Pet Surgery

Your pet is in good hands.

When your pet needs surgical help, the team at The Goodland Pet Hospital is available to assist you. Your veterinarian will work closely with you to ensure every step is taken to provide your pet with the very best level of care. After a full examination and any necessary diagnostics, your pet will be given the attention of a trusted and experienced local vet.

The Goodland Pet Hospital offers most pet surgeries your animal may need in our Santa Barbara animal hospital. The following are some of the procedures available to you.

Pet Dental Surgery

When you think of pet dentistry, you probably think of such standard veterinary services as checkups and cleanings. If the subject of pet surgery comes up during a dental exam, it’s most likely in the context of extracting a diseased tooth. But modern veterinary dentistry has actually grown quite sophisticated in its ability to treat a wide range of issues. Here at The Goodland Pet Hospital, our Goleta and Santa Barbara veterinarians can provide dental assistance for your pet at lower prices (in most cases) than you could get from a specialty vet clinic.

While extracting teeth can be the most sensible treatment for a severely damaged tooth or one that threatens the health of neighboring teeth, it certainly isn’t the only answer. Some people wouldn’t automatically expect your own dentist to pull any tooth that had a problem. Repairing and saving problematic teeth can make it easier for pets to chew their food properly, and it also preserves the bone density in the jaw. That’s why we offer such advanced veterinary services as:

Orthodontia – A bite misalignment, or malocclusion, can cause your pet severe discomfort and other problems, especially when long, sharp canine teeth are involved. A short lower jaw, or overbite, can also be a source of pain and mouth injury. Our veterinarian in Santa Barbara can extract, shorten, or add acrylic material to specific teeth to address bite problems.

Oral tumor biopsy and removal – Growths in your pet’s mouth may be oral cancer, or they may be a benign condition such as gingival hyperplasia. We can inspect your pet’s mouth and perform a tissue biopsy, if indicated, on the growth to identify whether it’s malignant. If it is, we can perform pet surgery or other treatments as needed.

Prosthodontics – Prosthodontics is the field of dental restoration. Our Goleta veterinarian can fit broken or cracked teeth with crowns made of various materials to reinforce the teeth, permit normal function and prevent infection. We may also crown a tooth that has been shortened or reshaped in the course of treatment for a malocclusion.

Root canal therapy (via Referral Only) – If your pet breaks a tooth, the exposed root canal will almost certainly become infected, creating a painful abscess and possibly opening the door to widespread systemic infection. If the tooth is reasonably intact, we can refer you to a veterinarian who provides root canal therapy to clean it out and then cap it to protect it from recurring infection. They may extract the tooth if it’s too damaged to be saved.

Tooth Removal

If your pet presents with a severely damaged tooth that requires extraction, you can feel confident leaving your animal in the caring hands of the staff at The Goodland Pet Hospital. Dr. Kelly has extensive experience and passion for veterinary dentistry and our state-of-the-art office is equipped to handle all of your pet’s pre-op and post-op care. Whether your small animal is suffering from a fractured tooth, abscess, misalignment, periodontal disease or other dental problem, tooth removal can provide much-needed relief from pain and infection. Because pet tooth extraction is a surgical procedure and not simply “pulling a tooth” as in some human dentistry, we provide your animal with comprehensive care that includes radiographs, blood work, anesthesia, and recovery care.

Blood Work Before Pet Dental Care Under Anesthesia

In order to ensure your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia and surgery, we always perform pre-anesthetic blood work prior to scheduling a surgery appointment. Even if your animal seems otherwise fine and has only fractured a tooth on a favorite toy, a blood panel can detect underlying conditions that can increase the risks of anesthesia and surgery. Even young pets can benefit from blood work before pet dental care because they may have genetic organ conditions that are worsened by anesthesia. Especially in older pets, blood work can detect problems that must be addressed prior to surgery; blood work can detect minor problems, such as dehydration requiring I.V. fluids, to more serious conditions, such as diabetes requiring long-term monitoring and medication. Once any conditions have been managed, we will schedule your pet for surgery and be equipped to safely monitor the animal under anesthesia while the tooth is extracted.

