Surgical Services

The surgery department at Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida is led by board-certified specialists Dr. Marc Havig and Dr. Kristin Wendelburg. Having more nearly 15 years of combined board-certified experience, they comprise one of the most qualified surgery teams in Southwest Florida.

After receiving their initial Doctorates of Veterinary Medicine, board-certified veterinary surgeons complete additional training to become specialists. This training consists of a minimum of a one-year internship followed by a three-year residency that meets guidelines outlined by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). Further, surgeons must also publish research in a scientific journal and pass a rigorous certification exam.

All veterinarians may perform surgery as part of their practice. However, only surgeons credentialed by ACVS have passed the demanding requirements outlined above to receive the distinction of becoming a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

At ASH, both of our surgeons are board certified by ACVS, making them prepared for the most challenging cases.

The surgery team at Animal Specialty Hospital is also staffed by skilled technicians with extensive training and experience in surgery, anesthesia, pain management, and physical rehabilitation. In fact, our hospital employs one of the few Veterinary Technician Specialists – Anesthesia in the area. Together, our surgeons and technicians ensure the very best surgical care for our patients.

ASH’s three sterile surgical suites are state-of-the-art and fully equipped with monitoring, anesthetic and surgical equipment. The team works diligently to integrate a comprehensive treatment plan – from consultation to discharge – to ensure patients always receive thorough and exceptional care. Our surgeons perform many procedures using a minimally invasive approach, either through laparoscopy (using a scope in the abdomen); arthroscopy (using a scope in a joint); or fluoroscopy (real-time X- ray).

Some of the more commonly performed general and oncologic surgeries include:

  • Abdominal and gastrointestinal – Including foreign body obstruction, gastric dilatation and volvulus (bloat), laparoscopic prophylactic gastropexy, intestinal tumor removal, spleen removal, hernias, trauma and infections, liver and gallbladder problems such as liver shunts, tumors and gallbladder obstructions, as well as laparoscopic biopsy.
  • Cardiovascular – Including pericardial window and patent ductus arteriosus ligation, vascular ring anomaly, and cardiac tumors
  • Oncologic – Including major mass removal and reconstructive surgery
  • Skin and wound management – Including treatment of chronic ear infections with total ear canal ablation/bulla osteotomy, skin grafting and flaps, as well as treatment of major skin defects, lacerations and wounds
  • Urologic – Stone removal including laparoscopic-assisted and percutaneous cystotomy, kidney biopsy, urethrostomy for urethral obstruction, and subcutaneous ureteral bypass (SUB) for ureteral obstructions
  • Respiratory and pulmonary – Including treatment for brachycephalic airway obstruction, laryngeal paralysis, thoracic wall trauma, lung tumors, and infections in the chest (pyothorax)
  • Minimally invasive surgery including laparoscopic abdominal and thoracoscopic chest surgery

Some of the more commonly performed orthopedic surgeries include:

  • Knee problems – Including cruciate ligament repair (ACL or anterior cruciate ligament) with tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA) and lateral suture stabilization, patellar (kneecap) luxation repair, and arthroscopic evaluation and treatment.
  • Fracture repair and trauma – Including external skeletal fixation, locking bone plate fixation, and minimally invasive fracture repair using fluoroscopy
  • Osteoarthritis therapy – Including arthroscopy, medical management and physical rehabilitation, joint injections, and surgical joint fusion or replacement
  • Hip dysplasia – Including total hip replacement (THR),femoral head and neck ostectomy (FHO), juvenile pubic symphysiodesis (JPS), and triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO)
  • Elbow dysplasia – Including arthroscopic treatment of medial coronoid fragmentation and cartilage defects (osteochondrosis)
  • Shoulder injury – Including arthroscopic treatment of cartilage defects (osteochondrosis), and rotator cuff/biceps tendon injuries
  • Surgical correction of limb and developmental bone deformities (corrective osteotomies)
  • Regenerative therapies including Autologous Conditioned Plasma (ACP)/Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections
  • Minimally invasive joint surgery (arthroscopy) and fracture repair

Advanced surgical care is more than what happens in the Operating Room. To speed recovery from trauma and orthopedic injury, our surgeons work closely with Animal Specialty Hospital's physical rehabilitation therapists to create modalities that maximize your pet’s rapid return to full mobility. Our team will create a custom recovery strategy for your dog or cat by designing a home-exercise plan or by using more intensive therapies at our Physical Rehabilitation and Fitness Center. We will tailor our approach to best address your pet’s unique needs.