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Abdominal Surgery

May 22 2022


Abdominal surgeries include a range of surgeries that include the stomach or intestines as well as surgeries on abdominal structures such as the spleen and liver.

A common cause for concern in pets with abdominal pain is bowl obstruction which results from partial or complete blockage of stomach or intestinal structures. Such blockages create a number of complications for pets further, including decreasing blood flow and even preventing food and water from passing through the pet’s GI tract. The most common forms of bowel obstruction are foreign bodies (objects your pet may eat - for example, socks, plastic toys, undergarments, dish towels, or corn cobs-that get stuck in the stomach). Such foreign bodies are removed surgically from the stomach (gastrotomy) or small intestines (enterotomy) and then the organ is again closed with sutures.

Other common examples of gastrointestinal and abdominal surgeries that we see at CAH include the following:

  • Splenectomy

  • Gallbladder Removal

  • Nephrectomy

  • Liver Mass Removal

  • Bloat Surgery / Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV)

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What to expect with abdominal surgery at CAH

As you can see, there are many different types of abdominal and gastrointestinal surgeries. The exact nature of surgical care that your pet needs will largely differ and depend on the findings and pre-surgical planning done alongside our team. Whether such a procedure is performed as an emergency or planned, your pet will be in great hands. Our veterinarians adhere to the highest standard of care for all surgical procedures. Our doctors prioritize pain management to ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable throughout the entire surgical procedure (pre-peri, and post-operation). 

Care doesn’t stop at pre-operative care, we ensure that pet parents are instructed with all pre-surgical dietary restrictions, and procedural updates, and have the correct paperwork filed to make the surgery day less stressful. We keep pet parents updated about the procedure and inform them once their pet is ready for discharge or if the pet requires additional hospitalized monitoring. All these details are addressed between the pet parent and the veterinarian or technician.

Prioritizing post-operative care for best outcomes

Body: Your pet may experience mild, moderate, or severe pain after abdominal surgery, for which reason your veterinary team employs both preventative and multimodal pain management techniques and protocols to help your pet heal with the magnitude of surgical trauma they may experience. These protocols require different degrees of care depending on the severity of the surgical procedure needed. Depending on your pet’s condition and especially in the case of major abdominal surgeries, your pet will stay at the hospital under supervised care. 

You’ll notice sutures (stitches) on your pet’s belly. You’ll receive detailed instructions on how to monitor your pet’s healing and likely an Elizabethan collor to prevent them from licking the incision and risking removing sutures.

Our team will walk you through instructions on how and when to administer medications to your pet. Individual care instructions will vary based on your pet’s needs, but we are here to answer any questions or concerns that may arise. And remember, rest will be the most important ingredient towards your pet’s swift recovery.

Abdominal Surgeries We Offer

Here at CAH, we perform a variety of abdominal surgeries to help treat injuries and diseases in cats and dogs. Our highly trained team ensures your pet receives the attentive care they deserve.

Foreign Body Removal

Sometimes our pets are curious and during their investigation of new sights, they swallow objects (foreign bodies) that can create obstruction issues in their gastrointestinal tract. This surgical procedure involves the removal of such foreign bodies from your pet’s stomach and intestines.

Bladder Stone Removal (Cystotomy)

This surgical procedure involves opening the urinary bladder and the removal of bladder stones in dogs that may be creating difficulty or obstruction in your pet’s ability to urine.

Kidney Removal (Nephrectomy)

This surgical procedure involves the removal of your pets kidney and ureter to treat irreverssible conditions such as tumors.

Splenic Mass Removal

A splenectomy involves the total removal of spleenic tumors and lesions from a dog’s body. Such tumors can be benign or malignant and can cause internal bleeding issues or more severe health impacts if left untreated.


Pyometra is a term often used to describe pus-filled uterus. Treatment for this infection involves surgical removal of a female dog’s reproductive organs. This condition is considered a medical emergency that requires rapid interention to prevent further infection and impact to your pet’s health.


I would like to sincerely thank Dr. Dhaliwal and his staff for the excellent care they have all provided to my Lena. I've been bringing Lena to Dr. Dhaliwal since I got her as a baby. Lena was so terrified of men that she just shook when she first met him. He soon won her over with his calm, gentle demeanor however. Now all I have to do is say his name and she runs straight to the door ready to go see him.

Wendy E.
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