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Maggie's Mom
26th December 2006, 09:41 PM
I have a 7 month old cav puppy. She has started limping on rear paws. She tends to slide on harwood floors and her legs slip and then she will start to limp for 1 or 2 steps. All of the posts on Pattella subluxation are making me very nervous. Breeder has told me that there is no family history at all. Has anyone had slipping and limping issues that were not patella problems?

Denni
26th December 2006, 10:18 PM
If she has hair covering the pads of her feet try trimming the fur away from the pads o she can get better traction. She might just be spraining her leg from sliding around on the floor.

Cathy Moon
26th December 2006, 10:20 PM
Patella luxation can be caused by injuries to cavaliers who have no family history of patella problems.

My India injured her knee as a puppy, and developed luxating patella. The vet did not know the cause until he performed surgery; he found a torn cartilage was the problem.

Your vet will be able to determine whether the patella is normal by feeling it.

If your dog is slipping, try trimming the hair between her paws - it might make a difference. Also, throw rugs can help.

Karlin
26th December 2006, 10:21 PM
Do get her right away to a vet -- this does potentially sound like patellar luxation but whatever the case, needs to be investigated. Does the breeder have certs for patellas that you have seen, and does she actually test for them, or is she simply saying there's 'no history'? If the breeder doesn't actually health test for this, then she is is probably unlikely to know whether her lines are at risk from this problem; most breeders do not keep track of every puppy they home (and wouldn't be able to) and many owners will not return to report problems to the breeder (though people always should as a conscientous breeder will base breeding decisions on such information).

If the pup is limping, it is a clear sign that she is in pain and needs to be seen by a professional; only a vet can make a proper medical diagnosis. A pup will notstart to limp unless something is definitely wrong. They also will not limp just from playing on hardwood floors -- I have hard floors throughout my house and many breeders have tile floors or hard floors without any problems. Mine also will slip around when playing (though do keep hair between feet clipped short to minimise slipping. However she needs her knees checked and any other possible cause for the limping). :thmbsup:

cooper&fergus
27th December 2006, 06:17 AM
Our little Cooper was also diagnosed with luxating patellas at about 8 months of age and had his first op 3 weeks ago. He seemd to start limping out of the blue too and it gradually got worse over the next few weeks. He would hold his back leg out straight to try and get the patella back in place. The limping would last a few seconds and then he'd be ok.

There was also no family history that the breeder knew about and they do documented health checks. So unless an owner didn't report the problem to the breeder, this came out of the blue. When we rang them to let them know, they hadn't heard of any problems with the rest of the litter either. So from personal experience - no family history doesn't mean that it is impossible to be a congenital problem. I hope it's just a strain but I would definitely get her to a vet. Just in case. Cooper went from a very occasional slip - to nearly 3 weeks later just before the op having a lot of trouble.

On another note, our elder cav Fergus tried to jump on a bed that was too high for him at about 7 months and was limping after that. He had just hyperextended his leg and some anti inflammatories settled him down quickly so it may not be patellas, but definitely get it checked.

judy
27th December 2006, 08:53 AM
I have a 7 month old cav puppy. She has started limping on rear paws. She tends to slide on harwood floors and her legs slip and then she will start to limp for 1 or 2 steps. All of the posts on Pattella subluxation are making me very nervous. Breeder has told me that there is no family history at all. Has anyone had slipping and limping issues that were not patella problems?

Hi Diane. I saw in your other post, on the Harvey broken tibia thread, you said Maggie had a hairline fracture of a leg when you first got her. Is it the same leg that's limping? I hope you can see a vet right away to clear up what's going on and get her some help. good luck, i hope it's not too serious.

Maggie's Mom
27th December 2006, 02:27 PM
She will be going to vet on Thursday. Maggie actually had a hairline fracture of her front paw. Now having problems with rear. She will only hold paw up for a few secs. Never even yelps. The rest of the time she runs and plays normally. She is fine when there is carpet, but has trouble on wood floors. I am having her groomed Friday. They will trim paws, if vet can not do it.

