Surgery for dogs and cats

The Ark pet surgery

Call us at 02-9416-1300 for more information

With our team of experienced and board-certified surgeons and nurses we strive to make every surgery as easy and worry-free for both you and your pet.

The Ark Pet Surgery

Bringing your pet in for surgery can be very stressful. At the Ark, we strive to make this experience as easy and worry-free as possible for both you and your pet. Our experienced team of board-certified veterinary surgeons and nurses use modern surgical and anaesthetic equipment to ensure your pet’s safety during all procedures.

Your pet’s safety and well-being are our top priorities at the Ark. We implement the same safety measures used in human hospitals and conduct most pre-surgery blood work in our in-house pathology lab to ensure your pet is healthy enough for surgery.
During surgery and recovery, your pet is constantly monitored by our dedicated team of veterinary nurses. Our treatment and recovery room is directly connected to the surgery area, minimising the need for patient transport and reducing stress before and after treatment.

The practice performs a range of surgical procedures daily including:

  • Emergency surgery – including but not limited to pyometra, internal bleeding, blocked urethras, and lacerations.
  • Desexing operations – castration and spey for dogs, cats, rabbits, and small pocket pets.
  • Cruciate ligament repair
  • Lump removal – both internal and externally
  • Soft Tissue Surgery – including but not limited to intestinal foreign body removal, intestinal resections, cystotomies, and internal biopsies.
  • Orthopaedic Surgery – cruciate ligament correction, patella correction, simple fracture repairs and hip repairs.
  • Exploratory surgery
  • Routine dental procedures – oral assessment, radiographs, and extractions if indicated.
  • Specialised oral surgery

Do you have questions about your pet’s surgery?

Don’t hesitate to call us on: 02-9416-1300 with any questions about your pet’s surgery. You can also easily book an appointment online to discuss surgery options or get a second opinion from our veterinarians. This allows us to get to know you and your pet before the procedure.

Why choose the Ark pet surgery?

  • Our great surgical team. Both our veterinary surgeons and nurses are experienced and qualified to perform or monitor routine and non-routine operations. We provide regular in-house and external continual education for our vets and nurses to ensure they are up to date with the ideal surgical and anaesthetic protocols for your pet’s procedure.
  • Anaesthetic risk minimising protocols. All animals undergoing a procedure will have a pre-sedation and post-sedation check, at minimum a blood test to check hydration and red blood cell status, intravenous fluids throughout the procedure and ongoing monitoring both intra-operatively and post-operatively by a veterinary nurse. These measures reduce anaesthetic related complications associated with surgical procedures.
  • Compassion. All the staff at The Ark have their own pets and understand the feeling associated with them undergoing an anaesthetic and surgery. We are happy to have you call to check how your pet is going and strive to keep you up to date with progress of their procedure.
  • Collaboration with Specialists. If your pet requires a specialised procedure, we will suggest having our specialist surgeon visit to perform the surgery or we will recommend travelling a short distance to see them instead. Your pet is our priority and if our veterinary team feels they cannot perform a procedure we will inform you of the best path forwards.

Lump Removal

‘Tumour’ is a scary word, which is why an unknown lump can be so frightening for an owner. If you notice a lump on your pet, it’s very important to notify your veterinarian as soon as possible so that they can investigate. Lumps are more common in older dogs and can be harmless (benign) or may be a consequence of cancer (malignant). Types of benign growths include slow-growing lipoma or cysts. In this case, lump removal is usually necessary if they restrict your pet’s movement, make them uncomfortable or they become irritated when your pet scratches them. Both internal and external malignant tumours can require removal to prevent them from getting larger or spreading. The most important thing is to bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as your notice an abnormal lump. Or an old lump that has changed suddenly, as they can determine the potential causes and work out the best treatment strategy.

To help plan a lump removal, often your vet will take a small sample of cells from the lump and send them for analysis to identify its cause. Some lumps need to be completely removed, with a clear margin of tissue around them (to reduce the risk that any is left behind). Others may only need to be removed so that they make your pet’s life more comfortable.