Recovery Care After Tooth Removal

The recovery care after tooth removal is vital to manage pain and prevent infection. Immediately following surgery, we will monitor your pet in our office. The vet surgeon and our veterinarian technicians will check vital signs and ensure your animal stays calm and comfortable in a secure, quiet environment to promote rest and healing. The at-home recovery care after tooth removal is equally important. We will provide you with post-op instructions for medications and diet and schedule a recheck appointment. The veterinarian will also be available by phone if you have any questions or concerns.

Maxillofacial Surgery

The Goodland Pet Hospital has the experience and equipment needed to perform most skull, oral, nasal and ear surgeries. These surgeries often require the use of a high speed oscillating saw and bur driver as well as plates, pins, screws, wire and a thorough knowledge of the anatomy of the skull. All can be found at this hospital.


Oscillating Saws, Burr Driver, Microair Drill, Plating Set, Pin Set, Reduction Set


performed at GPH include but are not limited to the following:

  • Mandibular and Maxillary Fractures – All can be repaired here by the use of internal and external fixation. These surgeries require knowledge and sophisticated equipment in order to perform. We commonly use plates and screws or pins and wire to repair most jaw and facial fractures.
  • Partial Maxillectomy and Partial Mandibulectomy (removal of part of the face and jaw bones respectively) – Commonly used to treat tumors of the skull.
  • Rhinotomy – Opening up the nasal cavity to remove tumors and polyps, other nasal reconstructive surgeries due to trauma or birth defects.
  • Soft and Hard Palate Reconstructive Surgeries – For example, shortening the soft palate to improve breathing and closing birth defects such as cleft palate.
  • Laryngeal Surgery – Removing everted ventricular saccules to improve breathing, removing laryngeal tumors regardless of their site (vocal folds or wall of the larynx.)
  • Ears – Removing extremely diseased external ear canals and middle ear lining tissue due to chronic infection, trauma, and cancer. Reconstructive surgery of the ear flap (pinna) and external ear canals.
  • Eyelid Surgeries – Tumors (some require eyelid tissue grafts), entropion (inverted eyelids), ectopic cilia, enucleation (removal of the entire eyeball and lids, usually done when vision cannot be saved and the eye is painful to your pet), corneal surgeries to close full thickness corneal lacerations or to try to get a stubborn corneal ulcer too heal. We do grid keratotomy, conjunctival advancement graft.
  • Salivary Gland Surgery – Salivary mucocele surgery which involves removal of one or more salivary glands and salivary gland tumor removal
  • Thyroidectomy – Removal of one or both thyroid glands to either remove a tumor or cure hyperthyroidism in a cat.
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disease (TMJ Disease) – We can do closed or open reduction of dislocated jaw joints as well as TMJ arthroplasty (removal of the TMJ) when the joint cannot be saved so as to restore a non-painful range of jaw motion for your pet.
Salivary Gland Surgery

The salivary glands in cats and dogs refer to exocrine glands of the mouth that produce saliva in order to aid digestion. There are four major pairs of salivary glands, and when they are healthy, they produce adequate amounts of saliva to aid in chewing, eating and starting the digestion process.

Salivary Glands Are Vulnerable to Blockages, Infection, and Tumors

However, just as with any other part of the body, salivary glands can develop infections and other problems that impede their functioning. When there are issues with the salivary glands, surgical intervention may be required. A salivary gland may develop a blockage, and in some cases, tumors can grow within them.  These abnormal growths can be benign or cancerous.  

At a minimum, salivary gland problems cause discomfort and reduce the quality of life for pets both while they are eating and at rest. In the case of cancer of the salivary glands, it can become a life-threatening issue if the tumor grows and metastasizes to other parts of the body. Salivary gland surgery from your Santa Barbara veterinarian and animal hospital can provide relief for these and other salivary gland issues.

Signs of Salivary Gland Health Problems

Symptoms of issues with the salivary glands include difficulty in eating and swallowing, bad breath, and swelling around the jaw.  X-rays, advanced imaging and/or fine-needle aspiration cytology may be required to determine the exact cause of the salivary gland issue before a diagnosis is made.

The most common salivary glands to be affected by cancer or other health issues in cats and dogs are the mandibular and adenocarcinomas glands. Issues of the salivary glands including tumors and cancer tend to be more common in older animals. Salivary gland tumors do have a fairly high metastatic potential (17 percent for dogs and 39 percent for cats) and have been known to spread to lymph nodes and in some cases distant organs.

