TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook

Veterinary Pet Surgery

The prospect of surgery on your pet can be unpleasant. No one wants to subject their beloved pet to a surgical procedure that can be frightening, uncomfortable, or have potential risks associated with it. At TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook, we prioritize your pet’s safety and comfort and your peace of mind. We provide best-in-class surgical procedures, methods, facilities, and expertise for even the most routine procedure, whether our own DVM or bringing in a Board-certified veterinary surgeon with whom we have worked for many years. Either way you can be assured of the highest level of care for your pet - which always includes, without exception, Dr. Epstein and his team's meticulous, robust attention to pain management.

Spay/Neuter Procedure

Spaying or neutering your pet is, in many cases, one of the most responsible choices that an owner can make on behalf of their pet. Preventing them from impregnating other pets or becoming pregnant themselves is only one of the benefits of this procedure. It can also protect them from a whole host of potential health issues.

Neutering and spaying refer to the same general procedure— removing the reproductive organs in your pet. When performed on a male, it’s known as neutering. When performed on a female, it’s called spaying.

Generally, there are many benefits to spaying or neutering your pet, provided their health, age, and timing is right:

  • Improved quality of life thanks to a range of health benefits.
  • Improved behavior in pets— reproductive organs lead to the production of hormones that can lead to a range of behavioral difficulties.
  • Reduces overpopulation in the pet community. There is already a shortage of homes for the thousands of pets in shelters around the country. When pets aren’t spayed or neutered, they can mate with other pets and produce even more puppies or kittens in desperate need of homes.
  • In females, spaying reduces uterine and mammary issues including infection and cancer, and puts an end to regular ‘heat’ cycles which can cause discomfort and behavioral issues. Spaying can also lead to reduced instinct to roam, howl, mark spots with urine, and become aggressive.
  • In males, the neutering procedure reduces aggression, urine marking, howling, and the urge to roam. It also prevents diseases that are common in unneutered male dogs, including prostate disease and testicular cancer.

When should I spay/neuter my pet? Or should I?

This question is not as straight forward as it used to be. Historically the answer has been Yes, and at 6 months, i.e. before sexual maturity. This helps to prevent accidental pregnancy, the development of certain sex-hormone related behaviors, uterine, ovary, testicular, prostate diseases, and importantly in females, a serious reduction in the incidence of breast tumors and breast cancer.

In the last 5 years, however, some studies are indicating that “Pre-puberty” alteration also leads to increases in urinary incontinence later in life, certain orthopedic problems (hip and knee especially), and an uptick in some other kinds of cancers (lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, mast cell tumor, osteosarcoma).

Complicating matters is that it is not uniform across the breeds studied (and so far only a few of them have been, and they are all larger breed), nor gender.

In the end, our reading of the literature, drawing upon a consensus of expert opinion, and putting all of these factors together, our typical recommendations are currently:

  • Small breed dogs: spay or neuter around 6 months. (not at high risk for joint/tendon problems or the studied cancers).
  • Large breed females: here we are a little conflicted, but if you can tolerate going through a heat cycle, on balance we think waiting to spay until 11 - 12 months may be ideal.
  • Large breed males: Wait to neuter until 12 - 14 months old UNLESS they showed behavior issues like urine marking/aggression. and then I would neuter ASAP.
  • (Note: spaying/neutering dogs when they are older and larger is a somewhat more involved surgical procedure than when younger and smaller, so you may find some additional costs associated).

A thorough discussion of the issue and scientific evidence to date can be found on PetMD.

Soft Tissue Surgery

This category describes a range of surgeries for treating skin, muscle, and organ-related issues. If a surgery is not neurological (relating to the brain) or orthopedic (relating to bones and joints), it’s generally considered a soft-tissue procedure. In pets, this includes spaying and neutering, tumor or cyst removal, injury and trauma repair, bladder stone removal, and intestinal surgery.

Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic surgery refers to the correction of an injury involving your pet’s bones, joints, and spine. Common forms of orthopedic issues that can be treated include fractures, ACL tears, dislocations and ligament repairs.

Surgical Oncology

Surgical oncology is a form of treatment for localized cancer (meaning cancer that’s restricted to a specific area of the body). It aims to remove a cancerous mass or masses before they can spread throughout the body.

Mass Removal

Sometimes pets, like people, can develop cysts or masses that aren’t necessarily cancerous. These can sometimes be removed via surgical procedure.

Gastrointestinal Procedures

Pets can experience a range of digestive issues and conditions, including gallstones, hernias, acid reflux, and even colon cancer. Gastrointestinal procedures address issues like these.

Splenectomy Surgery

A splenectomy is the complete removal of the spleen, often because of tumors and otherwise as a last resort for immune-mediated disorders. At TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals, we will may refer splenectomies to our nearby sister hospital, Bethel in Lake Wylie) to use what’s known as the Force Triad device for splenectomies because it cuts and seals large vessels at the same time, vastly shortening the duration of the procedure, which turn decreases anesthetic risk and speeding recovery.

Foreign Body Removal

Foreign bodies include anything that a pet has ingested that they’re not capable of digesting. These can lead to intestinal blockage, which can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation. If you think your pet has swallowed something they can’t digest, seek medical attention immediately. Our location takes emergency cases and will make sure your pet is taken care of as soon as possible.

Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery involves the use of very small incisions paired with a small tool featuring a video camera on the end. This allows for a less-invasive surgery, though it’s only appropriate in specific situations. TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals Is one of the few primary care practices to perform "minimally Invasive surgery" using laparoscopy, and at Forestbrook will refer to our nearby sister hospital, Bethel In Lake Wylie, for procedures such laparoscopic spay and other procedures (e.g. see for Gastropexy, below).

Laparoscopic Gastropexy Surgery

This procedure prevents gastric dilatation and volvulus, or GDV. It’s also known as bloat or torsion. It’s a common condition in pets where the stomach flips or twists, trapping air and gas in the stomach and cutting off circulation to the stomach and spleen. It can quickly lead to death. This surgery attaches the stomach to the abdominal wall, making it unable to flip or twist out of place.

Join the TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook Family Today!

Our animal hospital is located just 26 minutes from downtown Charlotte via I-85 N. We are by Gaston Country Club, easily accessible to the pets of Gaston County and the surrounding areas.

Phone: 704-867-8318

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