My darling little Benji is 6 months old now. He started limping intermittently. I took him to the vet who diagnosed him with both back knees having patella luxation, grade 2..The vet could feel the knee caps slip out of the proper place. No xray was done. I was flustered and barely able to get any questions out. I asked and was told no need to confine or restrict his activities. The next day I called to ask about pain meds which had not been given. Benji is going off by himself to hiding places ( behind the couch, behind a planter, etc) He used to hang around me most of the time. I thought this meant pain. The vet agreed to prescribe 3 or 4 days of pain meds and then I"m to call back. He did not prescribe them at the time of the visit because he didn't think Benji was in pain. The pills have not made a huge difference. The vet tech told me this condition doesn't usually cause pain.. maybe he's just weirded out by it. Sometimes he seems fine and runs around, and plays... but he is still limping some of the time, and going off by himself a lot.
I wonder if I should get another opinion. Any thoughts on this?
I notified the breeder, who I believe is a reputable breeder, by email. She responded that she is sorry, that none of her pups have ever had this, and to keep her posted.I know this can happen even to good breeders. However, I was just interested to hear if typically there would be any other response other than sorry.
I am so very worried for my little guy. I can hardly bear to think of him in pain...
I would DEFINITELY get a second opinion. I would not be satisfied with leaving my dog uncomfortable enough that they are limping regularly. Many dogs with grade 2 patellar luxation are NOT in pain, but they also don't limp much. You might see them moving their leg around in a funny way to get the knee back in the right place, or some of them will be sound at the walk or trot, but then run on 3 legs.
I also wouldn't want a dog as young as that on long-term pain meds, though, either. If that was necessary to keep them comfortable, I'd bite the bullet and pay for the required surgery.
As far as the breeder's response is concerned, you'll have to read your contract. MANY contracts only cover "life threatening" defects, which this clearly is not. Many others offer a replacement puppy, but very few people really want that option. (the defective puppy is either found another home or put to sleep, at the discretion of the breeder)
A FEW breeders have contracts that will pay up to the purchase price of the puppy toward surgery to correct a problem like this. But there is no "normal" or "usual". It is up to the buyer to read the contract carefully before buying a dog, and feel comfortable with the terms. Have you looked at your contract?