Surgical procedures can be needed for pets as well as people. Some are elective surgeries, which means that owners choose for their pets to have them because of the benefits that they offer. Other types of pet surgeries are carried out because they are necessary to restore the health and wellbeing of their animal, or to prevent further problems from developing.
Some types of pet surgery are more common than others. Here are some of the procedures that we most often perform.
Spay/neuter is the most common elective surgical procedure in the majority of veterinary practices. This popular and responsible surgery is carried out to prevent an animal from reproducing in the future, but it also has a number of other benefits. Spaying is the term used to describe the procedure in females, which involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries. However, neutering is a gender-neutral term for the removal of the reproductive organs in males and females. In male pets, it may also be termed ‘castration’ and involves removing the testes from the scrotum.
Neutering is always carried out using a general anesthetic to ensure that your pet remains completely still and in no pain throughout the procedure. Since the female reproductive organs are located internally, the surgery for females is more invasive and requires longer to recover from than males (unless the male pet has an undescended testicle).
Benefits of Neutering
Aside from the important role that neutering plays in preventing reproduction, which would add to the existing pet overpopulation crisis, there are also several other reasons why should make this procedure a priority when you become the parent of a new pet.
Many people are unaware that neutering can have significant benefits for their pet’s health. In females, spaying will eliminate the risk of uterine infections and some female cancers. It will also eliminate the risk of complications associated with pregnancy and birth and stop her going into heat – which can be messy and inconvenient. In males, removing the reproductive organs can prevent testicular cancer and problems with the prostate. Studies suggest that the earlier a pet is neutered, the greater the health benefits will be, so speak to your vet about scheduling an appointment for your furbaby as soon as they reach the appropriate age.
Neutering your pet can also have advantages for your pet. Females are less likely to be badgered by amorous males who are looking for a mate – something which can be extremely unpleasant for them. Your male is less likely to spray urine to mark his territory or roam to try and find a female.
Removal of Foreign Bodies
Animals are naturally curious creatures and the easiest way for them to explore the world around them is by sniffing, licking and sometimes eating the objects and substances that they come across. Unfortunately, sometimes this leads to them ingesting something that they shouldn’t and in some instances, these objects become stuck in your pet’s digestive system. If this happens, surgical removal may be necessary as it may not be able to pass through without causing your pet considerable damage.
Oncology (Cancer) Surgeries
Sadly, cancer affects animals just as often as it does humans. If your pet develops cancer, one of the most effective ways to treat it is to remove the cancerous cells. If this is possible, surgery will be needed to cut away the cancerous tissue or tumor. In addition to surgery, sometimes additional treatment in the form of chemotherapy or radiotherapy is needed to completely eradicate all traces of cancer.
Accidents and injuries can result in wounds, and sometimes these are so severe or large that surgical intervention is needed to repair the tissues. Your vet will be able to advise you if this is the case and what you can expect to happen to your pet. For example, burn treatment with skin grafting may be needed for an animal that has suffered a burn injury.
Skin lacerations are very common injuries that are sustained if your pet has a fall or is hit by a vehicle. If the skin is very badly damaged, your pet may need skin graft surgery to repair the damaged area of the body. There are also other reconstructive techniques that can be used to repair wounds and skin lacerations.
Orthopedic surgery refers to surgical procedures that are carried out in order to repair problems such as fractured/broken bones, torn ligaments and muscle, and other soft tissue damage. Orthopedic surgery is often needed in animals who suffer from arthritis and whose joints have started to degenerate. It is also more likely in some pets than others who have problems with their musculoskeletal systems. For example, certain breeds of dogs are prone to hip dysplasia and torn ACLs.
Pet surgeries may sound frightening, but when performed by trained and experienced professionals, they are very safe and can enhance the quality of your pet’s life or in some cases, even save it. To find out more, please speak to our compassionate and knowledgeable veterinary team at Harbor Veterinary Clinic in Ashtabula, OH.