In a busy small animal veterinary clinic, canine orthopedic issues are frequent. As society becomes more active, our canine friends increasingly join us in our athletic endeavors. Dogs can get great exercise from running, chasing a ball, and catching a Frisbee, but these activities can also be risky. Genetically, many breeds are predisposed to musculoskeletal problems.
Diagnosis of Orthopedic Issues in Dogs
A veterinarian should assess orthopedic symptoms in an in-house veterinary lab unrelated to a minor injury as soon as possible. Even a slight limp should be considered if the limp persists for more than 48 hours. Imaging technology is frequently used to differentiate between them because the symptoms of minor fractures, muscular strains and damage, cancerous conditions, and even bone degeneration are nearly identical.
To rule out any imbalances or infections that could be causing your dog’s immobility, diagnostic blood tests like a complete blood count, urinalysis, and biochemical profile are typically performed after a thorough physical examination. Using ultrasound and X-ray imaging frequently improves the visibility of joints and bones.
Sometimes arthroscopy is used to better look at the tendons and ligaments surrounding injured joints. During this surgical procedure, the orthopedic surgeon inserts an endoscope into the joint through a tiny incision to take pictures of its interior.
These examinations are frequently used to establish the contribution of conditions like osteochondritis, arthritis, or bone trauma to the disorder. The examining veterinarian may use a sample of lubricating synovial fluid to examine the joint capsule if they have a suspicion of arthritis.
Typical Orthopedic Issues in Dogs
The first hospital trip is always stressful for both you and your pet. However, if you want to know your dog’s condition, you must overcome this obstacle. Hip dysplasia, torn cruciate ligaments, patellar luxations, and disc problems are typical orthopedic conditions in canines.
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition impacted by some variables. Large breed dogs are much more likely to develop it, including German Shepherd Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers. Anti-inflammatory medications, which typically cost $2 to $3 per day, must be taken as part of the treatment for the rest of one’s life. Hip replacements made of titanium, which cost between $2,000 and $3,000 each, are frequently necessary if the hips develop severe arthritis.
Prevention is essential because weight significantly impacts how hip dysplasia manifests. Maintaining your dog’s lean condition has been shown to reduce dysplasia by up to 30%. In humans and canines, losing weight is the most effective way to manage pain.
Cruciate Ligaments Tears
How frequently do you hear that your favorite football player will miss the entire season after tearing his ACL? For a healthy knee, the anterior cruciate ligament is to blame (ACL). The knee buckles, the dog zigzags, and the squirrel zigzags, so it is more likely that a squirrel or rabbit than a linebacker (and never caught it) has hurt your dog.
Animals, like humans, must have their torn cruciate ligaments surgically repaired to prevent crippling arthritis. The price of various surgical procedures varies from $1,500 to $2,500, depending on the dog’s size.
Like many other animals, our dogs could experience neck and back disc problems. Although giant-breed dogs are more likely to experience chronic lower back pain, breeds like Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Dachshunds, and Lhasa Apsos can also experience neck disc problems. The medications used to treat hip dysplasia can also be used to treat the majority of these cases. Surgery must be done right away if a disc is ruptured.
Toxic pain or paralysis may result from the disc’s material entangling nerves or the spinal canal. These procedures frequently yield positive outcomes in a matter of hours. The cost of these urgent back operations can range from $3,000 to $5,000.
Additionally, many dog breeds are prone to knee cap issues. In a groove, the patella, or kneecap, rests. Medial patellar luxation is the medical term for the patellas of smaller dogs prone to slipping out of the groove to the inside or medially. Treatment for medial patellar luxation in small dogs typically costs $1,000 to $1,200. In larger dogs, the patellae frequently slide laterally or outward. These dogs often have more severe leg bone problems, making repairs more complex and potentially expensive ($3,500).