Veterinary Services

Pet Surgery Options

Surgery Options in Cary, NC

Our surgeons each have over 30 years of experience providing specialty orthopedic, neurosurgical, soft tissue, and oncologic surgery. Our surgical team consists of technicians, technician assistants, patient care coordinators, and receptionists. We all work together to improve your pet’s health and address your concerns during what is often an emotional time. Your pets are forever a part of our surgical family.

  • Our four surgical suites offer both traditional ‘open’ and minimally invasive procedures (arthroscopy, laparoscopy). Your surgeon will consult you about the type of surgery or procedure best for your pet.
  • Registered veterinary technicians guide every pet’s smooth anesthetic induction and recovery. Our multimodal approach to pain management keeps your pet comfortable before, during, and after surgery. We utilize a combination of oral and injectable medications, joint and nerve blocks, local anesthetics, constant rate infusions, epidural analgesics, and transdermal narcotics to achieve this.
  • Our diagnostic services include joint taps, blood and urine testing, biopsies, gait analysis, digital radiographs, and CT scans. Ultrasonography is available on-site through our emergency clinicians or mobile specialists.
  • Our surgical services include those listed below (click on them to learn more!), therapeutic bandaging, joint injections, platelet-rich plasma, negative pressure wound debridement, and closed suction drainage.


Musculoskeletal injuries and hereditary genetic disorders are not unusual in our pets. Our first consideration is determining if your pet is limping and in which limb or limb. This seems simple when it can be difficult to ‘sort out a complicated lameness involving multiple limbs or a lameness which ‘crosses’ a system. An example of the former may be an older kitty with a torn cruciate ligament (knee) and an arthritic left elbow; an example of the latter would be an older dog with arthritic hips and neurologic weakness in both pelvic limbs. A thorough history and orthopedic /neurologic exam, followed by appropriate diagnostic tests, are necessary to determine your pet’s best course of treatment. An invaluable asset to you and your pet is having an experienced clinician.


Your pet may be limping, holding its leg up, or having difficulty getting up or lying down. There are many causes for forelimb or hindlimb lameness, including osteoarthritis.

Hip Dysplasia

This genetic abnormality can result in hip discomfort, lameness, and arthritis. A combination of conservative and surgical treatments can improve comfort and function.

Cruciate Ligament Rupture

The canine CCL is analogous to the human ACL, and its rupture will result in lameness and possibly a meniscal tear. Over time, an unstable knee can become arthritic.

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The most common cause of paralysis in our pets is a herniated or ruptured disc. Disc herniations occur in the neck, back, and lower back of your pet. The ruptured or bulging disc causes compression on the spinal cord, damage to the nerve cells, and ‘pinches’ nerve roots. Surgical treatment of disc herniations is generally necessary, not only to improve comfort but also to allow the resolution of paralysis. The prognosis for a paralyzed pet varies based on the extent of damage to the spinal cord. Spinal fractures, spinal tumors, chronic spinal arthritis, vertebral malformations, and cervical ‘Wobbler syndrome’ can all result in spinal pain and ‘partial’ or complete paralysis. A thorough history and neurologic exam followed by spinal radiographs and MRI are necessary to determine the best course of treatment for your pet. Other degenerative disorders, inflammatory disorders (meningitis), and neuropathies occur and may require additional consultation with a veterinary neurologist. Neurosurgery encompasses the disciplines of surgery, orthopedics, spinal biomechanics, and neurology.

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Abdominal Surgeries

The most common problems which your pet may need surgery for include gastrointestinal obstructions, “bloat”, tumors of the spleen and liver, bladder and urethral stones, and hernias.

Plastic Surgery for Pets?

Skin reconstruction is helpful to prevent chronic skin infections in breeds with excessive folds of skin and is often necessary for satisfactory resection of cancers.

Oncologic Surgery

Surgical resection is often the initial treatment for many tumors, and it may be recommended that surgery be performed in conjunction with chemotherapy or radiation.

