Specialty Veterinary Surgeries & Orthopedics
Our pet surgeons at VRCC provide a wide-range of surgical procedures and treatment modalities for various conditions, including soft tissue, orthopedic, and neurologic disease.
Our surgeons have diverse surgical training backgrounds, experiences, and interests, in order to offer your pet a variety of surgical, nonsurgical, and minimally invasive treatment options. State-of-the-art equipment is used for the performance of diagnostics and treatments, including laparoscopic, thoracoscopic, and arthroscopic procedures.
We work closely with other specialists in our veterinary hospital and primary care veterinarians who refer their patients to VRCC for care, striving for exceptional service at every level. Each pet will receive a detailed examination before discussing recommended diagnostic tests, procedures, risks, and expected outcomes.
Veterinary Surgeons & Anesthesiologists
A veterinary surgeon is trained to provide advanced surgical procedures to help in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet. A veterinary anesthesiologist is trained to use anesthesia to sedate your pet prior to surgery or diagnostic procedure. They are able to address life-threatening scenarios and safely bring your pet through surgery.
What to Expect at Your Pet's Appointment
At VRCC, our surgical center is equipped with cutting-edge surgical instrumentation and equipment. Everything we do and every decision we make is designed to ensure post-operative success for your pet.
- Pre-Operative Lab Work
Before any surgery, it is important to rule out potential health risks; for your pet's safety, we request that blood work be done within 2-6 weeks of the scheduled surgery day (unless otherwise discussed with your pet’s surgeon).
- Preparation & Medications
Take all food and snacks away from your pet after 10 p.m. A small amount of water is okay to leave available.
If you normally give nighttime medications, continue as normal, unless directed otherwise by our staff.
- Registration Forms & Meet Technician
When you drop off your pet, be prepared to:
- Sign the Surgery & Orthopedics Form and Check-In Questionnaire, and Procedure Consent Form
- Fill out the Patient Intake Form if you haven't already (please allow 15 minutes before your appointment to complete if you need assistance).
- Fill out the Anesthesia Questionnaire
- Verify phone numbers where a family member can be contacted
- Leave a deposit (the low end of the surgical estimate); unless other previous arrangements have been made
- Briefly meet with admitting technician to answer any questions
- Medical Records & Nutritional Information
Bring current information about your pet's condition, including medical records, special food diets, supplements, current bloodwork, and radiographs.
Let us know if your pet is on steroids or aspirin since these can increase the risk of bleeding disorders and/or infection and limit our choices for post-operative pain relief.
- Consultation & Physical Exam
During the consultation, a veterinary surgeon will perform a physical exam for your pet, then discuss your pet's condition and any further diagnostic and therapeutic options.
Our staff is properly trained to carefully restrain pets, so it's in your pet's best interest to let us do this for you, since they may sense fear or nervousness in you and react negatively, or nip, bite, scratch, jump in response to discomfort.
Please arrive with your dog on a leash (must be less than 6 feet long) and/or your cat in a carrier for your pet's safety and for the safety of other animals and people in the office.
Make sure your pet has attempted to both urinate and defecate before admitting.
If your pet already has an E-collar (aka lampshade, or cone) please bring it with you at admit drop-off.
Please have an idea of any medication refills you may need for post-op.
It is a good idea to have your pet groomed prior to surgery, they may not have another opportunity for 2-10 weeks.
Most clients will have a wide range of questions and concerns when bringing their pet in for surgery. Here are some commonly asked questions about appointments at our veterinary hospital:
- When are surgery appointments available?
New patient appointments are available Monday through Friday.
For some procedures, same day consultation and surgery may be available. Please note that surgery is not guaranteed the same day as your consultation, if it is determined that additional diagnostics and/or surgical planning is required.
Emergency surgeries are available throughout the week and weekends, including Holidays.
- How are referral appointments requested?
- What if my pet requires overnight care?
Most pets will stay the night after their surgery for observation and to ensure postoperative comfort. Your pet’s care will be provided by a 24-hour staff of doctors and technicians.
We provide fresh, comfortable bedding, along with food and water as medically appropriate. We recommend against leaving any personal belongings with your pet during their stay, as it is possible these items may get misplaced.
If you wish to provide a specific diet for your pet during their stay, please bring it in a sealed, leak-proof container, and make sure its contents are clearly labeled with: type of food, your pet’s name, and the date.
