Orthopedic Surgery

orthopedic pet surgery


Orthopedics refers to a specific field of medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating problems relating to the musculoskeletal system. Our pet’s bodies are as fragile as our own, and this means that they too can suffer from health conditions and injuries to their musculoskeletal system that requires professional intervention from trained and experienced veterinarians.


We are able to deal with a wide range of different orthopedic problems at our veterinary clinic in Elko, NV. This includes orthopedic and neurological traumas that require treatment or surgery in order to resolve them.


Symptoms Of Orthopedic Problems In Pets


The symptoms of orthopedic problems in animals can vary depending on exactly what is causing them. However, some symptoms are more common than others. These include:


  • Abnormal gait

  • Lameness (sometimes intermittent)

  • Lethargy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Reluctance to stand or move

  • Stiffness

  • Swollen joints

  • Weight gain

  • Obviously misshapen limbs

  • General irritability


Common Orthopedic Problems In Pets


There are some types of orthopedic problems that are more common than others. The following represent the four most common orthopedic issues that we see at our veterinary clinic.


Hip or elbow dysplasia This genetic disease is more common in larger breeds of dog. Whilst anti-inflammatory medications can provide some relief, most pets will go on to need orthopedic surgery to replace the affected joints.


Cruciate ligament tear Also sometimes referred to as an ACL tear, is a common issue amongst very active pets and tends to occur when your running pet suddenly changes direction. If your pet experiences an ACL tear, surgery is needed to prevent the onset of arthritis.


Luxating patellas The patella is the official name of the kneecap. Smaller dogs can suffer from patella’s that slip out of place and require surgical intervention to replace and secure them.


Disc disease Intervertebral disc problems are fairly common, particularly amongst certain breeds of dogs, such as spaniels, poodles, and dachshunds who experience issues with the discs in their necks. Meanwhile, larger breed dogs can suffer from lower back disc problems. If your pet experiences a rupture, surgical intervention is needed immediately to prevent potential paralysis.


Surgery is always a last resort and recommended when no other form of non-invasive or minimally-invasive treatment has proven to be successful. It is always carried out using a general anesthetic so that your pet is not awake nor in any pain for the duration of the operation. This means that any pet who is referred for orthopedic surgery must have their suitability for general anesthetic assessed ahead of their procedure. And, as with any surgery using anesthetic, your pet will be continually monitored by our expert team throughout.


Exactly what will happen during your pet’s surgery will depend on what problem he has been diagnosed with. Our expert orthopedic team will be happy to talk you through what you can expect, both in terms of the surgery itself and your pet’s recovery. It is essential that you follow the aftercare advice provided by our orthopedic surgical team as this will help to ensure that your pet recovers smoothly, with minimal risk of complications. It will also improve the outcome of his procedure.



If you are concerned that your pet might be experiencing orthopedic problems, don’t delay in contacting our team to arrange a consultation appointment so that we can assess his symptoms and provide you with an accurate diagnosis and plan for his treatment. Get in touch today by calling Elko Veterinary Clinic in Elko, NV 775-204-0400.