Surgical Services

Our veterinarians provide many surgical services at our clinic, ranging from routine to advanced procedures. Because we want to ensure that our patients receive the best possible outcome, we occasionally refer them to specialists (board-certified veterinary surgeons) to perform complex operations when advanced equipment or training will be beneficial. Our veterinary team will take precautions to ensure that your pet receives a safe anesthetic. We perform a physical exam and preanesthetic testing before surgery, monitor your pet during surgery, and provide pain medication during recovery.

Pain Management and Control

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Pain management techniques have advanced greatly in recent years. The focus has changed from wondering how pets experience pain to anticipating and preventing pain and discomfort for our furry friends.

Many animals, especially cats, naturally disguise signs of pain to protect themselves from predators. However, the lack of obvious signs does not mean they aren’t experiencing pain. If the injury, illness or experience is one that sounds painful to you, go with the assumption that it may also hurt your pet and get to your veterinarian.

 

Other signs that your pet may be experiencing pain include:

  • Being unusually quiet, listless, restless, or unresponsive

  • Whining, whimpering, howling, or constantly meowing

  • Biting

  • Constantly licking or chewing at a particular part of the body

  • Acting funny and out of character, either aggressively or submissively

  • Flattening ears against the head Having trouble sleeping or eating

  • Seeking a lot more affection than usual

  • Unable to get comfortable (constantly changes positions to find the most comfortable position)

  • Panting

There are different types and causes of pain:

Acute pain comes on suddenly as a result of an injury, surgery, inflammation or infection. It can be extremely uncomfortable for your pet and it may limit her mobility. The good news is that it’s usually temporary. It generally goes away when the condition that causes it is treated. Medications and non pharmaceutical approaches to pain management can be discussed.

Chronic pain is long lasting and usually slow to develop. Some of the more common sources of chronic pain are age-related disorders such as arthritis, but it can also result from illnesses such as cancer or bone disease. This pain may be the hardest to deal with, because it can go on for years, or for an animal’s entire lifetime. Also, because it develops slowly, some animals may gradually learn to tolerate the pain and live with it. This can make chronic pain difficult to detect. Neglected dental disease is often a source of chronic pain and suffering for our pets.

Treatment :

We know the issue of pain management is of great concern to pet owners today. As in human medicine, we have a variety of nutritional choices, medications and alternative therapies available to manage your pet’s pain . We would be pleased to discuss the options available to you and your pet and create a Care Plan for your pet’s specific needs. . Many of our patients are experiencing the benefits of the laser therapy approach to pain relief. Ask us if this would be appropriate for your pet.

Laser Declaw

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Declawing our feline companions is sometimes necessary if regular nail trims are not sufficient in curtailing destructive behaviours in the home such as furniture and wall scratching or if physical contact with children or owners is difficult due to scratching. Most owners elect for declaw of the two front feet, leaving the cat with some ability to defend itself if necessary.

Traditionally, declaw surgeries can be very painful for the patients.

At Muskoka Animal Hospital Laser Surgery has become the Standard of Care for this procedure because of the obvious benefits for pain management, bleeding control and comfort and recovery. We are proud to offer this level of care to our patients. Traditionally cats undergoing declaw require nerve blocks and pain medications as well as cumbersome bandages due to blood loss. Cats do not tolerate either of these well. Laser technique eliminates the need for bandaging and overnight stays. Laser uses a beam of light to accomplish the incision work and as the beam of light passes through the tissues, it virtually seals the nerve endings and blood vessels.  This means a much more comfortable surgery for your pet with no bleeding and no pain.  Your pet will go home with special kitty litter for the first week post-surgery to prevent infection from clumping style and clay litters. Please call us to find out if this procedure is right for your cat.

 

Laser Surgery

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What is Laser Surgery?

Traditional surgery with a scalpel or scissor can bruise or crush tissue.  When we use the laser. only an intense beam of laser light touches your pet. Laser surgery is a revolutionary technique that minimizes swelling and bleeding during surgery and results in dramatically reduced pain and discomfort post surgery. Laser surgery is performed at Muskoka Animal Hospital for many soft tissue surgeries such as spays and neuters, lump removals, declaws and surgeries involving the eye.

What are the advantages of Laser Surgery for my pet?

