Surgical Services

We provide many surgical services at our clinic including routine spays and neuters, soft-tissue surgeries, and orthopedic surgeries. Occasionally, we refer our patients to specialists (board certified veterinary surgeons) to perform complex operations. Often, these surgeons are able to use our facility with the help of our own animal healthcare team. We pride ourselves on use cutting edge techniques including laser surgery which minimizes bleeding and trauma during surgery. Our ultrasound capabilities allow us to define areas of disease before we begin surgery. Our veterinarians are constantly striving to update their education in all types of surgery to maintain the highest quality possible.

Soft Tissue

Soft tissue surgery includes surgeries not associated with bone. The most common soft tissue surgeries performed at our hospital are the removal of masses or ‘lumps’. Most of these tumors, once removed and tested, are benign (non-harmful).  However, occasionally they are more serious. Early removal and accurate diagnosis of a mass is necessary to improve the outcome of your pet’s health if the mass is cancerous.  Be sure to notify us if you feel any unusual lumps on your pet and let us evaluate them as soon as they are found.

Lacerations are also common in pets and suturing will reduce the chance of infection, improve healing time, and reduce scarring. Ear infections also affect many breeds of dogs and surgical treatment can improve air flow into the ear canal and can reduce the occurrence of these infections.

Unfortunately our pets sometimes ingest objects they are not supposed to which can lead to an obstruction in the intestinal tract (stomach and intestines). Surgery is often needed to retrieve these objects. When caught early, these patients have a good prognosis for recovery.

The above are only a few examples of the variety of surgeries we perform at Harbor Animal Hospital. There are many more our veterinarians are trained to perform and if needed, we can refer to a specialist, or have a specialist come to the clinic to best take care of your pet’s needs.

Orthopedic Surgery

Our veterinarians performs many types of orthopedic (bone) surgeries in our facility. Because we want to ensure that our patients receive the best possible outcome, we occasionally bring in surgeons for more complicated procedures requiring specialized equipment or training. For surgeries necessitating even more advanced care, we maintain close working relationships with several orthopedic/neurologic specialty hospitals for when referral is necessary.

Leg fractures are a common orthopedic problem presented at our hospital. They can be treated in a variety of ways depending on the location and type of fracture. We can apply a cast to treat certain fractures; however, most fractures will require surgical intervention:

  • Pinning stabilizes the fracture by inserting a long stainless steel rod into the middle of the bone across the fractured area.
  • Plating involves attaching a flat stainless steel plate to the bone using screws on either side of the fracture.
  • External fixation stabilizes fractures using a series of pins on the outside of the leg that pass through the skin and into the bone on either side of the fracture.

Another very common orthopedic problem we encounter is rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (a ligament in the knee or ‘stifle’). There are a variety of techniques used to correct this condition. Our veterinarians will go over which option is best for your pet. We often have a specialist come to the clinic to perform a procedure called a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) to correct this problem.