Our Specialist in small animal surgery, Dr. Chris Jordan, provides a broad range of diagnostic and surgical procedures including orthopedic (i.e. TPLO), neurologic and soft tissue surgeries.

Dr. Jordan meets with all his patients to fully assess their condition and he will discuss treatment options, estimates and aftercare in detail with you. Pre and post-operative pain management ensures your furry family member is as comfortable as possible during their stay with us and they will be monitored by a veterinary nurse not just during the procedure but through the night and there is always a doctor either in clinic or on call to our hospital team 24 hours a day.

When your pet is ready to go home you will meet with a veterinary nurse, who will go through their aftercare in detail; additionally, all information will be provided in writing as sometimes there is a lot to remember. Once your pet has returned home, we will monitor their progress through regular phone calls and rechecks. For the majority of the surgeries Dr. Jordan does, to ensure that your pet is back on all paws as soon as possible, we recommend a consultation with our board-certified rehabilitation Specialist, Dr. Tara Edwards, including hydrotherapy in the Okanagan’s only underwater treadmill. During your pet’s recovery and beyond, we are available on the phone or via e-mail 24/7 if you have any questions about your pet’s care.

Your family vet will be kept up to date throughout and will receive copies of all reports, radiographs (if done) and test results so they have a complete record of your pet’s care at our hospital.

Orthopedics

  • Fracture and luxation stabilization
  • Routine, complex and chronic lameness investigation and management as indicated
  • Management of cruciate ligament disease including tibial osteotomy procedures (Slocum tibial plateau levelling osteotomy [TPLO] and cranial closing wedge ostectomy [CCWO])
  • Patella luxation correction
  • Arthroscopy
  • Management of elbow disease and elbow dysplasia
  • ‘Work-up’ of hip disease
  • Arthrodesis
  • Angular limb deformity correction

Soft tissue

  • Gastrointestinal: foreign body surgeries, gastrotomy, enterotomy, intestinal resection and anastomosis, gastropexy, septic peritonitis, biopsies
  • Hepatobiliary: Liver lobectomy, cholecystectomy, biopsies
  • Urogenital surgery: cystotomy, pyometra, urolithiasis, episioplasty, urethrostomy
  • Endocrine: thyroidectomy, parathyroidectomy, adrenalectomy
  • Thoracic: lung lobectomy, pericardiectomy, patent ductus arteriosus, chylothorax, pyothorax, biopsies
  • Laparoscopy and thoracoscopy: gastropexy, biopsies, cystotomy, vasectomy, ovariectomy, cryptorchid castrate, pericardiectomy
  • Oncologic surgery and reconstruction: skin, orofacial, thoracic, abdominal, perineal, anal sac tumours
  • Splenectomy
  • Perineal and abdominal herniorrhaphy
  • Diaphragmatic rupture repair
  • Wound management and reconstruction
  • Surgical management of brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome (BAOS)
  • Surgical management of laryngeal paralysis
  • Total ear canal ablation and bulla osteotomies

Neurology


  • Neurological examination
  • Management of intervertebral disc disease: hemilaminectomy, ventral slot, lumbosacral decompression, vertebral stabilization
  • Atlantoaxial luxation stabilization
  • Spinal fracture and luxation stabilization
  • Cerebrospinal fluid collection
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Disease

The most common cause of rear limb lameness in dogs is a disease of the cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL). This painful problem also leads to degenerative changes +/- instability in the stifle joint (which, despite its location, actually corresponds to the human knee joint).

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO), is a surgical procedure that leads to 95% of dogs returning to normal function including running, jumping and playing.

Cranial cruciate ligament disease is the most common orthopedic problem seen in dogs. Approximately 1 in 700 people suffer from a similar problem (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Disease or ACL Disease) but approximately 1 in 70 dogs are diagnosed with CrCL each year. CrCL disease can be crippling if left untreated.

