Veterinary Knee Care in the Bay Area

The Importance of Keeping Your Dog Active

Our dogs are constantly moving, running, and playing. Everyday activities strain their joints just as going on a daily run with strain your own. Optimizing your dog’s joint health can prevent arthritis and will not only improve their quality of life, but can also contribute to their actual lifespan. The best way to promote a healthier lifestyle for your pet is to encourage their mobility by staying active with them. Going for daily walks, playing fetch, running and enjoying the great outdoors together are all positive ways to be healthier together.

Life in the great outdoors is full of surprises. Sometimes, dogs can be so excited to explore the world around them that they trip, fall or experience an injury. If you’ve noticed that your dog is limping after a camping trip, hike or simply running around in the yard, addressing it sooner rather than later is key. Allowing the problem to go undiagnosed can cause more chronic problems to develop, such as arthritis.


Determining the Best Way Forward

We all we want our dogs to live full, happy, long lives. This means protecting their health and addressing concerns as they arise, rather than leaving them unattended to and waiting to see how they progress. There is value in seeking the professional opinion of a veterinary specialist, who will be able to offer their knowledge and expertise to help you decide how to best care for your dog. In some cases, medication or physical therapy will be sufficient to treat your dog’s discomfort and restore them to optimal health. In others, there is immeasurable value in making the decision to proceed with corrective surgery, which can be determined through diagnostic testing and examination.

Some primary care veterinarians may encourage caretakers to wait and see how the ailment progresses, which not only prolongs the amount of time that your dog spends being in discomfort, but also minimizes their mobility and allows more chronic problems to arise. At Beacon, we invite you to bring your dog for a preliminary visit, at which time our orthopedic specialist can determine the best way forward alongside you, involving you in the decision-making process by thoroughly answering your questions, addressing concerns, and ultimately putting your dog on the path to a full recovery.


My Dog Needs Surgery…What Happens Next?

If your dog is limping or in pain and your primary care veterinarian is unavailable, call us at 510-657-6343. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to examine and evaluate the cause and help you to determine the proper treatment plan.

If it is determined by us or by your primary care veterinarian that your dog needs surgery, TPLO surgery is a commonly used, extremely safe treatment option in many cases. Performing this procedure and subsequent rehabilitation will restore your dog’s knee stability and prevent knee cartilage from wearing down, which could cause pain and immobility. At Beacon, we will not only provide a thorough, pre-surgical consultation with our surgical team to explain the entire procedure, but also discuss a comprehensive care plan to ensure that your dog’s recovery is set up for success. Our orthopedic specialist will be able to offer a full explanation of what the surgery entails and how it is performed, providing visual aids and actual data from previous cases to illustrate the entire process. We will point out the safety measures put in place to put both you and your dog at ease, as well as a timeline for the day of the procedure, so you know exactly what to expect. Our goal is to offer complete transparency and allow you to arrive on the day of surgery with full confidence and without any questions left unanswered.


What Will the Recovery Process Look Like?

While many primary and specialty care clinics will provide at-home recovery and rehabilitation plans, Beacon offers on-site rehab plans in addition to at-home supplemental care. Our rehab plan is customized to meet the individual needs of your dog, and our team is with you every step of the way to help get your dog back to feeling like their best, most playful self. At Beacon, we have extensive experience working with dogs of all sizes, ages and breeds, so we can uniquely determine the most optimal post-procedural care plan for your dog. This part of the journey is like recess for your dog…they may even meet some friends along the way!



What Should You Look for When Researching this Treatment?

While there are many factors that effect the procedure itself, there is a series of checkpoints that you can put in place to make sure your pet is getting top level care wherever they are treated. A few factors we highly recommend researching and actively looking for include:

  1. A Boarded surgeon
  2. Pre-Procedural consultation availability for the surgeon to fully explain the procedural processes, what to expect post-operation, projected recovery, etc.
  3. Continuous doctor availability in case of question or emergency
  4. Advanced anaesthetic protocols to ensure safety and inclusivity of all breeds/ages
  5. Regular follow-ups
  6. Supportive post-operative care and safety protocols
  7. Integrative approach to recovery and rehabilitation

What Sets Our Standard of TPLO Care Apart Here at Beacon

While we pride ourselves in being a resource in the pet care community, we’ve gone above and beyond to set ourselves apart from other Bay Area in the realm of TPLO care. Our goal is to always set a standard of care that meets the pets needs while communicating a care plan that follows your pet through their procedural and recovery journey. Our Board Certified surgeons and 24/7 care is only the begging. We also offer the following.

Pre-Procedural Consultation

Prior to surgery, one of our board-certified surgeons will schedule a consultation appointment with the client to offer a step-by-step, informative view of exactly what will take place.

    • They will explain what procedure they will be performing and why, offering visual aids such as diagrams and videos to provide a clearer understanding of the process and projected goal of the procedure.
    • They will offer any additional resources to solidify client expectations for their pet.
    • Our goal is to engage in client education so that they can leave the consultation without any questions or concerns left unanswered.

Elevated Support Staff Experience

Our anaesthetists undergo specialty training to ensure we can provide optimal anaesthetic care during surgery that is customized to your pet’s individual needs. In special and more complex cases, specialists are available to ensure that safety remains our top priority. Our anaesthetic processes are often unrivaled by general practices, because we have prioritized availability of resources and accommodating specialized cases with the utmost patient safety in mind.

