Top 10 Most Common Pet Surgical Procedures Every Pet Owner Should Be Aware Of

Top 10 Most Common Pet Surgical Procedures Every Pet Owner Should Be Aware Of

As a pet owner, it’s essential to know about various medical treatments your pet might need. Among these are pet surgical procedures, which can be crucial for maintaining your pet’s health. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top 10 most common pet surgeries, discussing their purpose and why pet owners should be aware of them. Prepare to learn about surgical options available for your beloved pets, keeping them healthy and happy.

1. Cruciate Ligament Surgery (ACL Repair)

Tearing a cruciate ligament in the knee is not exclusive to humans—our pets can experience this painful condition too. In the world of pet surgeries, the ACL repair is the most common. This procedure is typically performed by a specialized dog surgeon, who has the expertise to ensure the best possible outcome. Understanding the impact of a torn cruciate ligament on your pet and knowing when surgery is necessary can go a long way in preventing long-lasting damage.

2. Fractures and Dislocations

When your pet suffers from a fracture or dislocation, you’ll want a highly experienced veterinary surgeon to handle the procedure. These surgeries require an expert hand and specialized equipment to tackle each specific traumatic event. Trusting a credentialed veterinarian is the best way to ensure your pet receives proper care and has the best chance of achieving a full recovery.

3. Abdominal Surgery (Stomach Surgery)

Abdominal surgery is often a non-routine and exploratory procedure, requiring the veterinarian to be granted open access to the pet’s belly. This type of surgery could be required for various reasons, including removal of foreign objects, tumors, or addressing issues with internal organs. Only an experienced veterinarian should perform abdominal surgery, as any mistakes can result in severe complications.

4. Cancer Surgery for Pets

When your beloved pet develops cancer, it can be a heartbreaking experience. Sometimes, the only option for treatment might be cancer surgery, depending on the type of cancer your pet has. In this case, you want a specialized surgeon with the expertise required for such intricate procedures. With the right care, your pet can overcome these challenges and continue living a happy life.

5. Spinal Surgery

Spinal surgery can be required due to injuries or specific conditions affecting your pet’s spine. In these scenarios, either a skilled neurologist or a board-certified veterinary surgeon with experience in spinal surgeries should perform the procedure. After all, missteps in spinal surgeries can lead to long-lasting issues in your pet’s life.

Pet Vaccination and its Importance

Outside of surgical procedures, it’s essential to consider your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. One critical aspect is ensuring your pet receives proper vaccinations. Vaccines can prevent various illnesses and diseases that could otherwise result in debilitating health issues or even the need for surgery. Make sure to read more about the recommended vaccination schedule for your pet, and consult with your veterinarian to ensure your furry friend remains in optimal health.

6. Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)

A femoral head ostectomy (FHO) is considered a salvage procedure, often performed in cases of hip dysplasia or trauma-related situations. Removing the femoral head (the ball of the hip joint) during this surgery can help alleviate pain and discomfort in your pet. However, it should only be conducted by an experienced and credentialed veterinary surgeon.

7. Medial Patellar Luxation (Knee Cap Dislocations)

Medial patellar luxation (MPL) is a common issue, particularly in small breed dogs. This procedure involves correcting the knee cap’s dislocation, allowing for proper joint function and reducing pain. As a pet owner, recognizing symptoms of MPL early, such as limping, is crucial to ensuring your dog enjoys a more comfortable and pain-free future.

8. Total Ear Canal Ablation (Ear Surgery)

Chronic ear infections can cause significant discomfort to your pet, sometimes even resulting in permanent damage. In such cases, a total ear canal ablation may be necessary. This salvage procedure involves entirely removing the ear canal to alleviate discomfort and promote healing. Trusting a skilled veterinary surgeon to perform this surgery can improve your pet’s quality of life significantly.

What is a Vet Internist?

A veterinary internist is a specialized veterinarian who focuses on diagnosing and treating complex internal medical issues in pets. These professionals often work closely with veterinary surgeons, providing a comprehensive approach to your pet’s healthcare. For example, an internist for dogs in Lebanon, TN, might collaborate with other specialists to address specific medical concerns and ensure the best treatment for the pet.

9. Perineal Urethrostomy (PU)

Perineal urethrostomy is a complex procedure, typically performed by board-certified veterinary surgeons. Sometimes referred to as “PU,” this surgery might be necessary for pets with severe urinary tract issues. While some generalist veterinarians may perform the procedure, it’s generally best to trust the expertise of a specialized surgeon.

10. Laryngeal Paralysis

Laryngeal paralysis can occur in aging large breed dogs, causing a raspy and loud breathing. In such cases, a skilled surgeon is often needed to help keep the pet’s airways open and prevent more severe complications. With timely intervention, your pet can breathe more comfortably and lead a happier, healthier life.

Anesthetic Procedure and Post-Operative Care

An essential aspect of pet surgery involves anesthesia and post-operative care. Properly applying anesthesia ensures the safe and effective completion of a surgical procedure, while correct post-operative care is necessary for optimal recovery and preventing complications. As a pet owner, educating yourself about these aspects can help you take better care of your pet during and after surgical procedures.

Surgical Complications

Despite our best efforts, sometimes surgical complications can occur. Being aware of these potential issues and knowing how to handle them can help ensure your pet receives the best care possible. Frequent follow-up appointments with your veterinary surgeon are essential for keeping an eye on your pet’s progress and addressing any potential complications.


As a responsible pet owner, learning about common pet surgical procedures is crucial. Equipping yourself with this knowledge can help you make informed decisions regarding your pet’s healthcare, choosing the right veterinary professionals, and ensuring your beloved companion receives the highest level of care. By remaining proactive and informed, we can ensure our pets lead a long, happy, and healthy life.