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Ophthalmic surgery is the specific area of pet care involving treatment of an animal’s eyes. For certain breeds, this service also involves the examination and certification of breeding dogs to verify their eyes are in good condition.

Eye examinations require specific equipment, such as an ophthalmoscope (a magnifying light to look into the eye). Our veterinarians may also use a special dye called fluorescein (it glows a green/yellow colour under a UV light) to identify damage to the cornea (the clear layer at the front of the eye). Many eye conditions can be treated medically, however, specific conditions may require surgery

Our practice is fully equipped to offer the following eye surgeries:

  • Enucleation (removal) of the eye for severe glaucoma or cancer cases  
  • Entropion surgery to prevent ocular damage from inward pointing eye lashes/eyelids
  • Ectropion surgery to correct outward facing lower eyelids
  • Eyelid tumour removal
  • Cherry eye surgery to correct a protruding third eyelid in dogs
  • Surgery to repair corneal ulcers (ulcers on the eye surface)

Our veterinarians can also refer your pet to a specialist veterinary ophthalmologist for specialised procedures such as eye ultrasound, vision testing or cataract removal.

Soft Tissue

Our veterinarians’ high level of expertise and our practice’s fully equipped surgical suite allows us to perform the vast majority of soft tissue surgical procedures that your pet may require. Soft tissue surgery encompasses any surgery that is not related to bones. It includes procedures such as desexing, exploratory laporotomies, caesareans, lump removals, biopsies, wound stitch-ups, removal of intestinal foreign bodies – the list is endless!

A very common soft tissue surgery is the removal of lumps. Some lumps may require a biopsy prior to removal to help understand whether they are cancerous or not. This information assists us in planning the surgery accordingly to give your pet the best possible outcome. Once they have been removed we recommend sending them to our external laboratory for analysis.

Although most lumps are benign (not harmful), a minority are more serious (malignant). In the case of malignant (cancerous) tumours, early removal and an accurate diagnosis is extremely important to maximise the chances of a good outcome.

If you find a lump or bump on your pet please make an appointment to visit one of our veterinarians to discuss any surgery your pet may require.

Please see our section under desexing for more details about this surgery.

Dental Disease

Dental Disease

Just like humans, our pets are vulnerable to gum disease and problems with their teeth. Alarmingly, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats suffer from some form of dental disease by the age of three.
When there is a build-up of bacteria, food particles and saliva on the teeth plaque is formed. Plaque sticks to the tooth surface above and below the gum line, it appears as a yellow-brown on the teeth, if not removed plaque will calcify into tartar (also known as calculus).
Over time the bacterial infection in tartar causes irreversible changes to occur, these can include the destruction of supportive tissues and bone, resulting in red gums, bad breath and loosening of teeth. This same bacterial infection is also a source of infection for the rest of the body (such as the kidney, liver and heart) and can make your pet seriously ill.
Ultimately, dental disease results in many pets unnecessarily suffering tooth loss, gum infection and pain. It also has the potential to shorten your pet’s lifespan.

How do I know if my pet has dental disease?

Our vets can examine your pet’s teeth on a regular basis and discuss options with you, if necessary we can make a follow-up appointment for a professional dental clean.
The professional dental teeth clean is completed while your pet is anaesthetised, this allows our experts to carry out a thorough dental examination, and clean all teeth without distressing your pet.
A complete dental examination involves charting all present teeth and evaluating their condition, including the degree of tartar, gingivitis (gum inflammation) and any pockets in the gums around the teeth. Our veterinarians will then remove the tartar above the gumline using a special ultrasonic scaler, just like a dentist uses for our teeth. The teeth are then polished using a dental polisher and specialised fine-grade paste.
If the dental disease is not severe the procedure will end here, however, if certain teeth are so severely affected they cannot be saved, extractions will be necessary.
Once all dental work is complete, your pet may be given an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory injection, pets are generally able to go home on the same day.
Following a professional dental clean, a plan needs to be implemented to minimise build up of tartar again, and will depend on the severity of your pet’s dental disease.  This may involve regular tooth brushing, feeding raw meaty bones and/or a special diet. It is recommended that all pets be examined 6 months after dental cleaning to determine the effectiveness of your dental care routine.

