As a pet parent, you know you will do everything to keep your animal companion healthy and happy. Part of that is being prepared for any health issues that may come up, including the need for surgery.
While no pet owner wants to see their pet needing surgery, it’s important to be aware of the most common surgeries pets require so that you can prepare if the time comes.
Here are the most common surgeries pets need:
1. Spay or neuter surgery
This is a routine veterinary surgery for pets (dogs and cats) to prevent them from reproducing. It’s typically done when they’re young (between six and nine months old), but they can have it at any age.
Some people opt not to spay or neuter their pets because they want them to have the experience of having a litter. However, veterinarians generally recommend these to help improve your pet’s health and prevent behavioral issues.
2. Gastrointestinal surgery
This type of surgery is performed on the stomach or intestines and is usually done to remove a foreign object that your pet has swallowed (like a toy or piece of food). Vets also do this to treat conditions like blockages, tumors, or intestinal bleeding.
There are times when this procedure requires you to take your pet to an emergency animal hospital. But if it’s something that can be scheduled, your regular veterinarian will likely refer you to a specialist.
3. Orthopedic surgery
Vets perform orthopedic surgery on the bones, joints, or muscles and is usually done to repair injuries (like fractures) or treat conditions like hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, or dislocated knees. Cats and Dogs are the most common recipients of this type of surgery.
According to APOP (Association for Pet Obesity Prevention), 56% of dogs and 60% of cats were obese or overweight in the U.S. in 2018. Vets warn pet owners that obesity increases pressure on joints and bones. In the same year, APPA (American Pet Products Association) reported that almost 20.8 million dogs in the U.S. had undergone orthopedic surgeries in 2016.
The report said that the most common orthopedic surgeries performed on dogs were:
- Femoral head osteotomy
- Bones fracture repair
- Cruciate ligament repair
- Medial patellar luxation
4. Skin surgery
This type of surgery is performed on the skin, usually to remove tumors, cysts, or abscesses. Vets also recommend this to treat conditions like allergies or hot spots.
A 6-year study in North Portugal from 2014 to 2020 found out that skin tumors are the most and second-most reported tumor type in male and female dogs, respectively. This means that your pet is likely to need this type of surgery at some point in their life.
5. Eye surgery
Eye surgery aims to treat conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and detached retinas. Vets also do it to remove foreign objects or tumors from the eye. This surgery type is usually performed by a veterinary ophthalmologist – a vet who has received specialized training in treating eye problems in animals.
Genetics is the most common cause of dog cataracts, according to the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO). It can also result from eye inflammation, injury, or systemic diabetes.
6. Ear surgery
Ear surgery treats conditions like chronic ear infections, hematomas (a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel), or polyps (growths that form inside the ear). This type of surgery is typically performed by a specialist and is usually an outpatient procedure, which means your pet can go home the same day.
Dental surgery is performed on the teeth and gums and is usually done to remove tartar, clean the teeth, or treat gum disease. This procedure is typically done by a veterinarian specializing in dentistry.
No pet parent wants to think about their furry friend needing surgery, but you must be prepared if the time comes. By knowing the most common types of surgeries pets need, you can rest assured that you’re doing your best to keep your pet healthy and happy.
When choosing a vet clinic, ensure they offer complete vet services, including surgery, so you know you’re in good hands. Visit their website and read testimonials to see the quality of their services.