- What are your patient visiting hours and guidelines?
We understand that pets are a part of the family. Being separated from your pet can be extremely difficult and stressful for everyone. Although we do not have set visiting hours at our hospital, you are able to visit your pet during their stay in the hospital.
Please observe the following guidelines for visiting with your pet:
- To set up a time to visit with your pet, call to speak with your pet's care team.
- We request that you limit your visit to 15 minutes – consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to allow for extended visitation time.
- If you visit your pet after-hours, keep in mind that your pet's primary care team will not be available for questions. Any questions you have will be addressed the following day when the primary care team is back in the hospital.
- All necessary safety protocols must be followed in cases when your pet is being hospitalized in our isolation unit.
- In some situations, our Patient Care staff may request that you return to the lobby. We will reunite you with your pet as soon as possible.
- Although you will not be allowed to stay overnight with your pet, we welcome you to call and check in with our patient care staff at any time to learn the status of your pet.
- For privacy purposes, patient status for pets other than your own cannot be shared.
- How do I refill my pet's prescription?
Prescriptions may be refilled by speaking with one of our staff members or by simply leaving a message on our department voice mail at (303) 874-2073.
Please call for refills Monday through Thursday from 7:00 am - 5:00 pm. Once refills are filled, they can be picked up at our Pharmacy.
Prescriptions are only refilled during regular business hours, not on weekends, so be sure to request refills early enough that you will not run out.
By law, prescriptions can only be made for one year. After a year another appointment must be made to refill your pet's medications.
For long-term prescription needs, your doctor may recommend transferring medication refill needs back to your primary veterinarian, for improved continuity of care and monitoring.
- When should I book my pet's checkup/recheck appointment?
Rechecks will be discussed at the time of your pet's appointment and/or discharge.
Our surgeons routinely perform the following elective and non-elective surgeries. Please note that this list is not comprehensive; if your veterinarian recommends a procedure that is not listed below, please call VRCC Surgery to determine if our surgeons perform the recommended surgery.
- Soft Tissue Surgery
Soft tissue services include:
- Oral Procedures
- Maxillofacial surgery
- Cleft palates
- Oronasal fistulas
- Ear, Nose, and Throat Procedures
- Upper airway surgery for brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)
- Laryngeal surgery for laryngeal paralysis
- Total ear canal ablation (TECABO), ventral bulla osteotomy, and various other ear canal procedures
- Thyroid/parathyroid removal
- Lymph node removal
- Salivary mucocele treatment
- Urinary Procedures
- Stone removal
- Ureteral surgery including stent placement, ectopic ureteral correction, and subcutaneous ureteral bypass system (SUBS) placement for treatment of ureteral obstruction
- Perineal/scrotal urethrostomy for treatment of urethral obstruction
- Urethral prolapse repair
- Genital/Reproductive System Procedures
- Ovariohysterectomy (spay) for pyometra
- Emergency c-section
- Routine neuter or cryptorchid neuter (neuter for retained testicle)
- Routine or laparoscopic spay
- Episioplasty for recurrent UTIs
- Correction of various other congenital or acquired disorders
- Gastrointestinal Procedures
- Obstruction/foreign body removal
- Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) treatment and prevention via gastropexy
- Anorectal surgery including anal sacculectomy and prolapse repair
- Subtotal colectomy for megacolon
- Spleen, Liver, and Gallbladder Procedures
- Liver biopsy and mass removal
- Gall bladder removal and stenting
- Portosystemic shunt occlusion (Coming soon)
- Chest/Thoracic Procedures
- Pericardial surgery
- Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) correction
- Pectus excavatus correction
- Lung lobe removal
- Pyothorax and paraesophageal abscess
- Thoracic duct ligation for treatment of chylothorax (Coming soon)
- Hernia Repair
- Diaphragmatic and peritoneopericardial
- Sliding hiatal
- Abdominal, inguinal, and perineal
- Surgical Oncology (These cases are a joint effort with the VRCC Medical and Radiation Oncology Services)
- Removal of tumors/masses of various organ systems
- Gastropexy for the prevention of GDV
- Ovariectomy (spay)
- Cryptorchidectomy (neuter for retained testicle)
- Liver biopsy
- Gallbladder removal for stones or mucocele (cholecystectomy; Coming soon)
- Nephrectomy (Coming soon)
- Laparoscopic-assisted splenectomy (Coming soon)
- Adrenalectomy (Coming soon)
