View Full Version : cooper's luxating patellas

29th November 2006, 12:36 AM
Hi there everyone. I'm new to this forum. I came across this site when I was researching luxating patellas in cavs last week. I am the proud mum of 2 gorgeous cavies, 2 1/2 year old blenheim Fergus and 10 month old ruby Cooper. Last week Cooper was having trouble with intermittent limping and was diagnosed with luxating patellas. :( His left knee appears to be worse than the right. Fortunately he's not in any pain, but is just frustrated and bewildered that he can't chase his big brother around the garden as quickly as he used to. My poor little boy has to have an operation next week and then we'll be faced with the post op care and rehab. Pretty full on, especially since I'm pregnant at the moment. So i'm very stressed for him but have read some wonderful stories on this forum about other little dogs journey through this which is pretty heartening. Anyway just thought i'd share cause I'm a bit anxious at the moment. I was also wondering what size play pen you used post op for your pups for those of you who have been through the same thing?

Thanks for listening.

Cathy T
29th November 2006, 01:25 AM
Bummer. This will be hard enough...but for you to be pregnant on top of it all! The good news is the surgery is 92% effective. We just used a regular x-pen in our family room. Shelby wasn't a jumper so her trying to get out wasn't an issue. It's amazing how quickly you fall into a new routine. She very happily went into her x-pen when I'd bring her in from potty...no problems. She spent a good deal of time on our laps with her leash on (so she couldn't jump down). But, we got through it and you will to!

29th November 2006, 01:29 AM
Welcome but sorry you found us due to having to deal with patellas! However we have a few people who have been through this experience so you'll have a good support system. :)

Cathy Moon
29th November 2006, 01:37 AM
So sorry to hear about your baby's patellas.

We used a 30 inch high x-pen for India, plus she had a 26"H x 24"W x 36"L crate with a thick orthopedic dog mattress in it. She preferred the crate for sleeping and resting, and the x-pen was nice for eating, chewing, and playing.

We used to take turns climbing into the x-pen with her to watch TV or read, so she could cuddle up. I slept on the sofa for weeks while she was confined. I think it came to a total of 9 weeks, but may have been a little longer to keep her from jumping off furniture.

29th November 2006, 01:56 AM
I bought an x-pen for Spencer but ended up using only his crate. I bought a pretty large one, 36"L X 24"W X 27"H, because I was panicked he wouldn't have enought room to turn around with his e-collar. The crate was fantastic and after the first few days Spencer stopped whining when he was in it.

Like Cathy my husband and I took turns sleeping on the floor next to the crate or on the sofa. I think that calmed all three of us down. :D The rest of the time Spencer was either on the couch with one of us or on the floor next to it. I tied a really short leash to the coffee table leg so he couldn't go anywhere.

Here's a photo of our "set up".


Cathy Moon
29th November 2006, 02:05 AM
Awww, Spencer looks so cute!

I forgot to mention that Geordie was a puppy at the time, so we really had to confine her from him, too! I was afraid to take any chances on messing up her surgery.

29th November 2006, 05:11 AM
Spencer looks very cute.

I'm going to miss having Cooper jumping onto me all the time and on our bed. I'm sure we're going to find this harder than he is. Fortunately my parents can look after him during the day constantly for the first 3 weeks and then my husband has 2 weeks holiday so for the first 1 - 2 months he'll be watched carefully and will be with someone. I couldn't bear the look on his face leaving him in a pen with no-one home. Maybe I'm just a sucker for big brown sad puppy eyes!

29th November 2006, 10:00 AM
at that age they are so bursting with life and energy--i know it's not easy for you to have to watch him experience such limitations. but from other peoples' stories, it sounds like there are some good aspects to a bad thing, the nurturing experience in particular, and surely with that level of nurturing there can be a kind of bonding that wouldn't have otherwise happened. Odds are he will be in good shape once he recovers, in time for your new arrival.

would love to see photos of your guys if you have some.

spencer is really cute in that photo. :l*v: and the crate looks very comfy.

Cathy Moon
29th November 2006, 11:24 AM
Each vet is different with this surgery - India never had a bandage on her leg and she never wore a cone on her head, either. Our vet told us to spray a little bactine on her incision, and she didn't bother with it at all. She was putting a little weight on her leg from the first day - we could see her footprint in the snow.

The hardest part at first is the confinement, but even that gets easier after the first 2 weeks. It seems to take forever, but then you'll have a lifetime of a healthy, happy cav!!!

29th November 2006, 04:16 PM
So sorry you have to go through this. We had the same issue with Daisy Boo. She's all better now though. We used a crate as well and it's important to keep them on a lead when out of the crate. If you have any questions at all just post. Lots of people here have gone through this.

Good luck!

29th November 2006, 04:20 PM
This is Daisy Boo the day we brought her home. The owund is surprisingly small as you can see from the size of the bandage.


Cathy T
29th November 2006, 05:18 PM
Awww...Spencer's big old eyes! Now those are eyes that would melt me into a puddle. And Daisy Boo's naked little leg. Shelby didn't need to wear a cone either. Her leg was bandaged the entire length in a hot pink wrap. That came off after a few days. She never bothered her stitches.

It really does get easier after the first couple of weeks. You fall into a routine like anything else. The day you get your freedom...whooowhooo!!!

