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Orthopaedic Surgery

In the Orthopaedic Surgery Service we are proud to commit to outstanding care of patients and excellent communication with our clients.

What to expect during your pet's orthopaedic consult

Every consult starts with a detailed history taking, when we ask you about your pet's routine, exercise habits, previous medical issues and you have the opportunity to describe the lameness or the reasons for your concerns. This is followed by our general physical exam and, depending on the level of discomfort that your pet presents, we may or may not perform a full orthopaedic exam. In some specific situations we prefer to avoid unnecessary stress for our patients and perform the most uncomfortable parts of the examination under sedation. Before the end of the consult we discuss the various scenarios we believe may apply to your pet: this includes discussing the investigations needed, the possible results we are expecting and an overall idea of treatment options, prognosis and costs involved.

As specialist clinicians we are aware that the majority of the cases we see are complex and frequently presented as emergencies which often are stressful situations for the owners. This is why we always give you the time and support to clarify any doubts or concerns you may have and are always happy to draw images and sketches, show you models or any other way of ensuring your understand the plan for surgery.

What “diagnostic procedures” means

Achieving a correct diagnosis and being able to give you an accurate view of the prognosis and best options to treat your pet often involves further investigations or diagnostic procedures. Depending on the type of injury or lameness this may consists of obtaining specific x-ray views, computerised tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan),  arthroscopy (“key-hole”) or ultrasound scan exam.

Managing your pet following an orthopaedic surgery

We take great care in explaining to our clients all the steps of the post-surgery recovery period and this is always carefully tailored to suit each of our cases individually. With a few exceptions, where we advise early return to activity or prescribe a specific rehabilitation plan like hydrotherapy and physiotherapy, the post-operative period is normally a time for strict rest. Frequently this means 6 weeks of short walks on a short lead and cage/crate or room confinement, where all that is fun is not allowed – running, jumping on sofas, playing with pals, being off lead on the garden are all  “no, no's”! Following this 6 week period we normally re-examine our patient, sometimes obtain new x-rays (to check for fracture or bone healing for example) and talk you through the next stage and how to return to normal activity and routine exercise.

Anaesthesia and Orthopaedic Surgery

When people need surgery, they usually need sedation or general anaesthesia. It is the same for pets! The surgery and anaesthesia departments work closely together to allow smooth and safe operations. While the surgeons are performing surgery on your pet, the anaesthetist is always keeping an eye on the quality of anaesthesia, making sure your pet is safe, warm, and, most importantly, pain-free.

The anaesthesia team is comprised of anaesthetists and experienced nurses. We are trained to provide safe anaesthesia to a wide variety of patients from young to old, whatever their problem may be, to provide your pet with the best care before, during and after surgery.


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