The summer months are here, and you know what that means – fun in the sun for you and your furry companion. Whether you are hiking, jogging, playing at the beach, or enjoying a game of frisbee in the backyard, you need to be aware that an orthopedic injury can occur. And just like people, many of these injuries will require surgery.

What You Need to Know About Orthopedic Injuries as a Pet Parent

Dogs and cats have skeletons that are very similar to ours. Their bones can fracture (break) from a fall, an injury while playing, or another traumatic event. Our fur babies can also experience soft tissue injuries from chronic overuse or a sudden movement – and these include sprains, strains, and tears of ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

But know that our veterinarians are here to help! At Westfield Veterinary Group, we perform a wide range of soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries every day. Common procedures include:

  • Simple fracture repairs
  • Patella luxation surgeries
  • Dislocated hip surgeries
  • Ligament repairs – (Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries are most common and are much like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in people)
  • And more…

The Steps to Take Before Surgery

 If your beloved pet experiences a soft tissue or bone injury, the very first thing you need to do is get them to either of our locations – Westfield or Union – so we can stabilize the injured limb, treat the pain, and diagnosis the extent of the injury. Please note that while the initial consultation can be performed at both locations, surgery is ONLY offered at our Union location at this time.

Diagnostic tests are required prior to any surgery. These tests vary depending on the injury but typically include radiographs (x-rays) of the injured limb and age-appropriate, pre-anesthetic blood testing. This blood work ensures your pet’s organs are functioning properly so they can effectively process and eliminate anesthesia.

Once the injury is diagnosed, our team will explain all treatment options. We will then work together to determine the most appropriate option for you and your furry friend. If surgery is needed, we will explain the at-home temporary treatments (pain management and immobilizing the injury site) that are necessary until the day of the procedure.

It’s the Day of Surgery

 We know you may be a little nervous but rest assured that your pet’s comfort during surgery is our highest priority. Your pet’s surgery is performed in our state-of-the-art sterile surgical suites, which are equipped with today’s most advanced surgical equipment and veterinary surgical technology.

During surgery, our highly-experienced veterinarians and licensed technicians use the latest anesthetic techniques as well as advanced monitoring equipment that keeps track of all your pet’s vitals. And rest assured that our specially-trained technicians keep their hands and eyes on your fur baby at all times.

How to Help Your Pet After Surgery

 There are several items our team will touch on after surgery and before you head home. These include:

  • Bandage care – Careful monitoring and maintenance are required for safe bandage wear, pain management, and proper healing.
  • Pain management – This is an integral part of keeping your fur baby comfortable, but also ensures a quicker recovery.
  • Activity restriction – Your pet must be properly confined with modified activities during the entire healing process.
  • Rehabilitation – We offer rehabilitation services to help pets recover and regain their strength, mobility, and flexibility following surgery.

Did your pet play a little too hard and experience an injury? If so, give us a call at 908-232-1048 to schedule an appointment at either our Westfield or Union location. We are ready to help your fur baby before, during, and after surgery to ensure the best possible outcome.