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FAQS Animal Orthopaedics Wellington.jpeg
  • Why do I need a consultation?
    A pre-surgical consultation is important to check the health of your pet and to assess surgical risk. We discuss exactly what kind of treatment we recommend and why. It is an opportunity for you to ask questions and ensure you understand the procedure your pet is going to have.
  • I'm from out of town, can I start with a video consult?
    Absolutely! We are happy to discuss cases over the phone or by video. If you then come and have an in-person consultation/examination there is no additional charge. These case discussions will help you with decision-making and give you a good idea of costs and logistics. Video consultations are limited in that we cannot physically examine your pet - so cannot make medication recommendations. It is best we see your pet in person to make a definite diagnosis.
  • What happens during my initial consultation?
    You meet our surgeon Your pet has a thorough clinical examination Our surgeon will fully assess the presenting problem, and formulate a plan of care with you (this may not always be surgical) Our surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of various treatments so you can make informed choices Our surgeon will explain what to expect before, during, and after surgery, including any possible complications You can ask any questions you may have in person. We are also always happy to answer any questions that you forget to ask face-to-face via email or phone We dispense any pre-operative medications that your pet needs A physio plan is made, including pre-hab (where possible) and postoperative assessment We give you the package price and let you know everything included
  • What should I bring to my consultation?
    Please bring any medication your pet is currently taking with you to both your consult and surgical appointments.
  • What should I bring on the day of surgery?
    On the day of surgery, your pet won't have breakfast. Please bring a snack or some treats that your pet loves and we will make sure they are offered once your pet is allowed to eat after surgery. Please also bring something to snuggle with that smells like home - a toy, a blanket, or even an item of clothing. This will help your pet to feel relaxed whilst they are in recovery.
  • What happens on the night of surgery?
    Most of our patients are discharged on the same day of surgery with pain relief and anti-anxiety medication. Some pets require after-hours care at another local clinic and we will discuss that with you if this is needed. Our physio team will usually see you the following day after surgery for the first treatment.
  • What is included in my package?
    The initial consultation The surgery and anaesthesia Pain management A revisit with our surgeon Four physio sessions Please note that post-operative X-rays or management of any complications are not included in the package price. This is because these are often performed by your own vet.
  • What are your payment terms?
    Our policy requires pre-payment in full at least three days prior to surgery. If your pet is having surgery more quickly than that, then proof of payment, such as a screenshot of the online transaction, is needed.
  • What payment options are available?
    We accept payment via EFTPOS, internet bank transfer and credit card (plus transaction fee). For assistance, we recommend Vet Care Finance.
  • Can my insurance company pay you directly?
    Our standard procedure is for you to pay us; and for your insurance company to reimburse you. Please discuss with us if this is not possible.
  • Why do all your packages include physio?
    At Animal Orthopaedics Wellington, we believe physiotherapy is essential to every patient’s recovery. Physiotherapy treatments accelerate your pet’s return to function, safeguard against future injury and guide your pet through the recovery process.
  • Can my pet still receive physio if I live outside of Paraparaumu?
    Yes, we work with physiotherapists around the North Island to ensure your pet can still have post-operative physio. There are four sessions included in your package, and this includes out-of-town physiotherapy if it is with one of our recommended physiotherapy services. We can also offer video consultations with our therapists here in Paraparaumu.
  • Where can I stay with my pet in Paraparaumu?
    If you require accommodation in Paraparaumu whilst your pet has surgery, we are happy to provide a list of pet-friendly accommodation options. Usually, you would come to Paraparaumu the afternoon before and stay the night after surgery before heading home.
  • Will you let my vet know what surgery my pet has had?
    Definitely! We work as a team with your vet and communicate with them about the procedure. We are always happy to answer their questions or assist in any way we can.
  • What is the best treatment for my dog's torn cruciate ligament?
    The gold standard treatment that we perform at Animal Orthopaedics Christchurch is called a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO). There is a great video on our cruciate TPLO page that explains all about this surgery, the recovery and the outcomes.
  • Will my pet require a bandage after surgery?
    In most cases, your pet will just have a light dressing for two or three days after surgery. Some pets do need a bandage or splint, yet this is uncommon. We will discuss this with you at the consultation.
  • Does my dog need to be confined after surgery?
