Sometimes, you need an experienced veterinary surgical specialist to address complicated conditions or trauma.

Evaluating and repairing trauma and treating complex diseases often requires advanced medical equipment and professional expertise that is typically only found in a specialty hospital like ours. The Surgical Department of VESH is headed by Dr. John A. Benson, a Board Certified veterinary surgeon specially trained in orthopedic and soft-tissue surgery. Dr. Michele Kudisch joined the VESH Surgical Department in a part-time capacity in February 2019.  With 40 years of experience combined, Dr. Benson and Dr. Kudisch have improved the health and quality of life of thousands of pets by:

  • Evaluating and treating acute and chronic lameness
  • Evaluating and treating traumatic and sports-related injuries
  • Performing reconstructive surgery and repair of traumatic wounds
  • Performing urologic surgery
  • Performing surgical and laparoscopic biopsies that provide valuable diagnostic information

Working closely with your regular veterinarian, Dr. Benson can provide you with options and help determine the best treatment for your pet.

Available surgical procedures include:

  • Orthopedic Surgery:
    • Lateral suture
    • Tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy (TPLO)
    • Femoral head osteotomy (FHO)
    • Patellar luxation
    • Fracture repair
    • Mandibulectomy
    • Maxillectomy
    • Ununited anconeal process(UAP)
    • Achilles tendon
    • Soft-tissue surgery
    • Arthrodesis

If you believe your pet may benefit from a consult with Dr. Benson, ask your regular veterinarian to provide a referral to VESH or call 413-665-4931.


  • Mass removal
  • Hernia repair
  • Airway surgery
  • Cystotomy
  • Back/disc surgery
  • Dystocia
  • Enterotomy
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV)
  • Laryngeal tieback
  • Lung lobectomy
  • Ear canal ablation
  • Kidney removal
  • Parathyroidectomy
  • Skin grafting
  • Splenectomy
  • Subtotal colectomy
  • Thoracotomy
  • Nephrectomy


If your pet’s procedure requires overnight hospitalization, our team of ICU doctors and technicians will ensure your pet’s comfort and care throughout the night with their expertise and sophisticated medical equipment. Your pet is never left alone at VESH, any time of day or night.  



MEET DR. John A. BENSON and Dr. Michele KudisCH

Dr. John A. Benson, DACVS

Dr. John A. Benson, DACVS

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Dr. Benson joined the surgical staff of VESH in 2011. He received his veterinary degree in 1995, graduating summa cum laudefrom the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University. He went on to complete an internship at Sonora Veterinary Surgery and Oncology in Scottsdale, Arizona, then was accepted to a three-year residency program in small animal surgery at Tufts University/Angell Memorial. Following his residency, Dr. Benson completed a one-year fellowship in companion animal surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. He became board-certified in orthopedic and soft tissue surgery by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2002. 

Dr. Michele Kudisch, DACVS

Dr. Michele Kudisch, DACVS

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Dr. Kudisch is a graduate of Tufts Veterinary School and completed her internship and surgical residency at Tufts Veterinary School and Angell Animal Medical Center. She became board certified in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) in 1996. In 2016 the ACVS elevated her status to Diplomate Emeritus, celebrating her long and distinguished service in the practice of veterinary surgery.   

Dr. Kudisch comes to VESH following a successful career in orthopedic and soft tissue surgery, first as the owner of Veterinary Surgery and Consulting Services in Boston and then as Staff Surgeon at Angell Animal Medical Center, West in Waltham. Dr. Kudisch relocated to Western Massachusetts last year. Dr. Kudisch is especially proud of the relationships she has built with her patients and their families and is excited to join the staff at VESH and continue providing specialty surgery care.  She lives in Amherst with her three cats, Hazelnut, Minou and Pistacio and is the devoted mom to Libby.

Learn More

Visit the American College of Veterinary Surgeons web site to read about the advanced education and training that Board Certified specialists in surgery receive.