Surgery and Dentistry

Elective Surgery

An elective surgery is one that is scheduled in advance because it does not involve a medical emergency. Common elective surgeries performed at Truro Vet are spays, neuters and dental cleanings.

Pre-surgical Exam

All pets having elective surgery visit us beforehand for a pre-surgical physical exam and consultation. This examination can help identify any health concerns that may affect the surgery. It also gives you a chance to ask the veterinarian any questions you may have about your pet or the procedure.

Pre-surgical Bloodwork

All patients, not just the old or sick, must have basic pre-anesthetic blood tests performed. In young pets we assess the blood sugar, kidney and liver values, and red blood cell count.  Older animals will require more extensive pre-anesthetic blood work.  Even in pets under one year old, blood work will occasionally detect abnormalities that could affect anesthesia and your pet’s recovery from surgery.


All pets receive a complimentary microchip while they are under anesthesia for a spay or neuter. Microchips act as permanent identification in the event your pet is lost or stolen. About the size of a grain of rice, the microchip is implanted beneath the skin over your pet’s shoulder blades. Once in place, the number on the chip can be read with a hand-held scanner, and that number is matched with your contact information. The microchip can be declined if you prefer. Microchips can be implanted at low cost in combination with other procedures or while your pet is awake as well.

Spays and Neuters

We strongly recommend spaying or neutering your pet at 6 months of age unless there are medical reasons to wait until the pet is older. These should be determined by a veterinarian. In general, pets who have been spayed or neutered are healthier and happier. They have less risk of developing diseases related to the reproductive system and they may have lower frequency of some behavioural issues. Overpopulation of pets is also a serious concern. If you have questions about spaying or neutering your pet we would be happy to discuss them.


A thorough dental cleaning requires that your pet be unconscious under anesthesia. We use sharp (and expensive!) metal instruments similar to those used by your own dentist, which could cause damage in an awake and wiggly pet. We scale teeth (remove tartar and plaque) above and below the gum line to help slow the progression of periodontal disease. At this time we have the opportunity to perform a detailed oral exam (generally not possible when the pet is away) to look for any issues that could become big problems down the road. We then polish the teeth to provide a smooth surface, so that tartar will have more difficulty reattaching. We even trim your pet’s nails while they are asleep (try to find a dentist for people who will give you a manicure while they clean your teeth!)

We recommend radiographs (X-rays) of your pet’s teeth while they are under anesthesia, as we know that most periodontal disease begins at the tooth root. Find out more about radiographs. Some patients with advanced periodontal disease or fractures may require extraction of the affected teeth.

Emergency Surgery

Emergency surgeries are any procedures that must be done immediately when the patient’s life or well-being is in jeopardy. Examples of emergency surgeries performed at Truro Vet are: exploratory surgeries to look for foreign bodies (e.g. when your dog ate your underwear) or to determine the cause of internal bleeding; Caesarean-sections; Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat) surgery; removal of crystals/stones from the urethra of blocked cats; and many more.

Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic surgeries performed at Truro Vet include repair of cruciate ligaments and luxating patellas. We also repair some fractures and perform femoral head excisions in rare cases. We will refer our clients to referral hospitals for advanced orthopedic surgeries.