Surgical Services

At Middle Creek Veterinary Hospital & Exotic Animal Clinic, you can rest assured that our talented veterinarians will take the utmost care of your animal family members. As an extension of our top-notch service, we proudly continue to offer personalized attention to your non-human family with a plethora of surgical services. Every surgical patient receives quality monitoring before, during, and after surgery, appropriate pain management, and clear home-care instructions. We use the most advanced surgical techniques and follow the best surgical safety protocols so you can stress less when your fur-feather-scale baby has surgery.

What to Expect With Pet Surgery

All of our staff at Middle Creek Veterinary Hospital have personal pets at home and we understand how the thought of surgery can be stressful. Although we perform surgery regularly, our team does not take for granted that any anesthesia or surgical procedure has risks. Every patient undergoing a procedure is continuously monitored for potential complications. We are fortunate in that many of our surgeries, like spays or neuters, are planned ahead. Even when surgery is unexpected, our mission is to ensure that you are adequately informed about your pet’s condition and all of the options that are available for treatment – so you can feel as comfortable as possible with your pet’s upcoming procedure.

How to Know if Your Pet Needs Surgery

For elective procedures like spaying and neutering, most patients aren’t “sick” and don’t show any outward signs that they need surgery. Some of our exotic animal species also don’t show obvious signs that they need surgery when they do. Other patients are clearly ill and need to be evaluated right away. By no means an all-inclusive list, below are a few signs that your pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. If your pet is exhibiting any of the following symptoms or other symptoms that you find concerning, please refer to our emergency services page and contact a veterinarian as soon as you can.

  • Unproductive retching (repeatedly trying to vomit without bringing up anything or bringing up foam)
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Inability to eat or drink without vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing, with or without coughing
  • Sudden onset of limping, stumbling, or falling
  • Birds sitting at the bottom of the cage “fluffed”
  • Egg-laying behaviors without production of eggs

Surgery Day

Before surgery, we will have you fill out and sign the required paperwork – by email when possible or in the office if not. This will include an estimate as well as a consent form that outlines the risks of anesthesia and surgery.

For scheduled procedures: on the day your pet is scheduled for surgery, you will bring them to our office for surgical drop-off. This is most commonly on a Tuesday morning but may sometimes be scheduled to accommodate everyone’s needs better. During drop-off, our veterinary nurses will review your paperwork with you. If any optional or variable items are in your estimate, they will discuss them with you so we can best follow your wishes. They can also answer any questions before you leave your pet with us. The same basic process will happen for emergency or unexpected procedures, with different timing and urgency.

Stringent Veterinary Surgery Protocol

For the safety of your cherished companion, we follow stringent protocols before anesthetizing or performing any procedure on them. After the pre-surgery check-in is complete, we will perform a comprehensive pre-surgical examination and ensure that blood tests have been completed and reviewed. This allows our veterinarian to determine if your pet faces any additional risks of anesthesia-related complications.

Absolute cleanliness and sterile techniques are essential to minimize the risk of infections following surgery. We make that happen in three (3) primary ways: dedicated surgical suites, appropriate surgical attire, and sterile instruments/equipment. The surgical suite is a room inside Middle Creek Veterinary Hospital where nothing else is done except surgery. This keeps this room as clean as possible to prevent infection and cross-contamination. Our staff always wear disposable caps and masks when they are in the surgical suite. Those involved in the procedure itself will also wear sterile gowns and single-use gloves. Last but certainly not least, we carefully clean, sterilize and wrap our surgical instruments and equipment before every surgery.

When Will My Pet Come Home?

The majority of our elective dog and cat surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, and will go home the same day. More complicated procedures or those performed on our exotic animal patients usually spend at least one (1) night in the hospital to reduce the risk of complications after they leave the hospital. The hospital staff will not be in the building overnight but will have eyes and ears on and be able to talk to all overnight patients. Staff can also return to the hospital overnight if needed for anything concerning on a patient monitor. We strongly recommend that any patient who needs hands-on post-surgical care be transferred to one of our partner hospitals for overnight monitoring.

Common Surgical Procedures

Reproductive Surgery

Reproductive surgery, often called “fixing” or spaying and neutering, allows pet owners to stop and/or prevent their furry, scaly, or feathery animal family members from reproducing. Spaying involves the removal of a female’s reproductive organs, while neutering is the process of removing a male’s testicles. At Middle Creek, we offer spay and neuter services for cats, dogs, and exotic animal patients. Reproductive surgery helps reduce overpopulation, can improve your pet’s overall health, helps with problem behaviors, and prevents certain diseases and cancer.

Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic surgery treats disorders of the bones, muscles, and joints. The list of possible orthopedic procedures is seemingly limitless. In humans, common types of orthopedic surgery are ACL surgery and knee replacement surgery. In our hospital, we frequently see dogs, cats, or exotic animals that have broken bones (fractures). This can be scary, but we are well-equipped to handle these urgent cases. The luckiest animals might be able to get away with a cast, but most will require some surgical intervention as the best treatment for a broken bone.

We perform most operations in our hospital and occasionally refer your pets to one of our partners’ veterinarians if we feel it will help your pet receive the best care possible. That happens in cases where we recommend that a board-certified veterinary surgeon evaluate and perform specialized surgical procedures like those required to repair herniated discs impacting the spinal cord. Don’t worry, though! We are here to guide you through whatever process will provide the safest and most rapid relief for your loved ones.

Mass or Tumor Removal

One soft tissue surgery we often perform is to remove masses or tumors – inside or outside of your pet’s body. This procedure may be only for your pet’s comfort, but it can also aid in diagnosing and preventing the spread of cancer. Our veterinarians are skilled in identifying and extracting growths with utmost care and precision. Many of these masses are benign or non-threatening. However, if the lump is malignant (cancerous), early removal and accurate mass analysis are imperative. It can significantly improve the outcome for your furry friend, and we’ll help you through every step toward recovery.

Eye Surgery

Excessive drainage or tearing production may indicate the presence of an eye infection or damage to the tissues around or inside the eye. A common occurrence that requires surgical intervention is when an animal’s eyelashes grow inward toward the eyeball, scratching the surface of the front of the eye. Our veterinarians can correct these afflictions with operations to reduce long-term scarring and patient discomfort. The eyes are an essential yet strikingly sensitive part of the body, and we want to ensure your pet can see their world clearly.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

Middle Creek Veterinary Hospital offers a range of gastrointestinal surgeries to address conditions affecting your pet’s digestive system. Among the most common interventions is foreign body/object removal. Any ingested object that does not pass through the digestive system, such as bones, toys, or fabric, can potentially be fatal if it obstructs the gastrointestinal tract and prevents the patient from eating or absorbing nutrients from food. Our team will promptly address these cases to ensure the safe removal of these items so your pet can return home soon.

Laceration Repair and Wound Treatment

Lacerations and wounds can happen for a vast array of reasons. Perhaps a cat was left with an open wound or cut after a fight with another cat. Or maybe a rabbit has been a lifelong picky eater and now has overgrown teeth and an abscess on its chin. No matter the situation, our comprehensive surgical solutions effectively treat these localized infections and wounds, promoting healing and preventing complications.

Egg Removal

Did you know that birds and reptiles can lay eggs whether or not they have a mate or partner? These eggs will be infertile (no babies) but otherwise still undergo the same production process. In fact, some of these animals will lay so many eggs to the point where their body needs more calcium than they are receiving in their regular diet. For this reason and others, egg-laying pets can develop a condition called egg binding. This is when that animal cannot lay their eggs normally and they get “stuck” somewhere along the reproductive tract. Eggs can also move outside the reproductive tract and get stuck inside their abdomen or coelom. Egg binding is a life-threatening condition in these patients and can require emergency surgery. Although this is an extremely delicate surgery and can be risky, our veterinarians are prepared to address this condition to save lives when needed.


Despite the variety of diagnostic testing and technology at our fingertips, finding a definitive cause for a pet’s specific ailment is sometimes only possible with a biopsy. A biopsy involves surgically removing a piece of tissue from the body of a living creature to examine it more closely. Almost any tissue can be biopsied, including growths, tumors, skin abnormalities, and abdominal organs such as the liver or intestine. After removal (the PROCESS of biopsying), the piece of tissue (the biopsy itself) is preserved, sliced to a thickness of about 1/10th that of human hair, stained, and examined under a microscope by a pathologist. This aids and is sometimes the only way to diagnose certain conditions, enabling effective treatment planning.


