If your pet is limping or suffering from arthritis, orthopedic surgery may be able to help restore mobility and better manage his pain. Cat and dog orthopedic surgery is a major procedure, and our veterinarian in Portland is committed to doing everything possible to make your pet’s experience as easy as possible. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare will make the procedure a smoother experience for both pets and their owners. Below, our veterinarian in Portland answers four of the most frequently asked questions about canine orthopedic surgery and cat orthopedic surgery.

#1: What types of orthopedic surgery does your orthopedic veterinarian perform?

Our orthopedic veterinarian offers several types of dog orthopedic surgery, including TPLO surgery and isometric living graft (ILG) surgery to repair a cruciate ligament tear. Pets that are suffering from hip dysplasia may benefit from a hip replacement operation or pelvic osteotomy.

#2: What should I expect before and after orthopedic surgery?

Prior to orthopedic surgery, our veterinarian in Portland will walk you through each step of the process, so you know exactly what will happen during the procedure. We conduct a comprehensive diagnostic exam prior to orthopedic surgery, as well as blood work. The findings from our blood chemistry panel confirm that it is safe to administer anesthesia. After the procedure, we will keep your pet under observation while the anesthesia wears off. This observation period is also important for ensuring that there were not complications during the surgery. Pets are released home with pain medication. Typically, a rehabilitation program for six weeks or longer is necessary to restore mobility.

#3: What is isometric living graft (ILG) surgery?

Isometric living graft surgery (ILG) is a less-invasive alternative to tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery. Pioneered by our Portland veterinarian Dr. Rick White, this less invasive surgery grafts living tissue to specific attachment points along the joint, which enhances joint stability along the defective or injured cranial cruciate ligament. Our canine orthopedic surgeon pioneered this procedure in order to expand treatment options for senior pets while reducing recovery time.

#4: Is my pet a good candidate for orthopedic surgery?

If your pet is suffering pain due a problem with the knee, hip or other joints, orthopedic surgery may be able to restore function and relieve pain. However, since orthopedic surgery is a complex procedure, not all pets are good candidates. The recovery process following orthopedic surgery is very lengthy; consequently, the impact that this process has on a senior pet’s quality of life may simply not be worth the procedure. In these cases, our veterinarian in Portland may suggest alternative therapies to better manage your pet’s pain and improve quality of life. In order to determine if your pet is a good candidate for surgery, our Portland veterinarian will perform a comprehensive diagnostic exam. Following this exam, our orthopedic surgeon will make a recommendation. We work closely with pet owners to determine the best course of care.

For pre and post operative answers, read more about Pre- and Post-Operative Orthopedic Surgery Care.