Salivary gland surgery, also referred to as salivary mucocele surgery, can involve tumor removal and/or total removal of one or more of your pet’s salivary glands. While all efforts will be made to save the gland, in some cases, total removal will be required to help ensure ongoing health and well-being.

Your Santa Barbara Veterinarian is Experienced in All Types of Maxillofacial Surgery

Our Santa Barbara veterinarian at The Goodland Pet Hospital offers a range of maxillofacial surgery services for dogs and cats, including salivary gland surgery. We are outfitted with all of the necessary equipment and technology that could be required for your pet’s salivary gland surgery or other maxillofacial procedure. A high-speed oscillating saw, bur driver, reduction set, Microair drill, and plating and pin sets are all available on-site.

Foreign Object Removal

When your pet has ingested something into his body, the resulting symptoms can be quite frightening. However, with the proper equipment and a competent veterinarian, foreign bodies can be removed from your pet’s intestinal tract and he can return to normal quite quickly.

What Happens with a Foreign Body?

When your pet consumes something that will not pass through his intestinal tract, it becomes blocked and there must be a foreign body procedure to remove the item.  Anything from a toy to a bone to an item of trash can become lodged in the gastrointestinal tract and make your pet miserable. Our goal is to perform minimally invasive surgery using our leading-edge equipment including a variety of endoscopic surgical tools that allow us to remove any foreign objects your pet may have swallowed. What tool and procedure we use depends upon things such as where the foreign body is in the intestines, how obstructed the intestines are, how long the item has been in the pet’s body and any issues having to do with toxicities of the ingested item.

Symptoms of Blockage

The symptoms of a foreign body vary depending on location, severity, and type of item. Common symptoms include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Painful abdomen

  • Loss of appetite

A life-threatening complication can occur if the object has perforated the intestinal tract and its contents infiltrate the abdomen, potentially leading to sepsis. String commonly causes this type of perforation.

Treatment and Intervention

When the foreign body is in the stomach, we can often use an endoscope to remove it. Wherever possible, we use minimally invasive surgery with one of our tools including bronchoscope, gastroscope or colonoscope. Foreign bodies stuck in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach may be removed with a flexible endoscope. Sometimes, though, surgical exploration and removal of the body may be necessary.

After Care

Sometimes a pet can develop a complication from the foreign body removal which necessitates separate treatment. Otherwise, after the procedure, they need to be monitored to make sure they can eat normally and all other vital signs returned to normal. Additionally, pets will need to be monitored to ensure that they return to eating. Finally, evaluation for the presence of intestinal or stomach leakage will need to be done for 3-5 days postoperatively. Intravenous fluids and antibiotics may also be necessary.

Most of the time, removing the foreign body is a simple process that results in total recovery. Your pet should be able to eat normally after just one or two days and everything else returns to normal as well. The outcome can become worse if there is a significant delay in recognizing that there is a problem and getting the pet to the vet. Also, if there is perforation, peritonitis and/or sepsis can set in, making the outcome guarded and perhaps requiring more involved operative intervention and postoperative care.

If you should not swallow it, your pet should not swallow it. Carnivores are attracted to the smell and taste of blood. Please make garbage cans containing blood,  bones, corn cobs and other ingestible dangerous materials inaccessible to your pets at all times to help prevent this problem.

Whatever the case, The Goodland Pet Hospital will use the most minimally invasive procedure to remove a foreign body from your pet’s gastrointestinal tract.

Soft Tissue Surgery

The Goodland Pet Hospital in Santa Barbara is dedicated to providing you and your pet with the highest level of care possible. Dr. Caitlin Kelly is available to provide your pet with a wide range of care options including soft tissue surgery. If you believe your pet requires specific surgical care, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our veterinarian in Santa Barbara today.

Comprehensive Pet Surgery for Soft Tissue Needs in Santa Barbara

Pet surgery is often a difficult process for family members. It often occurs with a great number of unknowns. Part of our job is to understand your pet’s condition as thoroughly as possible before conducting any type of surgical procedure. When you visit our animal hospital, we’ll conduct a number of tests prior to any procedure to understand your pet’s overall health and to better get an idea of any risks we face going into the procedure. You can count on having peace of mind when working with our skilled team.

