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Surgery & Dentistry

Your pet is a companion, a friend, and a member of your family. But not all pets are as cherished as yours. In animal shelters throughout North America, four to six million dogs and cats are euthanized each year! Spaying and neutering your pet not only helps to reduce the number of unwanted pets, it provides long-term health benefits to your dog or cat.

Spaying of female dogs and cats, called ovariohysterectomy, is the surgical removal of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. Spaying your pet eliminates all heat cycles and the accompanying unwanted bleeding, nervousness and desire to mate. Having your female cat or dog spayed will also, protect her from uterine infections and difficult or dangerous pregnancies. Spaying your pet also greatly reduces her chances of developing mammary cancer later in life. Although pets can be spayed as early as 10-12 weeks of age, we generally recommend having your female dog or cat spayed between 4-6 months of age.

Neutering of male dogs and cats, called orchiectomy, is the process of surgically removing the testicles. If neutering is done at an early age, it eliminates reproductive behavior. Unneutered male dogs and cats are prone to wander in search of a female in heat, leading to loss and hit by car accidents. Male cats are well known to “mark” their territories by spraying odorous urine on furniture, walls, shrubs, etc. Neutering may also reduce aggressive behavior in male dogs. Male dogs and cats that have been neutered are less likely to develop prostatic disease and are no longer at risk for testicular cancers and infections. Although pets can be spayed as early as 10-12 weeks of age, we generally recommend having your male dog or cat spayed between 4-6 months of age.

The Cost associated with a canine spay or neuter, is based on the weight/age of your pet, and is subject to additional charges based on your pet's overall health at the time of surgery.  We require that your pet be current on vaccinations and be free of parasites at the time of surgery. 

Low-Cost Spays and Neuters are available through several local non-profit organizations.  These oraganizations can provide pet owners with surgery certificates at a reduced cost.  These certificates, when presented to our office will cover the cost of the surgical procedure.  There are however, other costs associated with these procedures, such as lab-work, pain medications, vaccinations, microchips etc.  In order to accurately estimate full surgical costs, please call our office and ask to speak with a technician and please have a rough idea of when your pet was recently vaccinated.  If you are interested in purchasing a spay/neuter certificate, please visit one of the following websites:


Spays and neuters are performed on a routine drop-off basis Monday through Friday as an outpatient procedure.  Please call to schedule an appointment.

Patient Preparation for Spays and Neuters

  • Please fast patient by withholding food after 12 midnight the night before surgery as well as that morning, water is OK.
  • Patients should be dropped off early in the a.m. between 7:00-8:00 and can be expected to go home in the evening after 4:00pm. Please call before coming to ensure patient is well recovered and ready to go.
  • Patients will be shaved of the hair overlying the surgical area (this is mandatory for sterility.)
  • In most cases there will be no external sutures that will need to be removed after surgery, surgical adhesive is used to minimize irritation.
  • Expect that your pet will go home on pain medication.

Dentistry is part of providing quality health care to your pet. If your pet has bad breath or reddened gums, it could be from gingivitis. The process starts when soft plaque hardens into rough tartar. Tartar irritates and inflames the gums, a condition called gingivitis. Gingivitis, in turn, can lead to an infection in the heart or kidneys if left untreated. Commonly, there are no obvious physical signs of disease, even when it is advanced. Did you know that when a veterinarian graduates from Veterinary School, they not only carry a degree in veterinary medicine but also in Veterinary dentistry! That is why it is so important to have your pet's teeth checked regularly by our veterinarians.

Because it is necessary to use general anesthesia while cleaning your pet's teeth, we first run a blood profile in order to determine your pet's internal organ function. During a dental cleaning, a periodontal probe is used to check for pockets underneath the gum line where periodontal disease starts. Large pieces of tartar are removed with an ultrasonic scaler, and a hand scaler is used to remove tartar from the crevices and underneath the gumline.

Your pet's teeth are then polished, which smoothes out any scratches in the enamel and helps to prevent further tartar buildup. In some cases, there may be significant enough periodontal disease that tooth extractions may be required; this will be determined by the attending doctor while the patient is under anesthesia. In other cases, when a damaged tooth may salvaged we have the ability to perform a root canal. Please talk to our dental technician.

