Surgery

The veterinary team at Wagly Veterinary Hospital & Pet Campus understands that it can be scary when your pet needs surgery. As members of your family, our veterinarians take pride in treating them as if they were also a member of our family. We offer many in-house surgeries such as spays, neuters, mass removals, cystotomies, enterotomies, and more. For more complicated surgeries, we have excellent relationships with referral surgeons and mobile board-certified surgeons so that we can offer you the best care possible for your pet.

What to Expect
If your pet does have to undergo surgery at Wagly Veterinary Hospital & Pet Campus, rest assured that we do everything we can to make it as safe as possible. Before we administer medications, we will perform a complete physical examination. We do pre-anesthetic blood-work to rule out potential risks such as underlying kidney or liver dysfunction. Wagly Veterinary Hospital & Pet Campus offers an in-house diagnostic laboratory, so bloodwork is often performed the same morning of surgery with results ready in less than 20 minutes. After examination and bloodwork, the doctor will select an individually-tailored dose and type of pre-anesthetic medications to help the pet relax without discomfort.

We will place an intravenous catheter, and put your pet under general anesthesia (with endotracheal intubation). Throughout the procedure, we administer anesthetic gas, oxygen, and intravenous fluids. We perform surgery in a surgical suite protected from potential contaminants.
Like in a human hospital, the surgeon does a sterile scrub and performs surgeries wearing a cap and mask, gown, and sterile gloves. We always have a trained team (including the veterinarian performing surgery, veterinary technicians and/or assistants) all dedicated to the care and monitoring of your pet. Each surgery has advanced monitoring technologies like body temperature monitoring and warming, heart rate and electrocardiography (EKG), blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. Following the procedure, we keep your pet warm, administer oxygen as needed, and continuously directly supervise your pet as the anesthesia wears off and your pet becomes alert and ambulatory.
Pain medications are administered as needed and any needed medications or supplies (like an e-collar) for aftercare can be dispensed from the full on-site veterinary hospital pharmacy. When your pet is recovered and ready to go home, a veterinary team member will meet with you in an exam room to discuss the procedure, what you should expect at home, follow up care, and schedule your pet’s next recheck examination.

Spay/Neuter
At Wagly Veterinary Hospital and Pet campus, sterilization (aka spay or neuter) is recommended for nearly all of the pets unless the pet parent plans to use the pet as a part of a quality strategic breeding program or for competitions. As a requirement for participation in group play, for the safety of people and pets, Wagly requires that pets over the age of nine months must be spayed or neutered. We welcome intact pets in all other services offered including individual daycare or overnight boarding, grooming, or with the veterinary team.

Why should pets be altered? The reproductive organs are responsible for producing hormones that have a variety of actions in the pet’s body. Removal of the exposure to these hormones results in a statistically significant improvement in pets’ wellness throughout their lifetime.

Pain/Anesthesia
Whether it be for preventative procedures, like a spay or neuter, or due to illness or injury, there are times in your pets’ life they may need to go under anesthesia. Each Wagly hospital is equipped with a full surgical suite where we can perform surgical procedures such as growth removals, spays/neuters, abdominal procedures, and more.

We know that putting your pet through surgery and anesthesia can be scary for you as a pet parent. Although there are inherent risks any time a pet goes under anesthesia, we offer many safeguards to ensure the anesthetic procedure is as safe as possible. We perform baseline lab work and physical exams before every procedure which allows us to tailor our anesthetic plan unique to each pet. We have a veterinary staff member dedicated to monitoring your pet’s pain and anesthesia, as well as state of the art equipment with which to monitor them. This includes blood pressure, oxygen saturation, end-tidal CO2, ECG, pulse, and temperature monitoring. We place an IV catheter for all anesthetic procedures, provide IV fluids to maintain blood pressure, and provide extensive heat support during and after procedures, all of which help to ensure your pet’s recovery will be as fast and as smooth as possible.

We work hard to ensure your pet receives exceptional multimodal pain management before, during and after any procedure that may prove to be painful. We understand the negative effects that pain can have on healing and your pets’ recovery, and we prioritize pain management with each procedure we perform. Providing multimodal pain management also allows us to use lower amounts of inhalant anesthesia, which helps keep your pet safe during and after their surgical procedure.

Dental Prophylaxis
At Wagly, dental health is part of overall health. Dental prophylaxis is the action of preserving the health of a pet’s oral cavity, including the teeth, gums, and other soft tissue (gingiva). This is accomplished during an anesthetic procedure and is recommended annually (occasionally bi-annually) in pets over the age of 2 years. During the procedure, the veterinarians and technicians will perform ultrasonic scaling, a fluoride pumice polishing, and a full oral exam. A complete set of dental radiographs will be taken, to ensure year-after-year visualization of the bone and tissue structures below the gum line, where oral health problems usually begin.

Not only does yearly dental cleaning keep your pet’s smile in good condition, it prevents harmful bacteria that grows under the gingiva from getting into your pet’s system where it can cause liver disease, heart disease, and painful inflammation. A wellness exam at Wagly will address your pet’s oral health and your veterinarian can make recommendations on when your pet should receive their next dental prophylaxis.