The Care Our Veterinarian in Santa Barbara Offers

Expect exceptional care from our veterinarian in Santa Barbara for any type of surgery your pet needs. Soft tissue surgery is a type of procedure done on the tissues of the body rather than bones or major organs. Our team has medical facilities onsite to conduct this type of surgical procedure in a very safe and sterile environment. We conduct a wide range of procedures onsite including:

  • Ligation of heart PDA

  • Vascular ring strictures of the esophagus

  • Heart and heart base tumors

  • Tracheal and esophageal surgeries

  • Lung lobectomy (partial or full removal of the lung lobe)

  • Pericardial sac removal

We also offer a wide range of abdominal surgical procedures. These procedures include:

  • Liver

  • Spleen

  • Intestine

  • Kidney

  • Bladder

  • Pancreas

  • Adrenal glands

  • Colon

  • Stomach

Our goal is to gather information, form diagnoses, and then offer any type of treatment possible and necessary. Generally, these procedures are done only after we have some understanding of the underlying health problem. Common reasons for pet surgery include:

  • Infections

  • Detection or treatment of cancer

  • Genetic malformations such as liver shunts

  • Perforations

  • Foreign object removal

  • Partial organ removal (such as intestines, spleen, stomach, kidney)

  • Tumors of the adrenal glands, bladder, kidneys, pancreas, spleen

  • Cyst and tumor removal in other locations

  • Removal of prostate and para prostatic cysts and tumors

Expect the latest procedures and state-of-the-art technology on hand to minimize risks and to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet.

Scheduling Pet Surgery at Our Santa Barbara Animal Hospital

If you believe your pet needs pet surgery, contact our offices today to schedule a consultation or examination by our veterinarian. Our team will work one-on-one with you to complete all necessary testing and to ensure your pet gets exceptional care. When you visit our animal hospital to see our experienced veterinarian, you can expect the supportive environment you need.


Soft tissue surgeries performed at GPH include but are not limited to the following:

  • Ligation of Heart PDA
  • Vascular Ring Strictures of the Esophagus (PRAA)
  • Tracheal and Esophageal Surgeries
  • Heart and Heart Base Tumors
  • Lung Lobectomy (remove an entire lung lobe or part of a lobe)
  • Placement of Chest Drains for Pleural Space Infections
  • Pericardial Sack Removals
  • Open Abdominal Surgical Procedures – Most involving: Liver, spleen, intestine, pancreas, kidney, bladder, adrenal glands, stomach (gastric torsion surgery, pyloroplasty and many more), colon etcetera. 
Tumor Removal

Tumor removal is a common type of soft tissue surgery performed by a qualified veterinarian. When abnormal growths are detected in or on pets through radiological methods, vets may order a procedure called a fine needle aspirate to withdraw cells and tissue from the growth for microscopic examination. If we cannot accurately determine whether the tumor is benign or malignant through a needle aspirate, your pet may need a biopsy. This involves minor surgery to remove a small piece of the tumor for enhanced investigation of the nature of the tumor. Additionally, x-rays and blood/urine tests are essential, pre-operative tests telling your veterinarian if kidney or liver problems are present that could make general anesthesia a slight health risk for your pet.

Types of Soft Tissue and Tumor Removal Surgeries Performed

Soft tissue surgeries offered at GPH include but are not limited to:

  • Esophageal (vascular ring structures)/tracheal/throat
  • Heart base/heart tumors
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (or PDA, a treatable canine condition occurring a birth requiring surgery to restore blood flow between the left and right heart chambers)
  • Full or partial removal of the lung tumors (lung lobectomy)
  • Pericardiectomy (removal of the pericardial sac due to fluid build-up in the space between a dog’s heart and his pericardial sac)
  • Tumor removal or specialized soft tissue surgery involving your pet’s liver, spleen, kidneys, intestines, stomach or pancreas

Other reasons your pet may need the expertise of our veterinarian include systemic infections, cancer detection/treatment, removal of foreign objects and removal of cysts or tumors affecting your pet’s skin or internal organs.

Postoperative Recovery Following Tumor Removal or Soft Tissue Surgery on Pets

Depending on the type of surgery your pet needs, recovery can be as short as a few days or extend beyond a week or more. We will inform pet owners what to expect while their pet is recovering from surgery and how to recognize signs of postoperative problems such as infection of the incision. We ensure all pet owners that their pet will receive warm, loving, superior care while recuperating after surgery.