How can I minimise ongoing dental disease?

Long-term control and prevention of dental disease requires regular home care. The best way to begin this is to acclimatise your pet from a young age. Dental home care may include:

  • Pet Oral wipes to wipe over and clean your pets teeth daily
  • Brushing teeth daily using specialised pet toothbrush and toothpaste. DO NOT use human toothpaste as these may be toxic to your pet!
  • Feed specially formulated dental food
  • Use dental toys, enzymatic chews, or teeth cleaning biscuits
  • Regular and frequent attention to your pet’s teeth may avoid the need for a professional dental clean under anaesthetic, and will also improve your pet’s overall health. 

Read more about Dental Malocclusions


Orthopaedic surgery encompasses any surgery that is related to bones or joints. It includes procedures such as fracture repairs, ligament repairs and spinal surgery to name a few. 

Our veterinarians’ high level of expertise and our practice’s fully equipped surgical suite allows us to perform certain orthopaedic surgical procedures that your pet may require. These may include:

  • Cranial cruciate ligament repair
  • Fracture (broken bone) repair
  • Amputations for severe injuries or bone cancer cases

Complicated orthopaedic cases, such as spinal surgery, will need to be referred to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon. Our veterinarians will assess each case individually and provide the best advice for you and your pet.


Desexing or neutering is a common surgical procedure that involves removing the reproductive organs of your pet to prevent them from reproducing. In males, this procedure is commonly referred to as “castration,” which involves removing the testes, while in females, it is called “spaying,” which involves removing the ovaries and uterus. It is generally a safe and routine surgery and in most cases, your pet can go home on the same day as the surgery.

Desexing your pet before 6 months of age has several benefits, including a reduced risk of certain health issues, such as testicular cancer, prostate disease, pyometra (infection of the uterus), and mammary tumors (breast cancer). Additionally, desexing can help prevent unwanted litters and reduce aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males.

However, even if your pet is older than 6 months, they can still be desexed. It’s never too late to have your pet desexed, and there are still many benefits to doing so, including reducing the risk of certain health issues and preventing unwanted litters. Moreover, desexing can help your pet live a longer and healthier life and can also reduce council registration fees.

What to do before and after surgery

Before surgery:

  • Book a date for your pets operation
  • Wash your dog the day before surgery, as they will not be able to be washed until the stitches are removed
  • Do not give any food after 10pm the night before the operation
  • Do not give any water after 8am on the day of surgery
  • A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function.
  • The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic
  • Some pets may require intravenous fluid support during surgery, which will be discussed with you prior to the procedure
  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, they will receive pain relief prior to the surgery and will be sent home with pain relief medication for a few days after the procedure
  • It’s important to follow any other pre-surgical instructions your veterinarian provides to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet

After Surgery:

  • They will be feeling a bit tired, the effects of anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely
  • Keep them quiet to allow the wound to heal
  • Food and water should be limited to small portions only on the night of the surgery
  • Follow any further dietary instructions that the vet has provided
  • Ensure any post-surgical medications is administered as per the label instructions
  • Ensure your pet’s rest area is clean to avoid infection
  • Check the incision at least twice a day for any signs of infection or disruption (eg. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the vet immediately if these symptoms appear
  • Prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound – we send you home with an e-collar to assist with this problem
  • Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups and removal of stitches

Common questions about desexing

Q. Will desexing affect my pet’s personality?
A. Some pets may become calmer and less aggressive after being desexed, but it is not guaranteed. Some pets may still exhibit unwanted behaviors even after being desexed, and it is important to address these behaviors with appropriate training and management techniques. It is always best to discuss any concerns about your pet’s behavior with your veterinarian.

Q. Should my female have one litter first?
A. There is no medical or behavioral benefit to allowing a female pet to have a litter before desexing her. In fact, there are potential risks associated with breeding, such as pregnancy complications and the risk of passing on genetic disorders to offspring.

Q. Will it cause my pet to become fat?
A. Your pet’s metabolism may be slowed due to hormonal changes after desexing. However, this can easily be managed with proper diet and exercise. It is important to monitor your pet’s weight and body condition regularly and adjust their food intake and exercise routine as needed to maintain a healthy weight.

