Repairing Broken & Damaged Bones in Dogs & Cats
Orthopedic surgery is a type of veterinary medicine that deals with the surgical treatment of bones, joints and ligaments. These surgical procedures are designed to help give dogs and cats the ability to move comfortably again after they've sustained damage to their bones or joints.
At Country Meadows Pet Hospital in Maple Ridge, we strive to help dogs and cats move comfortably again. We offer a variety of surgical procedures that help us achieve that goal. Whether your companion needs some support after rupturing a ligament or they sustained a trauma that left them with a broken bone, our veterinary team is here to help.
We ensure your dog or cat's safety every step of the way. As with all surgeries, we perform a pre-operational consultation to ensure that your companion is healthy enough to undergo surgery.
If orthopedic surgery is recommended for your cat or dog, we will do everything possible to keep them safe and comfortable before, during, and after the surgery.
What You Should Know About Orthopedic Surgery from Country Meadows Pet Hospital
We offer a wide range of orthopedic surgeries to treat any conditions that might affect cats and dogs. The following are among the most common:
Orthopedic Surgeries at Country Meadows Pet Hospital
We perform many types of orthopedic surgeries in our hospital. We occasionally refer patients to board-certified orthopedic surgeons to perform complex procedures.
Here is a list of the surgeries we offer:
Medial Patella Luxation (MPL) Surgery
A medial patella luxation is an injury in which a dog's knee dislocates and moves towards their body rather than away from their body. This can make the injured dog appear as though they are skipping. While some medial patella luxations can be fixed at home, if your dog's knee is regularly or permanently dislocated, then surgery may be recommended.
Most often, surgical repair for medial patella luxation involves several 'mini procedures' performed in one surgery. These can include deepening the groove of the femur, releasing muscles that are causing strain on the patella, tightening the soft tissues that surround the knee and adjusting the the patellar tendon. Other options include securing the bones in place with stainless steel pins.
Medial patella luxation repairs may also be performed in conjunction with stabilization procedures for CCL rupture.
Surgical Fracture Repair
Leg fractures are the most common orthopedic problem presented at our clinic and usually result from a mishap with an automobile. They can be treated in a variety of ways depending on the location and type of fracture.
In some cases, we can apply a cast to treat certain fractures; however, many fractures will require surgical intervention. These interventions include:
- Pinning - This will stabilize the fracture by inserting a long stainless steel rod into the middle of the bone across the fractured area.
- Plating - We can attach a flat stainless steel plate to the bone using screws on either side of the fracture.
- External fixation - This helps stabilize fractures using a series of pins on the outside of the leg that pass through the skin and into the bone on either side of the fracture.
Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)
TPLO is one of the most popular surgical procedures to repair a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in cats and dogs. If the cruciate ligament ruptures, the knee will lose stability which will lead to stress on the joint and injuries to the supporting structures. Essentially, your companions will lose the ability to use their knee joint effectively and will develop subsequent injuries and arthritis.
This surgical procedure involves changing the angle of the knee joint to allow it to be stable again. Once the corrected angle has been determined, a metal plate will be fixed to the bone allowing the tibia to heal in its new configuration. This will return proper function to your dog or cat's leg.
Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA)
If a dog has torn their cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), they may need to undergo TTA surgery. This surgical procedure involves reshaping the top of the shin bone (the tibia), allowing the knee to gain back stability when it is bearing weight. This makes surgical repair on the ligament itself, unnecessary.
TTA surgery can be excellent procedure for the treatment of cranial cruciate ligament injuries in dogs and cats but it is especially helpful for larger, more athletic dogs.
Orthopedic Surgery FAQs
If your dog or cat is about to undergo orthopedic surgery, you might feel some apprehension. Our veterinary team would like to help put your mind at ease.
Have a look through the frequently asked questions below and if you still have questions, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to discuss your concerns.
What happens during an orthepedic surgical consultation?
During your dog or cat's surgical consultation, we will start with a physical exam to better understand the condition of your pet's ligaments, bones and joints. Next, we will perform diagnostic tests such as bloodwork to ensure that your companion is healthy enough for anesthesia and surgery.
Once we get the results back, a plan for your pet's orthopedic surgery will be developed and you will be contacted to set up a surgery date.
How long will the surgery take?
Each surgery is different, and we will only truly know the extent of the issue once we've started, so an accurate estimate of duration can be difficult to determine. However, orthopedic surgeries typically last between two to four hours depending on the type of surgery being performed.
How long should my cat or dog wear a cone after orthopedic surgery?
In order to protect your dog or cat's incision from getting damaged or infected, a cone will be provided to you. This must stay on their neck for 10 to 14 days after their surgery date.
What is the recovery time for orthopedic surgery in cats and dogs?
In most cases, dogs and cats will recover from orthopedic surgery, and start acting like themselves again, in about two to three months. Keep in mind, however, that a full recovery could take upwards of six months.