What Are Common Pet Surgical Procedures?

As a pet owner, understanding your furry friend’s healthcare needs is essential to ensure they live a happy, healthy life. Sometimes, this includes surgery, which can be both a worrisome and curious topic. Whether it’s a routine procedure or something more complex, knowing what types of surgeries are common among pets can help you be more prepared for what to expect. Let’s take a look at some common surgical procedures performed on pets.

1. Spaying and Neutering

Spaying and neutering are essential surgeries for pets, offering numerous benefits beyond birth control. Here’s a closer look at what happens during these procedures:

  1. Spaying (Females): Spaying, also known as ovariohysterectomy, involves the surgical removal of a female animal’s ovaries and often the uterus. The procedure is typically performed while the animal is under general anesthesia. By removing these reproductive organs, spaying prevents the animal from becoming pregnant and giving birth to unwanted litters of puppies or kittens. 

  2. Neutering (Males): Neutering, also known as castration or orchidectomy, involves the surgical removal of a male animal’s testicles. Like spaying, neutering is typically performed under general anesthesia. By removing the testicles, neutering prevents the male animal from impregnating females and contributing to overpopulation. 

Many vet clinics provide comprehensive services tailored to the needs of growing pets, including vaccinations, wellness checks, and preventive care such as spaying and neutering. For top-notch puppy and kitten care, it is important to visit a clinic that specializes in these age groups, such as the one found on this site, https://www.carrollcountyah.com/site/veterinary-services-carrollton/puppies-kittens, where young pets can receive the care and attention they need during their formative months.

2. Dental Surgery

Pets need dental care, too, and dental issues can lead to or signal other health problems. Regular dental check-ups can spot issues early, but sometimes surgical intervention is needed to fix or prevent serious conditions. 

This is where pet dental care comes in – it is an area of veterinary medicine focusing on the oral health of your furry friends. Dental surgeries can range from tooth extractions for irreparably damaged teeth to more complex procedures like repairing jaw fractures or addressing periodontal disease.

3. Mass Removals

It’s not uncommon for pets to develop lumps or masses under their skin. These can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), and surgical removal is often recommended to prevent growth or spread and for a definitive diagnosis. During surgery, veterinarians will remove the mass along with a margin of healthy tissue to ensure complete removal.

4. Orthopedic Surgeries

Orthopedic surgeries play a crucial role in addressing musculoskeletal issues and injuries in pets. Here are some common orthopedic procedures performed in veterinary medicine:

  • Cruciate Ligament Repairs: The cranial cruciate ligament (similar to the anterior cruciate ligament in humans) is prone to injury in dogs, particularly larger breeds. Tears or ruptures of this ligament can cause instability and lameness in the affected limb. Two common surgical techniques used to address cruciate ligament injuries in dogs are Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) and Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA). These procedures aim to stabilize the knee joint and restore normal function by altering the mechanics of the joint.

  • Fracture Repairs: Fractures are relatively common in pets and can occur due to trauma, falls, or accidents. Depending on the location and severity of the fracture, surgical intervention may be necessary to realign the broken bones and facilitate proper healing. Fracture repairs typically involve the use of pins, plates, screws, or external fixation devices to stabilize the fractured bones and promote optimal healing.

  • Hip Dysplasia Treatments: Hip dysplasia is a developmental condition characterized by abnormal formation of the hip joint, leading to instability, pain, and degenerative changes over time. In cases where conservative management (such as medication and physical therapy) is insufficient, surgical intervention may be recommended. One surgical option for treating hip dysplasia is Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO), which involves removing the femoral head (the ball of the hip joint). This procedure aims to alleviate pain and improve mobility by eliminating the source of friction and discomfort in the hip joint.

An important aspect to consider is finding a skilled surgical team. For instance, if you are looking for an orthopedic vet in Carrollton, GA, it’s crucial to choose a clinic with a reputation for excellent care and expertise in orthopedic procedures. These vets specialize in surgeries involving bones, joints, and muscles—key areas that can significantly affect your pet’s quality of life.

5. Foreign Object Removal

Pets are curious creatures, and sometimes, that curiosity can lead to them swallowing things they shouldn’t. When objects get stuck or cause a blockage, surgery might be the only way to remove them safely. Vets can perform either endoscopy, using a flexible tube with a camera, or open surgery, which involves directly opening the respective part of the body to extract the item.

6. Eye Surgery

Eyes are as delicate for our pets as they are for us. Common eye surgeries include:

  • Entropion repair to fix eyelids that roll inward

  • Cataract removal to restore vision

  • Enucleation for severe conditions that may require eye removal

7. Emergency Surgeries

Sometimes, unexpected issues require emergency surgery. This can include addressing severe trauma, twisted stomachs in larger breeds (gastric dilatation-volvulus), or sudden severe Infections like pyometra in female pets. These situations require swift, decisive action to save your pet’s life.

Post-Surgical Care

So, your pet has had surgery. What comes next is just as important as the procedure itself—post-surgical care. This can involve managing pain, preventing infections, ensuring proper wound care, and sometimes physical therapy for recovery. You’ll need to follow your vet’s instructions carefully to promote healing and prevent complications.

Final Thoughts

Now that you are familiar with some of the common pet surgical procedures, you’ll be better equipped to discuss options with your vet. Remember that each pet is unique, and the need for surgery will depend on a variety of factors, including breed, age, and overall health. Selecting an experienced vet and a reputable clinic is crucial to ensuring the best outcomes for your pet.