Injuries to bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments are some of the most common problems affecting dogs and cats, and the outdoor lifestyle our patients enjoy in this part of Montana may contribute to more than our share of orthopedic presentations. Simple fractures may be managed with external fixators which are comprised of a series of pins passed through the bone and connected to rods on the outside of the skin. Other fractures may be best managed with a combination of bone pins and wires. Sometimes a simple fracture can be managed with a cast or splint. We have the ability to place external fixators, bone pins and wire, and casts and splints for the stabilization of most fractures, but really severe fractures or complicated fractures may need referral to a veterinary orthopedic surgeon to have the best outcome. We have a variety of orthopedic surgeons with whom we have a great relationship with to send those more complicated cases. Our doctors will discuss all of the options for managing your animal’s fracture and help outline the best plan for each individual situation.
Cranial cruciate ligament injury in the dog is perhaps the number one presenting reason for lameness in the rear leg. There are several options available to manage this injury. Currently, our veterinarians are only offering the lateral stabilization suture method to address cruciate injuries, which is adequate for medium sized and smaller dogs. This procedure can be performed in larger breed dogs, but ideally a large breed dog would have a more involved and newer procedure known as a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) or a Tibial Crest Advancement (TCA) performed to have the best return to function after such an injury. Again, we have a great relationship with several veterinarians proficient in these procedures to refer those cases best managed with a TPLO or a TCA.
If your pet is having an orthopedic issue, our veterinarians are ready to give you several options to choose from to best manage the problem. We take into consideration financial constraints, age of the animal, and severity of the problem to come up with a plan that is agreeable to each owner’s situation. We are glad to offer a second opinion on any orthopedic issue diagnosed in your pet. If your dog or cat is the unfortunate recipient of an orthopedic injury, we are ready to help!