Understanding the Various Types of Orthopaedic Surgeries for Dogs

Orthopaedic surgeries for dogs are crucial in helping them lead healthy and pain-free lives. Cherrybrook Vet offers a range of orthopaedic surgeries for dogs to address various issues that may arise.

Here are just some of the orthopaedic surgeries for dogs we offer:

  • Cruciate ligament rupture repair, using the Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) technique
  • Patella luxation surgery
  • Fracture repair
  • Femoral head and neck excision
  • Arthrodesis and bone grafts
  • Selected methods of tendon re-alignment

Cherrybrook Vets have extensive experience in orthopaedics, utilising our expert, in-house radiology and ultrasound diagnostics and surgical treatment options. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you may need to speak to us about the option of orthopaedic surgery.

Common Orthopaedic Issues in Dogs

Navigating the multiple orthopaedic issues in dogs can sometimes feel overwhelming for pet owners. However, understanding these conditions is the first step towards ensuring our four-legged friends enjoy a happier, more comfortable life.

Among the most prevalent orthopaedic problems that may afflict dogs include conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia. These hereditary conditions often lead to the development of arthritis over time, significantly impacting a dog’s ability to move freely and without pain.

Additionally, osteoarthritis is another widespread concern, particularly in older dogs. This degenerative joint disease can result from the wear and tear of daily activities, leading to discomfort and reduced mobility. Fractures, on the other hand, can occur in dogs of all ages due to accidents or injuries, necessitating immediate veterinary attention to heal correctly.

Understanding these orthopaedic challenges is crucial for dog owners. Early detection and intervention can make a world of difference in managing these conditions effectively. Whether it’s through surgical intervention for more severe cases or through conservative management strategies for milder issues, the goal is always to enhance the quality of life for our canine companions. With the right care and attention, dogs suffering from orthopaedic problems can still lead joyful, active and fulfilling lives.

Cruciate Ligament Injuries: A Frequent Culprit

Cruciate ligament injuries are amongst the most frequently encountered orthopaedic issues that can affect our dogs. These injuries occur when the ligament, vital for stabilising the knee joint, is damaged. This can result from a variety of causes, including sudden movements that put too much stress on the knees, or from a gradual degeneration over time, which is often seen in older dogs or those that are overweight.

When a dog suffers from a cruciate ligament injury, it’s not unusual for them to show signs of discomfort and an unwillingness to use the affected leg. They might display lameness, appear to be in pain, or struggle with normal activities that they previously enjoyed, such as running, jumping or even climbing stairs. It’s a situation that can be quite distressing, not just for the dog but for the owner as well.

Surgical intervention is frequently the recommended course of action to correct a torn cruciate ligament. The aim of the surgery is to restore as much function as possible to the injured knee, allowing the dog to move more freely and with less pain. There are various surgical techniques available, and the choice of procedure will depend on factors such as the size and activity level of the dog, as well as the severity of the injury.

It’s important for dog owners to be aware that, following surgery, there will be a period of rehabilitation. This is a crucial phase in the recovery process, where gentle exercise, possibly some physiotherapy, and lots of TLC will help your dog to get back on their feet and enjoy an active life once again.

Emergency Orthopaedic Surgeries for Dogs: What to Expect

When the unexpected happens, and your pet experiences a serious injury, emergency orthopaedic surgery may be the necessary course of action. This type of surgery is aimed at swiftly addressing injuries such as fractures, dislocations, or other acute damages that can’t wait for a scheduled operation. The primary goal is to repair the injury, stabilise the condition, and start the process of recovery as quickly as possible.

During an emergency, time is of the essence. Our veterinary team at Cherrybrook Vet is well-equipped and ready to respond promptly to such situations. We understand how stressful these moments can be for both you and your pet, and work to ensure the process is as smooth and comfortable as possible.

The specific procedures involved in emergency orthopaedic surgery vary depending on the nature and severity of the injury. It might include the use of pins, plates, or screws to repair broken bones, or intricate surgery to realign dislocated joints. Rest assured, our veterinary surgeon will explain the details of the operation, discussing the expected outcomes and any risks involved.

It’s crucial to remember that, following emergency surgery, your dog will need your support and patience more than ever. The road to recovery may involve follow-up visits, adjustments in their daily routine, and adherence to a rehabilitation plan tailored to their specific needs. Cherrybrook Vet is committed to guiding you through this process, offering advice and support to ensure your pet can return to their happy, loving self.

Rehabilitation and Recovery Post-Surgery

The journey to recovery after orthopaedic surgery is a critical period in your dog’s life, requiring a thoughtful and dedicated approach to rehabilitation. Post-operative care is tailored to the unique needs of each dog, focusing on helping them regain strength, mobility, and confidence in their movements. A blend of physiotherapy, controlled exercise regimens, and medication to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation forms the basis of this recovery process.

Physiotherapy might include a range of activities, from underwater treadmill sessions and laser therapy, designed to encourage movement without placing undue stress on healing joints, to gentle stretching exercises that help improve flexibility and circulation. Controlled exercise is equally important, and our vets will advise you on the specific activities and the duration that is safe for your dog. These exercises are designed to gradually rebuild muscle mass and prevent the stiffness that can come from too much rest.

Managing your dog’s discomfort is another cornerstone of post-surgery care. Pain relief medication plays a crucial role in this, ensuring your dog can participate in rehabilitation activities without being limited by discomfort. It’s essential to administer any prescribed medications according to our vet’s guidance, as this not only aids in pain management but also reduces inflammation around the surgery site.

Above all, patience and encouragement from you, as their owner, will make a world of difference to your dog’s recovery. Celebrating small milestones, staying consistent with their rehabilitation plan, and providing plenty of love and reassurance will help your dog return to their playful, energetic self. Remember, every step forward is a victory in the journey back to health.

If you have any questions about orthopaedic surgery for dogs, or would like to find out more about Cherrybrook Vet Hospital, feel free to call us on 02 9980 1800 between 8:30 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday, and between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm on Saturday. We look forward to hearing from you.