Orthopedic problems in geriatric dogs and cats

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2005 May;35(3):655-74. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2005.01.001.


Senior dogs and cats with orthopedic injuries and diseases often require a treatment plan that differs from that of younger patients. Injured bone and soft tissues tend to heal more slowly in the geriatric patient. The older animal is likely to have a less competent immune system and may have compromised metabolic and endocrine function. Pre-existing musculoskeletal problems may make ambulation difficult for an animal convalescing from a new orthopedic problem. Special attention is often needed when treating these patients for fractures, joint instability, infection, and neoplasia. In general, issues that should be addressed in the geriatric patient include reducing intraoperative and anesthesia time, enhancing bone and soft tissue healing, return to early function, control of postoperative pain, physical therapy, and proper nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / injuries*
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cat Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cat Diseases / surgery
  • Cats / injuries
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy
  • Dog Diseases / surgery
  • Dogs / injuries
  • Fracture Healing / physiology
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnosis
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery
  • Fractures, Bone / veterinary*
  • Orthopedics / methods
  • Orthopedics / veterinary*
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnosis
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery
  • Osteoarthritis / veterinary*