Veterinary Exam Tables Vs. Surgery Tables

Photo of author
Updated On

I Love Veterinary blog is reader-supported, and we may earn a commission from products purchased through links on this page, at no additional cost to you. Learn more About Us and our Product Review Process >

Congratulations! You just bought your own veterinary practice, went through all the logistics, and are looking into getting veterinary equipment.

Purchasing high-quality vet equipment can be an overwhelming process because there are so many options to choose from.

We gathered the positive and negative aspects of different instruments such as stethoscopes, organizers, SawCover System, and most used tools. Now it’s time for veterinary exam tables and surgery tables!

If you’re a new owner of a veterinary practice or are looking to replace your exam or operation table but don’t know where to start, this article is for you.

The difference between an examination and surgery table

The main difference depends on their purpose.

Examination tables aim to support the patient and veterinary team through clinical examination and diagnosis. Every consultation room must have an exam table.

The function of a surgery table or operating table is to assist the veterinary team and keep the patient positioning safe during surgical procedures in a theatre or surgery room.

Some tables are multi-purpose and offer all of the functions.

Uses of an examination table

Examination tables are a piece of the necessary equipment in a veterinary clinic or hospital. Some uses are:

  • To carry out the physical assessment of the patient, which involves:

Checking the general appearance of the patient and behavior.

Auscultation, listening to the chest sounds with a stethoscope.

Palpation in different areas to look for any abnormalities.

  • To decide, and sometimes perform, the appropriate treatment for the animal.
  • Collecting samples or running diagnostic tests.
  • Triage: examining and rapid classification of a case.
  • Some exam tables have a scale to weigh the patient.

Watch an easy treatment procedure performed in an examination table.

Uses of a surgery table

Depending on features, accessories, and designs, some surgeries tables are specific for certain types of surgeries. For example, some tables have a movable grid, which makes the cleaning process easier after dental surgery.

Other operation tables are fabricated to perform a wide range of surgical procedures, for instance:

  • Soft tissue surgeries
  • Orthopedic surgeries

Watch a procedure carried out in a surgery table.

What to look for in an exam table

If after reading this article, you are sure that your first investment in your new veterinary practice will be an exam table or if you need to replace an exam table right away, here are some basic things to look for:

  • Durability, non-slip, and high-quality material such as stainless steel.
  • Appropriate dimensions to make sure all your patients can be comfortable.
  • The weight capacity should not be less than 200 lbs.

What to look for in a surgery table

The essential characteristics to look for in an operation table are the same as with the exam table, but we added extra points to the list based on convenience and functionality:

  • Versatility (V-top or flat)
  • Heated or non-heated surfaces.
  • Hydraulic or electric patient position.
Pet pro supply co banner

Exam tables buying guide

All the following options are corrosion-resistant and made of stainless steel.

Dre Mobile Veterinary Animal Lift Table with Canine Scale

Dimensions 44.5″ long x 20″ wide.


  • A foot-operated mechanism that prevents any lifting of an injured or post-op patient. This feature may also be a good choice for those that are concerned about back injuries.
  •  High quality built-in canine scale, so no moving of the patient is needed.


  • The price might be a bit high for an exam table, but it includes a significant number of benefits.
  • Rechargeable battery foot-operated mechanism. Always make sure to charge it.

Dre Classic Veterinary Exam Table

Dimensions 48″ long x 34″ height.


  • Affordable price.
  • Stable in uneven surfaces.
  • Simple design.


  • Heave duty.
  • You have to lift an injured animal to place it on top of the table.
  • If you need to move the table to another room, you have to lift it.

Dre Cojack Multi-purpose Veterinary Table


  • Weight capacity of 250 lbs.
  • It acts as an exam and surgery table for a fair price.
  • Dual rechargeable footswitch that determines the functionality left to enable table height adjustments(up to 40″) and right to allow table tilt adjustment (up to 60″) .” If it is crucial for you to find a multi-purpose table that requires less back strain for larger breeds, this table might be an excellent option for you.


  • It may take practice to get used to the table and its features.
pet pro supply co banner

Surgery tables buying guide

All the choices below are corrosion-resistant and made of stainless steel.

Vetline Hydraulic Veterinary Surgery Table with Foot Pump


  • If you are looking for a non-maintenance hydraulic lift system (from 19″ to 44″high), this might be an affordable option for you.
  • Weight capacity of 300 lbs.
  • The tabletop is double powder-coated for cleaning and disinfectant solutions.
  • It is made to perform a variety of surgeries.


  • The base might become unstable in uneven surfaces.

Vetline Classic Veterinary Surgery Tables


  • Different models to choose from: flat top fixed height, v-top fixed height, v-top adjustable height.
  • Weight capacity of 225 lbs
  • The V-top adjustable height has an electrical foot-mechanism to customize the table.


  • The fixed height restricts the vet to a certain height.

Dre Pannomed O.P Veterinary Surgical Table


  • Veterinary surgeons can operate in a sitting and standing position as the design is for Opthalmology and advanced orthopedic surgery.
  • The table has a sliding top and optional armrests for comfort during ophthalmology and neurosurgery procedures.
  • Adjustable electrically remote-controlled height.


  • Pricey

We gave you the pros and cons; now it’s your time to choose!

It’s essential to pick an exam or surgery table that meets your veterinary team and patients’ needs. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How can I prevent my staff from back injuries from lifting and carrying injured patients that need post-operative care? Health and Safety first!.
  •  I’m purchasing an operation table, what procedures will I be performing on patients? This question will help you determine what to look for in a surgery table.
  • What is my budget?

Remember that it is your choice, and it is essential to choose the right one for your veterinary practice.

pet pro supply co banner

The article was written by Arais Conde. Find out more about her by visiting her Instagram or Portfolio.

Bear in mind that some of the links in this article are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase we will earn a commission. We promote and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Sharing is caring!

Photo of author


Project dedicated to support and help to improve Veterinary Medicine. Sharing information and raising discussions in the veterinary community.