View Full Version : Bad news

13th April 2006, 01:28 PM
I took Daisy Boo to the vet this morning for her kennel cough booster. Over the last couple of weeks we'd noticed that when she squats to go to the toilet she will sometimes raise her back right leg. I asked the vet to check it out and she told me she has a luxating patella icon_crying She's going to ring UCD and organise an appointment for surgery. As you can imagine we are absolutely gutted and can't believe she has to go through this. The only good thing about it is that she is not in any pain at all. In fact, had we not noticed this habit when she goes to the toilet it may have become a lot more advanced.

13th April 2006, 01:42 PM
So sorry to hear this. :hug: At least she is not in pain.

13th April 2006, 01:45 PM
Zola has just had her 2nd leg done back in Feb. If it's any consolation, the staff out in UCD are just fab. Aiden Mac Alinden (sp) was the doctor who did both legs and he couldn't have been more accomodating or sensitive to both our needs and Zola's, one example being he rang every night to tell us how she was getting on before and after the surgery.

13th April 2006, 01:49 PM
Oh poor Daisy Boo - I hope all goes okay, let us know as soon as you hear anything from UCD..... :(

13th April 2006, 02:03 PM
Thanks Buster, That's great to hear. I hope Zola is doing well. I think it's only really hitting me now and I'm trying to think how we'll manage with Twinkle and everything. Of course I'll take time off work but I can't take the whole recovery time off and I'm worried about Twinkle interfering with bandages etc. They're only alone for a couple of hours a day so I'll have to see how it goes.

13th April 2006, 03:42 PM
Sorry to hear that, i hope surgery goes well. I'm sure her Auntie Sandra will look after her ;)

13th April 2006, 03:44 PM
I'm sorry to hear this, I hope the procedure goes well for her. icon_crssedfingers
It's good you're very observant and caught this early.

13th April 2006, 11:21 PM
Joanna, how old is she and how bad is the patella? Unless the patella is pretty bad, often vets don't want to do them til the dog is over a year old, as many times the knees will tighten.



14th April 2006, 04:45 PM
really sorry to hear--i hope there's a chance of things improving without surgery, if she's young enough , like karlin says.

after surgery, if it's only 2 hours you leave them alone but there's a risk to the healing process, you could crate one of them, just for a couple of hours.
belle spend last weekend here and together the two dogs got in some trouble during the night while we were sleeping, so the next night belle slept in her travel crate. when we got up, we found zack had gotten out of his pen, like the night before again, but the sweet thing was, he was laying right next to belle, right outside the door of her crate, chewing on a nylabone, clearly wanting to keep her company.

Rod Russell
14th April 2006, 10:21 PM
Luxating patellas are, unfortunately, fairly common among Cavaliers, affecting between 20% and 30%. Not all of them are bad enoug to need surgery, but any knee could get worse. Vets have been surgically repairing Cavaliers' knees for a long time. We had our first patellar surgery on a Cavalier back in the 1970s, and after the tedious healing process, the dog's leg was a good as new. Since then, for the most part, the surgeons and the surgical process has improved.

The is an article about luxating patellas at http://www.cavalierhealth.org/patellas.htm along with a photo of a Cavalier just after the surgery.

Rod Russell
Orlando, Florida USA

14th April 2006, 11:38 PM
Rod, that's Shelby in your pic if I'm not mistaken... :lol: In her pink bandage and cone.

Joanna I have PM'd you a comprehensive post on this subject from Laura Lang -- she does not like to see surgeries done on puppies that are still growing -- advises generally waiting til 18 months and offers several suggestions of what to do until then. You can read through her post and it will give you some things to go back and ask the vet. I'd want to know the grade, and unless there's some very compelling reason to do a surgery now I'd personally go with Laura's suggestions (but of course that is very much my own opinion and what I would do.... your mileage may vary!).

Rod Russell
15th April 2006, 02:27 AM
Karlin, you are correct; that is Shelby.

Definitely, it is not normally wise to operate on the knees of a growing dog unless the luxation is SO bad that the dog cannot function or its pain is too great. Cavaliers seem to mature rather late, between 18 months and 2 years. A loose knee cap can pop out from time to time and still not cause the dog significant pain. So, if a Cavalier is under 18 months, I join Laura and the others in suggesting to its vet that surgery wait, unless the pain is too great for the dog to continue.

Rod Russell
Orlando, Florida USA

15th April 2006, 05:06 AM
....Joanna I have PM'd you a comprehensive post on this subject from Laura Lang -- she does not like to see surgeries done on puppies that are still growing -- advises generally waiting til 18 months and offers several suggestions of what to do until then......

Karlin, do you have a link to this post, or can you pm it to me?

15th April 2006, 12:35 PM
Yes, I'll PM it to you. I am going to ask Laura if it can be done up as a general post for the Library. :)

Cathy T
16th April 2006, 01:07 AM
Yes, that is my sweet Shelby Sue in the after pic. Unfortunately we had to have the surgery repeated immediately on the same knee and it did not hold. The surgery has a 92% success rate. At this point we won't do anything further, both of her knees are luxating. We will meet with the surgeon who did the surgeries sometime in the next month just to make sure we are doing everything we can (getting her weight down and giving glycoxflex). All of the others I've talked to who have had the surgery are just thrilled with the outcome.

No need to rush into it though. If you're at a grade 3 or more it's already shot. So, as long as she's not in pain you can wait on the surgery until she is more fully grown. We had Shelby done at 1 year after watching her for 6 months. She is not in any pain and it doesn't affect her at all.

We chose to do the surgery because of the possibility of severe arthritis as she ages and the chance of further knee damage. Now, we'll just have to be extra vigilant with her.

The recovery process is a pain, only in that you have to so severely limit activity, but once it's over it's over completely and there are no restrictions.

You'll be fine. Let me know if I can help.

19th April 2006, 07:15 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice. I have to call UCD next week about an appointment but I've got what I need (thanks to Karlin) and I am going to be firm about it. I just want to get a grade and if it is low we are going to hold off and try alternatives. The fact is she is not in any pain and it is not holding her back. We feel she is too young for surgery and would prefer to wait until she is fully grown if possible.
Thanks all,