Why Pet Orthopaedic Surgery is Important

Orthopaedic surgeries range from complex joint replacements to repairing fractures or correcting bone deformities. They require specialised training and expertise that only a qualified veterinary surgeon possesses. Early detection can prolong the lifespan of the affected limb before further damage occurs. Orthopaedic surgeries help alleviate pain by repairing or replacing damaged tissues that cause discomfort to pets. Orthopaedic surgery also ensures that your animal companion stays active and mobile even after an injury or illness.

Common Orthopaedic Problems in Pets

Surgery can help alleviate these symptoms by improving joint stability and reducing inflammation. Another common issue requiring orthopaedic intervention is the rupture or tearing of the cranial cruciate ligament in dogs’ knees. This injury can lead to arthritis if left untreated but can be corrected through surgical repair. Pet orthopaedic surgery can help fix these injuries so that the pet can feel better and run and play again. Orthopaedic surgeries aim at restoring normal mobility and functionality in affected limbs or joints through surgical intervention. It’s kind of like fixing a puzzle piece so it fits perfectly back together again. After the surgery, pets can move around more easily and feel better overall.

Here are some of the most common orthopaedic problems that pets may experience:

  • Developmental Disorders: such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and patellar luxation. Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that affects canine hip joints causing pain and discomfort for dogs. Elbow dysplasia is also an inherited condition affecting canine elbow joints leading to lameness over time. Patellar luxation occurs when the kneecap moves out of place due to abnormalities in the femur or tibia bone structure.
  • Arthritis: It is a common ailment which develops due to wear-and-tear on joints over time; it can cause stiffness and pain for our pets as well. This condition causes pain and difficulty in moving around for pets with severe cases.
  • Osteosarcoma: A type of bone cancer that commonly affects dogs.
  • Cruciate ligament injuries: The cruciate ligaments help to stabilise the knee joint, but they can be torn or ruptured due to trauma or degeneration.

When to Consider Orthopaedic Surgery for Your Pet

Orthopaedic surgery is a specialised field of veterinary medicine that deals with the musculoskeletal system of animals. It involves the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of injuries and disorders affecting bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. If your pet has suffered from any injury or condition that affects its mobility or causes pain and discomfort, it may benefit from orthopaedic surgery.

The factors for determining the type of surgery and whether it is necessary includes:

  • Age: Younger pets tend to recover faster from surgery and have a better chance at returning to normal function.
  • Severity of condition: If your pet’s mobility issues are impacting their quality of life, orthopaedic surgery may be necessary.
  • Conservative treatments: Before opting for surgery, try non-invasive treatments such as physical therapy or medication.
  • Prognosis: Your veterinarian can help determine the likelihood of success with orthopaedic surgery and the potential risks involved.

The Types of Orthopaedic Surgeries Available for Pets

There are several types of orthopaedic surgeries available for pets. Some of the most common procedures include joint replacement surgery, fracture repair surgery, and cruciate ligament repair surgery. Joint replacement surgery is typically performed on older dogs with severe arthritis. The procedure involves replacing the damaged joint with an artificial implant that mimics the natural movement of the joint.

  • Fracture repair: This involves fixing broken bones by aligning them properly and stabilising them using pins, plates or screws.
  • Joint replacement surgery: This procedure replaces damaged joints with artificial ones to restore function and alleviate pain.
  • Ligament repair: Tears in ligaments can be repaired through surgical reconstruction or replacement with synthetic materials.
  • Arthroscopy: This minimally invasive technique allows veterinarians to examine and treat joint problems such as cartilage damage or inflammation.
  • Spinal surgery: Various spinal conditions such as herniated discs can be treated through surgical intervention.

Postoperative Care and Rehabilitation

Whether your furry friend has undergone surgery to repair a broken bone or treat hip dysplasia, here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Follow your veterinarian’s instructions closely regarding medication administration, wound care, and restricted activity.
  • Monitor your pet for any signs of pain or discomfort, such as limping or whining.
  • Provide a quiet and comfortable space for your pet to rest and recover following surgery.
  • Gradually increase exercise as directed by your veterinarian to avoid re-injury or complications.
  • Offer plenty of water and nutritious food to support healing.
  • Consider scheduling regular check-ups with your vet during the recovery period to monitor progress and adjust treatment as needed.
  • Physical therapy may be recommended in some cases to help improve range of motion, strength, and overall mobility.

Cost of Pet Orthopaedic Surgery

The cost of pet orthopaedic surgery varies depending on several factors such as the type of procedure, and severity of the injury or condition. The most common orthopaedic surgeries for pets include hip replacements, ACL repairs, and spinal surgery. These procedures require specialised equipment and highly trained surgeons which contributes significantly to their cost Post-operative care expenses like follow-up appointments with a veterinarian, rehabilitation exercises or physical therapy sessions are also an important part of recovery for your pet.

One way to help offset the cost of orthopaedic surgery is through pet insurance. Many insurance companies offer policies specifically tailored to cover veterinary expenses, including surgical procedures.