Small Animal Surgery Service

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Who We Are

The Small Animal Surgery Service includes surgical specialists, as well as residents (specialists in training), interns and nurses. The surgery team is led by Dr Ronan Mullins, MVB, Diplomate ECVS, MRCVS, who is accompanied by Drs Marie Pauline Maurin, DVM, DVMS, Diplomate ECVS and Ines Gordo, DVM, Diplomate ECVS. Surgeons in training (residents) include Drs Jorge Espinel Ruperez, DVM, MS, PhD, Michail Vagias, DVM, and Bruno Santos, DVM. Dr Ignacio Otero Balda, DVM is our small animal surgery intern. Veterinary medicine and nursing students also rotate through the small animal surgery service during their final year and play a significant role in caring for your pet. We aim to provide the highest level of care for your pet, while keeping you updated and informed at all times.

Integrated Approach

The Small Animal Surgery Service works closely with other specialist departments at the UCDVH, including Diagnostic Imaging, Internal Medicine, Anaesthesiology and the Animal Rehabilitation Clinic, to provide an integrated approach and the best possible outcome for your pet. Pre-operative diagnostics available include digital radiology, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, interventional radiology (eg, laser treatment of ectopic ureters), CT and MRI, pathology and clinical pathology (blood chemistry, haematology, cytologic and histopathologic diagnosis).

24-hour care is available in the Intensive Care Unit for pets that may require this. Patients will be referred from your regular veterinarian, with whom we liaise closely throughout your pet’s treatment period and follow up.

The Small Animal Surgery Service at UCDVH aims to work closely with your veterinarian to offer you the highest quality of surgical care possible for your pet. We provide state-of-the-art veterinary medicine and surgery, while teaching future veterinarians and specialist veterinary surgeons.

Our Mission

Our surgical team is committed to exceptional veterinary care without exception and we believe that, ultimately, both you and your pet benefit from our expertise, specialised training and state of the art equipment. 

What We Offer

The Small Animal Surgery Service deals with a wide range of patients requiring a variety of basic and complex orthopaedic, neurologic and soft tissue surgical procedures. All anaesthetics are performed or supervised by specialist veterinary anaesthesiologists to maximise patient safety. We offer the most advanced surgical treatments for the pets of Ireland. We also work closely together with the UCDVH Animal Rehabilitation Clinic (ARC) to tailor customised plans for each patient in order to encourage a smooth postoperative rehabilitation and return to maximum function.

Our orthopaedic service offers treatment for a variety of basic and complex orthopaedic conditions including but not limited to:

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  • Internal and external skeletal fixation
  • Minimally invasive fracture repair using fluoroscopic guidance


  • Arthroscopic treatment of elbow dysplasia (medial coronoid disease, osteochondrosis, ununited anconeal process), inspection and treatment of meniscal injuries of the knee, treatment of osteochondrosis (OCD) of the elbow, shoulder, stifle and tarsus.


  • Tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO)
  • Cranial closing wedge ostectomy
  • Lateral fabellotibial suture
  • Partial/hemi-meniscectomy


  • Tibial tuberosity transposition
  • Trochleoplasty
  • Distal femoral osteotomy/ostectomy
  • Soft tissue release/imbrication
  • Partial parasagittal patellectomy

  • Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis
  • Double and triple pelvic osteotomy
  • Femoral head and neck excision
  • Biomedtrix total hip replacement



  • Hip toggle stabilisation, iliofemoral suture, femoral head and neck excision, total hip replacement


Joint fusion:

  • Partial and total carpal (wrist) and tarsus (ankle) arthrodesis


Correction of angular limb deformities (ALDs): Surgical treatments such as corrective osteotomies/ostectomies and bone lengthening procedures are available to correct many of these problems. 3D printing technology and custom-made patient specific guides are available and used for accurate management of complex ALD cases

  • Bioblique dynamic proximal ulnar osteotomy/ostectomy
  • Distal ulnar ostectomy
  • Distal femoral osteotomy/ostectomy
  • Hemiepiphysiodesis
  • Correction of pes varus, proximal tibial valgus, distal femoral versus, short ulna syndrome


  • Treatment of partial and complete rupture of the Achilles tendon, triceps tendon


Our neurosurgery service deals regularly with routine and urgent neurologic conditions such as:

 Intervertebral disc disease (“slipped disc”)

  • Hemilaminectomy/mini-hemilaminectomy
  • Ventral slot
  • Dorsal laminectomy
  • Partial lateral corpectomy
  • Fenestration
  • L7 foraminotomy
  • Durotomy

Our on-site CT and high-field MRI offers the ability to offer an accurate diagnosis in a timely fashion and guide the best surgical treatment for your pet without treatment delay. 3D printing of custom-made patient-specific guides based on preoperative computed tomography are used for accurate management of complex spinal stabilisation cases.