I am just hoping it is the strain from paws slipping or anything else. I have insurance, but not for anything congenital. I need to change my company.

himindoors
27th December 2006, 10:59 PM
I agree with Karlin. Go to the vet straight away and get it checked out. The sooner the better! :xfngr: If it is the patellas it can be treated and in the vast amount of cases successfully. Daisy Boo was diagnosed at 9 months and is perfect now at 17 months.

Good luck :flwr:

Maggie's Mom
28th December 2006, 06:01 PM
Maggie saw vet and they think it is crucial ligament. On rest and anti inflammatories. Will recheck in 2 weeks. I guess it is slightly better than Patella issue, but still has an 80% chance of surgery. I could cry. :sl*p: She is such an active puppy that it is so sad when she has to be confined. We have 2 cats and she thinks she can do anything they do.

Cathy T
29th December 2006, 02:14 AM
Sorry you got some bad news Diane. The upside is that it is something that is fixable. Keep us posted on how she does.

Maggie's Mom
31st December 2006, 05:02 AM
I have been doing more research on Ligament injuries. My vet said 80% required surgery, but several sites state that dogs under 20 pounds do well with rest and anti inflammatories. I think the vet may be rushing to judgement. Anyone out there with ligaments that healed without surgery???

Mic
31st December 2006, 07:45 AM
I don't know anything about dogs with torn CLs, but know a bit about people with 'em...could be similar, but could be very different. In people with torn Anterior CLs (ACL), most orthos try a conservative route first to see if the tear will heal itself with out surgery. Since the ACL has a decent blood supply, and that's what's needed for it to heal/repair, steroids along with a month of zero pressure on the area i.e. NO walking or weight-bearing, may do the trick. Since no further damage will be done by delaying surgery, this is definitely a great option for folks who can live on crutches for 6 weeks. After the ACL is repaired, either surgically or by rest, a few months of physical therapy is prescribed.

OTOH, tears to the MCL have little to no chance of repairing themselves with out surgery because of the very, very small blood supply to that ligament. Surgery is the standard protocol for torn MCLs, followed by physical therapy.

My daughter had a torn ACL. We followed the docs advice and had her hobble around on crutches for 6 weeks followed by 3 months of physical therapy. The only thing she can't do is the required kick for breast stroke...and she's a competitive swimmer and her best stroke is...you guessed it, breast stroke. But since this is her last year to compete, I don't regret the decision to avoid surgery. She was able to regain her activity level with out surgery.

Cathy Moon
31st December 2006, 02:31 PM
I would go along with the vet's recommendations, possibly getting a second opinion. Your cav is young and getting this repaired will most likely improve her life in the long run.

When I was researching patella problems, I found that some vets want to treat small breeds different than the larger breeds when it comes to orthopedic problems, and I disagree with that! The little dogs like cavaliers are as deserving of a normal, active lifestyle as any large breed.

When India had the luxating patella, I researched and found that avoiding surgery causes future problems like premature arthritis and additional wearing on the bones. Once there is arthritis in the knee, patella surgery cannot help it.

Her surgery was successful, and she is like a normal dog. It really makes me happy to see her running at top speed with the other cavs. :)

Cathy T
31st December 2006, 06:06 PM
When India had the luxating patella, I researched and found that avoiding surgery causes future problems like premature arthritis and additional wearing on the bones. Once there is arthritis in the knee, patella surgery cannot help it.

Cathy - that is precisely why I went ahead with the surgery on Shelby's knee. She was just a year old at the time and my vet wasn't pushing the surgery either way. The possibility of serious arthritis and further damage is what pushed me. I couldn't stand the thought of her being in pain from arthritis in her old age because of something I chose not to do. Doing the surgery was the best decision I made.

Mic
31st December 2006, 06:27 PM
When India had the luxating patella, I researched and found that avoiding surgery causes future problems like premature arthritis and additional wearing on the bones. Once there is arthritis in the knee, patella surgery cannot help it.
Cathy - that is precisely why I went ahead with the surgery on Shelby's knee. She was just a year old at the time and my vet wasn't pushing the surgery either way. The possibility of serious arthritis and further damage is what pushed me. I couldn't stand the thought of her being in pain from arthritis in her old age because of something I chose not to do. Doing the surgery was the best decision I made.
Exactly why I opted to have surgery on one of my cavs for lux pat. Lux pats can't be repaired with out surgery. Same with a torn MCL. There's never a good reason to leave a dog in pain.

