Surgery for Cats & Dogs
At Burlington Veterinary Emergency & Referral Hospital, our veterinary surgeons offer comprehensive procedures ranging from elective surgery for sports medicine patients to ocular procedures, mass removal, total hip replacement and open-heart surgery.
Veterinary surgeries are performed using operative technology, with support staff available to our surgical patients.
Our surgical specialists will conduct a thorough examination based on your pet's health issues and recommend diagnostic tests and procedures. We will discuss risks and anticipated outcomes with you so you are kept fully informed about your pet's health.
Board-Certified Veterinary Surgeons
To become a certified specialist, a veterinary surgeon has to undergo additional training after veterinary school. Their primary focus is on surgery so you can assure that your pet's surgical needs are well taken care of.Meet Our Specialty Veterinarians
What to Expect with Veterinary Surgery
At Burlington Veterinary Emergency & Referral Hospital, our surgical centre is equipped with surgical instrumentation and equipment. Everything we do, every decision we make, is designed to ensure post-operative success for your pet.
What is a C-Section?
A C-section (or cesarean) is major surgery. It involves the removal of puppies or kittens from the uterus of a dog or cat.
C-sections are often performed in emergency cases where an animal will not be able to safely give birth through natural means.
The recovery from a C-section is usually quite quick and complications are rare.
Preparing for a C-Section
If it is possible to do so safely, you should consider bathing your pet in the days leading up to the surgery. It may be a while until you are able to do so again once the surgery is complete. Bathing your pet before the surgery also mean that she will already be clean for the surgery itself and once she begins caring for her new puppies or kittens.
Your pet may eat the night before a C-section, but not the morning of the procedure. Water is fine right up until your appointment, as are any medications your pet has to take along with a small amount of food to encourage her to take it. Make sure you discontinue the use of any topical flea or tick products in the week leading up to the surgery.
Your vet will provide specific instructions for pre-operation well in advance.
Home Care After a C-Section
After a C-section, the new mother and her babies should be closely watched for the first 24 hours to make sure the babies are safe.
You will need to stay up overnight and place the puppies or kittens on the teats of your pet to make sure they feed. This will also help the mother's natural hormones to kick in and encourage her mothering instincts.
You should make sure the environment around the newborns and mother is warm and dry. Ideally, this involves lots of towels and a source of warmth that is safe for them to be around. Replace the towels as they become wet.
Make sure there is always food and water available, new mothers need up to 3 times their regular amounts of food and water to produce milk for their children.
Keep a close eye on the mother's surgical wound. Monitor for signs of infection like swelling or redness and make sure the area stays clean.
Keeping their bed clean will also reduce the risk of infection, as will checking the umbilical cords for redness or swelling.
What is Dental Surgery?
Dental surgery is any surgical procedure, which addresses oral health issues experienced by your pet.
Routine dental health care, both at home and at annual appointments, is the best way to ensure your pet's oral health.
However, our expert staff also offers surgical services in order to restore your companion's dental health and treat a wide range of issues, from tooth decay to gum disease.
Common Dental Conditions
Some common health issues which may require dental surgery to treat are as follows:
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Tooth decay
- Severe gum disease (periodontitis)
- Jaw fractures
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint) luxation or dysplasia
- Feline stomatitis
Dental Surgery FAQs
Home Care After a Dental Surgery
After dental surgery has been completed and your vet has decided they don't require any further in-hospital monitoring, it will be time for your pet to come home.
Depending on the kind of dental surgery your pet underwent, they will have different needs. First and foremost, you should follow the post-operative care instructions provided to you by your vet. If you cannot remember, you can always contact them to ask.
Your pet may require pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications and will also need plenty of rest. As a rule, try and prevent your pet from undertaking too much physical activity for 48 hours after their procedure.
And since dental surgery may make your pet's mouth sensitive and prone to injury or infection while it heals, it is important to follow your vet's instructions closely when it comes to feeding and watering your companion.
If your pet is not eating, is rubbing its mouth, or is showing signs of infection like swelling or bleeding, contact your Burlington Veterinary Emergency & Referral Hospital staff as soon as possible.
Ophthalmology & Ocular Procedures
What are ocular procedures for cats and dogs?
Some of the most common ocular procedures we perform for cats and dogs at Burlington Veterinary Emergency & Referral Hospital include cataract surgery, entropion surgery, ectropion surgery, eyelid tumor removal, cherry eye surgery, and exenteration of the orbit.
We are fully equipped for complete ophthalmic examinations, diagnostics and advanced ophthalmic surgical procedures.
Symptoms of Eye Problems in Cats & Dogs
We can diagnose and treat the following symptoms:
- Increased Tear Production
- Visible Third Eyelid
- Corneal Cloudiness
- Dilated Pupils
- Obviously Enlarged Eye
Common Eye Problems in Pets
Some of the most common eye problems we treat include:
- Corneal Ulcers
- Vision Loss
What is orthopedic surgery?
