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

A small animal veterinary surgeon is a specialist in veterinary surgery whom, 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 be 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.

Board Certified Veterinary Surgeons have been trained to perform advanced surgical procedures:

Of the Abdominal organs
Of the Gastrointestinal tract
Head and neck procedures
Minimally invasive osteosynthesis for fracture repair
Interlocking nail
Minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy, arthroscopy, fluoroscopy, and thoracoscopy)
Spinal surgery
Bone plating
Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)
External Fixation
Angular limb deformity correction
Thoracic surgery
Urogenital surgery
Reconstructive procedures of the skin and wound care.

Their training has prepared them for all phases of the surgical management of our small animal patients.


VCA Canada Guardian Veterinary Centre has four fully-equipped operating rooms which 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 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 in 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.

Get to Know Our Team

Get to know our knowledgeable veterinarians and well-trained staff who are here for you and your pet.
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