In April we are going to focus our social media efforts on discussing orthopedic conditions affecting our pets and various treatment modalities. Dr. Chris Franklin has a special interest in orthopedic surgery and medical management, and has undergone additional orthopedic training. At Dogwood Veterinary Clinic in Louisville, KY we would be honored to consult you regarding your pets orthopedic injury and develop a management plan. If your pet is limping, decreased mobility, decreased activity, licking at joints, these signs indicate that your pet is experiencing orthopedic pain. Other more subtle signs of pain include change in posture, changes in appetite, increase in heart rate, panting, and decreased grooming. If you think your pet is experiencing pain, call us to see how we can help keep your pet more comfortable. Next, we will briefly discuss several commonly diagnosed orthopedic injuries, some of which will be discussed in more detail throughout the month of April.
Rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament is one of the most common orthopedic diseases we see here at Dogwood Veterinary Clinic. I like to explain this as the same injury as an ACL tear in people. Pets affected with a complete rupture of the CCL are most commonly toe touching or non weight bearing in a back limb and are acutely painful at the time of the injury. Pets can have chronic tears or partial tears during which they may be weight bearing on the limb. The photo featured above is a post-op photo of the MMP procedure performed to treat rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament. We will discuss this procedure in more detail in a later post.
Arthritis is a condition that commonly affects our older pets. Arthritis can be a primary condition or a secondary disease resulting from being overweight, a congenital condition or a progression of another orthopedic injury. This month we will discuss how we can help keep our arthritic pets as comfortable and happy as possible. In the image above you can see how arthritis is affecting the hip joint on the left side of the image. You can see the changes to the head of the femur especially when compared to the normal hip on the right side of the image.
Luxating patella is a condition that we see in small breed dogs, these pets will commonly present with intermittent lameness or a skipping lameness. They will intermittently pick the back leg up and carry it, moving on only three legs, then will return to using the limb normally. The patella is the same as your knee cap. The severity of the disease and lameness depends on the grade of luxation, meaning how easily the patella dislocates and how easily it can be returned to the trochlear groove. This disease can be managed medically or surgically depending on the disease grade. In the images above you can see a small bone floating out to the right side of the knee. This is the luxated patella. You can see after the MPL surgery that the patella has been replaced in its proper location in the front of the knee and is no longer luxated medially.
Two developmental conditions we see commonly are hip and elbow dysplasia. This is when these joints do not develop properly leading to pain and can lead to secondary conditions such as arthritis and hip luxation. These pets can present with lameness secondary to hip laxity and incongruency of the joint leading to bone on bone pain and instability at a young age. These pets may require surgical or medical management. The image above is an example of elbow dysplasia. At the tip of the arrow there is a lucent line, this is an ununited anconeal process. In a pet that is not affected by elbow dysplasia, this fragment of bone is intact with the rest of the ulna and the lucent line is not present.
Fractures are injuries which we see fairly commonly at Dogwood Veterinary Clinic, most fractures must be treated surgically while some may be able to be managed with rest and external coaptation. The pictures above show a femur fracture before and after surgical treatment at Dogwood Veterinary Clinic.
There are many more orthopedic injuries and diseases that may affect our pets, but this is a brief overview of some of the more common injuries. At Dogwood Veterinary Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky we would be happy to consult to determine how Louisville Dog Surgeon Dr. Chris Franklin can help you manage your pet’s orthopedic needs. Call us, to see how our Louisville, Veterinarians can help improve the health of your pet.