Specialist Surgery

Vetspecs has two Specialist Surgeons: Drs Michael Nawrocki and Brent Higgins. We can usually see cases immediately or within a few days, however during busy periods, cases will be assessed and critical cases will be given preference.  Emergency cases such as spinal trauma or airway obstruction are always given priority. 

Vetspecs’ Specialist Surgeons are all members of the New Zealand Institute of Surgical Veterinary Specialists (NZISVS).

We offer a wide range of diagnostics and treatments for complex orthopaedic, neurologic and soft tissue surgeries in cats and dogs. 

Surgical services available at Vetspecs include:


  • Lameness diagnoses and treatments
  • Arthroscopy, MRI and CT imaging
  • Tibial plateau levelling osteotomy via TTO, TPLO and TTA techniques
  • Fracture and dislocation fixations
  • Total hip replacement : Cemented and Cementless techniques
  • Angular limb deformity correction
  • OCD and dysplasia diagnosis treatments
  • Veterinary Tissue Bank™ Allografts, distributed in NZ uniquely by Vetspecs. Find more about them here
  • Canine Rehabilitation: Orthotics, Prosthetics & Physiotherapy via Animal Physio NZ find more about them here


  • Advanced Imaging: Myleography, MRI and CT
  • Spinal decompression
  • Spinal tumour removal
  • Stabilisation of spinal fractures

Soft Tissues

  • Ear, nose and throat surgeries
  • Stenting: Tracheal, Ureteral and Urethral
  • Cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeries
  • Gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary surgeries and portosystemic shunts
  • Genitourinary surgeries including urinary incontinence treatment by Hydraulic Artificial Sphincter technology 
  • Skin, oncological and reconstructive surgeries
  • Negative Pressure Wound Therapy
  • Oncept® Melanoma Vaccination

Additional Services

  • Telephone & Email Veterinary Consultations
  • 24-hour care of In-Patients & 5-days a week access to specialist advice & surgery
  • Travelling Consulting Service to other South Island centres by our Specialists
  • Multi-discipline: Accessibility to Specialist Medicine, Anaesthesiology & Neurology
  • Free CPD: “Canterbury Cutting Edge Vets” evenings, “Journal Club” mornings, “The Specialist Connection” Newsletter, Annual South Island “Road Shows” & more
  • Merial Ancare SVS Vetspecs Surgical Intern/Resident training programmes