Dr. Wurdell has been performing laser surgery for almost 20 years allowing pets to benefit from the same properties of a laser that human patients have experienced- less pain, swelling and discomfort after surgery and the ability to resume normal activities sooner.  Our practice has made this substantial investment in order to offer your the best possible healthcare for your pet.

  • Less pain and swelling promote a quicker recovery.
  • Less bleeding significantly simplifies surgery and may reduce the need for anesthesia
  • Sanitizing effect of the laser beam reduces the risk of infection
  • Less trauma for your pet.
  • Healing starts immediately

 How does Laser Surgery work?  The Laser has the unique ability to vaporize or ‘erase” tissue. The laser can be used to make incisions as well as to erase unhealthy tissue.  The laser is so precise that we can selectively remove only a few cells at a time making it the gold standard for lumpectomy surgery or delicate eye surgery. The laser seals nerve endings, so patients are much more comfortable after surgery .  Not only does the laser kill any bacteria in its path, it also seals the lymphatics so their is much less swelling post operatively. 

Is Laser Surgery appropriate for my pet?

A laser can perform a wide variety of surgical procedures on cats and dogs.  Most commonly here at Muskoka Animal  Hospital, laser is our gold standard of treatment for spay and neuter procedures and because of its comfort giving properties , our only method of declaw surgeries for cats. Laser is also used during orthopaedic procedures  and lump removals as well as for many opthalmic procedures.

We would be happy to discuss with you if your pet is a candidate for laser surgery and help you decide if this is the best treatment optionfor your pet!

 

Ovariohysterectomy (spay)

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Spaying your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents female animals from becoming pregnant and reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Spaying will not change your pet’s personality.

By spaying your female pet, you’re protecting her against potentially deadly diseases, including bacterial infections, reproductive tract diseases, and several types of cancer. You also won’t have to worry about her going into heat. This means avoiding the mess that often accompanies the heat cycle in female dogs and the pacing and crying that happens with female cats. In addition, spaying your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.

Spaying, which involves removing the ovaries and uterus, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure her safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.

To set up an appointment to have your pet spayed or to learn more about this procedure, call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to spay your pet, please call us so we can discuss your concerns.

Orchidectomy (neuter)

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Neutering your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents male animals from reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Neutering will not change your pet’s personality.

By neutering your pet, you’re reducing or eliminating his risk for prostate and testicular cancer, as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Neutering will also reduce or eliminate undesirable and embarrassing behaviour, including roaming, fighting, humping, and spraying. In addition, neutering your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.

Neutering, which involves removing the testicles, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure his safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.

To set up an appointment to have your pet neutered or to learn more about this procedure, please call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to neuter your pet, please call us so we can discuss your concerns.

Soft Tissue Surgery

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Soft tissue surgery includes surgeries not associated with bone. Examples of soft tissue surgeries and their benefits are listed below.

Probably the most common soft tissue surgery performed at Muskoka Animal Hospital is the removal of masses or lumps. Most of these masses, are not harmful, however, occasionally after pathological testing they are diagnosed to be more severe. Early removal and accurate diagnosis of your pet’s lumps and bumps is important. The use of our surgical laser helps significantly in the removal of lumps as the surgeon can be more precise and sure to remove all affected tissue.

Other soft tissue surgeries commonly performed at Muskoka Animal Hospital include: 

  • Urinary surgeries to remove stones 
  •  Organ mass removal
  • Dental Surgery
  •  Optic Surgeries- cherry eye, distichiasis etc
  • Laceration repair 
  •  Gastrointestinal  foreign bodies and gastric dilation volvulous (bloat) .

 

Orthopaedic Surgery

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Orthopaedic and joint surgery is commonly required by cats and dogs, sometimes due to injuries caused by an active Muskoka lifestyle , and sometimes because of congenital diseases affecting bones and joints.

Surgical orthopaedic services at our hospital include:

  • Fracture repair
  • Anterior cruciate ligament repair (ACL) both TTA and Extra capsular
  • Medial and Lateral Patellar Luxation repair
  • Referral to outside surgeons is available for more complicated or difficult fracture repair.

Dr. Wurdell recently completed extensive training in Tibial Tuberosity Advancement.  This procedure surgically repairs cranial cruciate ligament injuries in your dog’s knee and is quickly becoming the gold standard treatment for this injury. No need to travel to specialized care- we are pleased to now offer this procedure right here in Muskoka !