Surgeries – Orthopedic

Riverview Animal Health Centre provides a wide range of services for bone injuries. Should your pet have an orthopedic condition, Dr. Francis Arsenault and Dr. Lethan Dwan are available to ensure your pet’s orthopedic needs are taken care of. Dr. Arsenault has been committed to RAHC for over 40 years. The majority of his operating room time is dedicated to orthopedic surgeries on our patients, as well as on referrals from all corners of Atlantic Canada.

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Orthopedic Surgeries

From screening, diagnosing, repairing and post-operative care of your pet, our team is trained and ready to help if your pet has an orthopedic injury. Our services include advanced surgical techniques for cruciate ruptures, limb deformation corrections, fracture repairs, luxating patella surgery, hip and elbow evaluations through OFA, elbow and shoulder surgery, back surgery including myelograms, and extracapsular cruciate repair. See our list of orthopedic surgeries below:

  • Extracapsular CCL Repair
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
  • Shoulder, Elbox
  • Ulnar Ostectomy (unilateral and bilateral)
  • Femoral Head Ostectomy (canine and feline)
  • Fracture Repairs (Including complicated repairs with hardware)
  • Mandibular Fractures
  • Fracture Coronoid Process (FCP)
  • Meniscectomy
  • Spinal Surgery
  • Corrective Osteotomy (Radius, ulna, other long bones)
  • Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO)
  • Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)
  • CBLO
  • Hip Toggle for Dislocations
  • Joint Arthrodesis

What is a TPLO?

Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery is performed in dogs that have torn their ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament). Although this can occur with any breed, ACL tears are most common in young, athletic, large breed dogs, and older, overweight large breed dogs. Dogs can have an acute tear which usually occurs while running or roughhousing, which causes sudden lameness. Older, usually overweight dogs can have ligaments that stretch and then tear partially or fully after as little as a small jump.

How is an ACL rupture diagnosed?

Dogs typically come to the hospital exhibiting lameness in the hind leg, characterized by not bearing weight on the affected limb. Your veterinarian will examine the leg and can diagnose a torn ACL by feeling the leg and performing two separate tests. Tibial drawer – where the doctor will stabilize the femur (top bone in leg) with one hand and move the tibia (lower bone). If the ligament is ruptured, the bones will move like a drawer. The doctor will also do a tibial compression which includes stabilizing the femur and flexing the hock. The tibia will move abnormally if the ligament is ruptured.

What is involved in the surgery?

The procedure involves an incision in the tibia bone of your dog’s lower leg. A plate and screws are then used to modify the knee angle, eliminating the need for the ruptured ligament. Typically, your dog will stay at our hospital for two days following this surgery. During this time, we will closely monitor your dog and administer pain medications every four hours as needed.

What is patella luxation surgery? (unilateral and bilateral)

Patella luxation is when your pet’s kneecap moves out of the grove it usually sits in which can cause a lot of discomfort to your pet. Patella luxation is graded on a scale from 1 to 5. If your pet’s condition is considered two or higher, surgery is needed to correct the condition, before the condition can cause more injury to the leg, such as cruciate ligament injuries. Patella luxation is one of the most common orthopedic conditions in dogs, where small breeds such as Yorkies are most commonly affected, although we are starting to see a higher number of large breed dogs like Labs with this condition.

What are the symptoms of patella luxation?

Often times, owners come to our veterinarians noting intermittent lameness. Occasionally, they will note that their dog stops and yelps in discomfort for no reason. Some dogs will refuse to jump, go on beds or couches, or climb stairs. These can all be signs of patella luxation.