Puppies And Orthopedic Surgery: 4 Important Considerations You Should Make


Veterinarians make special considerations when performing orthopedic surgery on puppies just like surgeons do with pediatric patients. Puppies are not merely small versions of adult dogs. They have physiological differences that can make surgery more challenging. They also metabolize anesthesia and heal differently than older dogs. For all of these reasons and more, puppies are different, and you should make the following important considerations when contemplating orthopedic surgery for your pet. 

Anesthesia Concerns

Dogs with healthy metabolisms, such as puppies, may burn through anesthesia drugs quicker, making it necessary for the team to monitor them more closely. Certain breeds of puppies are also predisposed to anesthesia problems. Puppies with very short snouts, such as bulldogs and pugs, may have trouble breathing while under anesthesia because their airway may become obstructed. Sighthounds, greyhounds, whippets and Irish wolfhounds, metabolize anesthesia slowly and may have trouble recovering. Toy breeds and smaller dogs also have higher risks associated with anesthesia because it's harder to maintain sedation levels. 

Growing, Soft Bones

Bones in puppies are not fully formed. At the ends of the bone are growth plates or areas of soft bone that continue to grow and harden as the puppy ages. Growth plates make orthopedic surgery more challenging because they are soft. All procedures must not damage the growth plate or prevent it from growing normally. Damage to the growth plates can cause limb shortening and deformities of the limb. Growth plates change and grow more rapidly than formed bone, which must also be taken into consideration. 

Ability to Heal

Puppies heal much quicker that older dogs. This is especially true when it comes to bone injuries. It takes only 2 to 4 weeks for a broken bone to heal in a puppy, whereas it can take up to 12 weeks for the same type of fracture to heal in an adult dog. 

Immobilization During Recovery

As you can imagine, it's harder to keep puppies less active during recovery than it is older dogs. For this reason, surgeons usually immobilize the injury through a combination of screws and pins along with a hard cast. While it will be up to you to limit their walking and jumping, your puppy will be able to move when they want and as well as they can around the home.

Puppies are not merely smaller versions of adult dogs. They have differences that make surgery a bit more challenging. Talk to a vet like those at Animal Clinic Of Billings if you have any concerns about surgery and your puppy. 


25 April 2017

Talking About Pet Vaccinations

Hello, my name is Marissa. Welcome to my site about veterinarians. I decided to buy myself a puppy for the holidays. I searched my community for a breeder and picked up my puppy right away. Unfortunately, within a day, I noticed my puppy was not feeling well. The poor animal picked up a virus on the way home due to the lack of proper vaccinations. The vet was able to save my puppy and give her all the correct vaccinations. I will use this site to explore viruses and other conditions that vets prevent through precisely timed vaccination schedules. Thanks.