Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my pet need a Veterinary Surgeon?
Just as your own primary care physician may feel the need to refer you to the care of a specialist from time to time, your family veterinarian may feel your pet needs the additional expertise of a board certified surgeon for certain procedures. In fact, many general practitioner veterinarians refer all but the most routine surgeries to specialists.
Board certified veterinary surgeons affiliated with referral hospitals have access to specialized diagnostic or surgical equipment, the latest and safest anesthesia monitoring equipment, physical therapy or rehabilitation capabilities, and other critical care services. All of these specialized services may be necessary for the optimal care and recovery of your pet.
A veterinarian who knows when to refer you and your pet to a veterinary surgeon is one that is caring and committed to ensuring your pet receives the highest standard of care. Although, board certified veterinary surgeons may travel to your family veterinarians practice and perform surgery there, many cases should not be transported after surgery or require the extensive monitoring that is only available in a 24-hour facility. Please contact us to see if surgery should be performed at your veterinarian’s office or at Pet Specialists of Monterey.
What kinds of problems require the expertise of a Veterinary Surgeon?
Board certified veterinary surgeons can repair complex fractures, perform total hip replacements, and use advanced techniques to repair torn ligaments (ruptured cruciate ligaments) within the knee. They can also remove cancerous growths, manage extensive or non-healing wounds, and perform reconstructive surgery, such as grafting skin over large injuries. Spinal injuries and herniated discs are problems that are also commonly referred to board certified surgeons. Veterinary surgery is also expanding into minimally invasive surgery, such as arthroscopy, thoracoscopy, and laparoscopy.
Will my family veterinarian still be involved after referral to a Veterinary Surgeon?
Your family veterinarian is an important contributor to your pet’s health, even if surgery by a board certified specialist is required. In most surgical cases, your family veterinarian will continue to supervise your pet’s veterinary care, especially if your pet is continuing to cope with a disease or chronic condition. Typically, your family veterinarian will oversee many aspects of your pet’s pre-operative and post-operative care, just as in human medicine. Recovery periods may be prolonged in surgical cases, particularly in orthopedic surgery, and it is important to follow your veterinary team’s recommendations concerning at-home recovery guidelines for your pet, follow-up care and appointments.