It may seem like an “extreme” treatment option, but there are cases in which the removal of a body part (amputation) is the fastest and easiest way to stop severe pain or prevent the death of a pet. It is also (for better or worse) usually significantly cheaper than trying to repair damage or injury to a body part. We always advocate for the best option for our patient, and at times that may look like removing a broken leg because it is the only financial decision that will allow a family to keep their loved one vs. having to give them away or put them to sleep.

Bladder Stone Removal

Much like humans, our pets can get kidney stones. Pets, thankfully, more commonly get stones in their bladder, which are easier to remove surgically. Bladder stones are rock-like mineral collections that cause extreme discomfort and urinary tract infections. They can also shift and block the urethra, preventing the animal from urinating (peeing). This condition can rapidly become fatal if not removed immediately. Surgical intervention and removal of bladder stones provide almost immediate relief and improvement for the animals suffering from them. After removal, the stones can be submitted for analysis, allowing our veterinarians to recommend your pet’s diet to prevent future stone formation.

Common Surgical Procedures for Exotic Pets

At Middle Creek Veterinary Hospital & Exotic Animal Clinic, we augment our top-tier medical care for exotic pets with surgical procedures exclusively for them. From the intricate surgeries that are necessary for birds to those for our reptilian and exotic mammal patients, we understand exotic animals through and through. We deliver solutions that can save lives and promote the health and happiness of every member of your animal family.


Birds are quite different animals when it comes to their medical and surgical needs. They require meticulous attention to detail and knowledge of their unique anatomy. Some of our most common surgeries for birds include:

Fracture repair: The decision of how to repair a fracture is two-fold – what will provide the most rapid recovery for the animal and what will allow them to achieve the best possible return to function. Our skilled team performs delicate fracture repair procedures in birds, ensuring proper healing.

Laceration and wound treatment: Birds seem to have unusually thin skin at times and get injured at the drop of a hat. We provide surgical interventions that address wounds and lacerations in birds, reducing their chance for infection and helping them get back to living their best life as soon as possible.

Mass removal: Modern medicine allows many of our pet birds to live much longer lives than they used to. Unfortunately, that sometimes means that they have more time to get a growth or a tumor. Our veterinarians perform surgery to remove growths, treat the resulting mass appropriately, and restore your bird’s internal or external well-being.

Egg removal: Laying eggs is a complicated process with a lot of steps that have the potential to go wrong. Several of these complications require surgical intervention. Egg binding can be a life-threatening condition in birds and our surgical procedures can help to address this condition to prevent complications.


Surgical care is vital for treating or preventing numerous health conditions in bunnies. However, due to their sensitive digestive systems, they are at a higher risk of complications from anesthesia. Rest assured, our team is fully equipped and prepared to manage these challenges and more, ensuring the best possible care for our furry friends. Here are some common procedures performed on rabbits at Middle Creek Veterinary Hospital:

Spay: Reproductive tract (ovarian or uterine) cancer is terrifyingly common in rabbits, even at a young age. Bunnies also reproduce like… well… bunnies…. and each bunny can have up to 12 babies in a litter. Our experienced veterinarians are adept at performing spays on rabbits, allowing them to live longer and healthier lives.

Neuter: Male rabbits that have been neutered at a young age have been shown to have a longer life expectancy and are less likely than their intact counterparts to urine mark their territory or show aggression. Neutering also eliminates the risk of developing testicular cancer later in life and promotes more stable litter box habits.

Dental surgery: Dental disease in rabbits is dishearteningly common and often can only be treated with dental surgery. Dental surgery can address dental diseases such as overgrown teeth, malocclusion, and other oral concerns, ensuring optimal chewing and comfort for your rabbit.

Mass removal: Whether it is a benign growth or a potentially cancerous mass, our veterinarians skillfully remove all kinds of lumps and bumps on bunnies. Removing a growth can improve your rabbit’s quality of life with the physical comfort of being gone and help diagnose potentially life-threatening diseases like cancer.

Abscess treatment: Rabbits are prone to abscesses, which are pockets of pus and infection underneath the skin or inside the body. Although they are infected, antibiotics alone are usually not enough to completely resolve the abscess. Our comprehensive surgical solutions effectively treat these pockets of infection to allow them to heal from the inside out.


