How to Prepare Your Pet for Orthopedic Surgery?

Orthopedic surgery in pets, like humans, is a serious procedure requiring thorough preparation. This can involve a range of steps, from pre-surgical tests to diet changes, to ensure your pet’s overall well-being before and after the surgery. Here’s a comprehensive look at how you can prepare your pet for orthopedic surgery.

About Veterinary Orthopedic Surgery

Veterinary orthopedics in Rancho Cucamonga includes a variety of surgical procedures designed to address issues related to the bones, joints, and muscles of pets. Orthopedic surgery can help pets suffering from broken bones, hip dysplasia, and torn ligaments. Veterinary orthopedic surgeons have specialized training in using state-of-the-art surgical techniques to treat these conditions, helping pets live pain-free and functional lives.

Conditions Needing Vet Orthopedic Surgery

Various orthopedic conditions in pets may require surgical intervention. Here are some common orthopedic conditions that may necessitate veterinary orthopedic surgery:

  • Fractures: Broken bones often require surgical repair due to trauma or underlying bone disease. Orthopedic surgery can involve the placement of pins, plates, screws, or external fixators to stabilize and align the fractured bones.
  • Cruciate Ligament Rupture: In dogs, cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture is a common orthopedic problem. Surgical options include TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy), TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement), or extracapsular repair to stabilize the knee joint.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to joint instability and degeneration. Surgery options include total hip replacement (THR) or corrective procedures like Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO).
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Elbow dysplasia is a collective term for several developmental abnormalities of the elbow joint. Surgical options in severe cases may include fragment removal, joint resurfacing, or even elbow replacement.
  • Patellar Luxation: Patellar luxation, or kneecap dislocation, is common in small dog breeds. Surgery can correct the alignment of the patella and deepen the groove in which it sits to prevent recurrence.
  • Osteoarthritis: In cases of severe osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, joint surgery such as joint fusion or joint replacement (e.g., hip or knee replacement) may be considered to alleviate pain and improve mobility.
  • Spinal Disorders: Conditions like intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) or vertebral fractures may require spinal surgery to decompress the spinal cord, stabilize the spine, or remove herniated discs.
  • Bone Tumors: Orthopedic surgery may be necessary for the removal of benign or malignant bone tumors, as well as the reconstruction of affected bone and joint structures.
  • Angular Limb Deformities: Some young animals may develop angular limb deformities, which can be corrected through surgical procedures like osteotomies to realign the bones.
  • Ligament and Tendon Injuries: Tears or ruptures of ligaments or tendons in animals, such as the Achilles tendon or the medial collateral ligament, may require surgical repair.

It’s essential to consult with a board-certified veterinary surgeon or orthopedic specialist if your pet is experiencing musculoskeletal issues. The choice of surgical procedure will depend on the specific diagnosis, the severity of the condition, your pet’s age and overall health, and your veterinarian’s recommendations. Orthopedic surgery on pets can greatly improve their quality of life and mobility, especially when performed by experienced professionals.

Preparing Your Pet for Orthopedic Surgery

1. Begin With A Vet Check-Up

Just like humans, pets, too, need regular dog wellness check-ups. These vet check-ups are essential as they help in the early detection and management of illnesses. Before orthopedic surgery, getting a complete check-up of your pet is crucial to ensure they are healthy and ready for the procedure. This can include a physical examination, blood tests, radiographs, and other tests deemed necessary by the vet.

2. Understand the Procedure

Understanding what the surgical procedure entails is pivotal for any pet owner. Your vet will explain the intricacies of the surgery, the expected results, and the potential risks involved. This will help you make an informed decision regarding the procedure. It will also mentally prepare you for the post-surgery care your pet will require.

3. Dietary Restrictions

Your pet’s diet might need to change before the surgery to ensure their digestive system is clear. A fast of 8 to 12 hours, dependent on your vet’s instructions, is usually recommended. Food or drink intake can be risky during surgery as it can lead to anesthesia complications.

4. Physical Activity Limitation

Just like dietary restrictions, physical activity might need to be limited to avoid strain or injury. Depending on your pet’s condition, your vet might suggest limiting certain activities such as running, jumping, or playing.

5. Recovery Space

Before your pet’s surgery, set up a recovery space at home. This should be a quiet, comfortable area with easy access to food, water, and a litter box (if applicable). This space should be free of hazards that could harm your recovering pet.

6. Post-Surgery Follow-Ups

Surgery recovery often involves follow-up vet visits for check-ups and possible removal of stitches or staples. Schedule these appointments in advance to ensure a smooth recovery process.

7. Keep Calm and Provide Comfort

Your state of mind can greatly impact your pet. Remember to stay calm and provide a comforting environment for your pet. This process can be stressful for your furry family member; hence, reassurance, comfort, and much love can go a long way in preparing them for surgery. 

How About Your Pet’s Skin Health?

In addition to prepping your pet for orthopedic surgery, paying attention to their skin health is important. Veterinary dermatology specializes in diagnosing and treating skin diseases in animals. A veterinary dermatologist can help address allergies, skin infections, hair loss, and more. It’s crucial to seek assistance if you notice any changes in your pet’s skin or hair.


Wrapping up the preparation tips, it’s evident that preparing your pet for an orthopedic surgery involves a thorough check-up, understanding the surgical procedure, dietary restrictions, physical limitations, and a comfortable post-surgery recovery space. With proper guidance from veterinary professionals in orthopedics and dermatology and regular dog wellness check-ups, you can ensure a smooth surgery and recovery process for your beloved pet.

By | 2023-09-04T14:06:38+00:00 October 23rd, 2023|Environment|0 Comments