Diseases, procedures and treatments

Routinely performed surgical procedures at our centre include:

  • Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) for cranial cruciate ligament ruptures;
  • Total hip replacement;
  • Basic and advanced fracture repairs;
  • Minimally invasive orthopaedics with use of intra-operative fluoroscopy;
  • Arthroscopy;
  • Minimally invasive surgery including laparoscopy, thoracoscopy, and tracheal stenting;
  • Hemilaminectomy and ventral slot procedure for acute disc ruptures;
  • Wobbler surgery;
  • Brain surgery;
  • Spinal fracture repairs;
  • Portosystemic shunt surgery;
  • Hernia repairs;
  • Thoracic surgery including lung removal, surgical ligation of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA);
  • Gastrointestinal surgery;
  • Urinary and reproductive tract surgery;
  • Tumour removals and reconstruction;
  • Upper airway surgery including correction of soft palate elongation and laryngeal paralysis;
  • Emergency surgery.

Surgical Oncology

At the Melbourne Veterinary Specialist Centre we pride ourselves on offering the only multidisciplinary approach to cancer Patients in Victoria. Dr Pete Laverty has a special interest in surgical oncology, while Dr Simon Kudnig has completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at Colorado State University — the only Surgeon in Melbourne to have completed this clinical fellowship.

Our Surgeons frequently communicate with the medical oncologists at our centre during both the pre and postoperative period to provide comprehensive treatment for pets with cancer. If required, this allows us to provide cancer treatments that include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. With aggressive surgery many cancer Patients can be cured of their disease without having to resort to other treatment modalities.

Many of these procedures are quite radical and potentially disturbing cosmetically to pet owners. All of our Surgeons are cognisant of this and will spend time showing pet owners photographs of similar cases to reassure them that their pet will be functional and that we will achieve a cosmetic result. Commonly performed surgical oncology procedures include:

  • Wide excision of soft tissue sarcomas, mast cell tumours, vaccine associated sarcomas;
  • Limb salvage for osteosarcoma;
  • Thoracotomy for thoracic tumours, such as lung masses, thymomas, and chest wall masses;
  • Brain and spinal cord tumour removals;
  • Abdominal tumour removals;
  • Maxillectomy and mandibulectomy for tumours of the oral cavity;
  • Skin tumour removal and reconstruction using skin flaps, skin grafts, or microvascular techniques.


All of our Surgeons are well trained in neurosurgery and routinely perform decompressive surgeries of the spinal cord for disc ruptures and removal of spinal tumours. Dr Laverty has also had additional training in neurosurgery and has performed important research into spinal cord injury.

Our neuro-imaging facilities are world class with fluoroscopic guided myelography and inhouse MRI, allowing us to accurately diagnose diseases of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Brain tumour removal, once thought of us being too complex to offer our veterinary patients, is now routine with excellent success rates achievable.

Acute disc extrusions, if treated promptly, carry an excellent prognosis and it brings us great satisfaction to get paralysed pets back on their feet to resume a normal life.

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