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Orthopedic problems are a common occurrence for a small animal veterinary practice. As we become more active, we include our companion pets in our atheletic pursuits. Running, chasing balls, catching a frisbee, playing in the park with other dogs are great excercise for dogs but can also result in injuries. And some purebred dogs may be genetically predisposed to orthopedic problems. There are a number of orthopedic conditions which commonly affect dogs. The most common orthopedic problems seen in dogs are:
Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease and more common in large breed dogs (i.e. German Shepherds, Labradors and Golden Retrievers). Treatment often involves lifetime anti-inflammatory medications but if the hip develops extensive arthritis, joint replacement may be necessary. Preventative measures are key along with weight reduction and maintenance pain management.
Cruciate Ligament Tears
The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) keeps the knee in working order. Cruciate ligament ruptures are most common in large breed dogs. It is not unusual for a dog to suffer a torn CCL from simply chasing a ball. Genetic make-up, bone structure, ligament composition or obesity may all be a factor in this scenario. If not surgically repaired, a torn CCL can lead to crippling arthritis.
Luxating Patellas (Knee Caps)
Knee cap problems are commonly seen in many breeds of dogs but smaller breeds are more likely to have knee cap luxations. Should the knee cap (or patella) slip out of the groove that holds it in place, repair is warranted. Repair option procedures vary depending upon the size of the dog.
Our orthopedic surgeon can provide consultations and treatment recommendations for a variety of orthopedic problems. Some of the procedures performed include:
Please call for more information or to make an appointment for your pet.