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How to Know Your Pet Needs Orthopedic Surgery

By June 15, 2024Pet Care
A lab dog with a leg bone injury at the vet for orthopedic surgery.

Just like humans, our furry companions can occasionally experience issues with their bones, joints, and muscles that may require surgical intervention to provide relief and improve their quality of life. Explore some signs and symptoms that may indicate your pet needs orthopedic surgery. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to consult with a veterinary professional promptly for a thorough evaluation and an appropriate treatment plan. 

Recognizing the Signs

  1. Persistent Lameness: If your pet is limping or favoring a specific leg for an extended period, it could indicate an underlying orthopedic problem. Lameness can manifest as a subtle limp or an inability to put weight on the affected limb. Monitoring your pet’s mobility and seeking veterinary attention if the lameness persists or worsens is essential.
  2. Decreased Activity Levels: Changes in your pet’s activity levels, such as reluctance to play, run, or climb stairs, can point to orthopedic issues. If you notice a significant decline in your pet’s usual level of physical activity and suspect it could be related to orthopedic discomfort, it is crucial to have them evaluated by a veterinarian.
  3. Swelling and Joint Pain: Swollen joints or localized pain can be signs of orthopedic conditions in pets. Take note of any swelling, heat, or tenderness around their joints. These symptoms can indicate conditions like arthritis, ligament tears, or fractures. Early detection is key in managing such conditions effectively.
  4. Stiffness and Difficulty Moving: Ongoing stiffness, particularly after rest or prolonged inactivity, may indicate orthopedic problems. Pets experiencing joint issues may find getting up, jumping, or engaging in their usual movements challenging. It might be time to seek veterinary advice if you notice these difficulties.

When to Seek Orthopedic Surgery

Determining whether your pet needs orthopedic surgery is ultimately up to a veterinary professional. However, certain situations often warrant more advanced interventions. These may include:

  1. Severe Trauma or Fractures: In cases of severe injuries or fractures, surgical intervention may be necessary to realign and stabilize the affected bones. Surgery can expedite the healing process and reduce the risk of complications.
  2. Joint Dysplasia: Joint dysplasia, such as hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia, can cause chronic pain and reduced mobility. Surgical procedures like joint replacements or corrective surgeries may be recommended to alleviate pain and improve joint function.
  3. Torn Ligaments: Ligament tears, commonly seen in the cruciate ligaments of the knee, often require surgical repair to restore stability and prevent further damage.
  4. Degenerative Joint Diseases: Conditions like osteoarthritis can severely impact a pet’s quality of life. Surgery, such as arthroscopy or joint fusion, may be recommended in advanced cases to alleviate pain and enhance mobility.

Remember, each pet is unique, and treatment recommendations will depend on the specific condition, severity of symptoms, and overall health of your pet. Be sure to consult your vet for a professional pet examination to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Trust the Experts at CVETS

If you suspect your pet may need orthopedic surgery, the compassionate and skilled team at CVETS is here to help. 

As a leading Emergency Vet and Surgery center in Columbia, SC, we understand the importance of prompt, accurate diagnosis and effective surgical interventions. Our experienced veterinary surgeons will provide a comprehensive evaluation, discuss treatment options, and guide you through every step of the process.

We are committed to the well-being and comfort of your furry family members. Our state-of-the-art facility, advanced diagnostic equipment, and dedicated team ensure that your pet receives the highest level of care. 

Whether it’s orthopedic surgery or any other veterinary service, we strive to deliver exceptional care tailored to your pet’s unique needs! Contact us today.