03 9328 3021

Surgery

At Lort Smith Animal Hospital we have four surgical wards where we conduct a range of surgeries including:

General surgery
Desexing
Orthopaedic surgery

You can also read about:

Pre-op care
Post-op care

 General surgery

Lort Smith Animal Hospital has a large surgical department consisting of four operating theatres, each equipped with advanced anaesthetic monitoring units which measure patients’ heart rates, respiratory rates, temperature, oxygen saturation and blood pressure.

We perform a wide range of surgeries from simple procedures such as stitch ups and cat bite abscesses, to routine spays and castrations, to more complicated bowel surgery, bladder surgery, eye and ear surgery.

All of our permanent veterinary team are able to perform many of the routine surgeries and we have many experienced veterinarians who are able to perform some of the more complicated and advanced surgeries.

In the rare case where we do not have the facilities or expertise to perform a specific surgery, our vets may discuss with you the option of referral to a specialist surgeon.

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 Desexing

We recommend desexing or neutering of all pet cats and dogs. This ensures a healthy pet without the worries of hormonal or sex-related diseases, particularly when they are older. Much antisocial behaviour such as urine marking, mounting or some aggressive behaviour can be avoided with desexing.

We recommended booking your pet in for desexing from 14-16 weeks onwards provided it has completed its full primary vaccination course.

We see many un-desexed dogs at Lort Smith Animal Hospital with potentially life threatening conditions that are expensive to treat and many of these require surgery and anaesthetic when the patient is in its most compromised state. This becomes a high risk situation.

Common conditions include infected uteruses (pyometra), mammary tumours, diseases of the prostate and hernias which are secondary to being un-desexed. In almost all of these cases neutering would be recommended as part of the treatment but such costs and risks could be easily avoided if the desexing was performed when the pet was young.

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 Orthopaedic surgery

Lort Smith Animal Hospital is well equipped with orthopaedic equipment and has a number of vets who have the necessary experience and skills to perform nearly all types of orthopaedic surgery. A consultation is required so that our vets are able to examine your pet to determine if surgery is possible.

Some of the more common surgeries we perform include knee surgery on loose kneecaps (patella luxation) and stabilisation of the knee due to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.

We also regularly perform more complex surgery often resulting from trauma and motor vehicle accidents. These include bone plating or pinning and wiring on fractures of limbs, pelvises, jaws, feet and toes. The main exception is spinal surgery, which we are not equipped to manage.

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 Before surgery

In most cases, a clinical and surgical assessment by way of a consultation is required before we can book your pet in for surgery at Lort Smith Animal Hospital, even if you are not a regular client of ours and your local vet has recommended a particular type of surgery. This is because not all surgery is performed in exactly the same way and the option your local vet has discussed with you may differ from what we do at Lort Smith Animal Hospital.

In the cases of emergencies or potentially life threatening sutuations such as trauma wounds, fractures, intestinal foreign bodies, uterine infections (pyometra) or caesareans, your pet may be admitted for surgery immediately following the consultation. 

All non-urgent elective surgery such as long-standing lumps, dentals, corrective surgery, and some orthopaedic surgery including luxating patellas or cruciate ligament tears, will need to be booked in. We perform elective surgery from Monday to Friday.

An estimated cost for the surgical procedure will be discussed with you at the time of the consultation. While we make all effort to provide an estimate that is as accurate as possible, keep in mind that no procedures are the same and many factors can result in variation of costs. Factors influencing cost include the size of your pet, duration of surgery, unforseen complications, medication requirements, and duration of post operative stay.

In most cases a deposit of 50% of the estimated costs will be required before we can proceed with any surgical procedure. If you anticipate that there may be difficulties meeting this requirement, please speak to our customer service staff either before or immediately after the initial consultation.

Fasting of your pet is essential if it is undergoing any procedure that may require sedation or an anaesthetic. For elective procedures that are booked for a morning admission, fasting is required from midnight. If you are admitting your pet the previous afternoon or evening for an elective procedure the following day, fasting is not necessary as we will ensure it is fasted overnight. Water should not be withheld and should be made available at all times.

If you are bringing your pet in for a consultation due to a particular injury or condition and suspect that sedation or an anaesthetic may be required, you should not feed your pet. This includes not giving treats or tidbits, because a pet that has been fed has a much higher anaesthetic risk so its procedure may be delayed until it is safe to proceed.

Surgical Priority - If your pet has a booking for elective surgery on a particular day we will do our best to ensure your pet has surgery on time. However, as with any busy hospital, human or animal, we are unable to anticipate what cases are admitted. There may be patients that require more urgent or critical surgical intervention than that for which your pet has been booked. These patients must take priority which may result in some procedures being postponed. We seek your understanding if this happens.

A current vaccination status is essential if your pet is being admitted into hospital for any procedure. It protects both your pet and the other patients if your pet is carrying an infectious disease. If you are unsure about the vaccination status of your pet please speak to our veterinary staff at the time of the consultation.

Cancellations or reschedules - We have four operating theatres working each weekday to keep up with the demand for our surgical services. If you have decided not to proceed with a booked elective procedure or would like to have it rescheduled for an alternative day please call us on 03 9328 3021 to make the necessary arrangements. This way we are able to free up the booking for another patient that requires surgery.

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 Post operative care

Discharge time - Depending on the nature of your pet’s operation and what time of day it is performed, it may need to stay overnight or longer for recovery and post operative monitoring. Once your pet is ready for discharge, you should receive a call from the veterinary team to arrange a discharge time.

Skin stitches - Most surgical patients will go home with skin stitches or sutures at their surgical site. These sutures generally stay in for two weeks before they are required to be removed. Variations of this may include skin staples which also require removal, dissolving sutures which will fall off after two - three weeks, or intradermal sutures where there are no visible sutures at all on the surface of the skin.

You should not need to maintain the surgical site once your pet goes home but it is important that you monitor for any signs of discharge, bleeding, redness, swelling, or breakdown and if you are concerned, please contact the hospital on 03 9328 3021.

Your pet should most certainly not be tending to the sutures at all, and you must avoid letting it lick, bite or chew at the stitches as this can potentially infect and damage the surgery site. An Elizabethan collar, commonly known as a cone or a buster collar, can be placed to ensure your pet is not able to access the surgical wound.

Medication - If your pet has been sent home with medication it is important that you medicate it according to the instructions. Do not give more doses than instructed on the label and ensure that the full course is given. This is especially important with antibiotics because stopping medication too early may result in a flare up of infection leading to complications with the surgery.

Post operative rest - For most surgeries, a post operative rest of two weeks is recommended for your pet. The exception is if your pet has undergone orthopaedic surgery in which case it may require several weeks of rest and confinement. It takes approximately two weeks for any surgical wound to heal successfully. Until then the skin is undergoing a delicate healing process. Excess activity and movement including jumping, running and even walking, can unnecessarily delay the healing process and may even cause complications such as wound breakdown or fluid build up.

Revisit - We would like to see your pet again two weeks after the surgery to check on its progress and make sure there have been no complications with the surgery. Where applicable, we will remove the staples or sutures.  If any biopsies have been sent to the lab, we can discuss the results with you at that time.

Contact us - If you have any concerns about the progress of your pet in any way, please contact us on 03 9328 3021.

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Lort Smith Contact Details