Northwest Veterinary Surgical Services FAQ

Northwest Veterinary Surgical Services FAQs

There is no question too big or too small for our veterinary team. Below are some answers to Northwest Veterinary Surgical Services’ most common questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

At Northwest Veterinary Surgical Services, we get a ton of interesting questions from pet parents. Below are some common FAQs that might help answer any questions or concerns.

What brought you to the Northwest?

I worked at a practice in Redmond, Washington many decades ago when I finished my surgical residency; I absolutely loved it out here and always wanted to come back. Although my wife and I had wonderful jobs at the veterinary and human medical hospitals at Ohio State University, I talked her into moving out here! I get to be a Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Surgery at Ohio State University and enjoy a career as a veterinary surgeon on the coast of Washington.

What aspects of being an equine surgeon do you feel have helped you the most in your current role as a small animal surgeon?
I’ve talked about this at length with others who have made the switch. I think one of the largest benefits is how unforgiving equine orthopedics is, dealing with a thousand pound, powerful animal which is going to severely test your surgical fixation as soon as it wakes up from anesthesia. We were all trained to perform extensive planning prior to surgery (size and type of bone plates and screws, etc) to minimize the chance of catastrophic failure. I use that same approach to every orthopedic case in dogs and cats, now with the advantage of a state of the art computer program to allow me to rapidly assess plate type and size, screw lengths, etc prior to surgery. I feel that another advantage of my past is in the workup and treatment of the lame dog; lameness was a large part of my patient load in the equine hospital, giving me a unique perspective in both in diagnostics and in treatments of joint disease in the dog and the cat. Finally, an advantage working in referral hospitals for the majority of my career is that I learned the value of providing excellent communication with both owners and their veterinarians both before surgery and during the recovery period.
What would your clients say is the main reason to trust their pet to you and your team?
I’d read our testimonials and online reviews for a wide range of views. I think the main thing is that I want to do the right thing for each owner and their pet-that may not include the most advanced surgical option either due to financial concerns of the owner or possibly the age of the pet. I will give multiple options if I feel there is more than one good option. For many geriatric pets that are sent to me for surgery, I can improve their quality of life with joint injections-avoiding a large bill and unnecessary trauma to an older pet. If surgery is necessary, we will do our best to get your pet’s surgery performed in a timely manner. I will also be available by phone and email in the recovery period to answer the owner’s questions and concerns.
You are a fairly long drive for many potential clients-has that been a concern?

I have clients who will come for outpatient visits from the Olympia/Tacoma area. They state the time driving is no more than navigating Seattle traffic for some of the other specialty practices. However, we have had patients travel longer distances who ask for information regarding hotels in the area. Due to this concern, we have partnered with a wonderful local hotel with a phenomenal restaurant, The Tokeland Hotel, to give the clients a good experience in the area while improving the lives of their pets.

What surgeries do you enjoy the most?
That’s a tough one. I really enjoy the routine and the trauma-related orthopedic cases, but I also enjoy soft tissue surgery. And I enjoy working with geriatric orthopedic cases, helping an old dog get back on its feet and enjoy life again. It’s a great advantage of being a veterinary surgeon; you see a wide variety of cases in a single day. It keeps you hopping!
Do you perform surgeries at multiple veterinary clinics?
I have primarily performed surgeries at the Raymond facility of Willapa Veterinary Services. I work with a great team there who are now educated and focused on all aspects of the surgical patient for advanced surgeries; we have a very low complication rate, or, put more positively, a high success rate. The two new owners of the practice have improved things further, both due to an extensive acumen for veterinary anesthesia/monitoring and investment in new equipment. I have recently performed surgeries in Astoria, Oregon also.
Are there any advantages to having the surgery performed at your facility vs. the many facilities in the Seattle area that also have board-certified veterinary surgeons?
There are many excellent surgeons and facilities in this region. The two things that I believe may make us attractive to many owners is my dedication to communication with owners through the recovery of their pet, and, due to the fact that we don’t have the extensive overhead costs of a facility in an expensive city, that we are commonly less expensive for many of the routine surgeries such as TPLOs and MPL (patellar luxation) surgeries.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Everything you can do in the Northwest. Fishing, crabbing, kayaking, etc. My favorite pastime is fly tying and fly fishing. We also love to take our 12 yo lab Chloe on walks on the beach most evenings. My wife being a physician, we also like to sit over a glass of wine or beer in the evening and discuss our days.