Orthopaedics is the branch of medicine that deals with the ‘prevention and correction of injuries or disorders of the skeletal system and associated muscles, joints, and ligaments’. These types of conditions are quite common in animals, especially dogs, and it is uncommon for an animal to go through life without experiencing some sort of problem in this area. Most of these are minor and can be resolved quickly and easily. Orthopaedics vets use a mix of both surgical and nonsurgical methods to treat a variety of different issues, including tumours, infections, traumas and injuries related to the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons in the body. This can be managed through pinning and fixation methodologies, as well as bone plating and in some cases prosthesis and mobilizers. Minimally invasive procedures are generally the preferred route in orthopaedics, as this encourages a fast diagnosis and repair. The key focus is to improve the pet’s mobility and quality of life for your pet, as these types of conditions can sometimes be very frustrating and painful.
What we often forget is that our pet’s four legs are more than just legs – and consist of lots of different parts! These include the shoulders, paws, elbows, carpus (wrists), stifle (knees), tarus (ankles), hips, pelvis and upper and lower legs. Orthopaedic problems can also occur in their skulls and spines. Limping and lameness are two of the more common signs that your pet may need orthopaedic treatment, but you should look out for any symptoms of arthritis, neoplasia or bone discomfort as these are also indicators.
Our orthopaedic vet, Peter Dale, comes into our practice every Wednesday, where he holds consultations in the morning and operates. If you are interested in arranging an appointment with him, please give us a ring and we would be happy to arrange that for you. Alternatively, you can request an appointment online.