A Brief Overview of the Most Common Surgeries for Pets

Most pet owners are aware that their furry friends may need the occasional surgery. While no pet parent ever wants to put their animal through surgery, there are various reasons why it may be necessary (such as dog c-section surgery). Whether it’s for preventive care or to treat an injury or illness, pet surgery is usually safe and effective. 

Here’s a look at 7 of the most common types of surgeries for pets: 

1. Spay or neuter surgery

This is a routine surgery for pets to prevent them from reproducing. It’s typically done when they’re young (between six and nine months old), but they can have it at any age.

Some people opt not to spay or neuter their pets because they want them to have the experience of having a litter. However, veterinarians generally recommend these to help improve your pet’s health and prevent behavioral issues.

2. Gastrointestinal surgery

This type of surgery is performed on the stomach or intestines and is usually done to remove a foreign object that your pet has swallowed (like a toy or piece of food). Vets also do this to treat conditions like blockages, tumors, or intestinal bleeding.

There are times when this procedure requires you to take your pet to an emergency vet clinic. Make sure you know their hours and location in advance to get your pet the help they need right away.

3. Orthopedic surgery

Vets use orthopedic surgery to fix bones or joints that are not working correctly. This can be done to treat conditions like hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, and fractures.

Some pet owners opt for preventive orthopedic surgery for their animals, such as a dog ACL tear repair. This is usually done if the pet is at risk of developing these issues later in life.

The (APOP) Association for Pet Obesity Prevention said that 56% of dogs and 60% of cats were obese or overweight in the U.S. in 2018. Vets warn pet owners that obesity increases pressure on joints and bones. In the same year, APPA (American Pet Products Association) reported that almost 20.8 million dogs in the U.S. had undergone orthopedic surgeries in 2016.

The report said that the most common orthopedic surgeries performed on dogs were:

  • Femoral head osteotomy
  • Bones fracture repair
  • Cruciate ligament repair
  • Medial patellar luxation

4. Skin surgery

This type of surgery is performed on the skin, usually to remove tumors, cysts, or abscesses. Vets also recommend this to treat conditions like allergies or hot spots.

A 6-year study in North Portugal from 2014 to 2020 found that skin tumors are the most common and second-most reported tumor type in male and female dogs. This means that your pet is likely to need this type of surgery at some point in their life.

5. Eye surgery

Eye surgery is usually done to treat cataracts, glaucoma, or detached retinas. It can also be done to remove foreign objects from the eye or to repair injuries.

This type of surgery is typically performed by a veterinary ophthalmologist, a vet who has specialized training in eye surgery. Make sure you take your pet to someone qualified and experienced in this area.

6. Ear surgery

Ear surgery is performed to treat conditions like polyps, tumors, or blockages in the ear. Vets also use this to remove foreign objects or clean out debris. This type of surgery is typically done by a veterinary ophthalmologist or an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT).

7. Dentistry

Dental surgery removes tartar, plaque, or other debris from your pet’s teeth. Vets also use this to treat conditions like gingivitis or tooth decay.

Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly helps prevent the need for dental surgery. However, some pets may still need it because of genetics or underlying health conditions.

As a Summary

There are different goals of vet surgeries – from spaying and neutering to removing tumors. It’s essential to keep your pet healthy and free from conditions that could shorten their lifespan or cause them pain. 

You should visit a vet regularly and get any recommended vaccinations or surgical procedures done on time. Ask for referrals from the people you trust who have pets. They might know a great vet who can care for your pet’s needs. You may also look online by searching “dog veterinarian near me” or “cat vet clinic.”