rab sxThe Highest Standards of Surgical, Anesthetic, and Nursing Care for Dogs

We offer a wide variety of surgical services for dogs, including elective, soft tissue, orthopedic, and eye surgeries. You can rest assured that your dog will receive the very best surgical care, including:

  • Anesthesia is tailored to the specific age and health issues of your pet
  • An IV catheter is placed prior to surgery to allow for emergency administration of medication
  • Doctors are assisted by Certified Veterinary Technicians (CVTs)
  • Pain medication is given before and during surgery
  • Vital signs are continually monitored during surgery: Pulse oximetry, EKG, Temperature, Blood pressure, Capnography (CO2)
  • Thermal regulating equipment is used to maintain your pet’s body temperature during both surgery and recovery
  • Your pet is constantly monitored by a CVT during recovery from anesthesia
  • Additional optional services are available to make your pet comfortable while appreciating individual budget constraints

If you choose to compare fees with other clinics, make sure that you evaluate the same quality of care.

When Your Pet Needs Surgery

For those times when surgery is needed for your pet, you can be assured that Countrycare provides the highest standards of surgical, anesthetic and nursing care. Preparation for a surgical procedures starts long before the actual surgery itself.

  • Consultation about your pet’s procedure
  • Pre-surgical exam to evaluate for anesthetic or surgical concerns
  • Pre-anesthetic blood work

Surgical procedures are performed under “general anesthesia”. Your pet sleeps painlessly through the entire surgical procedure. We use the safest pre-anesthetic medications and isoflurane gas anesthesia.

Dr. Richard Barr & Dr. Aili Heintz

Our surgeons, Dr. Barr and Dr. Heintz, have many years of experience and continual education and training on the newest surgical techniques and procedures. Their skills and expertise cover a wide range of procedures, from extensive 15 pound tumor excisions to delicate eye problems and complicated bone fractures and many more. They regularly perform complex surgical procedures that other surgeons avoid.

Download Our Informational Surgical Grid

laser sxSurgical Laser

What Does a Surgical Laser Do?

The laser does several things to provide better surgical technique and outcome for your pet’s surgery:

1. Less Pain

The laser seals nerve endings as it “cuts”. As a result, your pet will experience less pain and be more comfortable post-operatively.

2. Less Bleeding

The Laser seals small blood vessels during surgery. This makes procedures faster and helps visualize the surgical area better, therefore reducing complications.

3. Less Swelling

Laser energy does not crush, tear, or bruise tissue because the only thing that touches your pet is an invisible beam of light. It also seals lymphatic vessels which decreases swelling after surgery.

4. Less Trauma

Lasers cut with a beam of light without touching the tissues. This eliminates much of the trauma associated with standard techniques.

5. More Precise

Lasers allow the surgeon to be able to perform surgery with more precision.

6. Faster Recovery

Lasers will speed up the recovery time of almost any surgical procedure. Pets generally recover faster with fewer side effects. Less pain, less bleeding, & less swelling help speed recovery and shorten a hospital stay.

7. Less Infection

There is a reduced risk of infection because the Laser seals the skin and reduces the amount of bacteria present. It also removes unhealthy tissue while minimizing adverse effects to healthy surrounding tissue.

What Does this Mean for My Pet?

It means that you can be guilt free about your pet having surgery. You want your pet to be comfortable and heal quickly – that’s what Laser surgery provides.

It is the kind of care that you would want for yourself…and the care that your best friend deserves!

k9 surgeonElective Surgeries

Ovariohysterectomy (Spay)

An ovariohysterectomy is commonly referred to as a spay surgery. During a spay surgery the ovaries and uterine body are surgically removed.  Spay surgeries are performed to prevent unwanted litters/mating, to reduce the risk of certain hormone associated cancers such as ovarian/uterine/mammary cancer, and to prevent a potentially life threatening infection of the uterus called a pyometra. An ovariohysterectomy surgery is typically performed around 6-12 months of age but can also be performed on older animals too.

