Surgery of the spine in the cat and the dog can be performed in general practice provided that appropriate skills and instrumentation are available. Diagnostic skills and equipment are of course equally important.
Myelography is another procedure which is not particularly difficult and can be very rewarding. However, myelography perhaps should only be performed if the means to correct the problem is available.
Spinal surgery is an increasingly common topic at CPD meetings and courses.
Equipped with knowledge and some instruments, practice (initially on cadavers) makes perfect.
Many procedures can be performed using hand instruments only, eg. fenestration of cervical and thoraco/lumbar discs. Even hemilaminectomies and slotting can be done manually provided that the correct instruments and time are available.
Access to high speed drills and burs does, however, make life easier and significantly reduces surgery time. The choice of power tools is very difficult with a wide range of options. Important criteria include drill speed, bur range, ease of sterilising and expense.
Veterinary Instrumentation has assembled a range of hand instruments and surgical power tools which will enable the veterinary surgeon to perform most spinal procedures.
The range is such that if you do not know exactly what you require ask for a selection on a sale or return basis.
Simon Wheeler's book is an excellent guide. The new edition is now available which is even better.