Orthopedic problems in dogs are common in breeds such as sled dogs, coursing dogs, hunting dogs, search and rescue dogs, and hunting dogs. But non-athletic dogs are also vulnerable to injuries.
- The orthopedic problems in dogs are mostly the consequences of the high stress placed on the body structures.
- The injuries in housedogs can be due to two predisposed factors—the weight and the warrior’s training activity.
- The physical activities such as jumping over an obstacle, retrieving of far-flung balls, and Frisbee can test the limit of the anatomical structure. When confronted on the issue of the dog’s weight, it is better to opt for slightly thin than slightly heavy.
- The training activity for a warrior may also expose the dog to orthopedic injury even if the dog is not overweight because of lack of conditioning in joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles, particularly in middle-aged dogs.
Orthopedic Disorders In Dogs
Certain orthopedic disorders in dogs can have developmental manifestations in young dogs, and which are not due to trauma or stress. Some of these disorders are:
- Hip Dysplasia. It is a condition, where several factors result in abnormal hip joint tightness and architecture.
- Elbow Dysplasia, which includes four other specific disorders, namely,:
- Osteochondritis dissecans of the humeral condyle in the elbow
- Ununited anconeal process of the ulna or UAP
- Fragmented medial coronoid process of the ulna of FCP
- Abnormal matching of the joint surfaces within the elbow joint.
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament, which is in the ligaments and cartilage. It occurs when shearing force is emphasized on the knee joint like when the dogs attempt to make an abrupt and sudden stop
- Fractured bones, which are caused by direct trauma to the structure. These include broken bones and limbs.
Treatment For Orthopedic Disorders In Dogs
The treatment for orthopedic disorders varies according to severity and types. It can be as simple as making a splint and confining the dog to allow the slow process of bone healing. In some injuries, treatment includes:
- Internal fixation with screws, wires, pins, bands, and plates for re-alignment and stabilization of fragments and broken bones.
- Physical therapy. This aspect of treatment has been overlooked by many. When properly applied, it can reduce the instances of musculoskeletal disability, shorten the healing time, and assist in restoring to normal functioning. Moreover, the efficiency of using physical therapy covers modalities like:
- Electrical stimulation
- Heat and cold application
- Electromagnetic therapy
- Cold laser
- Massage and exercise