Orthopedic surgery for pets consists of surgical procedures that address the joints, skeletal system and their associated soft tissues, including muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
Our advanced imaging and diagnostic tools help us provide orthopedic diagnoses.
Common Orthopedic Conditions
There is a wide range of orthopedic conditions that affect cats and dogs. The following are among the most common:
Hip dysplasia is the medical term for a hip socket that doesn't fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone, allowing the hip joint to become partially or completely dislocated. It is most common in German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and other large breed dogs.
Total hip replacement is the most effective surgical treatment for hip dysplasia. The surgeon replaces the entire joint with metal and plastic implants, returning hip function to a more normal range.
Cruciate Ligament Tears
Torn cruciate ligaments in dogs, just like in people, must be surgically repaired to prevent arthritis. There are many different types of surgical procedures that can be used to repair this injury, and the type used typically depends on the size of the dog.
CCL surgery for dogs may include a number of different techniques that aim to provide stability to the joint.
The patella (knee cap) lies in a cartilaginous groove at the end of the femur at the stifle. A luxating patella occurs when the knee cap moves out of its natural position. Knee cap problems are common in many dog breeds, both large and small.
Surgery is recommended for animals that have significant lameness as a result of luxating patellas, with the goal of keeping the patella in its appropriate location at all times.
Just like humans, dogs can develop disc problems in their neck and backs. Breeds that commonly suffer from neck disc problems are Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Dachshunds and Lhasa Apsos. Large breed dogs are more likely to have chronic lower back issues.
Dogs with advanced disc disease should have surgery as soon as possible. The sooner that surgery is done, the better the prognosis.
Soft Tissue Surgery
What are soft tissue surgical procedures?
Soft tissue surgery encompasses the majority of surgical procedures that are not in the sphere of Orthopedic Surgery.
We offer soft tissue surgical procedures for dogs and cats suffering from ear, nose and throat disorders, as well as cardiothoracic, hepatic, gastrointestinal, urogenital, skin and oncological disorders.
Soft Tissue Procedures At Burlington Veterinary Emergency & Referral Hospital
Our experienced, compassionate veterinarians will strive to make your pet's surgical procedure comfortable and stress-free for your pet, and for you, too.
We'll talk you through each step of the process, including preparation and proper post-operative care, and ensure that you have all the details you need to make the right choices for your pet.
Soft Tissue Surgery FAQs
Spaying & Neutering
What is spaying and neutering?
Both spaying and neutering refer to the surgical sterilization of an animal under general anesthesia.
Spaying is the surgical procedure for female animals. Technically known as an ovariohysterectomy, spaying removes a female's reproductive organs.
Neutering, or orchiectomy, removes the testicles from male pets and is considered a simpler surgery than a spay. The term 'neutering' can also, in some cases, refer to the desexing or 'fixing' of either gender.
Benefits For Cats
There are 6 key benefits of spaying or neutering your cat:
- It curbs naughty behaviours, like spraying to mark territory.
- Neutered cats are less likely to stray from home.
- Your cat may become more affectionate.
- It reduces the risk of your cat contracting certain diseases.
- It decreases the risk of uterine infection in female cats.
- It may decrease the risk of mammary (breast) cancer.
Benefits For Dogs
There are 5 key benefits of spaying or neutering your dog:
- It reduces the risk of prostate and other cancers.
- It reduces marking and spraying issues.
- It stabilizes the mood of the dog.
- It reduces the mating urge.
- It can reduce sexualized behaviors.
Spaying & Neutering FAQs
Tibial Tuberosity Advancement
What is Tibial Tuberosity Advancement?
Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) is a surgery used to treat cranial cruciate ligament rupture in the stifle (knee) joints of dogs.
It involves cutting the top of the shin bone, moving it forward, and stabilizing it in its new position.
The goal of TTA surgery is to make the knee stable for the dog when bearing weight, without directly repairing the ligament.
Is my dog a candidate for TTA?
TTA is only performed when the benefits of surgery outweigh the possible risks for the dog, and in cases where alternative, less invasive treatment methods have been unsuccessful. It is most often performed on medium and large breed dogs.
Candidates for TTA surgery are dogs with a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament that experience lameness and stifle joint instability. Dogs that are young and/or those that have ruptured both of their ligaments are particularly good candidates.
What are TTA's benefits?
TTA is a popular choice for cranial cruciate ligament injuries because it allows dogs to recover very rapidly.
The strength and stability of the implant means that they can use their legs very soon after the operation.
Dogs tend to feel much better and return to normal exercise and activity in a very short period of time after the procedure.
This also means your dog will experience a much shorter duration for post-operative care and physiotherapy.