When you think of veterinary surgical services, you generally think about taking your pet to the clinic and having the surgery done there. Yet, you probably did not know that many vets do "field surgery," too. Besides the fact that in-office surgery and field surgery occur in very different places, there are other important differences as well. It is important to know these differences so you know how and when to request them

Office Surgery Services

Office surgeries often include de-clawings, neuterings, spayings, and removing foreign objects. They are generally focused on small animals, and nothing larger than a miniature horse or a Great Dane comes through the doors. Some country vets might have larger animals show up, but the procedures usually end up being field surgery-related instead.

In-office surgeries are also controlled surgeries. This means that the vet has total control over the sterility of the environment, and antibiotics are rarely needed afterward. Total sedation is always in practice so that the animal does not move and does not feel any pain. Animals generally stay an extra day or two in the clinic to recover.

Field Surgery Services

Field surgery is literally surgery in a field (or a barn or stable, but outdoors). Country vets often make house calls to farms. They take care of livestock that is too sick or too large to move and take to the clinic. These vets also do farm calls for farms that are twenty miles or more from the nearest veterinary hospital or clinic, a benefit to farmers and hobby farmers that cannot drive that distance and leave their animals untended.

Surgeries that are commonly done in the field, the barn, or the stable include:

  • Gelding horses
  • Dehorning cattle and goats
  • Delivering baby animals
  • Helping mother animals in trouble with their labor and delivery
  • Turning bulls into steers
  • Treating horses for colic and barn cough
  • Clipping hooves that have overgrown and are causing painful issues with the animals' feet
  • Literally sewing up gashes and wounds in injured animals

Because of the generally dirty and unsterile environments where field surgeries are performed, veterinarians almost always prescribe antibiotics post-surgery. The owners have to monitor wound sites to make sure they do not become infected or infested with fly larvae. Animals are never completely sedated, just because of the difficulty of predicting how well they would do with general anesthesia and how much anesthesia should be given. Light sedatives and local anesthetics are par for any field surgery.

Contact a company like Pitts Veterinary Hospital PC for more information and assistance.