Luxating patella - experiences?

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lisa&tylor
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Luxating patella - experiences?

Postby lisa&tylor » Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:59 am

Birk, our 2 yr. old female AB/APBT has been diagnosed with luxating patella. :frown: For those not familiar, this is a condition where the patella (kneecap) moves out of it's usual position, causing limping and pain. It started when she was still growing, and was easily corrected by bending her knee, which causes the patella to move back into place. We figured it was a growing issue, as it didn't seem to be causing pain, and gradually it stopped occuring. However, recently it started again, and seems to be getting worse (ie. more frequent, more limping, difficulty with climbing). Her activity has had to be drastically reduced, and she is only able to manage short duration on-leash walks without aggravating the limp. She's pretty tough, though, and still shows no signs of being in pain, and is as happy as ever! :) :doggie:

Our vet is sending us to the vet. college (in PEI) for surgery to realign/correct the problem. Because Birk is so young and we are normally a very active family, it's not fair to have to limit her exercise so much for the rest of her life.

I have done some research about this condition and read some of the posts on this forum. I am wondering, has anyone else gone through this type of surgery with their dogs? I am interested to hear about people's experience, especially with regards to recovery and outcomes. Any knowledge you can share would be appreciated.

Wish us luck!

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Allie
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Postby Allie » Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:10 am

I can't help out, besides just saying that we're going through this same thing with my youngest female, Sidney, right now.
I have yet to schedule her consultation with the orthopedic surgeon, but we expect to probably have surgery performed on her right leg within a month or two. Then the second surgery would come as soon as the first one has completely cleared.

We wish you luck.

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Postby lisa&tylor » Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:46 pm

Allie - lucky for us, we only have to have the left knee done, not both (as far as I can tell...).

We wish you luck too!

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Annika
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Postby Annika » Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:22 pm

Allie wrote:I can't help out, besides just saying that we're going through this same thing with my youngest female, Sidney, right now.
I have yet to schedule her consultation with the orthopedic surgeon, but we expect to probably have surgery performed on her right leg within a month or two. Then the second surgery would come as soon as the first one has completely cleared.

We wish you luck.


Ditto, ditto, and ditto. It's nice not to be alone. Piper's right knee is luxating, some days 3 times and some days none. At first she'd squeak and cry and pain, but now she just freezes, with her leg in the air, waiting for the kneecap to pop back in. As soon as it's back in, she continues on her way. We are keeping an eye on her to make sure it's not just a "sports injury" from zoomies in the stairwell and things like that (her first ever incident was during stairwell zoomies). Although, as the days wear on and she still locks up sometimes, I'm thinking more and more that this is a permanent condition. :(

So, my husband has an orthopedic vet contact that we're going to get in touch with in February when my husband isn't working 90 hours a week in the ICU. We're going in for a consultation and, very possibly, surgery. I want Piper to be active and silly and happy, not tentative and careful and slow. She's only a year and a half old, so she's a good candidate. We'll see what this vet says.

We need a luxating patella support group. This thread will become it, I think. lol

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Postby jimbojones » Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:28 pm

Been there.
1 year old and my pups knee popped out during a zoom and she tore her ligament. They did suture the ligament and realigned the knee because it was bowed inwards. They did not do anything to the bone because it was not that bad of a stage.
I wont say it was easy, she was in bad shape when I got her back, took weeks of recoop time. Didnt help that night it snowed really bad and i had to carry her out every hour (had to pee from the meds) so we battled ice was i carried her around and used the towel under the belly trick. I have some pictures from our recoop, just laying around.
All said and done she is 2 now and I have not seen any problems since the surgery and she pushes herself to the max when she plays. Good luck to those that have to deal with it, it work sout for the best in the end. My parents waited till our family dog was 9 to get the knee surgery despite episodes of the knee popping out since she was 1. That dog never made a full recovery fromt he surgery.

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Allie
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Postby Allie » Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:35 am

Thanks for that info. It's always good to get input from someone who has been through it and seen good results.
So far I haven't heard from anyone who has had problems.

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Postby jimbojones » Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:55 am

I should add, my parents dog never fully recovered partly due to age, but the wear and tear of the knee constantly popping out wore away the knee joint they said. The amount of surgery and pins they had to use did stop the knee from popping out but even 2 years after the surgery she has limited use.

If any of you do go through the surgery I would definatly say that a proper rest and recovery period is key, as well as slowly building up leg use again-never rushing the healing process

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Annika
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Postby Annika » Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:10 am

jimbojones wrote:I should add, my parents dog never fully recovered partly due to age, but the wear and tear of the knee constantly popping out wore away the knee joint they said. The amount of surgery and pins they had to use did stop the knee from popping out but even 2 years after the surgery she has limited use.

