All veterinarians are able to perform surgery as part of their veterinary practice. However, difficult cases may be best managed by a specialist. Board-certified surgeons work closely with the owner and the primary veterinarian before and after surgery in a team approach to ensure continuity of care for your pet.

In addition to having advanced surgical training, our surgeons also have highly qualified technologists and support staff with advanced knowledge, access to state-of-the-art facilities, and equipment that may not be available to your primary veterinarian.

Following surgery and any postoperative follow-up care, the primary veterinarian resumes ongoing care of the pet.

VCA Canada Guardian’s veterinary surgeons are dedicated to providing the very best in surgical care. They also act as a resource for your primary veterinarian by providing consultations on difficult or unusual cases. We are always striving to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your pet.

 

Our Facility

VCA Canada Guardian Veterinary Centre has four fully-equipped operating rooms that use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment. Advanced diagnostic imaging tests like digital radiography, fluoroscopy, CT or CAT scan and ultrasound help evaluate patients before and after surgery.

What Additional Training Does A Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon Have?

Veterinarians who want to become board certified in small animal surgery must seek additional, intensive training to become a specialist and earn this prestigious credentialing. Specialty status is granted by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). A veterinarian who has received this specialty status will list the initials, 'DACVS,' after his or her DVM degree. Or, the veterinarian may indicate that he or she is a 'Diplomate' of the ACVS. The word 'Diplomate' typically means the specialist has achieved the following:
 

  • Obtained a degree in veterinary medicine from a university certified by the American Veterinary Medical Association following completion of undergraduate requirements.
  • Completed a one year general internship, plus an additional three to four years of advanced training in a residency at a veterinary teaching hospital where the veterinarian will have trained with some of the best surgeons in the field and obtained hands on experience. Surgery residents also have to complete a case log in soft tissue, orthopedic, and neurologic surgery.
  • Completed the credentialing application process established by the ACVS, including publication of research results.
  • Passed a rigorous examination.
  • After completing and passing all of these rigorous requirements, the veterinarian is then recognized by his or her peers as a board certified specialist in veterinary surgery. When your pet needs the care of a veterinary surgeon, years of additional training and education will be focused on helping him or her to recover from injury or illness and enjoy the highest quality of life possible.

What are Common Referral Veterinary Surgeries?

What does it mean to be a Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon?

A small animal veterinary surgeon is a specialist in veterinary surgery who, after graduation from veterinary school, has completed advanced training in order to become board certified. This training in surgery consists of at least a 1-year internship and a 3-year residency program that meets the exacting standards set by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). The ACVS has set criteria for specific training and caseload requirements in a variety of surgical procedures. Additionally, residents must participate in research that is published in a scientific journal and must pass a rigorous examination testing their surgical knowledge and clinical competency. Primary care veterinarians have received surgical training in veterinary school sufficient for routine procedures. Board Certified veterinary surgeons have dedicated their careers to training for advanced surgical procedures. Referral to a board-certified surgeon is recommended for advanced procedures or complicated conditions requiring specialized care and equipment.

Common referral veterinary surgeries include:
  • Tumor removal
  • Limb amputation
  • Cruciate ligament repair (TPLO's and other traditional methods)
  • Hip replacement
  • Surgical repair of elbow dysplasia
  • Spinal problems/herniated discs
  • Gastric dilatation/volvulus
  • Wound management and skin reconstruction
  • Congenital defects
  • Urinary obstructions
  • Cancer Surgeries

Cancer does appear to be becoming more common in both dogs and cats, most likely because they are simply living longer. However, early detection and specialized care are leading to increased survival and cure rates in almost all the types of cancers that afflict pets. From surgery to chemotherapy to radiation therapy, veterinary cancer specialists can offer your pet the very latest diagnostic and treatment options and the best chance of survival. With optimal treatment, cancer in many cases simply becomes another manageable chronic disease.

Surgery is one of the most common treatment options for pets with cancer, and can lead to enhanced survival times and better quality of life for many affected pets. Your veterinary surgeon will work closely with your general practitioner or veterinary oncologist to ensure your pet is getting the very best care.

 

What to Expect

Our referral coordinator will contact you to set up an appointment with one of our board certified surgeons. Often, patients are seen at the time of consultation and surgery is planned for the following day. Depending on circumstances, we may be able to perform a consultation and surgery on the same day, or surgery may be briefly delayed to allow for further testing.

Safe anesthesia and appropriate pain management are an important part of every surgical procedure. Our surgical team includes Registered Veterinary Technologists who are trained in specific anesthetic and diagnostic techniques to make every procedure as safe and comfortable as possible.

After any surgical procedure, you will be provided with a detailed set of discharge instructions. Our discharge nurses will review these with you, and we’ll answer any questions you have to help optimize your pet’s recovery. We will also follow up with your veterinarian so that everybody involved in your pet’s care has up-to-date information.

Will My Pet Be in Pain?

Surgery is a major medical procedure and is often associated with pain in both animals and humans. You can be assured that your veterinary team (your pet's family veterinarian, veterinary surgeon, and any other veterinary specialists involved in your pet's care) will prescribe pain management options to help keep your pet as comfortable as possible before, during, and after surgery. If you are concerned about pain management for your pet, simply ask your veterinarian.
 

Questions to Ask Your Veterinarian

Many owners are increasingly seeking specialized care for their pets, just as they do with other family members, in order to secure the very best outcome. If your pet is facing surgery, here are some questions you may wish to ask your family veterinarian:

  • How often have you performed this type of surgery?
  • Does the surgery require any special equipment?
  • Is it available?
  • Does my pet's surgery require a specialist?
  • What should I expect the outcome of the surgery to be?
  • What follow up care is necessary?

Source: The American College of Veterinary Surgeons

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