Symptoms That Your Pet Needs Orthopedic Surgery

If you think only humans have problems with their joints, you are wrong. Our pets are just as prone to musculoskeletal problems as we are, especially if they are physically active. Orthopedic issues affect your pet’s bones, joints, and muscles. There could be an accident, injury, or a genetic predisposition that makes someone get it.

What breeds of dogs have musculoskeletal issues? 

Many types of animals, especially dogs, are more likely to have problems with their joints and muscles. 

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Chihuahuas

How can you tell if your pet requires orthopedic surgery?

While medications can help with many orthopedic issues, there are times when only surgery can relieve your pet’s symptoms and improve their quality of life. So how do you determine whether or not your pet requires orthopedic surgery here? Your veterinarian is your most valuable resource. 

They will be able to diagnose your pet and provide non-surgical treatment, but they will also be able to tell you when to take medicine to the next level by arranging for orthopedic surgery for your pet. First, let us examine some of the most prevalent orthopedic problems and their associated symptoms.

Orthopedic Issues in Pets That Require Surgery

The four most common orthopedic problems in dogs that can necessitate orthopedic surgery are as follows:

1. Hip dysplasia 

It is a genetic disease that affects your pet’s hips and is most common in large breed dogs. Treatment usually consists of taking anti-inflammatory medications daily, but your pet may require titanium replacements if it develops arthritis. Surgical hip replacement is an expensive and complicated procedure, but it can improve your pet’s quality of life.

The following are symptoms of hip dysplasia in your pet:

  • Jumping, running, or climbing stairs is difficult.
  • A swaying walk
  • The gap between your pet’s legs may be wider.
  • One of your pet’s legs may be shorter.
  • Reduced mobility and range of motion
  • The hind end is a shambles.

If anti-inflammatory drugs and other treatments no longer provide relief, the vet may refer your pet to replace the joint for orthopedic surgery.

When surgery is risky or to aid in your pet’s recovery, orthopedics can use orthotic devices. Custom braces can help to support the operated limb and promote proper healing. They can also assist in the non-surgical correction of the limb’s function. You can always check websites like to consult a veterinarian. They will be able to tell you if this is an option for your pet.

2. Patellar Luxation

The knee cap is also known as the patella. When an animal has a problem with its patella, it may slip out of the groove that normally holds it in place. It is usually due to the track being too shallow. Patellar luxation, also known as knee joint dislocation, is one of the most common knee joint abnormalities in dogs, affecting toy and miniature dog breeds like Pomeranians and Chihuahuas. Patellar luxation almost always necessitates surgical repair.

The following are symptoms of a dislocated knee joint in your pet:

  • Obvious pain
  • Licking its knees
  • Limping
  • Reluctance to walk
  • The inability of the affected leg to bear weight

No pet owner wants to see their pet in this condition. As a result, having contact with a 24/7 emergency vet is critical to avoid further problems.

3. Cruciate Ligament Tears

These injuries, also known as ACL tears, affect the anterior cruciate ligament, which is the ligament that keeps the knee in working order. Unfortunately, ACL tears do not heal with rest or medication alone.

Cruciate ligament tears in animals, like in humans, must be surgically repaired to prevent painful and crippling arthritis from developing. There are numerous cruciate ligament surgery techniques available, and your veterinarian will be able to advise you on which is most likely to be effective for your pet.

Symptoms of a cruciate ligament tear in your pet include:

  • Sitting unusually
  • Lameness, which frequently occurs unexpectedly during an activity
  • Stiff back legs
  • Thickening and swelling of the knee join
  • Clicking
  • Obvious pain
  • Licking, biting, and tending to the knee joint

In Conclusion

Orthopedic surgery can significantly improve your dog’s quality of life. Find a good orthopedic surgeon first if your dog needs surgery. If your primary care veterinarian cannot provide you with a referral, go to the ACVS (American College of Veterinary Surgeons) website to find a specialist in your area. 

Also, no matter what you do, make sure you follow the aftercare instructions. It may be difficult for both of you at first, but you will be glad you did in the end.

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