Orthopedic problems are very common in both dogs and cats, and even rabbits and small mammals can break bones! The most common surgical orthopedic problem seen in the dog is a torn ACL ligament (anterior cruciate ligament), and in most cases surgical repair is the best option for a full recovery. Smaller dogs have a high frequency of patellar luxation, where their knee cap dislocates toward the inside of the knee. This condition can be minor in some dogs, but other dogs will be painful and respond best to surgical repair. If your pet has had an accident or has experienced trauma, examination and X-rays can help determine whether a bone fracture or other injury has occurred.
The most common non-surgical orthopedic condition seen in dogs and cats is osteoarthritis. Arthritis can severely compromise an older pet's quality of life. Pain from arthritis will cause hesitancy standing, doing stairs, playing, and going for walks, or lameness. Cats may limp, hesitate to jump or stop jumping all together. Most animals suffer silently, and only exhibit pain by their actions. Generally osteoarthritis is managed medically with weight loss, joint supplements, pain medications, rehabilitative laser, and/or glycosaminoglycan injections.
Our doctors routinely evaluate all orthopedic issues and will determine whether medical management, a surgical procedure, or referral to a specialty hospital is indicated. We offer in-house surgery with a boarded surgeon as needed. Please contact our West Windsor, NJ, office if you have any questions!