Neuter

A neuter is a surgery in which the testicles are removed. Neuter surgery is performed to prevent unwanted breeding, to reduce the risk of certain hormone associated cancers such as testicular cancer, to reduce the risk of prostatic disease, and to decrease hormone associated marking or aggression behaviors. A neuter surgery is most commonly performed between 6-12 months, but can also be performed on older animals as well.

Hernia Repair

A hernia is a defect in the body wall that allows contents from the inside of the body to bulge out under the skin. The most common type of hernia is an umbilical hernia (near the belly button area). Other types of hernias include inguinal (groin region) and perineal (next to the anus). If surgery is not done to correct a large hernia, it could cause internal organs to potentially become twisted and cause pain and issues with normal digestion, urination, or defecation.

k9 iceSoft Tissue Surgeries

Bladder Stones (Cystotomy)

Bladder stones are a rock-like collection of minerals that can form in the urinary bladder. Bladder stones may be present as a single stone or multiple stones of various sizes. Bladder stones can develop secondary to pH of the urine, urinary tract infections, an imbalance in diet or genetic makeup. Symptoms of a bladder stone include bloody urine, straining to urinate, a change in urine stream or inability to urinate, or an increase in the frequency of urination. There are some pets with bladder stones that may not show any signs and the stones may be found during a wellness exam or incidentally during other diagnostic testing.

Small stones and certain types of bladder stones may be dissolved by changing the diet while others may need to be surgically removed.  Surgically removing bladder stones is accomplished by a surgery called a cystotomy. The bladder stones are submitted for analysis so that the type of stone can be identified and appropriate treatment can be started to help prevent bladder stones from reforming.

Bloat or GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus) Surgery

GDV occurs when there is excessive gas in the stomach that is unable to pass due to a twist (or volvulus) of the stomach. Bloat/GDV is often a life-threatening condition seen primarily in large, deep chested dogs. Signs that may be seen at home include a distended/enlarged appearance to the belly, hunched over posture, drooling, dry heaving/unsuccessful attempts to vomit, rapid breathing, or discomfort and restlessness. This condition is generally a surgical emergency since stomach dilation can greatly compromise your dog’s circulation to the stomach and potentially other surrounding organs.

During the surgery the stomach is permanently attached to the inside muscles of the abdominal wall with a technique called a belt-loop gastropexy. This prevents the stomach from twisting in the future. Surgery can also be done in breeds with a higher predisposition (like deep-chested dogs) to prevent the condition from occurring in the future.

Tumor Removal

A tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue which can be either benign (a localized growth that does not  spread to other parts of the body) or malignant (a cancerous growth with the potential to spread to other areas of the body). Tumors can be found either externally on/under the skin or internally in the chest or abdomen. Due to the potential of any abnormal growth to be cancerous it is often recommended to surgically remove the growth if it is growing rapidly in size, changing shape or color, in an area of high motion that could affect the pet’s ability to move comfortably, or causing pain or irritation to the pet. Following surgical removal, the tumor is evaluated by a pathologist at the lab to determine if it is benign or malignant so that the proper after-care can be determined.

Anal Gland Removal (Anal Sacculectomy)

Anal Gland Removal surgery is commonly referred to as an anal sacculectomy. Anal glands are normal structures just inside the rectum. These glands produce a secretion that helps with scent marking and can have a very strong odor. Reasons for surgically removing these glands include chronic infections of the anal glands, anal gland masses, and extreme irritation for the pet.

