Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition in dogs (and humans) that results in pain and decreased mobility due to inflammation and degeneration in the affected joints. This condition is incredibly common, particularly in older dogs, and there are a variety of surgical and non-surgical treatment options for guardians and their veterinary care teams to consider. Orthopedic surgery for dogs is one way to mitigate the impact of osteoarthritis on your canine companion. Keep reading to learn more about osteoarthritis and potential treatment options.
Signs of Osteoarthritis in Dogs
Guardians should watch for signs of osteoarthritis in their companions as they age. Symptoms can include limping, decreased activity, stiffness, restlessness, swollen joints, and pain. Because the condition is so common, many people assume that osteoarthritis symptoms are to be expected for all aging canines and that treatment is unnecessary. If your companion is starting to slow down and avoid certain physical activities like taking the stairs or running, you should ask your veterinary care team about osteoarthritis — the culprit may be more than just old age.
Diagnosing Osteoarthritis — When is Orthopedic Surgery for Dogs Necessary?
If your veterinary care professionals suspect osteoarthritis in your canine, there are a few diagnostic tests that they may perform. In addition to a routine physical examination, your companion may undergo blood testing, gait analysis, and various scanning procedures. Radiographs can help detect symptoms of advanced joint disease. If your veterinarian confirms a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, they will likely recommend a course of treatment based on your companion’s age, their overall health, and the severity of the disease.
Orthopedic Surgery for Dogs
Orthopedic surgery for dogs is one approach to managing osteoarthritis, but surgical treatment must be planned very carefully. While surgery can be used to correct defects early on (and therefore limit inflammation and slow the progression of osteoarthritis), it can also contribute to inflammation in your companion’s joints. If the condition is caught early, surgical procedures for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and unstable cruciate ligaments can help slow joint degeneration over time. On the other hand, patients with advanced osteoarthritis may benefit from arthrodesis or a total joint replacement. Contact your veterinary care team to learn more about the orthopedic surgery options available for your companion.
Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Companion’s Health
Your companion’s health is important, and the team at MVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your companion’s care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your dog, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your companion an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve loyal companions in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.