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Dog in veterinary clinic after surgery.

Sometimes pets need to have surgery. While no pet owner looks forward to having their beloved family member go through any type of procedure, if you are at Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital, you’re in luck. When it comes to dog surgery, we are experts.

Common Causes for Dog Surgery

Veterinary surgery can be preventive to ward off trouble, or it can be reactive to fix or treat an existing problem. Dog surgery may also involve the soft tissues, the bones and joints (orthopedic surgery), or the teeth and gums. 

Almost all of our canine patients will undergo surgery at one time or another. Some of the more common procedures for pooches include:

  • Spay or neuter—We recommend most pets be spayed or neutered. Not only does this prevent unwanted litters, but it can also ward off health problems like mammary cancer, pyometra (uterine infection), prostatic hyperplasia, and testicular cancer. 
  • Gastropexy—For at-risk pets, tacking the stomach to the inside of the rib cage can be helpful to lessen the incidence of life-threatening gastric dilatation volvulus (bloat).
  • Mass removal or biopsy—Just like in people, growths and changes to normal tissues can occur. Often surgical removal and biopsy of a mass or collection of representative samples for biopsy is indicated in order to determine what treatments may be necessary.
  • Laceration repair—The surgical repair of traumatic wounds is often indicated in order to speed healing and minimize complications.
  • Abdominal surgery—Surgeries to remove a damaged or diseased spleen, address bladder stones, and to remove foreign bodies from that gastrointestinal tract are sometimes necessary to help a sick pet. 
  • Dental surgery—Beyond routine cleanings, surgical extraction of teeth and other procedures are sometimes required to support dental health.
  • Fracture repair—When a pet fractures a bone, stabilization with orthopedic equipment such as pins and wires may be needed to promote optimal healing. 
  • Cruciate ligament repair—A ruptured cranial cruciate ligament is a common injury in dogs. Stabilization of the knee joint through surgical means is almost always needed to keep the patient functional and pain free. 
  • Femoral head osteotomy (FHO)—When a hip joint is severely damaged, either due to trauma or congenital problems, sometimes an FHO can create a more comfortable situation for the patient. 

Know What to Expect

As an AAHA accredited hospital, you can expect the highest standard of care for your pet’s surgery. A dog surgery at our facility means:

  • A thorough pre-operative assessment by your pet’s surgeon
  • Blood tests to help identify underlying anesthetic concerns
  • Education for you as the pet owner about the procedure and potential complications
  • Intravenous catheter placement for fluid administration during surgery and quick access in case of emergency
  • Intubation to protect your pet’s airway and make anesthesia safer
  • An individualized anesthetic protocol for your pet and their unique needs
  • Support to maintain normal body temperature
  • Proactive pain management
  • Dedicated monitoring of your pet before, during, and after surgery

While no anesthesia is ever without risk, you can trust that your pet is in good hands and that we take every opportunity to make things as safe as possible for each patient. 

Helping Your Pup Recover

It can take a little time for a pet to recover postsurgically. In the hospital after the procedure, we monitor your pet closely so that any post-anesthetic complications can be caught and addressed quickly. As soon as your pet is stable and is no longer in need of hospitalized attention, we will release them to your care to recover at home

It can be a little intimidating to take over your pet’s care, but we will take some time to go over their care instructions with you. You will receive instruction regarding:

  • How to feed your pet
  • Recommendations for exercise and restrictions
  • Medication administration
  • Managing post-op pain
  • Incision or bandage care including the use of an Elizabethan collar or surgical suit
  • Follow-up visits
  • Reasons to be concerned

Don’t forget that you are your pet’s advocate. If you have questions or concerns or simply don’t understand something, please don’t hesitate to ask us. Dog surgery can be a little stress-inducing, no matter what procedure is done. Our goal is to make it as easy and worry free as possible for both you and your pup.