At some point in our pet’s lives, they will likely need surgery – whether it is for a simple spay or neuter, or something more serious. Knowing what types of surgeries are available and performed by a qualified veterinarian professional gives you peace of mind, should your furry friend ever need it.

What are Some of the Most Common Surgeries Needed by Pets?

Any certified, professional vet – whether they work in a clinic or a veterinary hospital – should be able to perform these common surgeries, should your pet ever need them:

  • Spay and neuter – this is recommended for all pets, unless you are keeping them for breeding purposes.
  • Surgical ACL repair – a common injury for dogs, this fixes any torn ligaments or ACL. It stabilizes the bones and reduces risk of future injury.
  • Dental surgery – bacteria that build up in the teeth can spread to the heart, liver, or other organs, so dental cleaning is often needed. Or if they have trouble eating, tooth removal or other dental work is required.
  • Removal of skin masses – as your pet ages, they may develop masses just underneath their skin that are most often benign, but should still be removed so that they remain healthy.
  • Surgery for cancer – a pet owner’s biggest worry, but unfortunately is all too common. Just like with humans, pets can get many different types of cancer, not least of which is liver, spleen, intestinal or peritoneum cancer.

What Kind of Small Animal Surgeries do Veterinarians Perform?

There is a wide array of other types of routine and specialized surgeries that a qualified veterinarian may perform. Surgery for diagnosis is one – it’s a (usually) minimally invasive exploratory surgery to check for such irregularities as lumps or masses, and is used as a diagnostic tool.

While there are too many to list here, other routine surgeries include:

  • Abdominal – to repair or remove any part of the animal’s lower abdominal cavity
  • Gastrointestinal – including colon/rectal, live, gall bladder, pancreas, or lower intestinal problems
  • Head/neck – can include ear abnormalities or blockages, oral, upper respiratory
  • Arthroscopy – exploratory surgery to diagnose problems with joints
  • Neurologic – to look for and/or repair nerve damage
  • Orthopedic – bone fracture repair or non-fracture joint problems
  • Skin reconstructive – skin abnormalities or skin graphs
  • Thoracic – cardiovascular, lung or esophagus problems
  • Urogenital – prostate, reproductive, urinary tract issues

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, rather it is a general list of common procedures that a pet may have to undergo at some point in their lives. Indeed, some pets may never need surgery other than the routine spay or neuter.

As an aside, anesthesia is used on most any surgery, so that your pet does not experience any pain. In addition, post-surgical care is very important, so it is imperative that when you bring your pet home that you follow all of the vet’s instructions very carefully to ensure your pet has a comfortable and speedy recovery.



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