View Full Version : Worried about Cooper's knee

26th December 2006, 10:17 PM
Hi there. Well after my update on Cooper last week, I'm now very worried about his knee. We have been following the vets instructions to the letter. He is in his pen all the time and carried out to go to the toilet. Apart from a few controlled cuddles on the sofa when he's on his leash we haven't cheated at all. When he goes outside he does sniff around a lot and lead us around on his leash to find the right spot to go to the toilet..a little longer than I like him to be moving but the vet had said this was ok and there was not much we could do about it. Anyway, last night I carried him out and when I put him down he was limping a bit on his operated knee to begin with. Now I'm not a vet but it then felt like the patella went back in and he walked ok. He's going back to the vet in a couple of hours and I am just praying he's not going to need the surgery re-done. We've just got to 3 weeks and next week he was going to get to start rehab. I'm so worried that we're going to have to start from scratch again. He was so sad and sore when he first came home after the op, I don't want him to have to go through that again. We still have the left knee to get done as well and a baby due in April. I'm praying he'll be ok. :(

Cathy Moon
27th December 2006, 02:14 AM
It is worrying, but all you can do is hope for the best at the vets. :xfngr:

For the first 9 weeks after patella surgery, India was allowed to walk on a leash on our lawn as much as she wanted. At first she didn't want to walk very much, but after a few weeks she did wander around sniffing a lot. I was worried, but I let her do it because the vet said it was ok. Is Cooper only walking on flat ground? I remember our vet said only on flat ground, no hills.

Are you actually manipulating his patella? Or just guessing that it might be slipping? I never touched her knee or felt it, for fear of harming it.

Just so you know, we have at least one other member whose cavalier needed repeat surgery, and now her baby is fine!

It took me about 2 years to stop worrying about her knee being re-injured. She runs hard and plays hard and has never re-injured it since surgery.

I hope Cooper will recover completely. Please let us know how it went. :flwr:

27th December 2006, 04:40 AM
Hi. No i'm not manipulating his patella. He limped and I put my hand gently over his knee for support and felt a clunk and then he could walk. And I'd never touched his knees before then.
He's only walking on flat ground but it is grass so not completely flat if you know what I mean. No hills, no steps. The vet wasn't fussed about that walking to go to the toilet.

Anyway - the vet said that while all the bony alignment is now back to normal, the patella is still moving in and out of joint. He will need surgical revision but not the full op again. They think they just need to put another suture in to hold it in place cause everything else feels good. Should just be day surgery so nothing like the last one in terms of pain. He will then need to start his confinement again. So while it sucks he needs to have another op, at least it's not completely starting from scratch.

My husband reckons that a couple of days ago Cooper was in his pen scratching his ear with his operated leg (He does that all the time) and then yelped and was licking his knee briefly and then seemed fine. We wonder if he popped the original suture then becuase he hasn't done anything apart from the walking on the leash for the toilet that I'd be worried about. The vet said he had pretty bad knees. The left one which still needs to be done (which was better than the right) he said was pretty terrible. He got us to feel the patella groove and showed us where it's meant to be and it's about 1cm more lateral than it's supposed to be.

I'm so sad for my poor little man but I'm sure we'll get there.

27th December 2006, 05:03 AM
Poor Cooper; that's tough for the little guy. I am glad it looks like you only need to be doing one element of surgery to fine-tune rather than everything again. I think what is especially tough is so many cavaliers get this surgery when they are still so young and want to be active! While that is the best time to do it, it sure makes it more of a challenge to keep them confined and quiet, doesn't it?

27th December 2006, 05:06 AM
Tell me about it. He is so sick of being cooped up in the pen, he was so excited to be at the vets of all places! That's how sick he is of being confined!

Cathy Moon
27th December 2006, 01:20 PM
So glad to hear he doesn't have to go through the whole thing again on the same knee. :flwr:

27th December 2006, 10:17 PM
Cooper thanks everyone for your thoughts!

Well the vet rang us back last night and they're going to be able to fit him in for surgery tomorrow which is great since my hubby has another 2 weeks of holidays before going back to work. Then it will be his parents turn to babysit our little boy. Looks like just day surgery for him so at least we get him back for the night. They feel all they need to do is put another strong suture in place to hold the patella where it's supposed to be. Hopefully this will hold everything in place and he'll be back to his normal self in no time. :xfngr:

Cathy T
28th December 2006, 01:55 AM
Wow...small world! That is exactly what happend with Shelby's patella surgery! I kid you not!! The first surgery didn't hold completely so the surgeon put her back under and put in a suture. I am thrilled to tell you that two years later she's doing great!! The increased confinement times really does suck :D But before you know it it will all be over. Hang in there!

28th December 2006, 04:16 AM
It's a shame that so many little cavvies need this surgery. :(

I hope Cooper is back up and running (completely cured) soon! :)

28th December 2006, 04:24 AM
How was Shelby after the 2nd op? I'm anticipating that since it's not as full on as the first that he'll be not quite so sore and sorry for himself and bounce back a lot quicker than the first. Also did the period of confinement start from scartch or was it a bit less because all the stuff from the original op had already healed well? Did you get to mobilise Shelby a bit more earlier? We were going to be doing at least 4 weeks of pen confinement with being carried out to the toilet and on a leash while going to the toilet, then carried back in until this happened. I'm hoping that he'll be able to do a bit more leash walking earlier this time since it's only a revision, not the full op. We still have the other knee to do after this one!