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Body System Review


This body region includes the spleen, pancreas, adrenals, diaphragm, and abdominal wall. Masses in the spleen, pancreas (insulinoma), and adrenal glands (carcinoma, pheochromocytoma) are not uncommon, and surgical treatment is usually recommended. Surgical repair is also recommended for abdominal, diaphragmatic, umbilical, and inguinal hernias.


These surgeries encompass problems usually involving your pet eating foreign material which obstructs their GI system (stomach, intestines, rectum). Other surgical issues are GDV (gastric dilatation- volvulus or “bloat”), gastric and duodenal ulcers, cancers of the GI system, and idiopathic feline megacolon. Surgery near the rectum includes treatment of perineal hernias, perianal tumors or fistulae, and anal gland masses.


This system comprises the kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra, ovaries, uterus, testicles, prostate, vulva, and penis/prepuce. Ectopic ureters and cryptorchidism are examples of congenital problems. More common issues are kidney and bladder calculi (stones), urinary obstruction in dogs and cats, pyometra in unspayed females, and testicular and prostate tumors.


Your pet may be limping or have weakness or pain in their limbs. Sometimes hereditary or congenital abnormalities can lead to lameness. Examples are: hip and elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis (OCD of shoulder, elbow, knee, ankle), fragmented coronoid process (FCP), and ununited anconeal process (UAP). Injuries can also occur, such as fractures of any bone (for example, hit-by-car trauma), cranial cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, ‘rotator cuff’ tendinopathies (biceps, supraspinatus), traumatic joint dislocations, and Achilles’ tendon tears. Bone, muscle, and tendon cancers can also require surgical resection or limb amputation as part of their overall treatment planning.


Although we do not often think of surgery for skin problems, there are instances where a surgeon can be of benefit. Animals with ‘excessive’ skin folds or ‘screw tails’ can develop severe superficial infections for which some type of plastic reconstructive surgery is of major benefit. Our most common ‘dermatology related’ surgeries are for tumors (cancers), which, when removed, will require specific types of plastic reconstruction for a more cosmetic closure or allow a better function to a ‘moving part’ (limb, mouth, eye, ear).


This system includes the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, along with the substances and receptors which allow the transmission of electrical impulses. There are degenerative conditions, traumatic injuries, immune-mediated diseases, and cancers that affect this system; these can result in pain and paralysis. Surgical intervention is often included in the overall treatment of brain and spinal tumors; surgery is more imperative for the treatment of spinal fractures and ruptured intervertebral discs.


Many cardiac diseases are well-managed by cardiologists and interventional treatments. Surgical treatments of congenital heart abnormalities, such as vascular ring anomalies (PDA, PRAA), are still performed and are sometimes more appropriate than interventional treatments. Tumors that involve the heart and its surrounding tissues can sometimes be treated or managed surgically. Thymoma resection and pericardectomy are examples.


Breathing entails moving air from the nose to the alveoli. Air moves through the larynx and trachea into the bronchi and lungs. Diseases that prevent full lung capacity affect your oxygenation. Surgery is generally performed to improve airflow from the nose to the bronchi (i.e., for diseases such as laryngeal paralysis, stents for tracheal collapse, and removal of obstructions) or to remove lung tumors. Diseases that affect the expansion of the lungs (pleuritis) or movement of the diaphragm (rib fractures and tumors) can sometimes be helped with surgical intervention.


Surgery in this region involves the skull and jaw bones, salivary glands, oral cavity, larynx, thyroid, and parathyroid glands, ear canals, and lymph nodes. Dogs with chronic ear infections will sometimes require a total ear canal ablation to alleviate their chronic ear pain or headache. Unfortunately, tumors are quite common in the oral cavity and these structures.


Diseases of the liver are often treated medically, though in some cases definitive diagnosis requires a biopsy. Portosystemic liver shunts can be a congenital abnormality and are often amenable to surgical treatment. Liver tumors, gall bladder mucoceles, ruptured gall bladders, and bile duct diseases can also be surgically managed.