Just in case you thought Bridger Vet did nothing but horses and cattle, here is proof that we do a lot of small-animal surgical work as well. Here we have Dr. Lewis, ably assisted by our very own Grace, performing a procedure called a “tie-back” on the knee of a dog named Teka. Teka, who is very sweet and much loved, had a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament, so Dr. Lewis performed the tie-back to stabilize her knee joint. Teka’s prognosis is excellent, and Dr. Lewis expects that she’ll make a full recovery in about six weeks. Best of all, this tie-back should further help Teka by minimizing the risks of her having arthritis in her knees later in life.


Too often, orthopedic small-animal work is thought the domain of city vets with cushy clienteles. And while urban veterinarians do perform a lot of orthopedic work, the reality is that these procedures are just as important for working dogs on ranches (and yes, it’s okay if your particular working dog has the job of holding the passenger seat or the back of your pickup). Working dogs’ joints can wear out after years of penning cattle and sheep, so these types of surgeries can help them to live longer, more active, and healthier lives.