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Orthopaedic surgery

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Orthopaedic surgery at Boronia Vet Clinic

We are lucky in that for a non specialist clinic, we still do a large number of complicated orthopedic procedures. In some cases this is because referral has been cost prohibitive for pet owners and in other cases we have sufficient experience to recommend the procedure be done "in-house".
Whilst many of the considerations regarding orthopedic surgery are the same as routine surgery, there are some specific common questions we get asked when a patient is having orthapedic surgery. These are addressed in this article.


Going home

All orthopedic patients will have a discharge appointment with a vet prior to going home.
Depending on the patients recovery and the surgery itself, some orthopedic patients will stay overnight. In this context, a discharge appointment the following day is made.

Recovery from general anesthesia can take 24 hours or more. For 24 hours your pet will be slightly drowsy and should be kept in a warm, drought free environment. They may or may not eat on the first night after surgery. Water should be kept in an easy to reach location at all times.


Convalescing at home - Slow & Steady

In the case of orthopedic limb surgery, if your pet is able to walk on the affected leg, this does not mean the bone is mended. The internal hardware is generally taking the entire load. If the load is too much, the hardware or the bone can break.
Excessive load could come from jumping off a chair or table. Lighter loads such as running and playing applied over many repetitions, can weaken the hardware and cause it to break.

Therefore walking is good for physiotherapy , but strenuous exercise and jumping up and down onto furniture is definitely not advised!

Follow Up

Follow-up is crucial to detect and prevent complications before they develop. To ensure things are going well, we may request frequent follow up visits and x-rays to allow us to monitor progress.

Importantly (and unusually) the cost of this follow up (including check ups related to the surgery, x-rays, & hardware removal) has been included in your surgery cost.
Not included are additional medications and dressings not dispensed or used at time of the initial surgery.

Some cases are a lot more complex than others and will require closer monitoring and post–operative care. Complications can occur and second or third surgeries can be necessary. We can never assume that healing will always occur just because the initial surgery went well.