Small Animal Surgery

The CityU Veterinary Medical Centre (CityU VMC) Surgery Service is a Specialist service, run by boarded specialist veterinary surgeons, who have undergone rigorous training and examination to diagnose and treat surgical diseases of small animal patients. The reasons for seeing a specialist surgeon may include: management of surgical disease processes which require greater expertise than which can be provided by your primary care veterinarian.

Our services include:

  • Orthopaedic surgery (e.g. Fracture repair or joint surgery)
  • Soft tissue Surgery (e.g. Abdominal, thoracic interventions)
  • Oncologic (Cancer) surgery (e.g. Resections of primary or secondary cancers)
  • Neurologic Surgery (e.g. Decompressive spinal surgery)

What to Expect

Upon arriving at the CityU VMC, your pet will likely have a preliminary examination by one of our veterinary technicians or interns, who may ask a series of early questions regarding the clinical problem which you are seeking advice on.

It is important that any previous diagnostic imaging (e.g. X-rays or Ultrasound) or laboratory results (blood tests or histopathology reports) are available on the day of consultation. Ideally if you have been referred from an outside veterinarian, a full patient history will be available for the surgeon on the same day. Any specific questions you have for the surgeon can be asked at the time of consultation. If Cantonese is your primary language, then simultaneous translation of the consultation will take place as is common in Hong Kong Veterinary Clinics.

Surgery evaluations often include:

  • Sedation for radiography. Often this is performed as an outpatient procedure, and patients (once recovered) can walk out within 1-2 hours of the procedure.
  • General anaesthesia for CT (Computed tomographic) or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans. We will often discuss whether it is necessary to have a Radiologist evaluation of more advanced imaging techniques such as CT scans. If a radiologist report is being sought, then this will usually become available on the next working day.
  • General Anaesthesia for surgical exploration or treatment. We work with other boarded specialists to get the best of care for your pet, and often the anaesthetics for our patients are administered and monitored by specialist anaesthetists. This increases the safety of anaesthesia and surgery, and gives us more predictable results. Importantly, the specialist anaesthetist is the best person to advise on analgesia (control of pain) for your pet’s surgical procedure.

Because of the possible need for sedation or anaesthesia, we advise not to feed your pet for around 8 hours prior to your scheduled visit.

Informed Consent

In the surgery service, we only ever proceed with evaluations or treatments once you as an owner fully understand the procedure being performed, and the possible implications of that procedure. After a detailed discussion with the surgeon and their staff, you will be asked to sign a consent form, which will detail exactly what procedures you have agreed to, what possible complications can be experienced, as well as the likely costs associated with the procedures.

If you have any questions relating to the procedures, please ask them during the consultation.

Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

What should I bring to my Surgery consultation?

A list of questions is sometimes a good way to avoid forgetting exactly what you wanted to ask the surgeon.

All previous diagnostic test results, including Imaging (Radiography, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, etc.) and laboratory results (Blood tests or pathology results) should be available at the time of consultation.

Any videos or photographs which represent the problem. Sometimes when evaluating lameness, it is easier to do this on normal walks, so a video can help to determine the extent or severity of the lameness.

Always bring your pet!

How long will my pet’s appointment take?

This is quite variable, and may depend on the complexity of your pet’s condition. Some surgical consultations can be completed in 15-20 minutes, while others may take as long as 45 minutes. Co-morbidities (other concurrent disease conditions) can sometimes complicate the picture, so prepare yourself for a possibly longer visit if your pet is older, or has multiple problems which need addressing.

What is a Cruciate rupture?

Cruciate rupture, refers to tearing of the cranial (anterior) cruciate ligament in the knee of dogs and cats. It is one of the most common causes of lameness, and is commonly managed with surgery. If your pet does have this problem, we will discuss the options and recommendations for managing this condition with you. Fortunately the outcomes are now very good for this condition.

What is Patella luxation?

Patella luxation, refers to excessive mobility and displacement of the patella, a small bone positioned within the main muscle group of the hind limb- the quadriceps mechanism. The problem is common in small and larger breeds of dog, and is graded (from 1-4) according to severity. In most cases surgery will be recommended if the problem is causing persistent lameness.