The VCA Canada WVSEC surgical team includes four, board-certified veterinary surgeons. Together with a team of highly skilled veterinary technicians, we deliver advanced surgical procedures, the safest possible anaesthesia and compassionate 24 hour care to your pets.

What is a board-certified veterinary surgeon?

Your family veterinarian has surgical training, so they are well-qualified for routine procedures. For more advanced surgical procedures, or for complex conditions required specialized care and equipment, your family veterinarian may choose to refer your pet to a board-certified veterinary surgeon.

Board-certified veterinary surgeons are veterinary specialists who have dedicated their careers to training for advanced surgical procedures. 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. Specialist veterinary surgeons in North America carry the initials DACVS or DACVS-SA after their name.

The team

All of our surgeons are extensively trained in orthopaedic surgery, soft tissue or general surgery, neurosurgery, surgical oncology and minimally invasive surgery. At present, we are the only veterinary clinic in Calgary to offer advanced procedures such as arthroscopy, laparoscopy and thoracoscopy, the subcutaneous ureteral bypass procedure (SUB) for canine and feline ureteral obstruction, and canine cementless total hip replacement (THR).

Our surgical facility is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including fluoroscopy (real-time x-ray), locking plate technology, laparoscopy, arthroscopy, cystoscopy and the latest stapling and vessel sealing instruments, to ensure the best patient safety and post surgical outcomes. Our surgeons work closely with specialists in critical care, internal medicine, radiology and oncology to discuss complex cases and provide the best all-round patient care. At WVSC, our highly trained team of anaesthesia technicians, in conjunction with the surgeons, will tailor an anaesthesia and pain management regime unique to the needs of every patient.

A specialist surgeon is available at WVSC to perform emergency procedures 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. We work closely with your primary care veterinarian to make recommendations regarding the best course of treatment for each pet. Please call 403-770-1340 to find out more about the WVSC surgery service or to schedule an appointment. Please note all surgery appointments are by referral only.

What to expect when your pet is referred to the surgery service:

• An initial consultation with a specialist surgeon. At this appointment, you will meet first with a surgery technician or with a fourth year veterinary student who will take your pet’s vitals and discuss his or her history. The surgeon will then examine your pet and discuss in depth their recommendations, including surgical technique, post operative home care, potential complications, expected outcome and costs.
• In many cases, your pet will need to be admitted for a few hours or for the day, so that diagnostics (e.g. x-rays, bloodwork, CT scan, ultrasound) can be performed prior to surgery.
• Once a surgical plan has been made the procedure can be scheduled, which in many cases is as soon as the day following the initial appointment.
• On the day of surgery, we will keep in close contact with you regarding your pet’s progress. If general anaesthesia is required, we use the safest anaesthetic agents for your pet, to ensure a smooth and pain-free induction and recovery.
• Surgery is performed by board-certified surgeons in our purpose-built operating theatres, using meticulous sterile technique.
• We use multimodal analgesia, meaning that your pet receives a tailored pain relief plan before, during and after their surgical procedure. All of our surgical patients recover in our ICU, under the direct care of specialists in critical care. Your pet will be monitored around the clock by veterinarians and highly trained technicians.
• When your pet is ready to be discharged from the hospital, you will meet in person with a technician who will discuss home care instructions and you will be provided with detailed written post operative care notes.
• A follow up visit 10-14 days post operatively is recommended and is included in the cost of surgery. Where possible, we would like to see our surgical patients back at WVSC to ensure that recovery is progressing as expected. Sometimes, follow up is provided by another specialty service, such as internal medicine or oncology.
• For rechecks and bandage changes, we offer drop-off appointments for those with a busy work schedule and your pet can board with us at the hospital free of charge for the day.
• Our surgery technicians and surgeons are available by phone to discuss any concerns you might have about your pet and our emergency service is open 24/7 to address any urgent questions.

Our Surgeons:
Dr. Germaine Hung DVM, DACVS-SA
Dr. Terri Schiller BSc, DVM, DACVS, CCRT
Dr. Aylin Atilla VMD, MS, DACVS-SA

Dr. Tamara MacDonald DVM, DACVS-SA
Dr. Bronwyn Fullagar BVSc, MS, DACVS-SA

Our Surgery Technicians:
Dallas Balderson, RVT
Dianna Giamberardino, RVT


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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