation and aspiration (inhalation of the particles). If they regurgitate during or after the procedure, it could lead to food/liquid entering their lungs and causing pneumonia.
Why is my pet’s front leg shaved?
The leg is shaved to allow the placement of an IV catheter.
Why do you place an IV catheter?
A catheter is used to administer the induction medications and administer fluids during surgery, which helps stabilize blood pressure. It also gives us quick access to a vein in case we need to administer additional medications during surgery. This is considered part of the standard of care for us.
Why is my pet coughing after surgery & how long will it last?
We insert an endotracheal tube into your pet’s throat to deliver gas anesthesia. Sometimes the tube may cause irritation to the throat, but it should subside after 4-5 days.
Why do you take dental radiographs?
The teeth we see in our pets’ mouths are only 30-40% of the actual tooth, a large portion of the tooth extends below the gumline. Dental radiographs allow us to see under the surface of the gums, as well as through the tooth, helping us identify issues such as abscesses, fractures, hurt ligaments, etc. This is instrumental in not only helping us determine which teeth may need to be removed but also often lead us to make the decision to keep teeth and use other methods to treat them. We examine your pet’s mouth in three ways and each gives us different information. Looking at the mouth, examining with tools, and radiographs.
Why would you recommend tooth extractions and what happens if we leave the tooth in?
When fully examining your pet’s mouth and teeth, we are looking for current issues and those that may affect your pet in the near future. Oftentimes, ignoring those problem areas and leaving those teeth in could cause them to worsen and cause your pet pain, lead to infection, and even cause them to stop eating. Your pet will then require another surgery that could have been avoided by removing the problem areas when they are initially seen.
Why do we need to wait to pick our pets up after surgery?
Your pet’s ability to fully wake up from anesthesia could take several hours. During this time, we closely monitor your pet (respirations, temperature, heart rate, pain, etc) and provide heat support so they wake up safely and comfortably. If your pet is at home, we are unable to provide your pet with the support they need should anything unpredicted occur. This is why we believe it is important that we provide professional monitoring until we can be sure it is safe for your pet to return home.
Veterinary Surgery Center
Our commitment to excellent care is what makes My Best Friend Veterinary Center your trusted choice in pet surgical procedures. If you need to discuss surgical options or schedule surgery for your cat or dog, contact us today. Our highly experienced veterinary surgeons are here to answer your questions and address any concerns.