What Are the Most Common Soft Tissue Surgeries in Pets?

Pets undergo a multitude of surgeries, from routine elective procedures, such as spay or neuter procedures, to life-saving operations. Soft tissue surgeries, as well as some orthopedic procedures, are commonly performed in general practice hospitals. However, certain soft tissue surgeries are complex procedures that can be performed only in specialty veterinary hospitals. Here are five of the most common soft tissue surgeries performed in general veterinary practices.


#1: Spay and neuter surgeries

Spays and neuters are the most common surgeries performed in general veterinary practices—often daily. These two surgeries remove reproductive organs to greatly minimize or eliminate the potential for many pet health and behavior issues.

#2: Foreign body removal surgery

Due to how frequently cats and dogs eat stuff that become stuck in their digestive processes, many items have been found there. Foreign objects that are frequently removed from pets include:

  • Clothing, especially socks
  • Bones
  • Corn cobs
  • Rubber and plastic toys
  • Hair bands
  • Thread


Dogs are more discriminating about items they put in their mouths, but cats are typically fascinated with string-like items that result in a linear foreign body that can be exceptionally hazardous because the intestines become bunched, and the string can saw through them.

#3: Mass removal surgery

Numerous benign or malignant tumors can occur in pets. A lump or bump may spread quickly, form an ulcer, or appear where it is difficult to move, breathe, or eat. Masses may be expelled from the skin or from the abdomen, mouth, or ears.

#4: Bladder stone removal surgery

Bladder stones in pets occur relatively commonly, largely because of urinary tract disease, improper diet, inadequate hydration, or genetics. Stones of a certain composition can be dissolved with a prescription diet, but others need surgical removal and thorough bladder flushing to prevent a urinary blockage.

#5: Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome repair surgery

Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) repair procedures are increasing in frequency as brachycephalic breeds like pugs, English bulldogs, and French bulldogs gain popularity. For simpler breathing, flat-faced animals may require surgery to widen their nostrils, shorten their soft palate, or remove laryngeal saccules.