Maggie's Mom
31st December 2006, 06:41 PM
Maggie's vet said it was just a slight tear that might heal on it's own, but did not test in any way. She just felt her leg and gave an educated guess. I plan to see an orthopedist before we do anything. Just don't trust the 2 minute visit with the regular vet. Vet did say patella's were normal.

Maggie's Mom
8th January 2007, 02:02 AM
Just an update - Maggie has been doing well since the Anti Inflammatory treatment. We carried her around for a few days, because there is no way from the Family Room to the outside or up to bed without a full flight of stairs. She has not limped in days. She is now running all around, up and down stairs. She will be going back to Vet next week and hopefully they will be happy with her progress. :jump:

Cathy Moon
8th January 2007, 02:26 AM
Whew! That is wonderful news! :)

Cathy T
8th January 2007, 03:36 AM
Great news! Hopefully they will say everything is healed and that's the end of that!

Maggie's Mom
19th January 2007, 02:06 PM
:updte:

Unfortunately, not such a good update. Maggie was doing really well after her anti inflammatory treatment. Now she is limping badly. We are making appt with an orthopedist for next week. She is only 8 months old and I feel so bad. Saw snow for the first time today. She was so excited, but running was so hard for her. I will crate her for the rest of the day to rest her leg and wait for dr to decide what to do next.

Cathy T
19th January 2007, 07:16 PM
Well...shoot. Not what we had hoped to hear. Let us know how it goes.

Maggie's Mom
30th January 2007, 02:27 AM
:sl*p: :updte:

We went to see the Orthopedist today-(a specialist who came highly recommended). Poor little Miss Maggie Mae has luxating patellas. Left side is worse, stage 1-2. Right minimal but there. He feels we should start with Glucosamine and chondroitin and watch her. If it progresses, he wants to proceed with surgery, but has stated that it could stay this stage for years and may never progress.

He did warn that surgery is $2600. per leg. OUCH!

For now we are going to go with the natural remedy and pray for the best. We also feel she will be better able to deal with the surgery and Post Op recovery when she is a little older. She is such a maniac now. Would be miserable in the crate for 6 weeks.

WoodHaven
30th January 2007, 02:31 AM
:sl*p: :updte:

We went to see the Orthopedist today-(a specialist who came highly recommended). Poor little Miss Maggie Mae has luxating patellas. Left side is worse, stage 1-2. Right minimal but there. He feels we should start with Glucosamine and chondroitin and watch her. If it progresses, he wants to proceed with surgery, but has stated that it could stay this stage for years and may never progress.

He did warn that surgery is $2600. per leg. OUCH!

For now we are going to go with the natural remedy and pray for the best. We also feel she will be better able to deal with the surgery and Post Op recovery when she is a little older. She is such a maniac now. Would be miserable in the crate for 6 weeks.

I would get other quotes. Here a knee is between 250-1600 USD.

Cathy T
30th January 2007, 03:38 AM
Shop around!!! That's high! I paid $1500 (thereabouts) for Shelby's knee in California.

The good thing is that there are lots of us here who have been through this surgery and can really guide you along.

cooper&fergus
30th January 2007, 06:37 AM
Don't know about US dollars. Here it cost about 1200 oz dollars per knee depending on how much work they have to do. Cooper was grade 3 both knees and had to go for surgery straight away. Hope the conservative management works. It sounds like even if surgery is needed you may only need 1 side done. If surgery happens, the confinement sucks but both you and your pup will get used to it pretty quick. We're in the midst of knee number1 and will need number 2 done too. It will be worth it in the end. I think that if surgery is necessary you get a better result if it's done earlier in life than later before any arthritis develops. Good luck!