Aural hematoma repair
A swollen, puffy ear flap may be a condition called an ear (aural) hematoma. Ear hematomas are a build-up of blood or other fluids between the layers of skin in the ear flap. They can occur from an injury to the ear, excessive scratching, or from shaking the head due to an ear infection within the canal. Ear hematomas are often painful and hot to the touch (if your pet lets you get close to it). Surgical repair of an aural hematoma requires full anesthesia to drain the fluid and stitch the internal layers at the ear back together where the connective tissue can be pulled apart by the blood or fluid buildup. You might be tempted to have your veterinarian simply drain the fluid and bandage the ear up, but surgery will likely save you multiple trips to have the fluid drained and an extended painful process. Please call right away if you suspect that your pet has an ear hematoma, or if the pet is shaking, scratching, or has an odor coming from their ears.
Cystotomy
If your pet has had changes in urination or an infection, your veterinarian may suggest taking a sample of the urine for testing. On testing, veterinarians look for the presence of white and red blood cells, crystals, protein, and the ph. They may also want to visualize the bladder with an ultrasound or an x-ray to check for bladder stones. When a pet has bladder stones, they may need surgery to prevent further discomfort or a potentially life-threatening blockage. Typically, bladder blockages happen in male pets more often than females, and a lack of urinating is an emergency condition. This surgery involves an incision into the abdomen and removal of the bladder stones. Afterwards, there is a 2-4 week recovery period. The veterinarian may also recommend a change in your pet’s diet to prevent future development and to change the conditions within the bladder that may create them.
Stomach or Intestinal foreign body removal
Ever seen those interesting x-rays on the internet of an unintentionally or inappropriate item floating around on the inside of a pet’s belly? Sometimes the problem is obvious, like the textbook shape of a toy car or a metal spring. Usually though, the Pet Parent is not aware that their pet has eaten something that they were not supposed to have. In this case, you may have called your veterinarian to set up an appointment for vomiting or lack of appetite (anorexia) that is not resolving. The veterinarian will likely recommend an x-ray or abdominal ultrasound to try to rule out the ingestion of foreign material. If there is evidence that an item your pet has ingested will not pass, and it has moved into the intestinal tract, then surgery to remove the item is likely to be recommended. Without surgery, the risk is high for a blockage to cause pain, distention, and eventually a rupture or peritonitis (a deadly infection in the abdomen).

During an intestinal foreign body surgery, an incision is made to access the abdominal cavity. The affected area is isolated, and the item is removed from the intestinal tract. Afterwards, the abdomen is closed up and the recovery process takes 2-4 weeks. Pets may need to be kept on a bland diet after the surgery for a short time. Caution should be taken to avoid having pets chew on and ingest foreign and non-digestible items.

In cats, commonly ingested foreign items include toys, hair-ties, rubber bands, string and feathers, and metallic holiday decorations. Dogs may be more likely to eat clothes like socks or items that smell like food (kitchen rags, trash, and paper towels), toys, or pieces of toys, rope or non-digestible chew toys (leathers, bones, antlers, and “bully-sticks”). There are many other items that our Wagly vets can discuss with you. Feel free to talk to one of our experts about dog-proofing or cat-proofing your house to prevent dietary indiscretion.

Lacerations
Laceration repairs are common surgeries for dogs and cats. Pets may injure themselves in a number of ways, and wounds should always be assessed by a veterinarian. Some lacerations will require surgical closure. This can be done under sedation or full anesthesia, depending on the severity of the wound. It is important for healing for healthy tissue to be present for healing, and the veterinarian may need to trim the tissue that has been exposed to the outside before closing with suture. The veterinarian will likely want to get your pet on antibiotics, to discourage infection of the wound. If your pet has been injured, Please call us right away if your pet has been injured. The faster a wound is assessed, the more options a veterinarian has to prevent infections, and reduce pain.
Brachycephalic (nares resection) surgery
We love our adorable brachycephalic dogs and cats! Brachycephalic pets are our short-faced and cute squishy breeds such as shih-Tzu’s, French bulldogs, Persian cats, and pugs! These pets are prone to breathing problems and sometimes the skin around their nostrils or the tissues on their soft palette (back of their throat) may need to be altered to remove excess tissue that disrupts normal breathing. If the nostrils do not grow to a size that permits normal breathing, the veterinarian might recommend a small surgery to open them up. This can usually be done at the time that the pet is spayed or neutered, but not always. In 2-4 weeks, your pet will have recovered and will be breathing more comfortably. Please ask if you have concerns about your pet’s breathing status and we will be happy to have a veterinarian discuss whether this surgery would benefit your pet.
Mass removal
Lumps and bumps (masses) may appear on your pet at any age, and are more likely to show up as they reach their senior years. It is always important to get any mass checked out by a veterinarian and masses that appear uncomplicated may hide dangerous cancers. Usually, your veterinarian will recommend a diagnostic test to determine the makeup and source of the mass. Lumps and bumps might need to be removed through a surgical procedure. The smaller the mass is when it is removed, the better for your pet. Even non-cancerous masses such as lipomas can continue to grow and disrupt your pet’s comfort and mobility. After the procedure to remove the lump, the recovery time is usually about two weeks or less. If the veterinarian is concerned about the makeup of the lump, they will likely recommend a laboratory biopsy of the tissue that was removed to make sure that the margins of tissue that were removed fully contain the abnormal tissue. If you have any concern about a new mass, growing mass, or change in your pet’s skin, do not hesitate to call and speak to one of our trained staff members.
Orthopedic surgery
Orthopedic surgery can range from a broken toenail to a spinal injury, and anything in between that involves your pet’s skeleton. At Wagly, we have in-house veterinarians who can help you by accessing an injury or limp and scheduling surgical repair if necessary. Our specialist relationships can help by providing in-house specialty surgeries for joint and skeletal injuries such as medial patellar luxation (MPL), tibial plateau leveling osteotomies (TPLO), or fracture repair. Please call right away if the pet is limping or has an injury. Waiting may cause unnecessary pain, can worsen the injury, or cause irreversible damage. Your veterinarian will likely want to check your pet for an infection, take a set of x-rays, and do a thorough physical examination. Pain medications may be indicated for inflammation and to keep your pet comfortable.