The Surgery Service at the VSC accepts the full spectrum of general surgery cases referred by general practitioners, as well as having a pivotal role in the management of cases admitted via other services within the practice. The integration of many of our specialists’ services in this way ensures extremely high standards of case management.
The highly skilled team lead by Dr Tony Black provides consultations Monday to Saturday. Our team is extensively trained and experienced in all aspects of soft tissue, spinal and orthopaedic surgery, including Total Hip Replacement and arthroscopy.
Soft tissue surgery is a varied discipline and includes the majority of surgical procedures which do not fall under the remit of orthopaedic surgery. Areas covered include ear, nose and throat, cardiothoracic, hepatic, gastrointestinal, urogenital, skin reconstructive and oncological surgeries.
Lameness is surprisingly common in dogs and cats but while this is the main reason for orthopaedic referral, many animals are also referred for treatment of trauma (mostly fractures), limb deformities, spinal diseases and neurological conditions. Most animals with lameness are limping because they are in pain even if they do not vocalise.
In order to make a diagnosis we will perform a thorough physical examination as well as spend time with the owner to obtain a detailed history. Once the problem has been localised, further tests are often required to establish a definitive diagnosis. Further investigations into orthopaedic conditions may include conventional radiography (X-rays), arthroscopy, MRI, CT, joint fluid analysis, and electromyography. Ultrasonography, radiographs and blood tests are often required for soft tissue conditions. Only when a definitive diagnosis has been reached can the correct advice and treatment be offered.
During this investigation, patients are usually admitted to the hospital, although in some cases investigations may be scheduled for admission at a future date. After any diagnostic or surgical procedures, animals stay at the VSC until the clinicians are satisfied with their recovery.
Unfortunately, due to the uncertainty of the diagnosis at the time of initial referral it is not always possible for animals to be admitted for surgery on the same day as their consultation.
Our Surgical service will always endeavour to find time to see urgent cases at short notice. The surgeons are always happy to discuss cases over the telephone with veterinary colleagues, but are unable to discuss cases with owners prior to a formal consultation.
From left to right: Martin Havlicek, Stephen Fearnside, Tony Black, Daniel James, Ricky Cashmore