Your Pet’s Orthopedic Surgery Journey: A Step-By-Step Walkthrough of What to Expect

Orthopedic surgery in pets addresses issues related to the musculoskeletal system and can help improve your furry friend’s quality of life. From fractures and joint disorders to tendon injuries and limb deformities, understanding the journey surrounding your pet’s orthopedic surgery is essential. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of what to expect from your pet’s surgery, touching on related topics like pet orthopedic surgery, pet vaccinations, and vet facilities. So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let’s dive in!

Pre-Operative Assessment and Diagnosis

First, a consultation with a veterinarian is necessary to determine the right course of action for your pet’s specific needs. This may involve taking x-rays or other diagnostic imaging, such as CT scans or ultrasounds, to accurately identify the root cause of the issue. Click here to learn more about pet orthopedic surgery and to better understand what the diagnostic process entails.

Caring for Your Pet Before Surgery

Once a surgical plan is in place, it’s essential to prepare your pet and your home for the procedure. This can include making their living space more comfortable, attending any pre-operative check-ups, and following specific feeding guidelines provided by the veterinarian.

Cruciate Ligament Disease

One of the most common orthopedic issues in pets is damage to the cruciate ligament. This vital structure in the knee joint can tear or rupture, leading to significant pain and lameness. Surgical options to treat Cruciate Ligament Disease include Lateral Fabello-Tibial Suture and Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO).

Patellar Luxation

Another common orthopedic issue is Patellar Luxation, a condition where the kneecap (patella) dislocates from its normal position. Treatment often involves surgical techniques aimed at correcting the specific type and severity of the luxation.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a painful joint disorder affecting pets of various ages. Depending on the age and severity of the condition, different surgical interventions are available, such as Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS), Double Pelvic Osteotomy (DPO), Femoral Head and Neck Excision (FHNE), and Total Hip Replacement (THR).

Elbow Dysplasia

This prevalent cause of forelimb lameness in dogs is another multifactorial disease that may require orthopedic intervention. Treatments for elbow dysplasia can range from medical management to arthroscopic examinations and corrective osteotomies, depending on the specific presentation in your pet.

Pet Parasite Prevention and Vaccination

Orthopedic surgery is just one aspect of your pet’s healthcare needs. Ensuring your pet is up-to-date on pet vaccinations is essential, as these vaccinations help prevent common parasites and diseases that can cause significant issues for your pet’s overall health. Consult your veterinarian for a tailored vaccination schedule suitable for your pet’s age and lifestyle.

Shoulder OCD, Biceps Tenosynovitis, and Shoulder Instability

Various orthopedic issues can affect your pet’s shoulders, such as Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD), Biceps Tenosynovitis, and Shoulder Instability. These conditions can present as forelimb lameness and require thorough diagnosis before determining the appropriate treatment – from arthroscopic procedures to medication and rehabilitation.

Fracture Repair Techniques

Broken bones are another common reason for seeking orthopedic care for your pets. Various fracture repair techniques are available, including external fixation, plating and interlocking nails, and minimally invasive options. The choice of treatment will depend on the fracture’s location, severity, and the overall health of your pet.

Limb Deformities

Limb deformities, whether present at birth or developed later in life, can cause significant discomfort and disability in your pet. In these cases, orthopedic surgery can correct the deformity and help restore function and comfort, so your furry friend can enjoy a happy and active life.

Post-Operative Care and Recovery

After your pet undergoes orthopedic surgery, proper post-operative care is crucial for successful recovery. This may involve pain management, monitoring the surgical site, physical rehabilitation, and patience, as your pet’s mobility may be temporarily limited during the healing process.

Pet Wellness Exams

Lastly, don’t forget the importance of regular pet wellness exams! These check-ups allow your veterinarian to monitor your pet’s overall health, detect any early signs of disease, and provide tailored care that extends beyond the realm of orthopedic issues. A proactive approach to your pet’s healthcare can save you both time and worry down the line. It is crucial that you choose a well-reputed facility for this process, such as a San Diego vet clinic, to ensure your pet receives the best possible care and the appropriate treatment plan. 


In summary, navigating your pet’s orthopedic surgery journey requires understanding the various conditions that may affect their musculoskeletal system, the proper pre-operative assessments, and diligent post-operative care. Remember, always consult with your trusted veterinarian when faced with any concerns regarding your pet’s health, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help! Your pet will thank you, and a happy, healthy pet is always worth the effort.

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