Dr. Wellman is a highly trained and experienced surgeon.   Until moving to Colorado, Dr. Wellman’s practices were over 90 minutes from specialists.  To make advanced soft tissue surgeries more attainable and affordable for her clients, and because she loves surgery and fixing her patients, Dr. Wellman has invested in advanced training over the past 18 years, to learn and master, many soft tissue surgeries that are often times referred to specialists.  Dr. Wellman does refer to Surgery Specialists when indicated, however, she is able to perform many soft surgeries herself.

For example, Bull Dogs have a hard time breathing due to “Brachycephalic Syndrome.”  Especially in the hot humid south.  Dr. Wellman learned the surgeries to help bully breed dogs, and brachycephalic (short nosed) breeds, be able to breath better.

  • Frenchies, Pugs, Boston Terriers, English Bulldogs, Boxers, Dogue de Bordeaux Mastiffs
  • Brachycephalic breeds such as Pekingeses, Shih tzu, Lhasa Apso.

For these patients, Dr. Wellman can do advanced surgeries to correct their compromised airways at the same time as routine procedures such as spays, neuters, and dentals.


  • The patient is only anesthestized once, rather than multiple times, by multiple vets.
  • Saves the clients the time and expense of traveling to a specialist and paying more for a surgery.
  • Most importantly, patients can easily have these surgeries done when they are young and healthy (usually when neutered) rather than waiting until there is a major breathing crisis. When referral far away was the recommendation, few clients took the initiative to correct the compromised airways until there was a major breathing crisis.  The surgeries are much more difficult as patients age and as patients’ problems worsen.
  • Struggling to breath is no fun. Our cute little smooshed faced pets are extra cute, but sadly they pay a price for their cuteness.  We want to help them breath better for their entire life!

Surgeries Offered at Happy Paws:

  • Spay, Neuter, and Cryptorchid Neuters
  • Soft Palate Resection
  • Everted Saccule Removal
  • Stenotic Nares Correction
  • Small Intestinal Anastomosis
  • Cystotomy
  • Splenectomy
  • Liver Biopsies
  • Skin Reconstructive Grafts
  • Anal Sac Removal
  • Eyelid Reconstructive Surgery
  • Cherry Eye Surgery
  • Entropion Surgery
  • Diaphragmatic Hernia Repair
  • Esophagostomy Tube Placement
  • Chest Tube Placement
  • Tracheotomy
  • Amputation
  • Kidney Biopsy
  • Kidney Removal
  • Gastrotomy
  • Gastropexy
  • Mastectomy

Cutting Edge Technology & Standards of Care:

  • We believe in utilizing the best medical technology available. We offer Radio Surgery and Companion Laser therapy to help expedite patient healing.
  • Our patients are kept warm during surgery, because their iv fluids are on a Fluid Warmer and they get to be on an Inflated Warm Air Blanket during their procedure. All patients are held in a warm blanket, in the arms of a highly trained nurse as they wake from anesthesia, so they feel safe and loved, rather than scared.
  • We also believe in exceptional pain control, therefore, our patients receive pain meds, before, during, and after surgery as well as pain medications to go home.
  • We realize that it is stressful to have your pet undergo surgery. We want to assure you that your pet is in the best of hands and he/she will wake up being snuggled and loved on by one of our nurses. We do everything to provide the best care possible for each and every patient as taught in veterinary school.  It is our core value to always see ourselves through the eyes of our patients, so we can always be seen as their friend and advocate- gentle, loving, and kind.  It is our goal to make surgery day a day of healing and comfort, and to eliminate stress and worry for both you and your precious pet.

Ernie’s Big Surgery Day!

1. Stenotic Nares

Ernie is a French Bulldog. Cute smushy faced dogs have small nasal openings called “stenotic nares.”

Using Radio Surgery, we can easily open the nasal opening, usually without any bleeding, to help these adorable creatures breath! It takes a few weeks for their noses to turn black again. After a few weeks, it is impossible to tell a surgery ever took place!

Ernie also had an “Elongated Soft Palate” which is essentially a huge flap of tissue that hung down like a curtain blocking his airway. Short nosed dogs have a soft palate the length of normal snouted dogs like German Shepards. So that extra tissue just hangs out in the back of their throat, blocking their airway. Even worse, when the patient gets hot or excited, it swells making it even more difficult to break. Patient then panics and can quickly go into heat stroke. These patients are also loud snorers 😉

2. Elongated Soft Palate

We shortened Ernie’s Elongated Soft Palate using Radio Surgery.

3. Fractured Tooth

Ernie also had a broken molar which we removed.

4. Post Surgery

Ernie waking up in Meghan’s arms

An hour later, Ernie is up and ready to head home to his super amazing family!!

Radio Surgery used for Ernie’s Surgeries

Best of all, when surgery is done right, it seems our patients know we helped them. They continue to love us, make us laugh out loud, and make us oh so happy!!