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Intracranial (brain) and spinal neoplasia (tumours)

  • Transfrontal craniotomy


  • Rostral tentorial craniotomy




Lumbosacral stabilisation

  • Positive profile pins and bone cement

Atlantoaxial stabilisation

  • Transarticular screws and bone cement
  • Screws and bone cement

Caudal cervical spondylomyelopathy (Wobblers syndrome)

  • Dorsal laminectomy
  • Ventral slot
  • Distraction-stabilisation/fusion using screws, bone plates and bone cement

Subarachnoid diverticulum (“spinal cyst”)

  • Dorsal laminectomy, durotomy, marsupialisation/durectomy

Reduction and stabilisation of spinal fractures and luxations

  • Pins and bone cement
  • Bone plates and screws
  • External skeletal fixation





Our soft tissue surgery service is happy to accept referrals in all aspect of soft tissue surgery including but not limited to:

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Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS):

  • Rhinoplasty
  • Partial staphylectomy/folded flap palatoplasty
  • Sacculectomy
  • Cuneiformectomy
  • Temporary and permanent tracheostomy


Laryngeal paralysis:

  • Cricoarytenoid lateralisation (“tie-back”)

 Laryngeal collapse:

  • Sacculectomy
  • Cuneiformectomy
  • Temporary/permanent tracheostomy

Lung neoplasia (cancer):

  • Lung lobectomy
  • Lymph node removal

Lung lobe torsion:

  •  Lung lobectomy

Surgical management of pneumothorax/pyothorax

  • Partial or total lung lobectomy
  • Thoracostomy (chest) tube placement
  • Continuous suction

Surgical management of chylothorax:

  • Pericardectomy/pericardial window
  • Thoracic duct ligation
  • Cisterna chyli ablation
  • Thoracostomy (chest) tube placement

Surgical management of mediastinal tumours:

  • Median sternotomy
  • Thymectomy
  • Liver node removal


Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA):


  • PDA ligation



Correction of vascular ring anomalies such as persistent right aortic arch


End-stage otitis externa/media (ear disease):

  • Total and subtotal ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy (TECA-LBO)

Middle ear polyps:

  • Endoscopic-guided traction
  • Ventral bulla osteotomy (VBO)

Benign and malignant tonsillar disease:

  • Tonsillectomy

Salivary gland disease including sialocoeles/mucocoeles and malignancy:

  • Sialadenectomy (salivary gland removal)

Swallowing disorders:

  • Cricopharyngeal myotomy

Lymph node disease:


  • Lymphadenectomy (biopsy or removal)



Gastrointestinal foreign body, ulceration and tumour removal:

  • Gastrotomy/gastrectomy
  • Enterotomy
  • Intestinal resection / enterectomy and anastomosis

Surgical correction of gastric dilation-volvulus (twisted stomach):

  • Incisional gastropexy
  • Partial gastrectomy
  • Prophylactic laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy

Liver biopsy and liver tumour removal:

  • Partial hepatectomy
  • Lymph node biopsy/removal

Biliary surgery including surgical management of gallbladder mucocoeles and tumours of the biliary system:

  • Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)
  • Biliary stenting (Common bile duct stenting)

Perineal hernia repair:

  • Colopexy
  • Cystopexy
  • Transposition of the internal obturator

Hepatic vascular malformation (shunt) surgery:

  • Surgical ligation/thin film banding of extrahepatic and intrahepatic portosystemic shunts
  • Liver biopsy



Surgical and interventional (minimally invasive) management of urinary incontinence:

  • Laser ablation of intramural ectopic ureters
  • Surgical management of intramural and extramural ectopic ureters (neoureterostomy, ureteroneocystostomy)
  • Placement of artificial urethral sphincter occluders

Surgical management of kidney and bladder tumours:

  • Nephrectomy
  • Partial and total cystectomy

Surgical management of kidney, ureteral, bladder and urethral stones:

  • Cystotomy
  • Pyelolithotomy / nephrotomy
  • Subcutaneous ureteral bypass (SUB)
  • Perineal urethrostomy (cats)
  • Scrotal urethrostomy (dogs)



Reproductive surgery including:

  • Laparoscopic ovariectomy and ovariohysterectomy
  • Surgical management of pyometra (ovariohysterectomy

Minimally invasive surgery including:

  • Laparoscopy for liver biopsy, splenectomy, cryptorchidectomy (removal of retained testes), and so forth
  • Thoracoscopy





Maxillofacial surgery including

  • complex traumatic injuries,
  • congenital condition such as cleft palate,
  • cancer surgery such as tumours of the upper and lower jaw (mandibulectomy, maxillectomy, lymph node removal)


Wound management and reconstructive techniques either after substantial trauma, infections or following large resections for cancer management