Colorado State University veterinarians offer a variety of minimally invasive surgery procedures for dogs, cats, horses, llamas and alpacas at the James L. Voss Veterinary Medical Center. The university’s veterinary program is the first veterinary teaching hospital in the nation to teach veterinary students the technique.
Doctors can perform various diagnostic procedures and solve a variety of health ills that require surgery using these minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive surgery is performed through small incisions with a small endoscope.
"Minimally invasive surgery provides advantages to the animal such as small incision size and shorter recovery time with less pain. Some surgeries can be performed with greater precision that with traditional techniques. There is also a reduced risk of infection and other complications," said Dr. Eric Monnet, a cardiothoracic surgeon at the hospital, which is part of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "The practice is relatively new in the veterinary field. Colorado State has been a leader in training veterinarians cutting-edge techniques, and we’d like to make the public aware of the service here at our hospital."
Canine candidates include dogs who need routine spays or the removal of bladder stones. Ingested foreign objects and some tumors also can be removed with the new technique at the hospital. Surgeries to correct twists in the stomach can also be performed for dogs.
Equine spays, castration and other abdominal procedures also can be performed. Ovaries also can be removed from mares with the procedure.
The new surgery program at the university will train future veterinarians to perform the surgeries, eventually advancing the technique into private veterinary medicine clinics.
The surgery program will also support current research projects including helping equine veterinarians develop better sedation techniques for surgery on horses while they are standing.
Equipment donations from two companies – Karl Storz Endoscopes and Tyco Healthcare – have assisted in developing the project at the university.
Several years ago, Colorado State University created the Veterinary Endoscopy Society, a professional organization devoted to the advancement of minimally invasive veterinary surgery.
To consult with a veterinarian about whether an animal qualifies for minimally invasive surgery at Colorado State, call the James L. Voss Veterinary Medical Center at (970) 221-4535.