Periodontal disease is graded on a number scale of grade 1-4 (grade 1 being the most minimal amount of disease and 4 being the most significant.) We also base our dental prices on this scale as it determines the amount of time the procedure will take.

Dentals are performed on a routine drop-off basis Monday through Friday as an outpatient procedure. Please call to schedule an appointment.

Patient Preparation for Dental Cleaning

  • Please fast patient by withholding food after 12 midnight the night before surgery as well as that morning, water is OK.
  • Patients should be dropped off early in the a.m. between 7:00-8:00 and can be expected to go home in the evening after 4:00pm. Please call before coming to ensure patient is well recovered and ready to go.
  • Expect that your pet will go home on antibiotics and possibly pain medication.

Declaw surgery is a much debated topic in the field of Veterinary medicine, this procedure involves the amputation of the last digit on each of the front toes, a procedure roughly comparable to cutting off your own fingertip at the first joint. The skin is then glued or stitched over the exposed joint, and the recovery process begins. If any one topic is sure to produce a discussion among cat- lovers, it's declawing. The procedure is widely performed to end scratching and is just as widely vilified. We at Battleground feel that a declawed kitty is much better off than a homeless one and when it comes to the decision of declawing a destructive kitty over putting it into a shelter, we would much rather perform surgery.

However, we do not recommend declawing older, mature cats as they have a prolonged healing time after the procedure as apposed to younger patients. We also do not recommend all-four-paw declaws as these patients have a much more difficult recovery. All of our declaw procedures are performed using a laser. In this surgery, a laser rather than a scalpel blade is used to disarticulate the third toe bone. Advantages of laser surgery include virtually no bleeding (during surgery), less post-operative pain, and in many cases, no bandages.

Patient Preparation for a Declaw Surgery

  • Please fast patient by withholding food after 12 midnight the night before surgery as well as that morning, water is OK.
  • Patients should be dropped off early in the a.m. between 7:00-8:00 and can be expected to stay in the hospital for 2 nights.
  • Patient will spend two full nights in the hospital recovering (feel free to bring bed, blankets, toys or food and visiting is always welcome!)
  • Expect that your pet will go home on antibiotics and pain medication.
  • Expect to use special kitty litter for the at least 5-7 days at home.

Advanced Procedures

As we have grown, we have made many advances in technology that enable us to provide better health care for our companion animal patients. Referrals and appointments must be scheduled in advance with our reception staff as most of these procedures require a pre-surgical consultation.

Laparoscopy and Arthroscopy
We have currently expanded our diagnostic and surgical instruments to include fiber optic laparoscopes and arthroscopy. In the past, surgery has often meant a long recovery, including painful incisions. Today, however "minimally invasive surgery" including laparoscpoic, thorascopic and arthroscopic surgery can help animals recover more quickly. These new instruments offer our clients and patients a vast array of new possibilities for diagnosing and treating many conditions using a minimally invasive procedure. This equates to decreased pain and decreased healing time, as well as, offering real time images of the procedure.

Laparoscopic, thorascopic, and arthroscopic surgery are very similar. They all involve small incisions through which are passed pencil-sized instruments that contain a small lens and lighting system to magnify and illuminate the structures inside.

Laparoscopic surgery is performed after inflating the abdomen with gas, usually carbon dioxide, to create a space between the wall of the abdomen and the organs inside. Narrow tubes are inserted into the abdominal wall through short incisions in the skin. An instrument called a laparoscope is passed through the tubes to perform the operation. A video camera attached to the laparoscope sends images of the procedures to a monitor, which enables the surgeon to see. Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used to view, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint. Coming from the Greek words "arthro" (joint) and "skopein" (to look), "arthroscopy" literally means "to look within the joint."

