This involves operating on the soft organs and tissues of the body. There is less of a structural component to this area of surgery so there is less of a need for the heavy-duty tools and more need for the gentle handling of delicate tissue. Franklin Vets has state of the art equipment and have invested heavily in this area to ensure we have the best tools available for the job:


  • Two dedicated operating theatres
  • Intensive care cages for continuous monitoring patients before and after surgery
  • Electrocautery
  • Surgical suction
  • Full range of surgical instruments including deep laparotomy and thoracotomy
  • Dedicated nursing staff for anaesthetic monitoring and post-operative care
  • Access to fresh frozen plasma and whole blood.

Franklin Vets offers a number of surgical procedures.

Click on each surgery for more information:

  • Total Ear Canal Ablation with Latera Bulla Osteotomy (TECA-LBO)

    This is a major surgery for treatment of end-stage ears or cancer of the ear. End-stage ears are where the disease in the ear canals has been going for so long and is so severe, that the cartilage of the ear canal is permanently thickened, blocking the ear canal and causing unrelenting pain.total ear canal ablation

    Surgery involves removal of the entire ear canal, the ear drum, and the lateral wall of the middle ear cavity. The ear flap is usually preserved intact, though in dogs with pricked up ears it can flop over after surgery.

  • Skin grafts

    Skin grafting involves moving skin from one area of the body to another, in order to cover a defect in the skin. It can be used to treat some wounds, and also to close large surgical wounds, for example after cancer surgery.

    It is a delicate surgery, as the transferred skin must have all fat and connective tissue removed carefully first, then be sutured in such a way as to prevent movement of the graft but also without damaging blood supply to the underlying wound area.

    A successful grafting will result in healthy skin growing in the new location within a couple of weeks.

  • Cancer surgery

    Cancer surgery involves deciding whether we are going for curative intent surgery, palliative surgery, or biopsy surgery. Each option will involve a different approach, different planning, and a quite different level of surgery. It is possible that cancer surgery will be combined with chemotherapy to give your pet the best chance of recovery from the disease.

    There are likely to be requirements for working up the patient prior to surgery, involving blood tests, biopsies, xrays and possibly CT scanning to establish the extent of the cancer and its type.

  • Wound management

    Wounds come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from a variety of causes. Some are best treated by open wound management, in which the wound is cleaned and normally dressed regularly, while the tissue heals over a period of time.dog wound management

    If the wound is too large to be closed, we are able to creatively move the flaps of skin around to achieve closure.

    If the wound cannot be closed by skin flaps, it would require skin grafting instead, which we are also able to do.

  • Perineal urethrostomy

    Blockage of the urethra in male cats is a common problem, and is a life-threatening condition. Without emergency treatment, these patients will develop acute renal failure and die in a matter of days.

    Treatment of the blockage normally involves stabilisation with intravenous fluids, pain killers, and possibly drugs to protect the heart from the high potassium level which develops in the blood from the obstruction.

    Perineal urethrostomy involves removing the penis and the narrow section of the urethra. Very careful and delicate dissection around the urethra into the pelvis enables the urethra to be mobilised backwards a short distance. The wider diameter urethra from the mid-pelvic region is then sutured to the skin, resulting in a wider opening externally and less chance of blockage.

  • Gastrointestinal tract surgery

    Dogs and cats require intestinal surgery for a variety of reasons and each patient will require a different level of care and surgery.

    Abdominal surgery ranges from relatively straightforward to very complex. Removing a stone from the stomach is simple, while removing a piece of string from a length of intestine is extremely challenging at times. Sometimes there are multiple procedures that need performing while in the abdomen.

  • Gastric dilation with volvulus GDV

    This highly dangerous condition involves the distension of the stomach and its rotation around its long axis. The result is a stomach that rapidly loses its blood supply, leading to death of tissue, and creating of a wide range of extremely toxic factors into the blood stream, affecting the function of all vital organs in the body.

    GDV is a surgical emergency. Treatment must commence as soon as possible, and ideally within 1-2 hours of the twist occurring. Every hour delay means more likelihood of stomach wall death, which dramatically affects survival chances.

  • Soft palate resection and alar fold resection

    Brachycephalic dogs are those with short noses, such as Bulldogs and Pugs. These dogs have issues with their respiratory passages as a result of their shortened muzzle, which results in the snorting and gurgling noises that they often make.

    The changes to their airways are divided into primary and secondary problems. The secondary problems such as elongated soft palate or everted laryngeal saccules, will worsen over time, and it is therefore best to correct as much of the primary problem as possible as early as possible in the dog’s life.

    Severe brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome is a life-threatening emergency, especially in hot humid weather.

  • Splenectomy

    The spleen is a large organ in the abdomen that has a variety of functions. It contains a large amount of blood, which makes it prone to blood vessel cancers. It can also become twisted, abscessed, or ruptured.

    Each of these conditions will present in a different way. Some of these patients will be critical, due to blood loss into the abdomen, while others will appear quite normal (eg a benign mass on the spleen).

    There is no easy way to differentiate a benign splenic mass from a malignant one, and even under the pathologist’s microscope it can still be very difficult.

    Prior to treatment for a splenic mass, investigation with blood tests and ultrasound is essential.

    A ruptured or twisted spleen will also need a degree of patient stabilisation using fluid support, painkillers, and oxygen therapy.

  • Liver surgery

    Liver disease is common in cats and dogs. Sometimes it requires investigation using ultrasound scanning and needle biopsy while other cases require abdominal surgery in order to obtain a biopsy or remove a mass.

    Ultrasound guided biopsy of the liver can often be done with either no sedative or just some local anaesthetic.

    Full biopsy is a surgical procedure that requires some pre-planning. Blood tests to check liver function will likely already have been carried out, but we need to check blood clotting ability prior to any liver surgery.

  • Conjunctival pedicle graft

    Non-healing corneal ulcers are common in cats and dogs, and very frustrating to deal with.

    Some are treated successfully with grid or punctate keratotomy, followed by placement of a third eyelid flap.

    Some require placement of a conjunctival pedicle graft, where a flap of conjunctiva is reflected across the ulcer and sutured in place. It forms a permanent seal over the ulcer, so there is some loss of vision over the sutured part, but in general this does not affect the patient that much. The goal is to preserve the eye.

Your pets will receive professional care from our skilled veterinarians. Our fully trained staff will monitor your pet’s performance and comfort throughout the surgery with our state of the art equipment.

Call Franklin Vets on 09 238 7486 to discuss the transfer of your patient to our clinic for assessment and treatment. You may be asked to bring any clinical notes, x-ray images and medications with you when you come.