Cathy Moon
30th January 2007, 12:58 PM
Diane, I agree, that is very high! India's surgery cost between $800-900. The vet who did the surgery is part of a large practice, where each of the vets has regular patients, plus each has a specialty. His specialty is orthopedic surgery, but I don't know if he is a board certified orthopedic surgeon. Is there a similar practice anywhere near you? Or a Vet college?

Maggie's Mom
31st January 2007, 01:02 AM
I think because we are in New York the vets feel they can charge much more than the rest of the country. I went to a local animal hospital where they each have a specialty. Although it seemed high, I felt very comfortable with the vet. He did not push me and said that Maggie only has between a grade 1 & 2. He said that if and when it progresses, he would do a triple repair. Deapening the creavice, ligament and tendon repair. She will be in the hospital for at least 3 days with pain management as the priority. He also said he has a 98% success rate. My vet only uses traveling surgeons, which I do not think is optimal.

I will watch her and hope she does not progress to grade 3. It has not impaired her at all. Today I needed to get the kids to the bus and she was running around the yard like a maniac. We could not catch her for 10 minutes and almost missed the bus. You could almost see her laughing at us. She usually has the typical Cavalier pouty face but she was actually smiling.

Hannah&Lottie
1st February 2007, 02:17 PM
Hi, sorry to hear about Maggie. I hope all goes well. My Lottie is going in for the same surgery in 2 weeks time, so I know what you're going through. :( stay positive, she'll be fine :D

Karlin
1st February 2007, 04:26 PM
Oh, that's great you got a firm diagnosis -- good to know what you are dealing with. I agree with others that that's a high cost for the surgery and would shop around.

A grade 2 isn't a mild luxation though, really -- it is borderline where most vets would say it needs correcting (a 3) and many would operate at a 2. Some vets woud feel a dog with a grade two that is left untreated over its life will have a strong risk of pain and serious arthritis when it gets older.

from Vetinfo, a respected reference site on vet information:


Luxating patellas are graded on a scale of 1 to 4 (some sources use 1
to 5).

Grade 1 are patella luxations that are found on physical exam by
looking for them when the dog shows little to no clinical signs -- the patella
can be luxated manually but doesn't do this much on its own.

Grade 2 luxations occur when there is occasional spontaneous lameness
but the patella returns to normal positioning easily enough that the dog
usually isn't pained much by it. This is typically the dog that
occasionally carries a rear leg for two or three steps on occasion but
then puts it back down and goes as if nothing was wrong.

Grade 3 luxations is usually used to describe dogs who are beginning to
have a loss of function due to the luxation of the patella. They have
more frequent "skipping" episodes, may not want to jump up onto things, they
may have pain and the patella doesn't always return to normal positioning
when it is deliberately pushed out of its groove during a physical
examination.

Grade 4 luxations are when the legs are painful enough that the dog
tries not to use them, when the leg can not be fully straightened manually
and the dog shows evidence of chronic pain or disability, including poor to
no ability to jump.

Grade 5 (or severe grade 4 depending on the grading scheme) is when the
dog won't use the legs or when the gait is stiff legged due to the patella
being underdeveloped or permanently dislocated and fixed in place
outside its normal position.

Most veterinary orthopedic surgeons recommend repairing dogs in Grade
3+ without question and advocate fixing grade 2 dogs frequently. So a 2.5
grade is probably one in which the examining veterinarian is leaning
towards thinking surgery is necessary. That is just my best guess on
the interpretation, though. It is better to ask the vet who made it.

I think that most dogs generally get worse over time and move from
Grade 1 to Grade 2 or from Grade 2 to 3, for example. The changes may not
happen until later in life, though. A lot of dogs with Grade 1 or Grade 2
patella luxation early in life will have pretty stiff knee joints when they are
14 or 15 years old that probably are at least partially this way due to
arthritis from the years of luxating patellae. There is a lot of other
wear and tear in a long life so this is only a partial contributor but I
know that some surgeons really feel that when the whole lifetime is looked
at early surgery looks better. On the other hand, there are dogs who have
bad outcomes from the surgery, too. I lean towards leaving knees alone
until the Grade 3 stage, personally.

