Surgery

Surgery as a specialty means our team is expertly trained to address emergency and referral procedures, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

With a 24/7 emergency room and 25,000 patients a year, surgery is an inevitable part of the job. Luckily for our community, we have 3 surgical specialists and 24/7 coverage. 

Our common surgical procedures: 

  • Abdominal, thoracic and musculoskeletal emergency surgery
  • Subcutaneous ureteral bypass
  • Elective orthopedic procedures (TPLO, MPL, etc.)
  • Oncologic surgery
  • Complex would management and reconstruction
  • Vacuum Assisted Closure (VAC)
  • Endoscopy
  • Gastrointestinal and respiratory foreign body retrieval and biopsy
  • Tracheal and urethral stenting
  • Cystoscopy and urethroscopy
  • Upper airway surgery

If you have questions about a potential surgical referral, please call us. 

 

What should your clients expect? 

Our team is made up of animal lovers who are naturally kind and affectionate towards their patients, making the animals and the families that love them comfortable. Beyond TLC, what is a typical surgical visit like for your patients and their families?

Recovery takes time.

Surgical patients stay in our ICU for a monitored recovery. Our team will help their owners understand the post-op recovery requirements and will arm them with discharge instructions. 

Visitors are welcome. 

We know that pets are part of the family, and it can be stressful for everyone to be separated. Our patients' families are welcome to visit, but we appreciate them calling prior to arrival so we can schedule the best 30-minute visit possible. 

 

Schedule an Appointment

Contact the hospital immediately in an emergency. Mon-Fri appts., 24/7 emergency coverage.

About Our Board-Certified Team

With three board-certified surgeons, we have a 24/7 surgical schedule. Meet our highly trained surgical team who work hand-in-hand with our radiologist, cardiologist, criticalists, internist and ICU/ER veterinarians for the best possible treatment and recovery plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is anesthesia dangerous?

We take every precaution to make sure your pet is as safe as possible while in our care. Just as in people, there is always a risk when a pet undergoes general anesthesia, but modern monitoring equipment and medications have made anesthetic complications much less likely than in the past. Before your pet’s procedure, we will perform a physical exam and pre-anesthetic blood work, as well as any additional diagnostics necessary to evaluate your pet’s health. This enables your surgical team to anticipate and mitigate potential anesthetic complications. In addition, your pet will be closely monitored one-on-one with advanced monitoring equipment throughout the entire procedure. Your pet will wake up from anesthesia in our Intensive Care Unit, where he or she will be cared for by a highly trained medical team throughout recovery. Specific risks related to your pet’s condition may exist and will be discussed with you at the time of your consultation. 

Do I need a referral?

You do not need a referral to schedule a consultation with the DoveLewis surgical department. However, if your pet has been evaluated by another veterinarian for the same condition we recommend bringing any records pertaining to your previous visit. This will assist our surgeons in creating the most informed plan for your pet. 

Will my pet be in pain after surgery?

Animals experience pain just as people do, so although your pet may not show obvious symptoms of discomfort, a surgical procedure will involve pain. We feel very strongly that treating your pet’s pain is integral to his or her recovery. Pain medications are administered before, during and after surgical procedures to ensure that your pet is as comfortable as possible while in the hospital. The type and amount of medications used is dependent on how serious and invasive the procedure is. We will also prescribe pain medications to be administered by you after your pet goes home. Even though your pet may not act painful, in the days immediately following surgery we recommend administering the pain medications as prescribed. If you feel that these medications are not adequately controlling your pet’s pain, please call us so we can offer additional recommendations. 

Will my pet have stitches after surgery?

Many of the surgical procedures performed at DoveLewis will require sutures. Absorbable sutures, which are placed under the skin to help close an incision, will dissolve by themselves and do not require removal. Depending on the procedure, non-absorbable skin sutures or surgical staples may be placed. In most cases suture removal can be performed either by your primary care veterinarian or at DoveLewis. 

How do I know if an incision is healing correctly?

We recommend checking your pet’s incision at least once a day. A small amount of redness and swelling will be normal in the days immediately following surgery, and you can help reduce inflammation by applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the incision for up to 10 minutes twice daily. Your pet may have small scabs on the incision or near the sutures or staples, or a small amount of transparent, pink-tinged fluid from the incision for a short period after surgery. If you notice excess redness, discharge, bleeding, foul odors, wide gaps, or any tissue protruding from the incision, please contact DoveLewis. It is very important that you prevent your pet from licking, biting or scratching his or her incision to avoid healing complications. 
 

Do I need to restrict my pet's exercise after surgery?

Exercise restriction is incredibly important to healing after surgery! Excess movement puts tension on the incision site and can prolong or prevent healing. In extreme cases, excess activity can re-open the incision, requiring a second surgery to correct. Exercise restriction includes preventing your pet from running, jumping on furniture or into/out of cars, playing with housemates or any other activity that involves significant movement. Some excitable pets may need to be confined in a crate while they are healing. We recommend that pets be leashed when taken outside to prevent running, and that care is taken when pets are using stairs. If your pet has undergone an orthopedic procedure, there may be additional restriction guidelines recommended by your surgeon. At the time of your pet’s suture/staple removal, about 10-14 days after surgery, the incision will be evaluated and your veterinarian will let you know if it is safe to let your pet exercise freely.