I hope Cooper does as well as Shelby has done. I'm so worried about him and my hubby keeps telling me that stressing is no good for the baby (my unborn child that is, not Cooper!) Also Cooper has become very attached to me during all of this and wants me to carry him all the time and he only seems to do his business if I take him out, not my husband. I'm worried how we're going to manage if the 2nd op runs into late third trimester or soon after the baby is born. Aaaah Too much stress and worry. I just want my little boy all better.

Cathy T
28th December 2006, 03:58 PM
She was great after the 2nd op. She had her original surgery in November and I noticed around Christmas she seemed to be favoring her leg. My folks were visiting and my mom commented on it as well. At her 6 week check up she was okay. When I took her in for her 8 week we found the patella was still slipping and the surgeon said she would go in and put in a big suture to help hold it. We had another 8 weeks of confinement. I was so worried about her pulling it out again that I really restricted her movement for the first couple of weeks. She walked on leash to go potty. We also did water therapy and physical therapy. But, it's definitely not a necessity. The surgeon said that the curvature of her bones was what was causing the patella to still slip out.

We started the water therapy at about 2 weeks after the surgery. The other reason we decided to do the therapy was that her rear leg muscles were beginning to show some muscle mass loss. The only way to exercise her was in the water since the water would hold up her body weight and allow her to exercise her legs with damaging them.

I would counsel you not to worry. He'll be fine. Once Shelby got her freedom back she was completely back to her old self. It's just amazing how quickly they adapt. I had my hubby participate in her recovery since I needed him to help potty her. But, I did the majority of the work and it didn't really change her reliance on me.

Hang in there.

28th December 2006, 10:20 PM
Thanks for your positive thoughts Cathy.

Well, hubby has just dropped Cooper off to the vets so now it's wait and see time and hope that when they open up the knee they don't need to do anything else apart from the suture and we can get our boy back tonight. :xfngr:

Cathy Moon
29th December 2006, 12:17 AM
Fingers and paws are crossed! :xfngr: :xfngr: :paw: :paw: :paw:

29th December 2006, 12:59 AM

The vet just called. He had to do a little more work than he thought on Cooper's knee. He had to deepen the patella groove as well as putting in some heavy duty sutures. He's very happy with the stability of the knee following the procedure. This was a different surgeon to the first one. They both work at the same practice but I think this surgeon is better than the first. He basically owns this practice which is the biggest and best animal hospital in the city. So it sounds like the first guy maybe didn't do quite enough the first time. :(

As a result of that extra work Cooper has to be on a morphine infusion and stay in overnight. So no bringing him home today. :(

I guess the good news is the vet said many times how happy he is with the knee following the procedure and is certain it will be fine now in terms of stability. And he said when it comes time for the second knee he'll do it and do all that extra work the first time. So hopefully he'll be ok now. Hubby and I will go visit him this evening. I'm going to miss him tonight.

Cathy T
29th December 2006, 01:09 AM
That's great news that the surgeon feels so confident that this will fix it. I can't remember whether our surgeon had to deepen the groove more the 2nd time or not. Oh well. Either way it sounds like he's going to be fine. Plus when this same person does the other knee he'll completely know what to expect and can fix it all in one shot.

Give Coop lots of love from me when you get him home!!

Cathy Moon
29th December 2006, 02:14 AM
Glad to hear the vet is happy with Cooper's knee now!

India's groove was deepened too. Even though India just had a small piece of torn cartilage and no mis-alignment of the patella or ligaments, our vet had to deepen the groove in her leg bone to stabilize her patella. He told us he deepened it because it can become a little worn and shallow from the patella movement. He also told me he deepens the groove more often on the larger breeds and not on the smaller ones.

I'm glad Cooper's knee was re-done early, it isn't as great a setback as it would be if this happened weeks from now. I know you're hoping to be over this before your baby is due! :flwr:

30th December 2006, 11:51 PM
Cooper is now home :)

We picked him up yesterday afternoon and he was so much better than the first time we took him home after the first op. He was very alert and so excited to be home and seeing his brother.

He's putting a little bit of weight on the leg already and is eating, drinking and going to the toilet. Of course he still wants to find the perfect toilet spot in the backyard so he's still taking his time outside. That's making me paranoid cause I don't want anything to go wrong this time. The vet says that's just being a dog but I'm still a worried mum.

Anyway, all in all he's pretty good. He's showing signs this morning that he's interested in playing with his toys in his pen which shows he's feeling a lot better. It took about 3 days to get to this point last op so... :xfngr:

Mummy and Daddy and Fergus are just happy to have him home. We were all very lonely the night he was in hospital.

Cathy T
31st December 2006, 12:45 AM
Sounds like he's doing great!

Cathy Moon
31st December 2006, 12:46 PM
So glad he's having an easier time of it! :)

2nd January 2007, 01:25 AM
Cooper had his first check up today. He had his fentanyl patch removed. The vet said his wound is healing well and his weight bearing suggests that so far the knee is going well. Still a long way to go but so far so good. Next check up in a week to get stitches out and to see the surgeon to give his knee a good check.