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Luxating Patella
Old 03-25-2009, 09:19 PM   #1
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Luxating Patella

Today I took my almost one year old Ortiz to a specialist to check out his easty/westy paws. The good news is that it appears to only be a cosmetic issue. But he does have luxating patellas on both knees with the left being worse than the right. He recommended surgery in the next few months and thought that the other knee would eventually need surgery. I'm devastated. The surgery for one knee is $2400 with a 12 week recuperation. Does anyone have any non-surgical therapies that they would recommend? Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:34 PM   #2
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I am sorry for your bad news. You could always get a second opinion from another vet as well. I will be honest in every dog that I have personally known (there are three that I know well) who has had one patella surgery, has had to have the other one done withing a few years. I think the dogs compensate on using the better knee and end up further injuring that one. I also know some people give glucosamine supplements.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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dreampup, welcome to the forum and my, your puppy is cute! Sorry to hear about his luxating patellas. I know there are several stages and only the higher ones need surgery. I think I would take him to another Vet or maybe even an orthopedist and get a second opinion. What does your breeder think about this?
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:40 PM   #4
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My first Hav had luxating patellas in both knees. However, hers didn't seem to cause her any constant pain, although you never know. Once or twice a year her kneecaps would pop out, but she'd put them back herself by stretching her back legs. She ran well, but never jumped on things. I never encouraged her to jump either. I had expected we'd eventually need surgery (she died prematurely from another illness), but at 8 years of age, she still didn't need surgery. I guess it all depends on the degree of luxation and the pain. If you're unsure, I'd get a specialist's opinion or another vet's opinion.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:50 AM   #5
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I'm sorry to hear about Ortiz. Marble has a luxating patella on the right rear leg. His vet spotted when he was a puppy, and said she wouldn't do surgery on it unless he started limping or seemed to be in pain. She told me that they will pop it back in. I have noticed that it pops in/out constantly, and I can feel it if I'm holding his leg to brush him. He runs fine and never limps. Does Ortiz have a more serious case, limping or pain? If not, I would get a second opinion just to be sure.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:14 AM   #6
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I dont' know where you live, but if you are near a veterinarian college, some people take a dog that needs expensive surgery there for not only a second opinion, but sometimes they can get a reduction in costs since they are teaching hospitals.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:40 AM   #7
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I also had a yorkie with at least one luxating patella - if memory serves me, it was both back legs, one was a little worse than the other. I had several opinions, and I'm glad I did. She wasn't in pain, it didn't reduce her mobility, and the opinion I went with was "don't fix what's not broken." When she was older, every now and then she would limp a little, but it seemed to be generally self-correcting. She lived to be 15 and had many happy years of running, jumping and playing, without surgery.

I would get one or two more opinions and find out for sure what grade it is, and see whether you get any opinions that she may do just fine without surgery.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:51 AM   #8
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I would not do anything yet. My Freddie has luxating patellas. I took him to a great orthopedic surgeon, when he was younger. The surgeon said, if your dog is lame more than 15 days a month, that's when you do surgery. Some dogs never need surgery. Your dog will hold his leg up if he is having problems. Fred's are not too bad. I think they are a 3. They generally don't pop out by themselves, unless he injures them from a slip or playing too rough. He only injured them once in his life and that was from slipping on the tile floor. When that happened, he had to be crated for 2 weeks, limiting all exercize. He is now 3.5 years old and hasn't had any problems in years. He runs, jumps, and plays like a normal dog. You would never know he had luxating patellas! You can also give him supplements to strengthen the ligaments surrounding the knee. Good Luck!

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Old 03-26-2009, 10:01 AM   #9
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Our first toy poodle who we bought from a byb had to have both her rear knees operated on as by the age of 10 months she was lame and in pain almost constantly. She was a very active dog and the surgerys worked well for her. Yes it was expensive but when she wasn't in pain she was such a happy dog.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:07 AM   #10
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You've gotten great advice....I too believe it never hurts to get another opinion
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