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General Pet Care
What are the potential complications of orthopedic surgeries?
The complication rate for these surgeries is low, but can include infection, which usually resolves with appropriate treatment. Strict exercise restrictions are essential after surgery. Unrestricted activity could result in an implant breaking or a bone cracking which may require additional surgery. Anesthesia risks are minimized with pre-surgical testing and state of the art monitoring equipment.
What follow up care is needed after the procedure?
Your pet will be seen at 2 weeks post-operatively and at regular intervals afterwards. Depending on the procedure, X-rays may be taken at 8-10 weeks after surgery. The routine follow-up care is included in the cost of the surgery. Any additional treatment or medications other than those sent home after surgery are not included. All fractures require patients to have 4-6 weeks of kennel rest following surgery to insure bone healing. Necessary trips outside must be made on a leash. Patients will also be required to wear an e-collar for two weeks or until sutures have been removed. A follow-up appointment at 4-6 weeks confirms healing.
If your pet is currently on medication for another condition, please let your veterinarian know at your consultation. Your vet will evaluate the injury and your dog to determine the best choice for you. We may also draw some blood for preoperative testing and surgery will be scheduled. We will fax information to your regular veterinarian if you have been referred to us.
What are the rehabilitation instructions?
Most patients spend one night after surgery in the hospital primarily for pain control. You will have post-operative exercises sent home with you for your pet. The majority of aftercare involves restricting activity for 6-8 weeks including: Leash walks as directed. No off-leash activities until directed by the doctor. No running or jumping. Avoid stairs and slippery floors. Keep any bandage/ casts clean and dry. Call if any unusual swelling of the limb or toes is noted or if any odor is coming from the bandage. These restrictions are to protect the operated leg and any implants. Detailed instructions will be sent home after surgery.
What are the long-term outcomes?
The location of the problem and the extent of the treatment will determine the long-term outcome. Most pets experience good return to function as measured by improvement in mobility, pain, and quality of life.
What are the costs involved?
Cost depends on your pet's age, size, and procedure. Each option will be presented to you at your consultation. If at any time prior to surgery, you would like a referral to a board-certified specialist, please inform us or your regular veterinarian.