Mike Richards, DVM
8/18/2001

http://www.vetinfo.com/dpatella.html

PamH
2nd February 2007, 11:31 AM
So sorry to hear that. I think we all of us worry about the babies having medical problems. I wish you the best of luck.
Pam

Maggie's Mom
5th March 2007, 08:23 PM
:updte:

We have decided that Maggie needs to have surgery. She limps all the time and has trouble jumping. Even on Metacam and Glucosamine she seems to be in pain. Thankfully the breeder has offered to pay the vet bills up to the $1600. we paid for Maggie. It will help pay for at least part of 1 leg. The thought of her in a crate for 2 months makes me want to cry. She is still a baby. Any suggestions on keeping her from going crazy for such a long time. :( :( :( :(

cooper&fergus
6th March 2007, 01:10 AM
I'm sorry to hear about Maggie's knee. I know how you feel but in the long run I do think getting the surgery done is the best option. And you get better results if it's done earlier rather than later. The confinement is definitely the worst part but you do get used to it pretty quick. My suggestions would be to keep the pen / crate near you all the time. We had it set up in the family room most of the time and moved it to the bedroom at night. Try some rawhide bone - they kept Cooper occupied for hours. We would often bring him onto the couch or the bed with us for cuddles. We kept his leash on so he wouldn't jump anywhere. We waited about 1-2 weeks before doing that too much. If you have to work during the day I would recommend finding someone to look after Maggie. Either my parents or my husbands parents would watch the dogs during the day. They had a pen set up at their house. We pretty much didn't leave him alone until he was about 4 weeks after the op and even then only for an hour or so at a time.

They do get used to it pretty quick. Sometime I think its harder for us mums than the dogs.

I personally think that the worst part is the first few days when they're quite sore and sorry for themselves. After that they're pretty happy..just champing at the bit to be free. Just obey the vets instructions to the letter and you'll get the results down the track.

Cathy Moon
6th March 2007, 01:33 AM
:updte:

We have decided that Maggie needs to have surgery. She limps all the time and has trouble jumping. Even on Metacam and Glucosamine she seems to be in pain. Thankfully the breeder has offered to pay the vet bills up to the $1600. we paid for Maggie. It will help pay for at least part of 1 leg. The thought of her in a crate for 2 months makes me want to cry. She is still a baby. Any suggestions on keeping her from going crazy for such a long time. :( :( :( :(

If you aren't able to stay home with Maggie for more than a few days after her surgery, it's ok to just stop in at lunch time every day to take her out. Our vet told us to continue to go to work every day after our cavalier, India, had knee surgery. I stayed home from work for just a few days, then my husband and I took turns coming home at lunchtime (just like we always do!) to take her out to potty. :flwr:

Also, we kept her in a large, comfortable crate in the morning, then at lunchtime we put her in an x-pen with a cushion to lay on. I think she appreciated the change of scenery. :)

There are several threads regarding patella surgery aftercare. Just use the Search function near the top of this display.

Cathy T
6th March 2007, 04:55 PM
Yes, there are severa (actually becoming many) of us who have gone through this. My biggest concern was that Shelby was 1 year old when she had the surgery and I was so concerned we were going to damage her psychologically by confining her. I needn't have worried. 2 months seems like a long time...until you are about 2 weeks into it and it becomes part of your routine.

Maggie's Mom
12th April 2007, 11:26 PM
Well yesterday was the day!! Maggie had her surgery and she is home tonight. She looks so pathetic I could cry. She is walking well on three legs. Surgeon was very happy with how everything went No swelling or bleeding. Now to just keep her calm and happy until she can heal.

cooper&fergus
13th April 2007, 02:50 AM
I was just wondering about little Maggie and her knees this morning and when the op was going to be. At least nowthat it's done you can start the road to recovery. The first few days are the hardest cause they're pretty sore and sorry for themselves. Pretty soon they get back to their normal selves. Make sure you keep her very quiet and follow the vets instructions to the letter.

