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Andria
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Patella Surgery Both Legs

Well, our Lola saw a very qualified surgeon yesterday for a Luxating Patella in her left leg. He diagnosed her with grade 3-4 in her left, and surprise, 1-2 in her right. She is only a puppy 7.5 months old and he reccomends surgically correcting both Patellas while she is young before too much damage occurs. So, having done alot of homework we have agreed to surgery on Thursday. I'm just sick about the whole thing, very worried about the after care and keeping a puppy sedentary. Just sick about putting our sweet girl through such an ordeal. Logically I know it is important to address this now for her quality of life and I have to be confident that it will be a success. It's just so sad that a puppy has to go through this. Is there anyone out there that has had both legs done at the same time?

Thanks, Andria
 

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Senior Member
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Gee I don't know that I would have surgery done on a possible grade 1 or 2! that seems like overkill tome. IMHO I would just get the more severe one done and then wait to see how the other leg progresses.
 

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Andria
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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Arlene,
I'm curious why you say this, do you have some experience you can share?
Here is why we've made this decision:
Keeping in mind how young our dog is and having watched the rapid deterioration of her left leg, having gone from limping around a few times a day to 20+ in a matter of six weeks. She spends alot of her day like a tripod. We noticed she was favoring her right leg about a week ago, at this point a few times a day. The surgeon did say that if she were an older dog he would'nt proceed this way. However, since she is a puppy with rapid deterioration the best outcome would be to address both knees now. In dogs that are still growing it is better to operate on both legs simultaneously because inactivity in one leg will cause bone and muscle to develop differently than in the other. At least that's how I understand it. He expects her to be a normal dog when this is behind her.

Thanks~Andria
 

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Amanda
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9,576 Posts
I have never heard of doing two at once either. I personally don't have any experience with it but with my own dog (maltese Belle has a grade one as well..) I was told by several vets not to correct a grade one as in the long run you will cause more problems in the knee.

On the otherhand, every dog I personally know that has had bad patellas when one is fixed, within a year or two the other usually is repaired.

P.S. Since she is so young have you contacted your breeder?
 

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Whatever your decision, good luck. My Coton had surgery on one knee a year ago. It was a long recovery but he's doing great now.
 

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Karen
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I believe there was a foster dog from HRI that had both done at the same time. I will see if I can figure out who it was for you and get some more information. I remember the dog did great and they were pleased they did both legs at the same time. Best wishes to you and your little girl.
 

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Andria
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to everyone for reading my post. It does help to hear your opinions and not feel so alone with my concerns. I have'nt informed the breeder just yet. I most definitely will but I feel that I must tread lightly at this point as we are still waiting for her registration docs.. I did sign the typical health guarantee that protects the breeder not the buyer. When I commit to an animal it is for life so returning her has'nt been a consideration. I've been telling myself that she was meant to be part of our family and I'm happy she did'nt end up somewhere else where she might not be loved or cared for the same way. I do wonder about her littermates but can't imagine the breeder will disclose any of that to me. So we wait.
 

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Hi Andria,
I have never had experience with bad patellas. I had one girl that I placed in a prospective show home who was allowed to jump up on the chair and then on the dining table and then nose dive on a tile floor---she did this ALL the time..despite my saying that was really not a good idea, and she ended up having grade 1 patellas but she is in a wonderful pet home now and has no issues
I have done some reading and most of the time a grade 2 does not require surgery unless it gets worse. Definitely not ever heard of surgery for a grade 1!
My suggestion would be to have surgery done on the more severe leg (the grade 3 or 4). It may be that your girl is favoring one leg over the other and that may be exacerbating the other better leg. If need be you may need to have surgery on the other one later, but I would think having two done at the same time is a very difficult recovery for such active little dogs as ours are.
 

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Hi Lolapop,
I am sorry your puppy has bad knees and will need surgery. Not that my opinion counts for anything, but I too would not do both knees at the same time. I also would get another opinion from a qualified specialist.

If you purchased your Havanese from a reputable breeder, I am sure he/she would want to know what is going on and might be able to support you if nothing else during this difficult time. Could have good suggestions for after care and even better vets to see. Not all vets are equal. <grin>

I am in Sacramento, so not too far from you. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me privately and I would be happy to try and help. I am not an expert at all, we are all always learning.
 

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Andria
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I just had my husband read this thread due to the concerns about surgery on a low grade DX. He said, that I have it wrong that the surgeon said her right leg is a 2-2.5, and when the doctor was explaining things to us that he was explaining what a grade 1 is. I get that a 2 is still a low grade. I will call tomorrow and confirm the grade to be absolutely certain. It's so hard to absorb everything correctly I'm glad he went with me. Thank you for your input!!
 

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I would get a second opinion for sure! You never know what a second or third specialist will say.


Ryan
 

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Andria
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Discussion Starter #12
Status Update

We will be going forward with surgery as planned the big day is Thursday. I know we have one of the top surgeons in Northern CA. I have no worries about trusting his advice and skill. Thanks to Brady's Mom I was able to talk with a family that adopted a dog from HRI. During the process of the foster/adoption the young dog started showing the same symptoms as our puppy and HRI corrected both legs at the same time before he was adopted. It has been 3 months and he is doing great! This is a modern approach that makes alot of sense, one time under,one time surgery, one six week recovery. One time payment too. Then we get back to the business of being a silly, happy Havanese! Please send positive thoughts on Thursday.
 

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Karen
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Andria, I am glad I was able to help and get you in touch with someone who has been through this. Please keep us all posted on how your little one does! I will be sending good vibes for a speedy recovery!
 

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I feel that I must tread lightly at this point as we are still waiting for her registration docs.. I did sign the typical health guarantee that protects the breeder not the buyer.
I don't understand this statement. You are not planning on breeding her. Are you? For anything other than conformation AKC has the PAL program for unregistered pure bred dogs that allows them to compete in their rally, agility or obedience, etc. trials. And now at some shows you can show dogs of "non traceable lineage, the amazing mutt" at performance trails.

:focus: Why do you need her papers?

Good luck tomorrow. Please keep us posted.
 

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Andria
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Discussion Starter #16
Hi Smarty,
I need her documents because that is what the contract with the breeder said I would receive upon proof of spaying. Of course my family pet is spayed.
 

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Amanda
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Sending good thoughts and fast heeling vibes your way. As to contacting the breeder breeder, a lot of of common health guarantees (especially to get a reimbursement back), the breeder would want to know about the health issue before you went off and had surgery on the dog.
 

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Hi Andria,
My little Honey is having luxating patella surgery on one of her legs next week. She fell down some steps while staying at a friends while I was out of town - her injury was due to trauma - had no sign of a problem before hand. It is grade 3 - 4. Her other knee is fine.

I, too, am scared out of my mind. Honey is 16 months old, and is my little baby. I am wishing you and your baby all the very best. Please keep me posted.. Our little ones will be recovering at the same time....

Take care,
Meredith & Honey
 

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Andria
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Hi Meredith~
Thank you for the well wishes. Sorry about your girl that is most unfortunate, I will keep her in my thoughts and keep you posted as to our experience. I thought I would share the healing process with the Forum to help others who have to face this decision. It does help to know that you're not alone. Thanks to you and everyone for the support.
 

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Mom to Ricky and Sammy
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Andria, I'm sorry to hear about your little one's surgery. Poor thing! I'm sure the next several weeks will be a challenge, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to the many long and healthier years ahead. Good luck with everything and please keep us posted. :)
 
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