Spay & Neuter

At The Goodland Pet Hospital, Dr. Caitlin Kelly, performs spay and neuter services for our customers. If you have a new pet or are considering having an older pet fixed, please learn about the importance of spay and neuter services for cats and dogs. 

Our Spay and Neuter Services

At The Goodland Pet Hospital, we spay and neuter cats and dogs that are 6 months of age or older. While it is best to spay and neuter young pets, as they will not add to the animal overpopulation problem, we are happy to spay and neuter pets at any age. Here’s what you can expect when you bring your cat or dog to us for this procedure: 

  • Pet health check – Before we spay or neuter your pet, our veterinarians in Santa Barbara will perform a thorough examination to make sure your pet as well. 

  • Skilled veterinary care – Our veterinarians have the proper training and education to perform this surgery. We do it all the time, so you can relax and trust us when it comes to taking great care of your pets. 

  • Pet comfort during and after – Our veterinarian will administer anesthesia so that your pet will be comfortable during the procedure. We will watch to make sure the wound is properly sealing and send your furry friend home with complete care instructions so you do not have to worry. 

What are the Benefits of Spay and Neuter?

When you spay or neuter your pets, you set them up for a lifetime of greater health and happiness. When your pets are not overcome by their biological urges, they will be calmer and happier. 

For females, spaying reduces the likelihood of mammary cancer and uterine infections. Spaying also prevents your pet from mating and introducing more animals into a city that is already overcrowded with unwanted pets. With local shelters crowded, there is simply no room for additional pets so we urge you to get your cat or dog fixed.

Neutering male pets not only reduces their risk of prostate cancer, but it also decreases aggression, marking, and spraying. You will spend less time cleaning up after your male cat or dog, and experience fewer behavioral problems when you get them fixed. 

Finally, you will enjoy your pets more when they are fixed. Male pets that are not fixed are more likely to escape or roam, which increases their risk of getting lost, run over, or in a fight. Female pets that are spayed will not go into heat, during which time they yowl and urinate around the house. 


At The Goodland Pet Hospital in Santa Barbara, we provide a wide range of surgical procedures. To do so, we use several types of anesthesia options to help reduce discomfort and ensure safety throughout those procedures. Our Santa Barbara veterinarian will work closely with you to choose the right type of anesthesia for your pet based on his or her needs and the type of procedure we will be performing. We keep you fully informed of what you can expect.

The type of anesthesia your pet will need depends on a number of factors. This includes the type of procedure and the length of it. Whenever possible, we use the least amount of anesthesia possible to reduce the risk of complications and side effects. However, there are times when general anesthesia is required. This includes in situations where the surgical procedure will be lengthy or when it is an invasive procedure. During some of our minimally invasive surgeries, we may only use localized anesthesia.

Localized Anesthesia: The least risky form of anesthesia for most pets is local anesthesia.  Here, we may use a light level of sedation and localized numbing of the area to reduce any occurrence of pain. This can also help to reduce your pet’s anxiety for the upcoming procedure.

General Anesthesia: For more invasive procedures, general anesthesia becomes necessary. This procedure is very safe and, while there are some risks, we take every precaution possible to minimize those risks to your pet. This type of anesthesia is often necessary for soft tissue surgeries, spaying and neutering, and maxillofacial surgeries. It may be necessary for some pet dental procedures as well as orthopedic surgeries.

What You Can Expect from Your Veterinary Care

Coming to our animal hospital doesn’t have to be a worrisome experience. When there is a need for pet surgery, you can count on our experienced and trusted team to help your pet through the process as safely as possible. Our goal is to provide the highest quality of veterinary care to your pet. This includes using the safest options available in anesthesia managed by those who are experts in anesthesia for pets.

You can trust our veterinarian with your family’s pet. With outstanding experience in a variety of surgical procedures and with the very best in anesthesia management, you can feel confident trusting your pet with us. We use the latest technology and techniques to ensure the safest procedure possible. Talk to our team about your pet’s upcoming procedure and what type of anesthesia may be the right option for you.

Welcome to The Goodland Pet Hospital!

We're open five days a week to serve the pets of Goleta, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Ventura, Carpinteria, and surrounding areas.

For emergencies, please call ahead so we may be prepared for your arrival.


Mon - Thurs: 8 am – 5:30 pm
Fri: 8 am – 5 pm
Weekends: Closed

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7126 Hollister Ave
Goleta, CA 93117
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