The surgery itself involves a pre-operation blood test to ensure that the anaesthetic can proceed safely and a general anaesthetic. So your pet does not feel the procedure. For external lumps, your vet may only need to make a surface incision. Internal lumps may require more than one incision to access the tissue where the lump is located. Either way, your pet will come home with some stitches covered with a bandage. They may need to wear a collar to prevent them excessively licking, scratching or pulling at them before the wound is healed.

Recovery from a lumpectomy can take 10-14 days. You may be sent home with some medication for pain relief in the days immediately following the surgery to make your pet more comfortable. It’s important to keep your pet quiet. Avoid any strain on the wound (such as jumping off sofas or into cars), and keep a close eye on your pet’s wound during this time. Keep it dry and clean, and notify your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your pet’s behaviour or changes at the wound site.

Emergency Surgery

In an emergency, your primary concern is that your pet is going to be okay. At the Ark, we are equipped to perform emergency surgery on your pet and help them get back to their normal life.
These surgeries include:

Pyometra is a disease that only occurs in female pets, where the uterus becomes infected, often after they are in heat. It is more common in older animals and can cause them to become severely ill very rapidly – signs include increased urination and thirst, as well as abdominal distention. It is a medical emergency that needs to be treated by removal of the ovaries and uterus (also called speying) followed by a course of antibiotics. The Ark is equipped to perform this surgery, as well as provide intravenous antibiotics if the infection has spread. 


Internal bleeding is often a consequence of a road accident, or if a pet ingests rat poison. Rapid blood loss can cause an animal to go into shock, and, if left untreated, can be fatal. If the source of bleeding following trauma can be identified, then your veterinarian will attempt to stem the flow of blood or remove any foreign bodies causing the bleeding. Your pet will be given oxygen therapy and intravenous fluidS to support them and help them recover. For bleeding caused by rat poison (that prevents blood clotting), your pet may be provided with a medication called vitamin K1 which restores clotting as quickly as possible.


Just like us, our pets can get urinary stones, which may lead to complete or partial blockage of the urethra. This can cause your pet to strain to urinate, or have blood in their urine, or urinate small amounts frequently. It can be extremely painful, causing bladder extension, lethargy, loss of appetite and vomiting. If left untreated, it can be fatal. If you notice these signs, it is vital that you bring your pet to their veterinarian immediately. X-rays and ultrasounds can aid in diagnosing the presence of urinary stones or blood clots that may be causing the blockage. At the Ark we can treat your pet in this emergency situation by inserting a catheter, draining urine to stabilise your pet and give them relief and then treating the underlying causes. Urinary stones can be flushed back into the bladder, and then removed surgically under general anaesthetic. Your pet will have some stitches and may urinate more frequently in the weeks following the operation, but prognosis for this operation, particularly in pets with no previous blockages, is excellent.   


Lacerations occur in many ways – commonly by accident if your pet injures themselves, or if they get into a fight with another cat or dog. The Ark is equipped to deal with lacerations of all sizes to ensure effective wound healing and reduce risk of infection. Firstly, we attempt to stop any bleeding by applying pressure and cleaning the wound thoroughly. Superficial lacerations often do not require stitches, but still need to be kept clean as they can easily become infected. Severe lacerations may need to be repaired under sedation or general anaesthetic. Your vet will remove any non-viable tissue to ensure that the wound heals cleanly with minimal scarring and will repair it with as many layers of sutures as necessary. The sutured laceration will be covered with a clean dressing whilst it heals, and your pet may be given additional antibiotics to prevent an infection from developing, which will reduce healing time and minimise potential scarring.

Exploratory Surgery

Your dog or cat may require exploratory abdominal surgery for a number of reasons. Whilst blood tests, X-rays and ultrasounds provide us with diagnostic information, sometimes surgery is required to properly diagnose a pet’s illness. In exploratory surgery, your veterinarian will make an incision in the abdomen to examine their patient’s internal organs. From here, either the cause of the disease, such as a tumour or foreign body in the stomach, can be removed.

In some cases, a biopsy is taken, where a special tool, a bit like a hole punch, removes a small amount of tissue from the intestine or organ of interest. The hole is easily closed with a few sutures. The biopsy is then sent away for further analysis.  This can be vital in diagnosing conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease or identifying the type and stage of a tumour. For this type of surgery your pet will be under general anaesthetic.

