Our Specialist in small animal surgery provides a broad range of diagnostic and surgical procedures for a variety of orthopedic (i.e. TPLO), soft tissue, and selective neurological disorders.

First, we will meet with patients to fully assess their condition, and we will discuss treatment options and goals, expected outcomes, 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, as well as throughout their recovery at home. Your pet will be monitored by a veterinary nurse not just during the procedure but through the night, and there is always a doctor either in the clinic or on call to our hospital team 24 hours a day.

When your pet is ready to go home, a veterinary nurse will review their recovery plan in detail with you. 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 many pets having undergone surgery, a structured rehabilitation program can help ensure that they are back on all paws as soon as possible. A consultation with our board-certified rehabilitation Specialist, Dr. Tara Edwards, is encouraged for those pets who would benefit from her care. Dr. Tara Edwards uses a multimodal approach in the care of your pet which may also include hydrotherapy in the Okanagan’s only underwater treadmill.

Your family vet will be kept up to date 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.

The following list of services is offered at VCA Canada Tri Lake Animal Hospital and Referral Centre. The list is not exhaustive and surgeries offered are case dependent. We encourage you to contact us if you have any case questions or concerns, and we can see how we can help.


  • lameness evaluation

  • fractures, joint luxations, tendon injuries

  • management of cranial cruciate ligament disease: TPLO, lateral fabellotibial suture

  • patellar luxation

  • evaluation of hip dysplasia

  • femoral head and neck ostectomy

  • arthroscopy


Soft Tissue

  • wound management and reconstruction

  • various abdominal surgeries: exploratory laparotomy, biopsies, enterotomy and intestinal resection and anastomosis, treatment of gastrointestinal foreign bodies, intussusception, volvulus, portosystemic shunt, cholecystectomy, liver lobe resection, splenectomy, diaphragmatic hernia repair, lymphadenectomy, body wall hernia repair

  • urogenital surgeries: cystotomy, ureteral surgery, nephrectomy , episioplasty, perineal urethrostomy, ovariohysterectomy, Caesarean section, neuter/orchiectomy, paraprostatic cyst excision and omentalization

  • assessment and treatment of upper airway obstruction: brachycephalic airway disease and laryngeal paralysis

  • sialoceles

  • total ear canal ablation and ventral bulla osteotomy

  • anal sacculectomy, caudectomy, perineal herniorrhaphy

  • laparoscopy: ovariectomy, gastropexy, cryptorchidectomy

  • amputations: digit, forequarter, hindleg

  • oncologic surgery



  • neurological examination

  • surgical management of thoracolumbar intervertebral disc disease

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.

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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