Q. Is desexing painful?
A. As with all surgery, there is some tenderness immediately after the procedure, but most pets will recover very quickly. We administer pain relief prior to surgery and after surgery too. Your pet will be discharged with a short course of pain relief medication to take at home for the first few days after the surgery.  In many cases, your pet will likely need some encouragement to take it easy!

Q. Will my dog lose its “guard dog” instinct?
A. No, your dog will be just as protective of their territory as before the surgery. Proper training and socialisation are key to ensuring that a dog’s protective instincts are directed in appropriate ways. It is always recommended to work with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist if you have concerns about your dog’s behavior.

If you have any questions or concerns in relation to your pet’s desexing, give us a call to discuss.

Grass Seeds on Your pet

Grass seeds in your pets fur

These nasty little awns can cause a lot of discomfort to your dog, and frustration for your vet and groomer. The very pointed end on a grass seed means it can easily become embedded in your pet’s skin, commonly in the paws, under the tail, armpit or groin region.  The ears are also very susceptible to collecting grass seeds, and also the eyes, as the dogs rub their faces in the grass.

Every vet you ask will have a ‘grass seed horror story’, of that one that got away and caused life-threatening damage, or even death, of a pet. This is because grass seeds can migrate through the body, tracking infection as they go. Dogs may also inhale a grass seed, with it lodging in the lungs and causing a severe chest infection. The body cannot generally break down a grass seed, so wherever it lands, it will eventually require removal. The best way to prevent damage from grass seeds is to find them and remove them as quickly as possible when they are close to the surface and easily accessible. If you suspect a grass seed is lodged too deeply, or there is no sign of a grass seed present but a lump, with pus or blood oozing out, then it is best to have it assessed by a vet straight away. Delaying this visit may result in more invasive surgeries to find and remove the seed. Most dogs will at least need to be sedated to find and remove grass seeds, and I personally have found up to 50 grass seeds in one unlucky dog.

The symptoms of grass seed infections in various locations are described in the following table.

EARS– Shaking of the head
– Redness of the ear
– Painful to touch
– Holding the head to one side

– Ear infection
– Rupture of the ear drum
– Permanent loss of hearing, or balance
– Death if infection reaches the brain
EYES – Swollen, red eye
– Excessive tear production
– Rubbing at the eye

– Ulceration of surface of the eye
– Penetration of the eye
– Removal of the eye if damage severe enough
– Licking at the toes
– Red, swollen area between the toes
– Swelling of the foot
– Limping or holding the leg up
– Migration of the seed up the leg,
between ligaments and tendons,
possibly into joints or into the chest
– Constant sneezing
– Bloody discharge from one nostril
– Rubbing face on the ground
– Difficult breathing

– Damage to airways
– Migration of the grass seed into the lungs;
this is usually life threatening

– Swollen, red lump, with blood or pus oozing out
– Dog licking constantly at the site
– Grass seed awns sticking out from the skin

– Migration into the chest or abdomen
– Multiple surgeries to try and locate and remove
– Occasionally CT scan may be required
to locate, as grass seeds are not visible on radiographs

– Licking at the site
– Difficulty or pain urinating
– Blood in urine
– Swelling and redness
– Invasive surgery to remove
– Permanent damage to structures

Prevention is the Best Cure

Taking these steps is the best way to prevent grass seeds creating issues for your pets

  • Regular (DAILY) checking of your dog all over, including in between each and every toe, and especially after a walk
  • Avoid long grass on walks, and keep your grass and weeds short at home
  • Keep long-haired dogs trimmed or clipped, and well-groomed, especially around their feet and ears. If trimming them yourself, be mindful of clipping the ‘top’ off a grass seed, possibly leaving the end still embedded in the skin. This makes it even harder to find.
  • Seek veterinary attention immediately if you suspect a grass seed problem in any location on your dog. Do not expect your groomer to be able to remove these seeds, as they are often too embedded, or require antibiotic treatment once removed. Many times your pet will need to be sedated to ensure safe grass seed removal, so please be understanding of this.