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Orthopaedics

Our specialist for your pet

Utilising our fully equipped surgical suite and diagnostic imaging facilities, our experienced veterinary surgeon Cliodhna Moran MVB is assisted by our team of veterinary nurses to perform a range of orthopaedic surgeries.

Our orthopaedic caseload here at O'Dowd veterinary include:

  • Cruciate Ligament Disease
  • Luxating Patella
  • Fracture Repair

We also refer to Veterinary Orthopaedic Surgeons for more complex cases. Some of these complex surgeries can be performed in our Ardee Hospital

If your pet has undergone an orthopaedic surgery with us here at O'Dowd Veterinary, please read the info below for a refresher of the patient discharge information we gave you.

Post-Operative Care Instructions

There should be no unsupervised exercise; and running and jumping should be avoided during the twelve-week post-operative period.

EXERCISE

First four weeks post-op

Patients must have enforced rest for the first four to six weeks following surgery. This means that they should be confined to a small room or cage for the duration of this period. The only exercise allowed is controlled, short duration (ten minutes maximum), slow walks on a lead, two to three times daily, for toileting purposes. Walking up and down flights of stairs, playing with other pets, jumping up, or any uncontrolled activity must be avoided! Care must be taken when walking on slippery surfaces. An old towel can be used as a hindquarter sling to provide support and security during the early post- operative period.

Four - six weeks post-op

Patients are reassessed again at this time because there is generally a more obvious and rapid improvement in the degree of lameness observed by the owners between four and six weeks. Most patients are usually showing only mild lameness at this stage. Possible follow-up radiographs are also taken at this time to confirm adequate bone healing and implant stability (if implants were involved) prior to the start of controlled exercise. Once the wound is healed and stitches are removed, we may also recommend hydrotherapy and/or physiotherapy as part of the rehabilitation program if needed.

Six - eight weeks post-op

Sit/stand exercises should begin around six weeks post-op. While walking on a lead, the dog is commanded to “sit” and just before s/he fully assumes the sitting position s/he is commanded to “walk- on”. This routine is repeated ten or more times during every walk and has the effect of building the quadriceps muscle mass, which is very important in rehabilitation following cruciate repair.

Eight - ten weeks post-op

All going well, controlled exercise on a lead may begin at this time. Lead walks should be minimal at first (15 to 20 minutes once daily). Slight incline walking (slowly up and down small hills) can begin.

Ten to twelve weeks post-op

Between ten and twelve weeks, the duration of lead walking exercise can be increased slowly by ten to fifteen minutes per week. The emphasis is now placed on more inclined work and figure-of-eight manoeuvre during the exercise period. Deep-water swimming for ten to fifteen minutes several times a week, if possible, is excellent therapy at this stage.

Twelve to sixteen weeks post-op

By this time, most dogs should have returned to near normal activity. However, there is a large variate in how quickly individuals return to full function following orthopaedic surgery. Patients undergoing bilateral surgeries will take longer to recover. No off lead or playing with other dogs until six months post-op.

Bandaging and wound care

PLEASE NOTE: Below is a general guideline for the wound and bandage care of our orthopaedic patients. However, every patient is an individual so their wound and bandage care regime may be different. Follow the instructions given to you by the veterinary team.

  • A sterile bandage will be in place for first five days. It should be kept dry and free of soil.
  • Please check bandage regularly and immediately report to us any slippage, redness, swelling, discharge, or odour.
  • It is essential that your pet does not interfere with the bandage or wound site. A Buster Collar® has been provided and should stay on the pet at all times until advised by the vet that it is no longer necessary.
  • Observe your pet for any behavioural changes.
  • Bring any changes or concerns to the attention of the vet.

Please attend your scheduled re-examination appointments with the attending vet. A bandage left on too long can cause complications.

1st visit: Typically a bandage change five days after surgery
2nd visit: Recheck and stitches removed 12 days after surgery
Subsequent visits: Weekly or as advised by vet.

Call us: Ardee Veterinary Hospital