Abdominal Exploratory

An abdominal exploratory surgery refers to a surgery into the abdomen to look for diagnostic purposes. During an exploratory surgery, there may be biopsies, or samples of organs, taken for further testing to help diagnose a specific problem. Other conditions that may be corrected during an exploratory surgery include foreign bodies in the intestines/stomach or tumors such as splenic or liver masses. If foreign bodies or masses are found during an exploratory, the condition can be addressed at that time.

puppylegOrthopedic Surgeries

Patellar Luxation

A patellar luxation (or a luxating patella) refers to when the kneecap (patella) of an animal has abnormal motion or popping out to the side of the leg rather than smoothly moving up and down. A patella luxation are seen most frequently in smaller and toy breed dogs. Common signs of this condition include intermittent hind limb lameness or holding up of a hind limb in a fixed position. Surgical correction involves deepening the groove to prevent the patella from slipping out and to tighten the ligament that helps to support the knee joint.

ACL Repair

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries of the knee are one of the most common injuries in large breed dogs. The cruciate ligament in the knee normally helps to stabilize the knee joint preventing the lower portion of the leg from sliding out from the upper portion. Dogs that have torn their cruciate ligament may exhibit signs such as limping or a toe-touching lameness. During an orthopedic evaluation abnormal motion may be felt in the knee joint and an approximate percentage of the tear may be estimated. With minor cruciate injuries, surgery may not be required; however, injuries showing a high percentage of cruciate damage will benefit from early surgical correction.

There are many ways to surgically correct an ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament including the lateral suture technique, tightrope procedure, TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy), and the TTA (tibial tuberosity advancement) procedures. The best surgical technique will depend on your pet’s injury, conformation, weight, age and activity level. We recommend and utilize the tightrope procedure for most dogs.

Comparison of Surgical Techniques to repair ACL tear

Fracture Bone Repair

Fractured (broken) bones typically occur due to a trauma or injury. X-rays are needed to fully assess the extent of the bony damage and to plan for the best fixation technique. Surgical fixation may include intermedullary pinning, intermedullary screws, bone plating or a combination depending on the type of fracture and location.

k9 eyeEye Surgeries

Cherry Eye Correction

Cherry eye is also referred to as prolapsed gland of the 3rd eyelid.  The third eyelid is seen at the inside corner of your dog’s or cat’s eye. The gland that is associated with the third eyelid can become inflamed (swollen) or can become traumatized causing it to appear like a pinkish mass by the eye. Cherry eye can not only be cosmetically unappealing for the owner but it can also cause irritation for the pet.  Cherry eye surgery is performed by surgically tucking in the prolapsed gland to prevent continued irritation to the eye.  Surgery to remove the gland of the third eyelid is not recommended as the gland helps with normal eye lubrication.

Entropion Correction

Entropion refers to an inward rolling of the eyelid or portion of the eyelid.  This causes hair and eyelashes to rub on the eye causing irritation and can potentially lead to ulcers on the eye (scratches or wounds to the corneal surface of the eye).  Surgical correction involves removing excessive skin near the affected eyelid to allow the eyelid to be reshaped.

Ectropion Correction

Ectropion refers to an outward rolling of the eyelid and appears like a drooping eyelid.  This eyelid abnormality affects the ability for the eyelid to close over the eye properly and the affected eye may be more prone to dryness, irritations, and foreign bodies.  Surgical correction involves removing a portion of the excessive eyelid to tighten the lid margins.

Keratectomy

Keratectomy surgery is used in the treatment of slow healing or severe ulcers of the eye.  During the procedure the outside portion of the damaged corneal tissue is gently removed and a grid pattern is made over the ulcer to encourage a more rapid healing process for the eye.

Enucleation

Enucleation is the surgical removal of the eye.  This surgery is performed for patients who have a painful or non-functioning eye due to advanced or uncontrolled glaucoma (increased pressure within the eye itself), severe trauma to the eye, or tumors of the eye.  After the eye is removed, the eyelids are permanently closed allowing a cosmetic appearance.

What People
Have Said

"Dr. Heintz was so gentle and compassionate with our dog. The vet tech was so kind and understanding with all of the questions that I asked her. They made me feel comfortable with the decisions that we made for Maddie."
- Faye D., Algoma