A dog with its head on the arm of a glove.
Compassionate Care, Exceptional Medicine

Wellness exams, pet surgery, parasite control, and
other services for 40 years


Meet our Team


Book Appointment

Contact us

Its critical to vaccinate_page-0001
Its critical to vaccinate_page-0002
Its critical to vaccinate_page-0003
Its critical to vaccinate_page-0004
image1 (5)

Laparoscopic spays

Because your pet deserves 65% less pain

A study published in the 2005 Journal of the Veterinary Medical Association concluded laparoscopic spays caused less surgical stress and up to 65% less postoperative pain than a traditional “open” surgical spay.

In a traditional spay a 5 to 10 cm incision is made in the abdomen through which the ovarian ligament is blindly torn from the abdominal wall. This tearing causes bruising to your pets abdominal wall and postoperative pain. In most cases your pet will be required to stay overnight. The incision takes up to two weeks to heal, with ample opportunity for infection or for her to tear open the stitches.

By performing the surgery laparoscopically (a minimally invasive technique for viewing the internal structures of the abdomen), the procedure is performed through one to three small incisions in the abdomen, 0.32 to 1.27cm in length depending on the size of your pet. A laparoscope (camera) magnifies the internal structures of the abdomen on a TV monitor, allowing for greater surgical precision and fewer complications. The magnified view of the ovarian ligament allows the doctor to carefully cut and cauterize it rather than blindly tearing it, as in a traditional spay; this eliminates the pain your pet would experience from bruising caused by tearing the ligament. The small incisions are sutured and she will usually be sent home the same day. With a laparoscopic spay, your dog will experience less trauma, heal faster and experience up to 65% less post-operative pain.

In cases of larger breed, deep chested dogs, gastropexy can be performed at the time of the lap spay to prevent life-threatening gastric torsion (bloat).

Traditional Spay

  • 5 - 10 cm incision
  • Pain & bruising from blindly tearing ovarian ligament
  • Post-operative pain
  • Open surgical procedure
  • Inpatient surgery requires overnight stay

Laparascopic Spay

  • 1 - 3 Tiny Holes
  • Reduced pain due to precise surgical cuts
  • Up to 65% less post-operative pain
  • Minimally invasive technique reduces chance of infection
  • Outpatient surgery allows your pet to recover at home

By incorporating the same techniques seen in human minimally invasive surgery, the laparoscopic spay or “lap spay” allows you to give your pet the same care you would expect for yourself. It is a safer, less painful, faster healing alternative to traditional spays. As an outpatient procedure your pet recovers in the comfort of your home, a less stressful alternative for both you and her.

Animal Care Center
in Santa Clarita, California

Dr. John Burkhartsmeyer

Dr. John Burkhartsmeyer has been practicing in the Santa Clarita Valley for close to 40 years and has a particular interest in orthopedic surgery and minimally invasive surgical techniques. He was raised on a cattle ranch in northern Montana. He attended Colorado State University, obtaining a B.S. and receiving his D.V.M. in 1976. He practiced in Helena, Montana, for 10 years before moving to Santa Clarita in the mid-1980s. Dr. B. initially had the Animal Clinic of S.C.V. in Saugus and later moved to Santa Clarita in 1990. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association. He is a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita. He lives in Santa Clarita with his wife Judi, a 21-year-old cat named Lucy, two little dogs named Sophie and Colby, and a family of peafowl (pictured).

Santa Clarita Animal Hospital has been proudly providing quality care for dogs and cats since 1984. We strive to provide a calm, fear-free, professional, and friendly environment for your pet. With our fantastic team of experienced veterinarians, Dr. Burkhartsmeyer, Dr. Tran, Dr. Bones, and Dr. Brink, we can diagnose and treat nearly any condition. We offer exams for all ages, vaccinations, traditional and laparoscopic spays, neuters, dental, and orthopedics. Our diagnostic tools allow us to get a clear picture of all your pet’s needs. We offer digital imaging for both the whole body and dental. We also offer ultrasound, endoscopy, to nometry, and, when needed, in-hospital laboratory. We are easily located on the corner of Railroad Ave and 15th street, right across from A.V Rentals.

Santa Clarita Animal Hospital provides many services, including but not limited to Office Exams, Surgeries, Digital Radiographs, Digital Ultrasound, Vaccination, and much more. Call our office if your pet needs a specific service.

A woman in white shirt with dog and stethoscope.

Senior Animal Care

Like they do with people, senior animals’ medical needs change over time.

A person holding onto a small brown dog


Surgery is an effective way to treat many severe injuries and disorders.

A cat laying on its back in the arm of someone 's glove.

Parasite Prevention at Santa Clarita Animal Hospital

Regular application of anti-parasitic medication is the best way to keep your pet free of nasty parasites.

A brown dog with its tongue hanging out.


Ultrasounds are powerful diagnostic tools that create real-time images of the inside of an animal’s body.

A cat is being held by the vet.

When it’s “time”

If your pet’s quality of life is low and you have decided its time to move forward with euthanasia, here are something to consider:

A dog being groomed by someone in blue gloves.

Emergency Care

Santa Clarita Animal Hospital is a general practice, not an emergency center.