For more information on preparing your pet for anaesthetic and how to take care of them afterwards please check out our information on this page. It’s natural to be nervous if your pet requires surgery. Our veterinary team is always happy to answer any of your questions and alleviate your concerns while providing your pet with the highest quality of care. Both in identifying what is wrong and supporting them as they recover.

Soft Tissue Surgery

Soft tissue surgery encompasses the majority of surgical procedures that do not involve the bones and joints, and so covers gastrointestinal, urogenital, cardiothoracic as well as ear, nose and throat surgeries. The Ark is equipped to perform a wide range of these procedures, including but not limited to removal of intestinal foreign bodies, intestinal resections (where a portion of the intestine is taken out to remove a blockage) or taking an internal biopsy. The most common form of soft tissue surgery is the removal of lumps or cysts. Depending on your pet’s condition and the complexity of the surgery required, they may require a general anaesthetic and their recovery time will vary – on the whole, it’s important to keep any sutured wounds clean and dry and keep your pet quiet in the weeks following the operation. As always, the team at the Ark will provide you with everything you need so that you are prepared for the operation and your pet’s recovery goes smoothly.We are only a phone call away if you notice anything strange or have any concerns.

What our customers say:

Orthopaedic Surgery

Surgical procedures that involve the bones and joints are referred to as orthopaedic surgery. Problems with the bones and joints are very common in our pets. Particularly as they age due to wear and tear, and can be extremely painful.

To help your pets live as comfortably as possible, the Ark conducts a variety of these procedures. Examples are; cruciate ligament repair, patella correction, hip repairs as well as the treatment of simple fractures. Patella correction prevents your pet’s kneecap from moving out of place, minimising knee pain caused by cartilage erosion. The cruciate ligament runs from the femur to the knee, and if torn causes lameness and a lot of pain.

Orthopaedic surgery can be complex and is often conducted under general anaesthetic. However the modern equipment and operating techniques used at the Ark give the best outcome for your pet. Following some surgeries, such as cruciate ligament repair, it is recommended that you get your pet moving after surgery (a sort of pet physiotherapy). Others, such as fracture repair and patella correction, require you to keep your pet as rested as possibly following their operation.

Our veterinary team will provide you with extensive, personalised aftercare notes and will help your pet recovery as comfortably and pain free as possible.

What to do before your pet’s surgery

  • Check that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date, and if not, make sure they are vaccinated at least 7 days before the procedure
  • Do any grooming your pet requires before the surgery, as your pet will be unable to have a bath for 10 days after their operation. You can book a grooming appointment at the Ark online today (link)
  • Check with the vet if there are any post-operation dietary requirements for your pet. For example, after tooth extraction pets require a simple diet of plain chicken or beef strips for 7-10 days following the procedure
  • For pets taking regular medications, double check if it is okay for them to have their medication the night before or the morning of surgery.

  • Your pet can have some dinner, but make sure they have no access to food after 10pm
  • Make sure your pet is comfortable and has a good night’s sleep

  • Water can be kept available for your pet overnight, but remember to remove it when you wake up in the morning
  • Do not give your pet anything to eat or drink the morning of surgery. If they have eaten anything after 10pm the previous night, let the veteranian or nurses know immediately when you arrive what time they ate. It can be dangerous if your pet vomits during the anaesthetic, so in this case it is safer to reschedule the operation for another day.
  • Take your dog for a short walk before bringing them to the Ark so they can relieve themselves.
  • Bring your pet to the Ark at your appointment time between 8-9am
  • Provide a contact number on the admission form on which you can be reached at all times of the day in case we need to contact you. If possible, please provide more than one contact.
  • Most pets are discharged on the day of their surgery between 4-6pm
  • We will provide you with take-home care notes with all the details you need to best look after your pet. Please follow the notes and give all medications instructed by the vet, even if your pet seems okay. This includes keeping a head collar on at all times as well as restricting your pet’s activity to give the surgery site the best chance at healing
  • If at any point you have any questions post-surgery or are concerned about your pet, don’t hesitate and contact the Ark immediately on 9416 1300
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