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The most common orthopaedic problems in dogs

No dog lover wants their pet to experience pain, and while orthopaedic problems are something you hope they’ll never have to face, it’s important that you know what the most common problems are and their causes. If you’re aware of some of the symptoms to look out for, you can take immediate steps to get the appropriate medical help for your dog and keep them happy and healthy. Here are the 3 most common orthopaedic problems found in dogs.

  • Anterior cruciate ligament

Simple activities such as running and jumping can cause cruciate ligament ruptures in many large-breed type dogs with some smaller breeds also known to suffer the condition. A tell-tale sign of a cruciate ligament injury is noticing a dog holding a back leg off the ground. The condition is caused by poor limb conformation (improper alignment of the lower leg and upper thigh) that places excessive pressure on the knee and limb. Cruciate injuries require surgery to re-adjust the alignment of the femur and tibia.

  • Patellar luxation or displacement of the patella

This is a typical knee problem associated with purpose-bred toy dog breeds such as Chihuahuas and Pomeranians. The patella or kneecap falls out of position because the groove that holds the kneecap in place is much shallower in smaller breeds. Symptoms include your dog not wanting to run or jump, an inability to bend the knee and swelling. Several surgical procedures can be used to treat the condition including reinforcing the ligaments that support the kneecaps.

  • Arthritis

One of the more common orthopaedic problems in adult dogs is arthritis. Arthritis is a painful, gradual deterioration of the joint due to Inflammation. An injury or the improper alignment of the joint may give rise to the inflammation, leaving the joint unstable and unable to lubricate properly. As arthritis is a progressive condition, it’s critical that dog owners take their pets for an evaluation as soon as they see the symptoms, Signs to watch out for include pain, limping and difficulty in negotiating stairs or laying down and getting up.

If your dog has suffered a traumatic injury or experiences trouble in moving about, and you’re concerned they may have developed an orthopaedic problem, contact South Eastern Animal Hospital today. We specialise in affordable animal anterior cruciate ligament repair and medial luxating patella surgery.