    Your pet needs to be carefully confined after surgery. If they run, slip, or jump, they risk breaking the construct or setting their recovery back significantly. We recommend a crate or a small room with non-slip flooring and nothing they can jump onto. Whenever your pet is not confined, they need to be on a lead - preferably a harness.
  • Common queries after TPLO surgery
    Is it normal for my dog not to have a bowel motion for up to several days after surgery? Yes, this is quite normal. Your pet was fasted before surgery, anaesthesia can slow down the intestinal movements, and it can sometimes be difficult for them to posture to defecate. The bowel will pass stools when it is ready, but if you notice your dog is struggling to maintain a squat pose, then sometimes they appreciate the offer of gentle support by a towel sling under their back end as they lower themselves into position. If you notice your dog is straining to defecate but not passing a stool this is not normal and therefore you should contact your vet. Is it normal for my dog’s foot to knuckle over on the operated limb? Yes, for the first day or so they may knuckle their toes over when they are trying to walk on the operated limb. This is because we use a nerve block before surgery to numb the leg to prevent pain. My dog won’t eat the night after surgery, should I be worried? A lot of dogs will eat straight away, but sometimes they need some coaxing to get their appetite back. If they won’t eat the night after surgery, don’t worry, but give them lots of cuddles and offer some of their favourite treats to see if you can tempt them to eat. The anti-inflammatories (Carprofen / Meloxicam / Previcox) should be given with food, so hold off on this medication if they are not eating. All the other pain relief medications we dispense are safe to be given without food. If your dog is still not keen on breakfast the next day, let us or your vet know. How soon should my dog start using their leg? Every dog is different when it comes to using their leg after surgery. We use nerve blocks which means that the foot can be numb for the first day or so. After that we would expect to see a gradual increase in the use of the leg; starting with some toe touching and gradually increasing over the first one to two weeks. Is it normal for my dog’s ankle to swell? Yes, it is very common to see a soft fluid swelling around the hock (ankle) after surgery, which should resolve gradually over the first 4-5 days. The area can be gently massaged in combination with ice packing to help improve this. Is it normal to see bruising near the site of the operation? Yes, this is quite common to see, especially in bigger dogs. Inflammation and bruising will tend to peak around three days after surgery, and then gradually subside. Icing the leg can help relieve bruising and inflammation. If the surgical wound itself looks inflamed or has discharge this is not normal and you should contact us or your vet to have it checked. Is it normal for the skin to look irritated when the dressing is removed? It is quite common to have a pink rash where the adhesive dressing has been in place. This should settle down pretty quickly, but if your dog is irritated by it then they may need some topical steroid-based cream to help soothe it. You can talk to your vet or contact us to collect some. They mustn’t be allowed to lick the wound area, and the cream if used should be kept away from the incision. Is it OK for my dog to go up the steps at home, and what about jumping into the car to go to physio? You do have to be careful with these sorts of obstacles as there is potential for them to trip or land awkwardly, which could overload the leg. If your pet is small, it is sensible to pick them up and carry them. If they are a larger dog, they mustn’t try and rush. One way to protect them is to use a short lead with a towel sling under the belly as a backup so that if they do trip you can catch their rear end. After the first ten days, they often use their leg well enough that they can balance themselves safely on steps or stairs, as long as they are under full control on a lead and not rushing. I’ve got slippery floors at home, what shall I do? Slippery floors can pose a hazard for dogs after a TPLO surgery, especially the larger dogs. One solution is to place yoga mats (or similar) in the high-traffic areas to provide traction. I can hear a clicking noise from my dog’s knee, is that normal? While a clicking noise can be associated with a torn meniscus, this would be expected to cause obvious lameness. It is not uncommon to hear a clicking noise during the early recovery phase which is not associated with lameness and this is likely to arise from movement of soft tissues around the knee and plate. My dog dislikes the cone, what shall I do? Elizabethan collars can be unpleasant to deal with. However they are a really important tool to prevent licking of the wound. It is only for the first 10-14 days while the skin wound heals that they are needed. They can be taken off when your dog eats and when they are under your direct supervision, to give them a break from it. Some alternative softer, yet still sturdy types can be purchased online and they can be very effective, such as the Comfy Cone or Buster Comfortable Cone. Be wary of the very soft, floppy types of collar or the blow-up neck doughnuts as depending on your dog's shape and flexibility they may not prevent access to the incision.
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