If you have questions...feel free to ask. So many of us have been through this with excellent outcomes.

ellie and charlie
29th November 2006, 07:32 PM
for ellie i just used her crate she sleeps in,she was fine put crate in room where the family was through day.not one problem,thought she would be bouncing with energy but not the case.
ellie goes back on monday to vets for planning of next patella op which is soon.she was putting weight on leg day after surgery.thought i would have had to carry in and out of bed and into garden to wee.but not the case.
i bought ellie kong toy this passed quite a lot of day for her. :thmbsup:
ellie had no collar or banages on.she didnt mess with stitches

29th November 2006, 10:22 PM
Wow, thanks for all the support. Since I'm reasonably computer illiterate I'll get my husband to put some photos of the boys on the site.

Well Cooper will hopefully be going strong just in time to show bubs that he's higher up in the pecking order!!!!

I'm sure I'll have some questions along the way. Cooper goes in for suregery next Wednesday.

29th November 2006, 11:50 PM
I have a quick question. We were thinking of getting a play pen for a baby (we saw one the other day when doing baby gear shopping) which looks to be a good size to fit Cooper with a bed / mattress, some toys and water. That way we could use it down the track for the baby so we could let bubs lie on the fllor on an activity mat and have lots of fun without the 2 boys trying to sniff and lick him / her. What do you think? Would this be sufficient. He's always going to have humans around for the first 2 months post op.

5th December 2006, 10:30 PM
Well today is the big day.

We have dropped cooper of at the vet and now it's just a waiting game.......

Cathy T
6th December 2006, 02:59 AM
I'm sure he'll be fine..but will you keep in my thoughts :flwr:

6th December 2006, 10:11 AM
I think the play pen is a great idea - our vet actually recommended either a crate or a playpen at the time. Best of luck with the recovery!

ellie and charlie
6th December 2006, 10:50 AM
sounds ok,and as you say stops other dogs from licking it

7th December 2006, 12:39 AM
Well, I went to see him last night, he was recovering well but looked a bit depressed.

Spoke to the vet this morning and they seemed to think he was a bit depressed still. He hasn't eaten or drank anything yet and hasn't gone to the toilet yet.

They're not concerned at the moment and still think he should be able to come home today.

Our older dog fergus has really been missing him.

Cathy Moon
7th December 2006, 01:04 AM
Poor Cooper, I hope he feels better soon! :flwr:

I had to help India to start drinking. I bought plain strained beef, lamb, or chicken baby food and mixed some into water, making a broth. She loved it! I fed her a small amount every few hours to get her hydrated.

7th December 2006, 12:52 PM
I hope Cooper gets well soon - he and his brother look very sweet in the pics :flwr:

I know how you are feeling with this type of operation - Honey tore her cruciate ligament a few years ago and had to have it replaced. Its very stressful both before and after the operation but in Honeys case it was the right thing to do and I hope the same goes for Cooper.

We are careful now not to let the dogs jump up on the couches or into/out of the car incase they hurt their legs as this is how Honey tore her ligament. They are very good about this and wait to be lifted! (although the younger ones do still make a run an jump at the couch :lol: ).

Honey took her stitches out twice (the first time was within 5 minutes of bringing her home after the op :roll: ) so I would advise keeping a very close eye on him.

Honey now has athritis in that leg and can't walk for more than 5-10 mins which is really sad cause she loves her walks. We have to sneak the other 2 out in a covert operation so she won't get too upset, although she's too clever most of the times and realises whats going on!

Anyway, I hope Copper is feeling better and please update the thread to let us know how your are getting on.

PS. I have some pictures of Honeys knee post-op if anyone is interested but I will warn you they are a bit gruesome!

9th December 2006, 08:13 AM
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the encouraging words :)

Cooper is going very well at the moment. He whined a bit when we got him home thursday but he is a lot happier now.

The only thing we've had trouble with so far was making sure he keeps his fluids up. We have a plastic syringe type of thing that we used initially but today he seems to be drinking okay (probably because it's 41 degrees C).

We saw the vet today and they were very happy with his progress, he is coping well as he is trying to use the leg already.

Anyway, thanks again to everyone who has posted their thoughts and tips. We wil keep you up to date with his progress.

Cathy Moon
10th December 2006, 01:58 PM
So glad to hear he's doing well! :flwr:

11th December 2006, 03:00 PM
Am so glad that Cooper is at home, hope he starts to feel my doggy soon, give him a cuddle and kiss from me... :p

11th December 2006, 10:20 PM
Hey everyone. Further updates:

Cooper is doing really well. Eating and drinking and standing on his leg well. He's feeling so good that he's starting to get very annoyed about being stuck in his pen, but as long as we're in the room he's ok. He spends the day at his grandparents - my parents (while we are at work - they have a little pen set up as well) and they are spoiling him rotten which he's loving.

Our only difficulty now is that when we carry him outside to the toilet he is very particular about where he does his business, so he sniffs and walks around on his leash - and I'm worried about him using the leg like that - although if you stand still with him on the leash he refuses to do anything - he held on so long the other day he was getting uncomfortable - any advice would be appreciated.

I think he knows outside is when he's out of his pen so he's trying to get as much out of it as he can!

His brother is a little jealous of the attention Cooper is getting but is being a very good boy about it. Although he seems to think that the food and water Cooper has in his pen must be better than his and is sticking his head in to try and eat and drink it!