Most Common Pet Surgeries You Might Want to Know as a Pet Owner

There are a variety of pet surgeries that your furry friend may need throughout their life. While some of these surgeries may be for elective or cosmetic purposes, others may be necessary to improve the health and well-being of your pet.

As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to be aware of the most common types of pet surgeries to make informed decisions about your pet’s care. Here are seven of the most common pet surgeries:

1. Spay or neuter surgery

This is a routine surgery for pets 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 vet clinic. Know their after-hours emergency care schedule and location in advance to get your pet the help they need right away.

3. Orthopedic surgery

A veterinary orthopedic specialist performs orthopedic surgery to fix bones or joints that are not working correctly. This can be done to treat conditions like hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, and fractures.

Some pet owners opt for preventive orthopedic surgery for their animals, such as a dog ACL tear repair. This is necessary if the pet is at risk of developing these issues later in life.

The (APOP) Association for Pet Obesity Prevention said that 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

Skin surgery is done to remove skin tumors, repair lacerations (cuts), or alleviate other skin conditions. It’s a common type of surgery for pets since they often have accidents or run into things that can cause cuts and scrapes.

A 6-year study in North Portugal from 2014 to 2020 found that skin tumors are the most common and second-most reported tumor type in male and female dogs. 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 cataracts, glaucoma, or detached retinas. Vets also recommend this to remove foreign objects from the eye or to repair injuries.

This type of surgery is typically performed by a veterinary ophthalmologist, a vet who has specialized training in eye surgery. Make sure you take your pet to someone qualified and experienced in this area.

6. Ear surgery

Ear surgery is performed to treat conditions like polyps, tumors, or blockages in the ear. Vets also use this to remove foreign objects or clean out debris. A veterinary ophthalmologist or an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) does this surgery.

7. Dentistry

Dental surgery removes tartar, plaque, or other debris from your pet’s teeth. Vets also use this to treat conditions like gingivitis or tooth decay.

Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly helps prevent the need for dental surgery. However, some pets may still need it because of genetics or underlying health conditions.

The Bottom Line

These are a few of the most common pet surgeries that you might encounter as a pet owner. It’s important to be prepared for them if your pet ever needs one.

Visit a vet regularly and get any recommended vaccinations or surgical procedures done on time. Ask for referrals from the people you trust who have pets. They might know a great vet (such as who can care for your pet’s needs.

Harold Reaves

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