Reptiles have anatomy and a metabolism that is unlike any other species, making it more difficult to discern their degree of illness from their behavior. The team at Middle Creek Vet has considerable experience with reptiles and can help you sort through all of the subtle symptoms and decide if surgery is the best option for them. The most common reptile surgeries we perform are:

Spay and/or Egg Removal: A surprising number of reptiles have reproductive diseases, including excessive egg production and difficulty laying eggs. For that reason, reptile spays are commonly performed in our hospital. Although it is an intricate procedure, our veterinarians have many years of experience to guide them through every moment.

Ear surgery: An extremely common but unexpected condition is ear swelling in reptiles. This can be caused for a few different reasons but usually needs specific surgical intervention and changes in the reptile’s environment to completely heal. Even though reptiles seem like they have selective hearing at times, we want to ensure that there is no medical reason for them to ignore us.

Amputation: Reptiles are often victims of their surroundings because they are unable to internally regulate their body temperature. This can lead to their fragile digits or the tip of their tail “losing circulation” and becoming irreparable. In these cases as well as other severe injuries or diseases, amputation may be necessary to allow your reptilian friend to return to loving life.

Digestive tract surgery (GI foreign body removal): Many reptiles have refined tastes and are picky eaters. Others will eat anything they can put into their mouths. Objects may need to be surgically removed for the latter so they don’t obstruct or block the entire tract. We will gladly perform this procedure so that your indiscriminate eater can look for more appropriate food items in the future.

Guinea Pigs and other Small Rodents

Tiny mammals bring great joy to our hearts and make us sad when they aren’t feeling well. No matter the creature’s size, surgical treatment for their disease may still be required. Our staff will happily bring out the magnification so that your tiny furry friend can receive the surgery they need to recover. Here are a few surgeries we perform commonly on smaller exotic mammals:

Spay: Guinea pigs are predisposed to develop reproductive tract disease as they age. Female rats are predisposed to developing mammary tumors. Frequently, we have to spay guinea pigs because they have developed a uterine tumor or a cystic ovary. We recommend early spaying for both of these species, in particular, to help reduce the development of these diseases. Our veterinarians are also able to perform a spay procedure as treatment (or a part of treatment) for these diseases.

Neuter: Some of our smaller rodents live more harmoniously in male-female groups. This is a recipe for many additional baby rodents unless appropriate measures have been taken for prevention. Neutering contributes to an improved quality of life in their family groups and less scent marking in their habitats.

Dental surgery: Rodents’ incisors (front teeth) and guinea pigs’ back teeth continue to grow throughout their whole life. Because of the constant growth rate, dental disease is common. Dental surgery addresses conditions such as overgrown teeth and dental abscesses so that our small mammals don’t have pain in their mouths.

Bladder stone removal: Bladder stones are, in essence, little rocks that bounce around in the bladder and make it very angry. They are painful and can lead to life-threatening urinary obstruction. We address this with surgical removal of bladder stones, which provides rapid relief to affected pets.


Ferrets are loveable and silly little weasels that get themselves into a lot of trouble at times. They are sadly also frequently victim to several different types of cancer as they age. Regardless of their age or degree of trouble-making, we are here to help with your ferret’s surgical needs. These are the most common surgeries we perform on ferrets:

Adrenal gland removal: Adrenal gland disease is ubiquitous in ferrets, and treatment methods vary drastically. Medical management is possible in a lot of cases and our surgical interventions can help other cases. Removal of the adrenal gland is a delicate procedure with which our veterinarians take great care to ensure is done properly.

Mass removal: As they age, ferrets often get lumps and bumps. We can remove these to increase their physical comfort if a particular growth is inhibiting movement or to attain a better diagnosis to develop a treatment plan for our ferret patients. Our skilled surgeons routinely remove masses in ferrets, helping to enhance their quality of life.

GI foreign body removal: Ferrets are known for eating things they shouldn’t eat. Additionally, their intestines are very small and do not allow the passage of some of their preferred objects, like foam. In those cases, surgical foreign body removal is required. After the foreign object is removed and they have recovered from surgery, your ferret can look for trouble once again.

Large Exotic Animals

Wolves, exotic cats, kangaroos, and other large exotic animals sometimes need surgery too. We want to help all of our companion animals and we are more than happy to answer any questions you have about surgery for these species if you have one. Contact us for more information.


If you have any questions about our surgical services, our knowledgeable staff is here to assist you. Please contact us if you feel your pet may need surgical services. If your pet has a case that requires a surgeon specialist, we may recommend one of our talented partners to perform the operation.