The orthopedic veterinarians at College Animal Hospital perform surgical procedures for San Diego cats and dogs affected by a wide range of orthopedic conditions.

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What is orthopedic surgery?

Orthopedic surgery for pets addresses issues affecting the joints and skeletal system and their associated soft tissues, including muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.

Our advanced imaging and diagnostic tools help us provide accurate and effective orthopedic diagnoses.

Orthopedic Veterinarian San Diego, Cat & Dog Orthopedic Surgeon

Board Certified Orthopedic Veterinarian

We offer the services of a Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon who performs a variety of in-house orthopedic procedures for our patients.

Common Orthopedic Surgeries

At College Animal Hospital, we offer a range of orthopedic surgeries for pets by a Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon, including the following:

  • TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy)

    If your dog has torn or injured their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), your vet may recommend a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery.

    This procedure is performed in order to change the angle and interactions between the femur and tibia, reducing the amount of forward movement of the tibia during a dog's stride. This helps to quickly stabilize the knee, reduce pain and joint inflammation, and lessen stress on the join from use.

  • FHO (Femoral Head Ostectomy)

    A femoral head ostectomy (FMO) is a surgery that addresses issues caused in your pet's hip joint due to disease or damage. This procedure involves the removal of the head and neck of the femur (the long leg bone or thighbone).

    If the socket and the head of the femur fit poorly, it can negatively impact your pet's mobility and cause chronic pain and inflammation. After the damaged or diseased portions of femur are removed, scar tissue builds in the space left, acting as a 'false joint'. The false joint is extremely effective at supporting the weight of smaller animals such as cats and small to medium size dogs.

    Your vet may recommend an FHO if your pet is suffering from:

    • Hip fracture repair
    • Hip luxation (dislocation)
    • Severe arthritis of the hip
    • Legg-Perthes disease (avascular necrosis of the femoral head)

    Get in touch with our animal clinic today to learn more about orthopedic surgeries for your cat or dog.

Orthopedic Conditions

There is a wide range of orthopedic conditions that affect cats and dogs. The following are some of the most common:

  • Hip Dysplasia

    Hip dysplasia refers to a hip socket that doesn't fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone, allowing the hip joint to become partially or completely dislocated. It is common in German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and other large breed dogs.

    The most effective surgical treatment for hip dysplasia is total hip replacement. The surgeon replaces the entire joint with metal and plastic implants, returning hip function to a more normal range.

  • Cruciate Ligaments Tears

    Torn cruciate ligaments in dogs, just like in people, must be surgically repaired to prevent arthritis. There are many different types of surgical procedures that can be used to repair this injury, and the type used typically depends on the size of the dog.

    CCL/ACL surgery for dogs may include a number of different techniques that aim to provide stability to the joint, including a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO).

  • Luxating Patellas

    If your pet's patella (knee cap) moves out of its natural position, they are suffering from a luxating patella. This is a common problem in many dog breeds, both large and small.

    Surgery is recommended for animals that have significant issues walking as a result of luxating patellas, with the goal of keeping the patella in its appropriate location at all times.

  • Disc Disease

    Just like humans, dogs can develop disc problems in their necks and backs. Breeds that commonly suffer from neck disc problems are Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Dachshunds, and Lhasa Apsos. Large breed dogs are more likely to have chronic lower back issues. 

    Dogs with advanced disc disease should have surgery as soon as possible. The sooner that surgery is done, the better the prognosis.

Orthopedic Surgery FAQs

Below are some of our frequently asked questions about veterinary orthopedic surgery:

  • What happens during the surgical consultation?

    During the surgical consultation, we will perform a physical exam and review your pet’s medical history. Other diagnostic tests including bloodwork are taken in order to determine the nature of your pet's condition.

    Diagnostics may include x-rays, a CT scan, an ultrasound, or biopsies. Once the results are back, a plan for surgery is developed and discussed with you.

  • Will the surgery and consultation happen on the same day?

    No. The consultation appointment is required for testing, examination, and diagnosis. Once any diagnostic test results have come back from our lab, a surgery appointment can be scheduled.

  • How long will the surgery take?

    Orthopedic surgeries typically last between two to four hours, depending on the type of surgery and on your pet’s specific case.

  • Does my pet have to stay at the hospital overnight either before or after the surgery?

    Some of our patients need to remain under observation overnight after surgery so that they can be monitored as they recover.

    Depending on the type of surgery that is performed and how quickly they recover after anesthesia and surgery, your pet may be referred to a trusted veterinary critical care facility for overnight monitoring and care.

    Often, however, your companion will be able to return home the same day they undergo surgery.

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