The Most Common Orthopedic Paw Conditions In Dogs

Just like humans, dogs are prone to getting hurt or developing orthopedic conditions, including arthritis. Today, our Hoquiam vets discuss veterinary orthopedics and some common conditions that can affect your dog's paws or legs and the treatment options available.

Common Orthopedic Paw & Leg Conditions in Dogs

There are many veterinary conditions dogs can develop in their legs or paws that will require treatment by a qualified orthopedic surgeon or veterinarian in Hoquiam, we explain a few of the most common below:

Cruciate Ligament Tears

Cruciate ligament tears can also be called ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears/ ruptures and it's one of the most common orthopedic conditions the can affect dogs. They occur when the thin connective tissue in the center of a dog's knee becomes torn often as a result of over-exertion or high-intensity exercise such as running or jumping. The symptoms of this condition can include a limited range of motion, pain in the affected paw/leg,  inability to put weight on their leg,  limping, swelling in the knee, difficulty getting up or laying down.

Some treatment options for cruciate ligament tears in dogs can include orthopedic surgery, medications, rest, and physical therapy. The treatment options your vet will recommend will depend on the severity of the condition as well as your dog's age, size, and breed. If this condition is not treated quickly it can become more severe and lead to more serious conditions such as arthritis. 

Luxating Patellas

Your dog's patella (knee cap) is located in a cartilaginous groove at the stifle at the end of their femur. Your pup could develop a luxating patella when their knee cap moves out of its normal position. This condition can be seen in dogs of any age, breed, or size and the symptoms could include an inability to bend their knee, limping, pain in their leg when moving, swelling, and a refusal to exercise.

Your veterinarian will recommend treatments based on the severity of your dog's condition and can include orthopedic surgery, a leg brace, cage rest, and medications.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a progressive condition where a dog's joints degenerate and wear down over time. They can develop this condition due to a combination of factors including their build, weight/physical condition, poor nutrition, age, abnormal joint development, history of physical activity, and more.

If your pup has this condition they could display symptoms such as stiff joints and movements, trouble sitting down or getting up, difficulty jumping and climbing stairs, sore swollen joints, lethargy, weight gain, limping, and lameness.

Arthritis can't be cured but your veterinarian can recommend various methods to help your dog manage their condition such as diet and exercise changes, joint supplements, orthopedic surgery, medications, and physical therapy.

What is Veterinary Orthopedic Surgery?

Each of the conditions listed above can be improved or treated with orthopedic surgery. This is where a qualified veterinarian or an orthopedic veterinary surgeon conducts surgery to help correct conditions that can affect a dog or cat's joints, skeletal system, ligaments, and related soft tissues. 

To learn more about orthopedic surgery visit the orthopedics page on our website. If your dog is showing any of the symptoms above contact our Hoquiam vets immediately to schedule an appointment.