Pets are referred to NOAH (North Dublin Orthopaedic Animal Hospital) from their own veterinary surgeon usually because they need specialist attention.
Get A Second Opinion
Sometimes pet owners request a consultation because they require a second opinion.
- Urgent cases such as fractures or spinal cases have no waiting time for appointments.
- Emergency cases will be admitted and operated on as soon as possible.
While you may request a second opinion, it is recommended to keep your designated veterinary surgeon fully informed of all the treatments and operations as they may be involved in the postoperative care.
Just as your GP might refer you to see a consultant for very specific treatments, vets will refer cases to us.
- It’s normally in cases where the pet needs more specialised treatment.
- It’s always in the animal’s best interest.
- Pets that are referred to us usually have complex problems.
Questions to ask your vet before they perform a surgery.
As in human medicine, there are many surgeries animals undergo that would benefit from the attention of a specialist. Your pet depends on you to find a veterinarian with sufficient experience and training to perform that surgery.
To help you and your pet, there is a network of veterinary surgical specialists ready to provide the special surgical care your pet needs. These specialists are the board-certified members of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS) and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).
If your pet needs surgery that is more than ‘routine’, be sure to ask your veterinarian the following questions:
- How often does the veterinarian perform this type of surgery?
- Does the surgery require special equipment? Is it available?
- Does my pet’s surgery require a specialist?
- What should I expect the outcome of the surgery to be?
- What follow-up care is necessary?
The term “ECVS Diplomate” or RCVS Specialist refers to a veterinarian who has been board certified in veterinary surgery. Only veterinarians who have successfully completed the certification requirements of the ECVS are Diplomates of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons and/or the RCVS and have earned the right to be called specialists in veterinary surgery.
Veterinarians wishing to become board certified must complete a three-year residency program, meet specific training and caseload requirements, perform research and have their research published. This process is supervised by current ECVS Diplomates and RCVS specialists, ensuring consistency in training and adherence to high standards. Once the residency has been completed, the resident must sit for and pass a rigorous examination. Only then does the veterinarian earn the title of ECVS Diplomate or RCVS specialist.
No matter what orthopaedic surgery your pet needs, the most important factor in its success is the veterinary surgeon you choose. Although there’s no magic number (of years or procedures) that defines “experience”, you should feel comfortable that the surgeon you choose is well versed and up-to-date in the procedure you’re considering.
Some questions you might ask the surgeons you are considering:
- If they perform the procedure frequently or only occasionally?
- When did they last perform the procedure?
If you needed lumbar back surgery for yourself, you probably wouldn’t choose a surgeon proficient at removing gallbladders. Similarly, you should seek a surgeon for your pet who is an expert in the particular type of surgery needed.
It is important that your pet fasts from solid food from 9pm the previous night of the appointed surgery. This means no food but they should have free access to water at all times, unless otherwise advised by the vet.
Our clinic is open from 8:30am Monday-Saturday. Your pet should be admitted to us before 9am on the day of surgery, unless otherwise advised.
After your pet has undergone surgery and is discharged, your job during the recovery period at home is just as important as the surgery. Expect your pet to be drowsy with poor balance after surgery and anaesthesia. Do not allow dogs to jump in an out of the car. Sudden movements can damage stitches and cause serious pain.
Your pet will be given pain relief during their time in the clinic and normally you will receive pain relief tablets to administer at home.
Every pet discharged from the our clinics receives detailed instructions about wound management, home care, at-home physical therapy (if required), exercise restrictions and timelines for recovery. These recommendations are based on the type of surgery your pet has received and individualised for each patient. If you are unsure about any details of post-operative care, please ask for clarification before leaving the clinic.
Following surgery, if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s well-being, we recommend you initially contact your local vet directly for assistance (the vet that initially referred you to NOAH). Your vet will contact NOAH if additional information or intervention is required.
Wishing your pets the speediest of recovery.