If you haven’t heard this term previously, orthopedic surgery covers any form of repair for a joint or bone. Whether your canine friend is suffering from a congenital condition or a serious injury after specific trauma, orthopedic surgery may be required to fix the joint or bone. When fixing a bone, you’ll need to see a professional who has the right training, experience, and tools.
When it comes to these types of injuries, orthopedic surgery is the most efficient and effective option because it provides a fix before allowing your dog to return to a healthy ‘norm’. Depending on the issue, however, it’s generally one of the most expensive procedures and the rehabilitation time is much longer than lighter surgery.
The Use of Orthopedic Surgery in Dogs
Generally speaking, the idea of orthopedic surgery will be to get the limb back to a normal working state so they can go on living their happy lives. Although the exact procedure will depend on the injury, bone plates are commonly required by the surgeon along with nylon, pins/screws, casts, or perhaps even an artificial joint.
If your dog is scheduled for surgery, they’ll need heavy sedation and supplementary oxygen thereafter because a typical procedure will last for many hours. Before this solution is chosen, however, the veterinarian will analyze your dog and assess their overall condition. If they’re healthy (other than the damaged joint or bone), your dog will be a prime candidate for orthopedic surgery. In truth, there are many different procedures under the orthopedic umbrella including;
Minimally-invasive fracture surgery
Total elbow replacement
Limb deformity correction
Total hip replacement
Ligament and tendon reconstruction
Total knee replacement
Arthroscopic joint surgery
Orthopedic Surgery Recovery
As stated previously, the recovery and rehabilitation period after this surgery is extensive and critical for your dog’s future health. For the first two weeks, exercise will be restricted and you’ll need to prevent your dog from walking or performing ANY sort of exercise. Once these two weeks are over, exercise then needs to be carefully managed for around four months and your specialist is likely to recommend physical therapy in this time.
Cost of Orthopedic Surgery
Depending on the severity of the issue and the surgery required, the cost can range from $100 all the way up to $3,000. However, this can increase once you include pre- and post-surgery care which is important to remember. If you need an accurate prediction for your pet, you’ll need to speak with the specialist directly as they know exactly what needs to be done.
Problems with Choosing Surgery
Although we place the lives of our dog in the highest possible regard, there are considerations to make with surgery including the cost and the rehabilitation time. If you don’t have the money or the time to dedicate to your pet’s recovery program, you’ll need to discuss these issues with the vet and your family.
For the most part, the need for orthopedic surgery is almost impossible to prevent because the majority of cases are unexpected or simply hereditary. However, you can keep your dog safe with certain precautions and therefore prevent bone breaks and fractures. For example, a leash should be used outside the home and your yard should be fenced and cleared of potentially dangerous debris.
With congenital issues, the only real preventative measure you can take is to stop all reproductive practices. If your canine friend is diagnosed with a hereditary joint problem, the most effective solution will be orthopedic surgery whether the issue is hip/elbow dysplasia or any other.