Offering Orthopedic Surgery for Pets
You may not have given it much thought, but our four-legged friends have bones and joints that sometimes require surgical intervention just like ours. Not every veterinary clinic is equipped to perform orthopedic surgery for pets, but Huntington Veterinary Hospital is ready to help when needed.
All Ortho, All the Time
Orthopedic surgery for pets (and people) encompasses the branch of surgery devoted to treating various diseases and conditions of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles within the body. There are many of these diagnoses that affect our pet patients.
Not all veterinary hospitals offer orthopedic surgeries because there are some very special requirements to be able to do it well. These include:
- Expertise in the very specific procedures
- Appropriate equipment
- Ability to provide excellent pain management
- A well-trained staff
- Excellent after care
Orthopedic Surgeries for Pets at Huntington Veterinary Hospital
Dr. White can perform many different types of orthopedic surgeries for pets, although some procedures are performed more often than others.
Perhaps the most common orthopedic problem we see in pets is cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease. The CCL in a dog (or cat) is the same ligament we call an ACL in the human. This ligament lives in the knee (stifle) joint and helps to stabilize. Without it the upper femur bone tends to slide forward off the top of the tibia.
In dogs degenerative or traumatic changes can result in injury or even rupture of the ligament itself. Surgery is aimed at recreating stability in the stifle joint, preventing the bones from sliding. Several surgeries are available, and the right one may vary for each individual patient.
CCL rupture may be surgically addressed by:
TPLO – A tibial plateau leveling osteotomy is one of the more commonly recommended procedures, especially in large, active pets. In this procedure, a section is surgically cut from the lower leg bone (tibia) and plated back in place at a new angle to create stability within the knee. This procedure also allows access to the joint itself, allowing the surgeon to “clean out” ligament fragments or address other issues like a torn meniscus within the knee itself.
TTA – A procedure called a total tibial advancement may be of benefit to some pets. In this procedure the lower bone (tibia) is also cut and then plated further forward to help alleviate the forward motion of the femur.
Extracapsular repair – Some pets may be able to be helped by recreating the ligament using a heavy suture outside of the joint itself.
Dr. White is able to offer all of these options and more without referral to an outside specialty hospital. We are also equipped to perform surgery to address luxating patella, bone fractures, and various other conditions such as hip luxation and advanced degenerative joint disease. Our AAHA accredited status also means that we perform all of these procedures following the highest standards of the profession.
Pets need orthopedic surgery, too, and not all veterinary hospitals can deliver on that need. Huntington Veterinary Hospital is more than happy to help patients who need these procedures. Please call us if you have any questions or would like to arrange a consultation for your pet.