The veterinary team at Red Rocks Animal Center perform surgical procedures for Lakewood cats and dogs affected by a number of orthopedic conditions.

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What is orthopedic surgery in pets?

Orthopedic surgery for pets involves procedures designed to repair joints, skeletal system, and their associated soft tissues, including muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.

Our high-end imaging and diagnostic tools help us provide accurate and effective orthopedic diagnoses.

Does my pet need surgery?

An animal that has broken or fractured a bone through trauma, or one that is suffering from a congenital condition that affects the joint, may require orthopedic surgery to correct the issue.

Your veterinarian will run diagnostic tests which will give them a better look into your pet's condition and recommend treatment.

Common Orthopedic Conditions in Pets

There is a wide range of orthopedic conditions that affect cats and dogs. The following are among the most common:

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is the medical term for a hip socket that doesn't fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone, allowing the hip joint to become partially or completely dislocated. It is most common in German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and other large breed dogs.

Total hip replacement is the most effective surgical treatment for hip dysplasia. The surgeon replaces the entire joint with metal and plastic implants, returning hip function to a more normal range.

Cruciate Ligament Tears

Torn cruciate ligaments in dogs, just like in people, must be surgically repaired to prevent arthritis from developing. There are many different types of surgical procedures that can be used to repair this injury, and the type used typically depends on the size of the dog.

CCL surgery for dogs may include a number of different techniques that aim to provide stability to the joint.

Luxating Patellas

The patella (knee cap) lies in a cartilaginous groove at the end of the femur where it meets the stifle. A luxating patella occurs when the knee cap moves away from its natural position. Knee cap problems are common in many dog breeds, both large and small.

Surgery is recommended for animals that have significant lameness as a result of luxating patellas, with the goal of keeping the patella in its appropriate location at all times.

Disc Disease

Just like humans, dogs can develop disc problems in their neck and backs. Breeds that commonly suffer from neck disc problems are Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Dachshunds and Lhasa Apsos. Large breed dogs are more likely to have chronic lower back issues. 

Dogs with advanced disc disease should have surgery as soon as possible. The sooner that surgery is done, the better the prognosis.

Orthopedic Surgery,  Lakewood

Veterinary Orthopedic Surgery FAQs

  • What happens during the surgical consultation?

    During the surgical consultation, we will perform a physical exam and review your pet’s medical history. Blood work and any other diagnostic tests that are needed to determine the nature of your pet's condition will also be undertaken at this time.

    Diagnostics may include X-rays, a CT scan, an ultrasound, or biopsies. Once the results are back, a plan for surgery is developed and discussed with you.

  • Will the surgery and consultation happen on the same day?

    No. The consultation is used to acquire testing and perform an examination so we can get an idea of the extent of your pet's condition. We need to wait for the results of diagnostic tests from our lab, before we can schedule surgery.

  • How long will the surgery take?

    Orthopedic surgeries can last anywhere from two to four hours, depending on the type of surgery being performed and on your pet’s specific condition.

  • Does my pet have to stay at the hospital overnight either before or after the surgery?

    Depending on the time of day that the surgery is scheduled, it may be necessary to drop your pet off the night before.

    Many of our patients need to stay with us overnight after surgery so that we can monitor them as they recover. Depending on the type of surgery that is performed and how quickly they recover after anesthesia and surgery, your pet may be able to go home on the same day.

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