- Pericardial window/pericardectomy
- Thoracoscopic-assisted vascular anomaly correction (Coming soon)
- Thoracic duct ligation (Coming soon)
- Wound Care
- VAC wound treatment
- Skin grafts and flaps
- Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic services include standard and minimally invasive treatments, such as:
- Fractures and Joint Luxation/Dislocation Repair
- Tendon Injury Repair
- Stifle/Knee Disorders
- Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries/rupture:
- Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO)
- Extracapsular stabilization
- Patellar luxation (MPL) correction
- Osteochondrosis dessicans (OCD) treatment
- Meniscal injury
- Hip Dysplasia and/or Luxation/Dislocation
- Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis
- Femoral head ostectomy
- Hip toggle procedure
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Fragmented medial coronoid removal
- Correction of radioulnar incongruency
- Osteochrondrosis dessicans (OCD) treatment
- Ununited anconeal process treatment
- Shoulder Disorders
- Osteochrondrosis dessicans (OCD) treatment
- Biceps tendinopathy
- Shoulder instability
- Standard and needle (outpatient) arthroscopy for joint evaluation and various treatments including:
- CCL tear diagnosis
- Meniscal injury diagnosis and removal or repair
- Elbow dysplasia diagnosis
- OCD diagnosis and treatment
- Biceps tendinopathy diagnosis and treatment
- Joint Injections including hyaluronic acid, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), corticosteroids, and Spryng
- Injections for the management of arthritis including Adequan, Librela and Solensia
- Neurologic Procedures
- Hemilaminectomies and ventral slot procedures for the treatment of intervertebral disk disease (Coming soon)
- Laser disk ablation for prevention of intervertebral disk herniation (Coming soon)
- Prophylactic Procedures
Laser Disc Ablation (Coming soon)
This minimally invasive procedure is performed to decrease the chance of disk herniation in dogs prone to intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), such as Dachshunds and French Bulldogs. It involves the use of a laser to vaporize the intervertebral discs in the mid- and lower- back. Laser disc ablation can be performed on any dog with a history of back pain or previous disc herniation in order to significantly decrease the incidence of future disc herniation. VRCC is one of the few facilities in the country to offer this procedure.
Open or Laparoscopic Gastropexy
This procedure involves permanently tacking the stomach to the inside abdominal wall in order to prevent gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV). GDV is a potentially fatal condition that occurs in large and giant breeds as well as deep-chested breeds (Great Danes, Labrador Retrievers, Standard Poodles, Weimaraners, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, German Short-Haired Pointers, St Bernards, Basset Hounds, etc). This procedure can be performed at the same time as spay and neuter.
Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis
This minimally invasive procedure is performed to improve the conformation of the hip joint and reduce the severity of hip dysplasia later on in life. It is performed in puppies 12-20 weeks old and is recommended for those with signs of hip pain/laxity or high-risk breeds (German Shepherd Dogs, Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Saint Bernards, etc.).
Upper Airway Surgery for Brachycephalic Breeds
Early treatment of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) can significantly improve the clinical signs and quality of life of dogs affected by the condition, and may reduce the severity of potentially life-threatening secondary changes. Commonly affected breeds include English and French Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boston Terriers.
Diagnostics & Tools
We offer a wide range of diagnostics at our animal hospital, including:
Digital images are ready for evaluation within seconds and allow us to email or make copies of your pet’s images so that your family veterinarian has a complete medical update.
Computed Tomography (CT scan) and Fluoroscopy
CT is used to evaluate both soft tissue and bone, providing better evaluation of structures inside the body than can be achieved with standard radiography, and is used for radiation planning.
Fluoroscopy is essentially a “real-time” or “motion x-ray” that can be used during surgery for improved visualization of certain structures.
Laparoscopy, Thoracoscopy, & Arthroscopy
These minimally invasive techniques using state-of-the-art equipment involve the creation of several small “ports” for placement of a camera and instruments. These procedures can be used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
Ultrasound of the abdomen and musculoskeletal system is performed by specialists in our hospital to help diagnose conditions and safely obtain samples that aid in diagnosis.