Over the last 20 years, a technique known as TPLO (tibial plateau levelling osteotomy) has been scientifically proved to be the best surgical technique to deal with CrCL disease in the dog. Through a cut (osteotomy) through the upper portion of the tibia (‘shin bone’) and flattening (‘levelling’) of the slope on the top of the tibia stifle joint, the forces through the stifle are modified in such a way that an intact cranial cruciate ligament is no longer needed for the normal function of the stifle. A bone plate and screws are utilized to stabilize the cut bone while it heals.

The TPLO was designed by a veterinary surgeon in the United States named Dr. Barclay Slocum out of Eugene Oregon. It was the first veterinary surgery that was ever patented. One of his goals was to design a surgery for CrCL disease that allowed working/performance dogs to return to work following repair; with a TPLO, this is often achieved.

Elbow Dysplasia

The term elbow dysplasia refers to a degenerative disease of the elbow joint. There are several different potential causes for the problem, that may occur singly or at the same time in the same animal. Elbow dysplasia occurs primarily in medium to large breed dogs. Dogs with elbow dysplasia typically show signs of lameness before reaching one year of age, although in some cases lameness may not become apparent until middle age.

The treatment for this disease can involve surgical and/or medical options. If you think your dog is experiencing problems in his or her elbow joint, be sure to discuss your concerns with your veterinarian.
 

Hip Dysplasia

This is a hereditary, developmental disease that affects the hip joints of dogs. Certain breeds are more likely to be affected than others. Although its occurrence in large and giant breeds is well documented, there is evidence that it may also be present in smaller breed dogs and cats as well.

Poor conformation of the hip and thigh bone structures result in a 'looseness' of this ball and socket joint. This looseness allows the ball part of the joint to move in the socket, instead of remaining stable as it should in a healthy, normal, tight fit. This abnormal movement can create wear and tear in the joint, leading to arthritis. Although signs of the disease do not typically appear until after the dog matures, puppies as young as five to six months can be affected. Hip pain, stiffness, abnormal gait patterns, an
audible 'clicking' sound while walking, and a reluctance to exercise are all possible signs of hip dysplasia.

The disease is usually diagnosed using radiographs, or x-rays. The treatment for this condition is primarily surgical. In one type of procedure, the Triple Pelvic Osteotomy, or TPO, the bones of the pelvis are cut apart and rotated to more correct positions. In Total Hip Replacement (THR) procedures, a dog's diseased hip joints are replaced with prosthetic ones. The goal of both surgeries is to provide your pet with some measure of normal activity and function and to reduce the pain associated with the condition. A very high level of success is reported with these surgeries. However, as with all major procedures, it is very important to follow your veterinary surgeon's recommendations regarding recovery and rehabilitation.
 

Questions to Ask Your Veterinarian

Many pet parents 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 general practitioner 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

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) and the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS). A veterinarian who has received this specialty status will list the initials, 'DACVS' or ‘DECVS’ after his or her DVM degree. Or, the veterinarian may indicate that he or she is a 'Diplomate' of the ACVS or ECVS. The word 'Diplomate' typically means that as a minimum, 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 ACVS or ECVS approved 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 or ECVS, 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 specialist 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?

  • 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 (link to cancer specialty page) 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 are the Most Common Orthopedic Surgeries?

Three orthopedic surgeries that are commonly performed in pets are triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO), total hip replacement (THR), and cruciate ligament repair (TPLO).

In the TPO procedure, the bones of the pelvis are cut apart and rotated to more correct positions. In THR procedures, a dog's diseased hip joints are replaced with prosthetic ones. TPO's and THR's are two commonly used surgical techniques for the treatment of canine hip dysplasia (CHD), an inherited and potentially painful disease that affects the hip joints of millions of dogs. Cruciate ligament disease can occur in both dogs and cats, who usually tear or rupture this ligament while exercising, playing, or simply landing incorrectly after a jump. The ligament will not heal without surgery. Surgery helps to stabilize the pet's knee joint and prevent further wear on the joint and associated structures. An increasingly common surgical technique to correct this situation is called the Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy'"or TPLO.
 

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 general practitioner 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.
 

Our Small Animal Surgery Team

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