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Dan Polidoro

Dan Polidoro
Veterinary Specialist
Dan Polidoro

At a Glance

Practicing Since:


Board Certified:


Specialties Include:

Orthopedic surgery 
Soft tissue surgery
Minimally invasive surgery

My Pets:

Elphaba & Chino - Standard Poodle
Roy - Tuxedo cat

Dr. Dan Polidoro graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and completed an internship in Los Angeles at the California Animal Hospital, Department of Surgery. He then worked for a year in general practice in San Francisco before joining a Bay Area international biotechnology company as a Senior Scientist, developing biomaterials for use in human and veterinary surgery. In 2003, Dr. Polidoro rejoined the Animal Specialty & Emergency Center (formerly California Animal Hospital, Department of Surgery) and completed a residency in small animal surgery. He successfully completed the ACVS exam to become a Diplomate (Board Certified Surgeon) and continued to work as a surgeon with the Animal Specialty & Emergency Center (now VCA Animal Specialty & Emergency Center) for 11 years after completing his residency. Dr. Polidoro has now made the move back to San Francisco, joining our team.

Dr. Polidoro has published a journal article on the use of biomaterials for canine liver surgery and has authored chapters in the textbook Clinical Veterinary Advisor. His professional interests include orthopedic, oncologic and minimally invasive surgery.

Papers Authored
Forelimb paresis

Authored By: Dan Polidoro
Published: In Cote E, ed. Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats.  3rd ed. St. Louis:  Mosby/Elsevier, Inc., 2015; 771-772, 1318

Hindlimb paresis

Authored By: Dan Polidoro
Published: In Cote E, ed. Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats.  3rd ed. St. Louis:  Mosby/Elsevier, Inc., 2015; 773-774, 1319

Evaluation of a Gelatin Matrix as a Topical Hemostatic Agent for Hepatic Bleeding in the Dog

Abstract: New generation topical hemostatic agents containing thrombin have been developed for use in surgical procedures when control of bleeding by conventional methods is either ineffective or impractical. The authors compared the safety, hemostatic efficacy, and handling characteristics of a thrombin-containing topical surgical hemostatic agent (a gelatin matrix) to a hemostatic gelatin sponge for treatment of parenchymal bleeding after liver biopsy. Fourteen dogs were enrolled in this prospective clinical study. Paired 1.5 cm × 1.5 cm and 0.5 cm deep liver biopsies were obtained via laparotomy for each dog. One bleeding liver biopsy lesion was treated with the gelatin matrix and the other with a gelatin sponge. The treated liver biopsy sites were compared for bleeding severity, time to hemostasis, cumulative blood loss, and hemostatic agent handling characteristics. Median time to hemostasis was significantly shorter (P = 0.034) and median cumulative blood loss was significantly lower (P = 0.033) for the lesions treated with the gelatin matrix than the gelatin sponge. Adverse reactions were not observed within the first 24 hr postoperatively. When used to control parenchymal bleeding from liver biopsy sites in the dog, the evaluated gelatin matrix was safe and more effective than the gelatin sponge.
Authored: Polidoro DP, Kass PH
Published: J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2013; 49(5): 308-317


What Is A Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon? A board certified veterinary surgeon is a licensed veterinarian who has obtained intensive, additional surgical training. A veterinary surgeon can offer special assistance in the following kinds of cases:
  • Traumatic injury and emergencies such as fractures, skin wounds and lacerations, correction of gastric dilatation-volvulus, and exploratory (abdominal/thoracic) surgery
  • Orthopedic surgeries (such as total hip replacements (THRs), cruciate ligament surgeries (TPLOs), and arthroscopy for joint exploration).
  • Soft tissue surgeries (such as tumor/cancer removal and correction of congenital defects).
  • Neurological surgeries (such as herniated discs and spinal injuries).

While your general practitioner veterinarian can diagnose and treat many health problems, certain diseases and conditions require the care of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive surgical training in order to provide the very best outcome for your pet. Your veterinary surgeon will work closely with your general practitioner veterinarian, as well as'"depending on your pet's condition'"other board certified specialists in internal medicine, veterinary oncology, veterinary neurology, and veterinary radiology.

Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Surgeon?

Just as your own primary care physician may feel the need to refer you to the care of a specialist from time to time, your general practitioner veterinarian may feel your pet needs the additional expertise of a board certified surgeon for certain surgeries. In fact, many general practitioner veterinarians refer all but the most routine of surgeries to specialists'"orthopedic and neurology cases, reconstructive surgeries, tumor removals, etc.

Board certified veterinary surgeons also are often affiliated with referral hospitals where they may have access to specialized diagnostic or surgical equipment, the latest and safest anesthesia monitoring equipment, physical therapy or rehabilitation capabilities, and other critical care services that a general practitioner may not have access to. All of these specialized services may be necessary for the optimal care and recovery of your pet.

You can be assured that a veterinarian who knows when to refer you and your pet to a veterinary surgeon is one that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of care for his or her problem.

What Kinds of Problems Require the Expertise of a Veterinary Surgeon?

Board certified veterinary surgeons can repair complex fractures, perform total hip replacements, and use advanced techniques to repair torn ligaments (ruptured cruciate ligaments) within the knee. They can also remove cancerous growths, manage extensive or non-healing wounds, and perform reconstructive surgery, such as grafting skin over large injuries. Veterinary surgeons can perform intricate surgeries in the chest or abdomen, such as kidney transplants in cats or repairing heart defects in dogs. Spinal injuries and herniated discs are problems that are also commonly referred to board certified surgeons. Veterinary surgery is also expanding into minimally invasive surgery, such as arthroscopy, thorascopy, and laparoscopy.

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?

In many if not most surgical cases, your regular veterinarian will still supervise your pet's veterinary care, especially if your pet is continuing to cope with a disease or chronic condition. It depends on your pet's particular disease and health problem, however. Typically, though, your general practitioner veterinarian will oversee many aspects of your pet's pre-op and post-op care, just as in human medicine. Recovery periods are often prolonged in many surgical cases, particularly in orthopedic surgery, and it is very important to follow your veterinary team's recommendations concerning at-home recovery guidelines for your pet, follow up care and appointments, as well as any rehabilitation that has been prescribed.

Did You Know?

Just as in humans, a pet's recovery from veterinary surgery can go more smoothly or even result in a better outcome with the addition of rehabilitation options. Many veterinary referral hospitals offer rehabilitation services, such as water therapy, physical therapy, and massage therapy, as an adjunct to surgical care.

Just as in people, laser surgery is becoming a much more common surgical technique in veterinary medicine, bringing with it the same advantages of reduced blood loss and shorter recovery times.

If you think that your pet may be a candidate for veterinary surgery, talk to your general practitioner veterinarian, or find a board certified veterinary surgeon near you today.

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American College of Veterinary Surgeons Website

What You Need to Know Before Your Pet Goes Into Surgery

Our Surgery Team

Veterinary Specialist
VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists

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