How will my veterinarian determine if my dog needs surgery? - The Waggin Train Veterinary Clinic
Surgery is certainly not warranted in any, or in very many emergencies, or certainly not all of them. It depends on what the emergency is. Right off the top of my head, the first two things I think of is if you have a dog with an intestinal obstruction, and that dog is vomiting. Perhaps a young puppy ate a sock. That's the first thing that popped into my head. But if something like that happens, that might require surgery because you have to remove that physical foreign body and get it out. Otherwise, the patient will not get better. Maybe there’s a bladder issue, perhaps there are stones, or the bladder is blocked—those are instances that might require minor procedures, or maybe even a full surgery. Pregnancy issues can also lead to surgery. If you have dystocia where a pregnant female cannot deliver her pups properly, that might require surgery. But that is really about the only ones that I can think of on short notice.
I don’t perform surgery in the case of an emergency unless it's warranted because the last thing that I want to do is put an animal that's already stressed and debilitated under anesthesia. But there will be some cases where surgery is the treatment, or cure, for that set emergency. And again, what I just said is not a comprehensive list, but those are the ones that came to me off the top of my head.