Do you have to do both knees or just the one? You will get used to the confinement pretty quick, I promise. And it will be over before you know it. Cooper had his first knee done on December 6th. He's now 1 revision op and the other knee op later and only has about 2.5 weeks left before he is completely free. He's going for walks and spending more and more supervised time out of the pen. Can't believe it's almost over!

Good luck and keep us updated. When is your first checkup?

Cathy T
13th April 2007, 03:07 AM
Oh I know how you feel! In fact...I did cry when I saw Shelby..she just looked so pitiful. Know that it will all be worth it in the end. We really fell into a routine quickly (good thing...since we had to have the same knee done at the end of the 8 weeks :-|) Shelby was very comfortable in her x-pen in the middle of the family room. She had a little bed in there and some toys. And sometimes Jake would go in and visit with her. Whenever possible we had her on our laps. But we kept a leash on her so she couldn't jump off the couch. I promise you that the time will go by and eventually you will forget how hard it was (I've almost forgotten 1 1/2 years later;) )

I was just reading what Cooper & Fergus was saying :D , didn't realize I had almost repeated the same things verbatim....we must be on the same wavelength. Hang in there Cooper...the end is in sight!!

Karlin
13th April 2007, 01:08 PM
What's nice is that so many people who were really apprehensive themselves about these surgeries can now offer such insightful advice -- do you guys remember when you first posted for support yourselves about those knee surgeries? ;) Now you are old pros. :)

Hope Maggie bounces back super fast!

Maggie's Mom
14th April 2007, 02:28 AM
Surgery was done on Wednesday and she is so much better today (Friday). She can hobble on 3 legs to go potty. Wants to be on a lap every minute she is awake. I am self employed so I brought her to work today in the crate. She was really great. She is also very quite whenever she wears the ECollar so I am trying to leave it on. Don't know if she would actually bite stitches but the collar keeps her so quiet. We call it the "cone of silence"

She wags her tail whenever she sees anyone, so I consider that a good sign. The Vet was so pleased with the results. They said there was minimal bleeding and no swelling at all. Maggie will go back in 10 days for suture removal. The vet is 2 minutes from my house so I can go back any time I am nervous. They have told me to keep her quiet until then but if she wants she can touch down the leg.

It is going to be a long 6 weeks but hopefully she will only need the one surgery. I am a little concerned that so many people say that they needede to have the same knee operated on more than once. The surgeon did a 3 part repair, deapening groove, fixing cartlidge and ligament. Said there was a very good success rate. 98%. Orthopedist said that she may not need the other leg done. At least not for a long while.

Why are so many redone? Does it have to do with the dogs overdoing activity too soon after surgery?

cooper&fergus
14th April 2007, 02:59 AM
For us ours was definitely not redone because of overactivity. We were obsessive abut the confinement. I think they only did 2 of the 3 part repair initially. Vet said he did what was usually enough for a dog of Cooper's size but in retrospect said his knees were awful - grade 3 in both and really should have had 3 part repair initially. At least for us it was only after 2.5 weeks, not 8 like Shelby. He basically popped a suture and we think he did it just from trying to scratch himself. Basically we feel the intial op was not strong enough. Anyway now evrything seems as good as new. Just really keep her quiet and you should be fine. Try not to give in to her evry second she wants to be on your lap or she'll never get used to being in the crate and sometimes you just need to put them in there, but it's so hard to resist their big eyes when they want cuddles!

Good luck. The time goes by pretty quick. In fact right now Cooper is sitting on my lap watching tv while I type this and he really is a different dog already in terms of his mobility. And at least you only have he one knee to do.

Cathy T
14th April 2007, 03:15 AM
Sounds like she's doing great..and I love the "cone of silence"!! Actually Cooper is the only other one I know of besides Shelby who had to have it redone. We were also obsessive about Shelby's confinement. She second surgery was a slight deepening of the groove and a big suture to hold it in. Now we're all good. The surgery really does have a high success rate....just unfortunate that once in a while it's not successful the first time.

How nice that you are able to take her to the office with you. I work at home and just set Shelby up in an x-pen in my office when I was working.

Sounds like you're good to go!