Fracture Repair

Selected basic fractures in young pups and kittens can be effectively managed with splints and casts provided care is taken to prevent rub sores from developing and the vet is sure that the bone will heal. More complex fractures and those that occur in large and older dogs are best referred to a specialist surgeon for surgical repair. Specialists have expertise, more experience, better equipment and trained assistants. You are able to request referral to a specialist from your regular vet. It is important to appreciate that each and every fracture is slightly different and that each patient is different in terms of their size, activity and their healing capacity.

Joint Reconstruction

Cruciate ligament rupture is the most common cause of hindlimb lameness in dogs. Dr Chris Preston was the first Melbourne specialist to perform the popular TPLO technique. This procedure is the most advanced reconstructive technique available to allow return to high levels of ability. We also offer reconstructions for medial patellar luxation, of seen in both knees in smaller dogs. If you have financial limitations, you can explore having a PESC resident-in-training assist with your pet as we can offer competitive packages.

Joint Replacement

Hip replacement surgery has been available for many years and represents a reliable way to treat disabling arthritis and restore pain free ball-and-socket function in all sized dogs. The surgery requires expertise and experience with a range of pathologies and patient sizes. Dr Chris Preston is regarded as Melbourne’s leading joint surgeon with experience over twenty years with hip replacements surgery. We are currently using cementless titanium implants . PESC can also offer elbow resurfacing and total knee replacement surgery.

Intraoperative Fluoroscopy

We have a high quality mobile fluoroscopy unit for minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery which allows many fractures in puppies and kittens to be repaired closed without the need to make an incision. This is common in ‘human orthopaedic surgery’ and greatly reduces the pain and complications. The unit delivers x-rays, just like a stationary machine. The semicircular arm is referred to as a ‘C-arm’ and the orientation of this arm can be changed to allow imaging in any position. Radiolucent patient tables (x-ray transparent) allow us to image through the table. The use of intraoperative imaging allows optimal placement of surgical implants and reduces the postoperative complication rate.


Many larger dogs tear their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and develop a loose painful knee. If the problem is not addressed early, a cartilage inside the knee called the meniscus, may also tear causing more pain. 30% of dogs will tear the other ACL within two years of tearing the first one. Arthritis develops within the knee joint if surgery is not performed. Early surgery by an experienced veterinarian offers the best chance of your dog returning to normal levels of activity.

Dr. Chris Preston is regarded as a pioneer of knee surgery for dogs in Australia. He introduced tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), knee arthroscopy and knee replacement to this country. TPLO offers a clinical success rate of 95% at Pet Emergency & Specialist Centre. Arthroscopy involves use of small rigid telescopes to look inside a joint without the pain of open knee surgery. It is particularly relevant in dogs as they can be discharged the same day and there is no wound to lick at. Total joint replacement involves removal of worn out bearing surfaces and replacement with a metal-on-plastic artificial joint which removes the source of pain. Please call us for a free DVD on anterior cruciate ligament disease in dogs which we can mail to you.

Case studies