Surgery is the branch of veterinary medicine that is concerned with diseases or  conditions that may benefit from an operation or other procedure.  Most  people are familiar with surgeons from their own healthcare  experiences, and the analogy from human to veterinary medicine is  generally accurate. 

Dr. Grafinger performing a foreign body removal in our soft tissue bay.

Dr. Grafinger performing a foreign body removal in our soft tissue bay.

Most  general veterinary practitioners perform some surgery.  A board-certified surgeon is specially trained in operative procedures in a rigorous and intensive training program.  After obtaining their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, board-certified surgeons must spend a minimum of 4 additional years in an internship and residency programs in veterinary surgery before being able to sit for the certification exam.  Many board-certified surgeons work in larger hospitals or referral practices, such at TVRH, that provide them with advanced technology and tools that may not be available in many general  practices.  

Our board-certified surgeons will work closely with you, your primary care veterinarian and our other board-certified specialists to ensure that your pet receives the best possible surgical care.


Does your pet have knee problems?

Pets can suffer from a number of knee problems such as injuries to their cruciate ligaments, like  athletes who damage their ACL.  Learn more...


Does your pet suffer from back pain? 

Back pain can be caused by a number of things. A bulging or ruptured intervertebral disc can cause irritation, inflammation or damage to the spinal cord.  Learn more...


Does your pet have bladder stones or repeated urinary obstruction?

Urinary obstruction caused by bladder stones or a number of other urinary complications, can be a serious problem in both cats and dogs..  Learn more...

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Meet our board certified surgeons


Dr. Mike Grafinger graduated from Mississippi State University in 1999. Hecompleted a one year internship at Animal Medical Center in New York   City which has an annual case load of 50,000 patients and over 90veterinarians. He practiced general medicine in NYC for one year before joining a North Carolina emergency and referral practice as an emergencyclinician. He completed a surgical residency at NC State VeterinarySchool and is one of the few board certified surgeons affiliated with anemergency clinic in the Durham area. He lives in Raleigh with his wifeand three sons.



Dr. Cindy Eward was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada and graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1996.  Following graduation, she completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the college and a 3 year residency in small animal surgery at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.  She then spent 3 years working in academia at both the Ontario Veterinary College and Auburn University before moving on to referral and specialty practice.  Dr. Eward's research interests include oncologic surgery and she in often involved in projects with her husband, Will Eward, an orthopedic oncologist and veterinarian at Duke University Medical Center.  Her clinical interests include minimally invasive surgery, oncologic surgery, stent placement as well as the welcome diversity of soft tissue, orthopedic and neurologic surgery.  Dr. Eward lives on a small farm in north Durham with her husband, 3 kids and menagerie of pets.


Dr. Marc Hirshenson grew up in Rockville, Maryland.  He received a BS in Animal Science from the University of Marylandand his DVM from Tufts University. After graduation, Dr. Hirshenson completed a one-year internship in small animal medicine, surgery, and emergency and critical care and a three-year residency in small animal surgery at Cornell University.  He then returned to Maryland where he worked as a staff surgeon at a large specialty referral practice. For the last two and a half years he has served as the Chief of Surgery for a specialty hospital on Long Island.

Although he enjoys all aspects of veterinary surgery, Dr. Hirshenson is particularly interested in surgical oncology, canine stifle disease and repair, elbow disease, and wound reconstruction.  He is proficient in minimally invasive surgical procedures including arthroscopy, cystoscopy, laparoscopy, rhinoscopy and thoracoscopy.

Away from the hospital, Dr. Hirshenson enjoys swimming, spending time outside, traveling or catching an Orioles or Terrapins game.