10 Pet Surgeries Only An Expert Should Handle

10 Pet Surgeries Only An Expert Should Handle

Most veterinarians who spend their time dedicating their practices to animals perform surgery several times a week. However, our clients demand the highest quality of care, and this is where board-certified surgeons are important. But how is it that pet owners are aware of which surgical procedures are best left to certified specialists? 

Truthfully, there is not a hard and fast rule when it comes this. In fact, some pets are unable to get the best care available because of price. Nonetheless, being familiar with the type of surgery your pet needs requires a generalist or a specialist is an important decision-making tool. 

Luckily, we are here to inform you of 10 of the most common surgeries that only a specialist veterinary surgeon should perform. 

ACL Repair

This is the surgery of the cruciate ligament in a dog’s knee. Alone, this surgical procedure is a multi-billion dollar industry annually for veterinarians. This is by far the most common surgical procedure for veterinarians, and this is likely the reason that vet surgeons should be the ones performing an ACL repair if you dog requires the procedure. Experience is always integral for a good outcome.

Fractures and Dislocations

While it is true that any vet can do these procedures, it is best to leave it to a credentialed veterinarian who has expertise and specialized equipment. This is so each traumatic event can be addressed specifically.

Stomach Surgery

This is generally a non-routine and exploratory surgical procedure that requires the veterinarian to have open access to the belly.

Cancer Surgery

While many cancer surgical procedures will require entry to the abdomen, cancer procedures are separate for a reason because cancer requires a category on its own and requires specialized care by an expert. 

Spinal Surgery

Neurologists often perform spinal surgeries, but board-certified surgeons can also perform back surgeries as well if they have the experience. 


This is known as the femoral head ostectomy, which is a salvage surgical procedure that is necessary in a number of hip dysplasia cases as well as some trauma-related situations.

Knee Cap Dislocations

Also known as medial patellar luxation (MPL), this procedure shouldn’t be as common as it is, but the problem is that pet owners fail to recognize that the limp that their small breed dog is suffering from could spell significant trouble for their comfort in the future.

Ear Surgery

Total ear canal ablation is considered a salvage procedure and is often undertaken once the ears get so chronically infected that the only thing that can be done is to remove the complete ear canal in order for the dog to be comfortable.

Perineal Urethrostomy (Cats)

This is often referred to as PU, and while there are some old-timer veterinarians who will undergo this procedure, it is often left to board-certified surgeons because of the complexity of the surgery. 

Laryngeal Paralysis

As soon as large dogs begin to breathe raspy and loud with age, many times it is because they have developed this condition. This is where a surgeon can come in and become a lifesaver, ensuring that the airways remain open. 


This is a surgical procedure that is more common than people may believe. Unfortunately, if a pet owner is unable to pay the fees to save a limb that has suffered trauma, the chances are low that the owner will be able to pay the fees associated with an amputation since they are usually higher. However, it may be possible to find a certified surgeon who will do it for free. After all, it saves the pet’s life.

For more information about any of these pet surgeries or any other surgery, contact us today!