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At St. Francis Animal Hospital, we provide pet orthopedic surgery for animals in the Las Vegas, NV area. Here are the answers to some basic questions you may have about this aspect of veterinary care.
What is orthopedic surgery? Orthopedic surgery refers to procedures that correct musculoskeletal problems. If your pet is suffering from an injury or degenerative ailment involving bones, muscles and/or connective tissues, orthopedic surgery may be recommended.
What kinds of injuries call for orthopedic pet surgery? Fractures in pets often require orthopedic surgery. To ensure that the set fracture remains in the correct position for proper healing, our veterinarian may surgically install metal screws and a plate onto the bone surfaces. There's rarely any need to remove the hardware later.
How does the veterinarian repair an injured ACL? An injured ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, can make your pet's knee unstable without surgical correction. Our veterinarian may recommend different procedures based on your pet's size and weight. Your pet might do well with an extracapsular surgery, in which sutures take the place of the damaged ligament, or he/she may need an intracapscular surgery, which involves modifying the shape of the bones so they can provide stable joint support without a functioning ACL.
What other conditions may be treated by orthopedic pet surgery? Injuries aren't the only reason your pet might need orthopedic surgery. Chronic, progressive degenerative joint conditions such as hip dysplasia and spinal osteoarthritis can render your pet completely immobile while causing him constant pain. Surgery can often bring the necessary relief when other therapeutic methods can no longer help.
What procedures are used to treat hip dysplasia? This degeneration of the hip joint, a congenital problem in many dog breeds, can respond to any of several different surgeries. In very young animals where dysplasia is evident, it's possible to perform a pelvic fusion or femoral realignment, stopping the problem before it can progress. For older dogs, we may recommend a total hip replacement, although smaller/lighter animals may only need to have the femoral head and neck removed, relying on fibrous tissue growth to stabilize the joint.
How can orthopedic pet surgery help spinal osteoarthritis? When inflamed, degenerated cartilage between vertebrae becomes agonizingly severe, it may be time to consider orthopedic pet surgery at our Las Vegas, Nevada veterinary hospital. We can fuse the two offending vertebrae with hardware so the joint no longer moves. This prevents the bone-on-bone friction that is causing your pet's discomfort.
How should I prepare my pet for surgery? The night before, withhold food after your pet's normal dinnertime (unless your pet has a special dietary/medical need for a morning meal) so h/she will have an empty stomach for the surgery. Limit your pet’s activities that morning to light exercise.
Contact our Las Vegas veterinary hospital at 702-675-8366 for an evaluation of your pet's condition. We can advise you of all your treatment options, including pet orthopedic surgery.
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Dr. Drake and CarolAnn are amazing! They have been caring for my dogs for over 10 years now and I have never had one complaint. They are always so happy to see my dogs and provide them with the most compassionate care. I recommend them to any seeking an honest, caring, loving, empathizing and helpful veterinarian!