If any of you do go through the surgery I would definatly say that a proper rest and recovery period is key, as well as slowly building up leg use again-never rushing the healing process


Very helpful. This is what I've read as well....that early surgery is better, while the bone is still good and not worn away yet by all the friction of the patella sliding back and forth. Money's really tight right now, but if it turns out Piper would really benefit from surgery, then she is so worth it. My heart leaps when I see her run and play. :)

Proper rest and recovery is going to be a B*TCH around here, living on the third floor of a 3-flat....OY!.....carrying a 45-pound dog up and down 3 flights of stairs is probably not feasible for 125-pound little me. I can do it, but at the risk of herniating the discs in my back. lol So we may have to wait 6 months and get the surgery when we move to St. Louis and buy a house with a yard. She'll be nearly 2 then, but still plenty young.

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Postby Allie » Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:28 am

Well, our vet feels that Sidda is between a stage 2 & 3 in her left knee and stage 3 in her right knee. This means (from what I understand) that the patella is rarely in place and the her bone has been worn away quite a bit. In the xrays, it appears that she actually has bone fragments in her knees. We will have to wait for the orthopedic specialist's opinion to know what's really going on.
Due to the fact that my boyfriend will be away for work for a while and I work full time, we'll have to put off surgery until he is back. That way he can be at home with her all day long.
So now, the next step is her evaluation with the specialist. This is a scary process for me. I'm scared to death to have her go through surgery.

What type of bandaging/cast did your dog have to wear, jimbo? Did she have to wear an elizabethan collar at all during recovery? Was she able to get around on her own at all or did you have to help her along everywhere?

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Postby lisa&tylor » Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:52 am

We are hoping to get the surgery done ASAP, to prevent wear and tear, which eventually leads to arthritis and chronic pain. I found this website useful: www.offa.org/patluxinfo.html.

It is nice to have a support group and to hear how other people's dogs are doing. :thumbsup:

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Postby jimbojones » Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:31 am

What type of bandaging/cast did your dog have to wear, jimbo? Did she have to wear an elizabethan collar at all during recovery? Was she able to get around on her own at all or did you have to help her along everywhere?


From what I remember if there was a bandage it was only on till we got back home. Other than that it was out in the open, it was a clean stiched inscion, no bandage, no cast, no support harness, etc. I stayed home for a week so I had her with me constantly. After that we did use the collar. They also sell these padded collars that inhibit their head movement, they look like a better way to go then the radar dish helmets. If I can find a link ill post it.
As for her getting around, the first day she was out of it...she could walk but was not very stable, but by day 2-3 she would limp around and would push it, but I was there with her towel to give her support. We had to go down 3 stairs and off a landing to get outside, while both of us avoiding ice. The first day I slipt on ice and threw my back, so after that day she had to walk on her own with me using the towel....I couldnt pick her up if I wanted to.

The support is good, I was a mess when it happened and I turned here to look for support and was greatly helped by some good members of this board and i still greatly appreciate it. :thumbsup:

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Annika
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Postby Annika » Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:17 pm

*bump* Hope some of you check in on this thread from time to time...

...I am wondering...in the meantime, before we are able to get Piper in and get her evaluated and probably get surgery, should we treat her gently? Should we not run and play? She still loves and wants to run and play but it breaks my heart when she freezes and goes "EEP!" and stands there with her sore leg held up. Should we try to limit running and playing until we're able to get her looked at/operated on?

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Postby Allie » Sun Jan 14, 2007 5:02 pm

Annika, our vet told us to start giving Sid glucosamine supplements now and scale down the physical exercise significantly. He recommended training exercises where she has to think instead. He also has us giving her one aspirin per day, but since she'll build up an immunity to it, I am ordering some DGP for her. It was recommended highly by Sid's fostermommy. She has Sidney's sister, who has patella and hip problems.
We're also adding Missing Link Plus to her food now since it has glucosamine and shark cartillage in it.

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Postby Annika » Sun Jan 14, 2007 6:05 pm

Allie wrote:Annika, our vet told us to start giving Sid glucosamine supplements now and scale down the physical exercise significantly.


Ohhhhh, bummer. :( Ok. Thanks for the info. We'll take it easy for the couple of weeks till we can get her in for an eval.

Time to figure out some ways to exercise Piper's brain instead of her brawn....

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Postby jimbojones » Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:54 am

not promoting this particular store, but I have seen these at a local store
http://www.funstufffordogs.com/Qstore/Q ... 1132167446


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