Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why was I referred?

    Veterinary referral hospitals employ veterinary specialists that work together with your regular veterinarian to provide the best quality care for your pet. A pet can be referred for a procedure that is not as common, is more complex, or if there is advanced equipment that may be necessary to diagnose or treat your pet’s condition.
  • What is a board certified specialist?

    Veterinary Specialists are veterinarians that have dedicated time and undergone specialized training to obtain a diplomate status in one of the 22 recognized AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) veterinary specialty organizations. For more information about one of these specialties, click here
  • What is a board certified surgeon or a Diplomate of veterinary surgery?

    To obtain board certification in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, a veterinarian must undergo additional training after graduating from veterinary school. During this advanced training, they are exposed to specialized surgical procedures in soft tissue, neurologic, and orthopedic surgery. The training also calls for rotations through internal medicine, emergency, anesthesia, pathology, and radiology. This training is intended to team with your primary veterinarian to advance the care for your pet. More information can be found at
  • Can I feed my dog before my appointment?

    In most cases (unless otherwise directed by your regular veterinarian), do not feed your pet the morning of your appointment as sedation may be required. Water, however, can be available for your pet at all times.
  • How can I prepare for my first appointment?

    Please contact your regular veterinarian for specific instructions on how to prepare for your appointment. Your primary veterinarian will send us your pet’s medical records and any radiographs that are needed for your consultation. Please call us to schedule your appointment or for more information on your pet’s visit.
  • How do I pay for my pet’s surgery?

    Estimates are given at the time of the initial surgery consult. Our office accepts checks, all major credit cards, and cash. We additionally accept Care Credit.
  • How do I take care of my pet’s bandage?

    Bandages should be kept clean and dry. If it has rained, it is important to cover the bandage with a plastic bag to keep it dry. It is important to remove the bag immediately after walking. When a pet has a bandage it is important to watch the toes to ensure that the bandage has not fallen or gotten dirty. If the pet has a limb bandage, the toes should be exposed at all times but should NOT be swollen or cold. If there is toe swelling, the bandage has fallen, or has gotten dirty, please contact Capital Area Veterinary Specialists or your veterinarian immediately.
  • Will my pet be in pain after surgery?

    We do everything we can to minimize the discomfort associated with surgery. There are many modalities to help prevent pain, and your surgeon will discuss the safest and most effective medications for your pet.
  • What is a torn cruciate ligament?

    Dogs have a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) which is similar to the human anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Cranial cruciate ligament tears cause: instability, pain and osteoarthritis in the knee joint. There are medical and surgical procedures that can be performed to stabilize the knee and help your pet.
  • What is the best procedure to fix my dog’s ruptured cruciate ligament? (ACL or CCL)

    There are many different surgical procedures to repair a dog’s cruciate ligament tear. Each procedure has a unique set of benefits that fit different dog's needs. These procedures can be discussed with you at your pet’s initial evaluation to find the best procedure for your pet.
  • What is a TPLO procedure?

    The TPLO is a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy. This is a corrective osteotomy procedure which provides dynamic stabilization to the patient’s knee during the weight bearing process when the cruciate ligament has been torn.
  • What is a TTA?

    The TTA is a tibial tuberosity advancement which is an osteotomy procedure. Like the TPLO, the goal of the TTA is to provide dynamic stabilization of the knee during weight bearing when the cruciate ligament is torn.
  • What is a Lateral Suture?

    A lateral suture is a broad term used for extracapsular suture techniques that stabilize the knee after the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is torn.
  • What can be done for my pet that is paralyzed?

    If your animal starts losing the ability to walk, it may have a neurologic abnormality. Advanced imaging with a CT or MRI can identify an extruded disc in the spinal canal or other abnormalities affecting your animal. Many of these patients do well with surgical decompression of the spinal cord.
  • Will my pet have to wear an e-collar after surgery?

    After surgery most animals are sent home with E-collars or some sort of collar to prevent them from licking or getting to the incision. It is important that all incisions are kept clean and dry to allow for unhindered healing. Each case is different and will be discussed with you at your evaluation.
  • How long does my pet need to stay after surgery?

    After surgery we want to make sure that your pet is comfortable and recovers from anesthesia without complication. Each pet and each surgery is unique and therefore we will discuss in hospital stay after surgery with you at the time of evaluation.
  • What is shock wave therapy?

    Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a treatment modality used in a variety of veterinary applications. Specifically this therapy has been investigated in the orthopedic realm in regards to bone healing/generation, and arthritis. You can read more about Shock Wave Therapy at:
  • What is laser therapy?

    Laser therapy has been shown to improve healing and provide pain relief. Laser light is delivered through a non-invasive handpiece to treat the affected area. Your pet will feel a gentle and soothing warmth. As the laser is administered, many pets will relax, much like you would experiencing a good massage. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your pet to be comfortable and any anxiety that your pet initially experienced will dissipate. Laser therapy has been shown to help in many of the following conditions:
    • Wounds/Infections
    • Cuts/ Bites
    • Inflammation
    • Sprains, Strains & Fractures
    • Post-Surgical Healing / Pain Relief
    • Chronic Conditions
    • Degenerative Joint Disease
    • Periodontal Disease
    • Lick Granulomas
    • Hip Dysplasia
    • Tendonitis

    Read more about laser therapy for your pet here.

Contact Us

Capital Area Veterinary Specialists
2380 O'Neal Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70816


Our Hours

Monday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday 8:00am - 12:00pm
Sunday Closed