Removing Pins After ACL Surgery and Making Hotels Cat-Friendly

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Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell, and I’m at home answering questions from Pets Best’s Facebook page. This question comes from Barbara who writes:  “Our lab had ACL surgery on both back legs, and thankfully we have Pets Best Insurance for him. Some vets recommended removing the pins after a time and others don’t. What do you think?”

So ACL surgery is a surgery that is done to repair cruciate ruptures. It’s on the knees just for those of you who haven’t had a dog with an ACL repair. It’s one of the more common orthopedic injuries. I think it’s great that you had insurance and you were able to get this fixed.

For me to answer your question, it really depends on what type of surgery was done. So there are a lot of different ways to an ACL rupture. TPLOs, TTAs, tightropes, these are all different ways that this can be done. So for me it really depends on what was done. If he’s tolerating the hardware that’s in there, meaning he doesn’t limp, he does okay, the knee is really sound, I wouldn’t necessarily touch the hardware. That can stay in. It is all benign. It is meant to be inert and can be tolerated in the dog’s body for its life. I have seen some dogs not tolerate the hardware for whatever reason, especially if there is an infection or some other problem, and it might need to be removed. So, at the end of the day, it’s going to depend on what type of surgery was done, and I think your veterinarian is probably going to be the best judge on that one.

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The next question comes from Theresa, who writes:  “What precautions can I take at a hotel when traveling with my cats to best protect them from feline diseases and parasites that might be in the carpet from previous guests’ pets? Are there things that I can do to reduce the scent of a earlier pet guest, so my cats feel less threatened by another animal’s scent left in the room?”

This is a great question. I think it’s wonderful that you are including your cats on your vacation and that you found a pet friendly hotel for them. You’re right to want to take some precautions, not only to make it more comfortable for them, but also to protect them against possibly fleas and other diseases that animals might have had in that room before. Definitely keep your cat on some type of a flea and heart-worm preventative. A lot of products will also have a dewormer in them. So you can really cover your bases in terms of internal parasites, flea-born diseases, tick-born diseases, and heart-worm. So using a good product like that is going to be essential.

There are some things that you can do to try to make traveling a little bit  better for you pet too, especially if you are taking them to a place where they’re going to be able to smell things that you can’t smell. There are feline pheromones. It sounds really hokey, but some people really swear by them. If you use a feline pheromone in the carrier or around that room, they even have plug-ins, you can plug it into an outlet in your hotel room, it’s going to release a calming sort of pheromone that’s going to make your cat feel more at home. It’s inert to you, and it doesn’t smell or anything like that. So this would be a great thing for you to use when you are traveling.

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If you guys have questions for me, feel free to post them on Pets Best’s Facebook page.

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