Diagnosing joint injuries and disease begins with a thorough medical history, physical examination, and usually radiographs (X-rays). Additional tests, such as an MRI or a CAT scan, may also be needed. Through the arthroscope, a final, more accurate diagnosis is made. Before arthroscopy was available, joint surgery involved opening up the whole joint. While this method can be effective, it results in the increased possibility of infection because the entire joint is exposed. Arthroscopy was at first used as a diagnostic tool for planning standard open joint surgery. With the development of better instrumentation and surgical techniques, many conditions can now be treated arthroscopically, without opening the joint.

Laparoscopic Spays
We can now perform spays (ovariohysterectomy) and hysterectomy in both dogs and cats using the laproscope. This is allows for a smaller incision size, less pain in recovery, decreased recovery time and less risk of post-surgical infection. Please ask one of the doctors or technicians about this procedure when you schedule your pet’s surgery if you are interested in this procedure. *This procedure adds an additional $150 charge to the cost of the traditional procedure.

Laser Surgery
In 2005 we added laser surgery capability to our surgical suite. The laser offers an abundance of different surgical uses. The concentration of a laser beam offers effective laser ablation of skin cysts, sometimes with only the need for local anesthesia. Other procedures where the laser may be beneficial include but are not limited to; ocular surgery, aural (ear) surgeries, neuters, spays as well as a multitude of soft tissue surgeries including laser declaws, which can be performed with increased efficacy and decreased healing times. All declaw procedures performed at Battleground are performed using our laser.

Orthopaedic Surgery

ACL Knee Surgery
The ruptured cruciate ligament is the most common knee injury of dogs. The history usually involves a rear leg suddenly so sore that the dog can hardly bear weight on it. The cruciate ligament functions to prevent the femur and tibia from sliding back and forth on each other. Top of the tibia is called tibial plateau. During weight bearing, the tendency of the femur is to slide down the tibial slope/plateau. The intact cruciate ligament stops this downward slide and stabilizes the knee joint. Cruciate ligament is under constant tension during weight bearing. This stress on the ligament leads to eventual rupture. New research is showing that there is some degeneration in the ligament fibers before it completely ruptures. When it completely ruptures, affected dogs become suddenly lame on that leg. Once the ligament is gone there is no stabilization force left to stabilize the knee joint. Combination of inflammatory factors and instability of the joint causes arthritis to develop quickly within the joint. Osteoarthritis gets worse progressively and it is debilitating if left untreated.

Such surgeries we can perform to fix a ruptured ACL include; Extra-capsular repair, TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy,) and TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement.) Please link to our Encyclopedia/Library under Anterior Cruciate Disease in order learn more about these procedures. Also, feel free to call us with any questions!

Fracture Repair
We have the capability here at Battleground to perform many advanced surgical repairs of bone fractures. Some types of bone fractures simply require cast placement while other more complex fractures may benefit from surgical alignment and stabilization. Some examples of fracture repair we can perform in-house include; bone plates, pin and wire, and external fixation.

Back Surgery(Hemilamenectomy)

The dog's spinal column consists of the spinal cord that is protected by the vertebrae. The intervertebral discs are structures that lie between the individual vertebrae and act as a cushion between the discs. Each disc has a fibrous tissue outer layer called the annulus fibrosus that surrounds a soft inner core called the nucleus pulposus (similar to a jelly filled doughnut).

Intervertebral disc disease is a premature hardening of the center of the disc, and weakening of the outer layer of the disc that occurs in chondrodystrophic dogs such as dachshunds. As the outer layer of the disc ruptures, the inner material is displaced upwards against the spinal cord. This herniated disc material injures the spinal cord and results in cord swelling and compression. Consequentially, the nerves within the spinal cord traveling to the legs and urinary bladder become damaged. This in turn results in loss of limb function that can range from weakness to paralysis, and loss of bladder control.

In other cases, the amount of disc material compressing the cord is too great and conservative therapy is unsuccessful. These dogs require surgery to remove a section of bone over the spinal cord (hemilaminectomy), and to remove the herniated disc material in order to relieve the pressure on the cord. We are able to perform such surgery in house as it is necessary. Please link to our Encyclopedia/Library under Disc Disease in order learn more about this procedure. Also, feel free to call us with any questions!

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