Learn More about Our Procedures 

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Post-Procedure Support (patient & client)

Our doctors and staff regularly follow-up post-procedure to ensure the recovery process is going well. We schedule a two-week appointment following the procedure for a Physical Therapy assessment, to discuss a thorough and individualized rehabilitation plan for your pet. Our staff is very available to the client both during and after the procedure, answering any questions that may arise at any time of day (or night) and offering peace of mind as recovery progresses.

On-Site Rehabilitation Available 

Our doctors take an integrative approach to surgery and recovery. Rehabilitation is available on-site and is both optional and customizable. At the time of your pet’s two-week post-operative appointment, one of our staff will conduct a Physical Therapy assessment, at which time a customized rehab plan will be constructed. In some cases, rehab is only electively necessary, and our staff will create a plan that you can conduct with your pet at home. In others, we will recommend an on-site rehab program that involves improving range of motion, addressing any muscular atrophy, and resulting in the best possible outcome.

Contact Us for More Information

If you’re looking for pricing and believe this is the best fit for you are your pets needs and given situation, we invite you to reach out to us for pricing information. We value keeping our pricing straight forward and inclusive of all the items we feel are necessary to the procedure. In doing so, you know exactly what to expect or at the  very least have very few surprises that could be found at other veterinary specialty groups. Tap “Contact Us” below to to reach out to send a notification to our team and we’ll make sure to set up a time to communicate with you further.

Contact Us for More Information


Success Stories

Tryxxie Maliksi

Age: 5 Month Old
Breed: Pomeranian
Procedure: Grade IV Patella Luxation Correction

Tryxxie was adopted at 10 weeks of age after being diagnosed with a severe deformity of her left rear leg. A previous veterinarian initially suggested amputation as the only option for giving her a good quality of life. Her caretakers knew that they wanted to give her a fighting chance, and so they brought her to Beacon. Tryxxie's new family consulted with Dr Fitch, who performed the surgery that both corrected her massively abnormal patella alignment and created a new groove for it within her VERY tiny leg. (At the time of surgery, she weighed only one pound!) He was not only able to preserve her limb, but restored her to an incredible quality of life! Tryxxie has been visiting us for weekly rehabilitation ever since, and is an absolute miracle dog!

Tryxxie's caretakers have enjoyed experiencing the "accommodating, professional and courteous nature" of the environment at Beacon. They have been so impressed with the overall caring demeanor of our surgical and rehabilitation teams, going so far as to refer to our rehabilitation manager, Amy, as "like a daughter" to them. We are so proud to witness Tryxxie's amazing recovery, and so honored to be a part of her family!

Charlie Rivera

Age: 11 Months Old
Breed: Husky
Procedure: Patella Luxation Correction and Extracapsular Repair

Charlie first came to us from Central Veterinary Hospital for intermittent lameness on his left rear limb. He was struggling to put weight on that limb and was noticeably favoring his right one. Dr. Fitch diagnosed him with a cruciate injury and medial luxating patella, both of which were corrected through surgery. Charlie experienced a normal recovery, but struggled with regaining strength in his previously injured limb on his own and through exercises at home.

About 2 months after surgery, Charlie came to us for rehab therapy with "Auntie Amy," our rehab manager, to help strengthen his leg in a controlled environment and ensure that the surgery was an overall and lasting success. Charlie did phenomenally well with his rehabilitation program, supplement his time at Beacon with more exercises at home. The results were, according to his human, Sheila: " nothing happened to him!"

Charlie excelled and experienced a complete return to normal functionality of his limb. He is back to running, jumping and playing with his big brother, Rio, like the bright and spirited puppy that he always was!

Loki Borog

Age: 3 Years Old
Breed: Lab Mix
Procedure: Bilateral TPLO

Loki comes from an active and adventurous family, so when he came to us with a bilateral hind limb weakness that worsened with exercise, his caretakers were eager to move forward with restoring his quality of life. Prior to noticing that he was limping, Loki sent a lot of time outdoors and was highly active, going on long hikes with varied terrain and elevations with his brother, Maui. It was hard for Loki's family to see him in pain, and knew that they wanted to give Loki the chance to live his best life once again. After finding us online and researching both us and our orthopedic specialist, Dr. Fitch, Loki's parents came in to consult with him. Dr. Fitch advised that they move forward with treatment promptly, so as to avoid the onset of eventual arthritis. He answered all of their questions and addressed their concerns, and Loki's parents were reassured by his confidence and felt "at ease" by his thorough approach. Loki had a bilateral TPLO surgery at Beacon, followed by a comprehensive rehabilitation program designed specifically for him to restore mobility and rebuild his muscles.

Loki's parents found Dr. Fitch's professionalism and meticulous approach to surgical care "incredible." Loki's "mom" is a veterinary technician herself, and commented that she and her partner "really appreciate the transparency" that he offered, and recalled feeling relieved knowing "exactly what's going to happen." They also credit "a huge part of Loki's recovery" to the care he experienced in his post-operative rehabilitation. They were touched that Amy, our rehabilitation manager, took the time to build a relationship with him, remembering that it "just made us feel so good that he's in such good hands." Today, we are happy to report that Loki has returned to his previous activity levels and is living a happy, pain-free life from beaches to mountaintops up and down the west coast!