If you notice your pet limping or not moving as easily as usual, they may be experiencing an orthopedic issue. Orthopedics focuses on the diagnosis and repair of trauma to the joints, bones, or ligaments. Whether you have an elderly pet with arthritis or a young cat or dog that’s been injured, we can help. The veterinarians at Double Oak Mountain Animal Hospital are skilled at diagnosing and treating a variety of orthopedic issues.
Signs and symptoms of a bone fracture include limping, swelling, abnormal movements, and indicators of pain from your pet. Your veterinarian will likely verify a fracture using an x-ray but may also recommend further tests like blood work and radiographs to rule out additional trauma. The veterinarians at Double Oak Mountain Animal Hospital typically treat bone fractures with a splint or cast, surgical procedures, and/or external fixators.
A cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tear is one of the most common knee injuries seen in dogs and can happen regardless of age, weight, and breed. The two most common causes of a CCL tear are acute trauma and degeneration of ligaments within the joint. If your dog was running or playing and was suddenly unable to bear weight on the affected leg, you may want to bring them in for an examination. If left untreated, a CCL tear can progress to severe arthritis or chronic pain. Depending on the severity of the injury, we may refer you to a veterinary surgeon for treatment.
Elbow and hip dysplasia represent an extremely common ailment in large-breed dogs, and the condition tends to develop with age. Over time, the joint at the elbow or hip becomes weak, painful, and arthritic. This condition is often hereditary in large breed dogs.
To help prevent elbow and hip dysplasia, feed large breed dogs a balanced diet during their puppy years, especially since abnormally fast growth often contributes to these conditions. If your pet does develop dysplasia, the symptoms can be treated with pain management drugs, gentle exercise, and polysulfated glycosaminoglycan injections.
Osteoarthritis is a common development in older large dogs. It is a chronic joint condition characterized by the deterioration of the cartilage, bone, and surrounding tissues. Osteoarthritis in pets essentially mimics osteoarthritis in humans. Because the condition is progressive, managing it in its early stages remains the best way to keep your pet comfortable, mobile, and happy in old age.
Some pets can be genetically predisposed to develop osteoarthritis, but good nutrition in their younger years can help prevent or delay the onset of the condition. As with hip and elbow dysplasia, pain management and gentle exercise prove good methods to manage osteoarthritis.
Patellar Luxation is a condition in which your pet’s kneecap moves out of its proper location, especially when bending or flexing the leg. Unlike many other orthopedic conditions, patellar luxation typically affects small dogs. Breed predisposition plays a strong role in the likelihood of your pet developing a patellar luxation, but the condition can also arise from traumatic knee injuries.
Surgery may be necessary if your pet’s condition results in chronic pain or lameness. However, in milder cases, soft tissue reconstruction or physical therapy may be the better treatment.
When orthopedic emergencies happen, you need to have a caring, responsible veterinarian on your side to get your pet on the road to proper healing. Give us a call at (205) 991-5446 to schedule an appointment today.