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jessie22
9th November 2009, 03:32 AM
Hello everyone,

I have a 7 month old wonderful tri-color named Ruby. She is my first cavalier. I rescued her from a puppy mill that was shut down. I have had her since she was 10 weeks old, and so far life couldn't be better! For me and her. :)

Starting about 3 weeks ago, I noticed she had a slight limp after a nap or rest in her kennel. I figured she probably just had a strain from running with her friends, or playing hard. The limp would go away after a few steps. About 2 weeks ago, the limp was gone but she now would yelp so loud when she would re-position herself on the sofa or on the bed. Now, this wasn't every single time, I'd say every few rests. In the last week, she has cried out once or twice while moving to a new spot during a rest. I have picked her up, tried to manipulate all her limbs and can't find the source of any pain.

She does not scratch her neck, or have a single sign of this scary SM I've been learning about recently. But the cries are very worrisome. I will be taking her to the vet Tuesday. Any advice for talking with the vet? Should I ask her about SM? I don't want to jump the gun here, but now I'm just plain terrified.

I should let you all know, she is quite a "drama queen" ;) and would cry out for a full minute after getting her puppy shots. She runs and plays normally, she eats well, she's an absolute joy. I just am worried she hurts.

I'm just looking for some advice or reassurance. Thanks for reading. :)

--Jessie and Ruby

Karlin
9th November 2009, 12:29 PM
She needs to go immediately to a vet, so you have done exactly what you need to be doing for now. She is crying out in some sort of pain and needs that checked asap. :thmbsup:

To me and given her age, this sounds like she possibly has a luxatting patella. Otherwise it could be a host of things including possibly SM. Your vet will have quite a few things to consider before considering SM, so bring in the info to make sure the vet knows about SM (always a good idea for anyone with a cavalier to do this for any vet!) but I wouldn't expect that to be top of the list for a first investigation. :flwr: I am pretty sure, and would nearly wager, the result you will get is a patella that may need surgical correction.

Tania
9th November 2009, 02:20 PM
Ruby sounds lovely. Karlin is the expert and I agree totally with what she has said.

I had the same with my Molly, when she moved she would scream with pain due to her patella. If Ruby is experiencing pain you must get her to the vets. If Ruby is vocalising pain, it must be pretty bad.
Let us know how you get on. Good luck
. :xfngr:

jessie22
10th November 2009, 05:32 AM
Hello all,

First of all thank you Karlin and Tania for writing to me so quickly regarding Ruby. We just got home from the vet, and here's the news...

After a good check of Ruby's hind legs, the vet discovered two luxating patellas. One at a level 1 and the other at a level 2. We will be repairing the level 2 patella quite soon. --Wow Karlin, you really know your Cavaliers. Amazing. ;)

Here's the scarier part. Upon looking closely at Ruby's hips in an x-ray, the vet noticed her hip sockets looking quite unusually fuzzy. What she is concerned about is very early Degenerative Bone Disease. She has only seen this in very large dogs, never in a Cavalier. I looked, and it did seem odd. Being that she is not a radiologist, she has sent these out to a professional for a closer look. It seems so scary to only be 7 months old and have this, doesn't it? I'm hoping the radiologist sees this within the "realm of normal" and we'll be okay.

Well, that is the news as of tonight. I have given Ruby her doggy-Ibuprofen and a Tramadol and she is cozy chewing on her bone by the fire. Funny, the poor thing is just a baby still teething and all and to be going through all this. Thanks for writing and the kind words earlier, it really helped.

I'll be updating you all soon.

Take care,

Jessie and of course, Ruby

--Oh, just wondering, I can't seem to see my profile picture. (it's of Ruby!) Any ideas? It said it posted successfully... hmmmm...

Karlin
10th November 2009, 11:58 AM
Hi Jessie, it is more that luxating patellas are a pretty common diagnosis for a dog under age one that is having on and off pain problems of the type you describe so I could make a pretty good guess! :lol: We have a lot of people here who have had the surgery done' search the word patella and you will find some threads on caring for dogs post surgery and what to expect, etc.

I think maybe you confused your profile picture and your avatar -- they are two different things. The profile picture appears only on your profile page and in the member list; your avatar needs to be set up separately in your User CP.

Nicki
10th November 2009, 12:31 PM
Sorry to hear about this - but really it is better news to be dealing with patellas than SM. Generally the surgery for correcting patellas is pretty successful.

It is a concern about the hip sockets though - I hope it isn't too bad.

I did have a Cavalier with patella probelms and hip dysplasia - generally hip dysplasia isn't picked up in small breeds, as it doesn't cause too many problems until they are older, and is then dismissed as arthritis.


Sadly puppy mills do not do any health testing, and it is not uncommon for their dogs to suffer from all sorts of problems :(

jessie22
13th November 2009, 06:57 PM
Well, here's the final outcome...

We went to see the specialist yesterday, a very top-notch orthopedic surgeon/neurologist. He had a good look at Ruby and said her knees were just fine and no cause for alarm. That was the good news. The bad news is about her little hips. She has pretty serious hip dysplasia. So, here's what we have to do: No more running, only leash walks. Rimadyl (doggie ibuprofen) everyday, and the walks can be no more than 20 minutes 2 times a day. It's not likely she could be a candidate for hip replacement surgery based on her size (she's no Great Dane after all!) and the odd placement of her hips. (they basically "float" outside of the socket)
So, we are going to be modifying things a bit, but thankfully no signs of SM, or having a poor quality of life.
I love this little dog so much it's unreal. it's hard to imagine not letting her run at the beach when I go out surfing, and going doggie-crazy on a wooded trail. (she's just a baby!) I hope she will not be too depressed. Do any of you have any experience with hip issues? Advice? Words of wisdom? I just want Ruby to have the best life she can. I think I'm giving it to her, but any tips on this new development would be great!
I really love this forum and am so grateful for all the messages so far! Thanks for reading! :)

Jessie and Ruby

Karlin
14th November 2009, 12:43 PM
Wow -- surprising there is such difference of opinion as knees are not that hard to diagnose -- maybe when the vet pulled at them he got a reaction that was similar to luxation due to painful hips -- odd! Poor little thing; that is a tough diagnosis as sometimes you cannot do too much. However you might get a second opinion -- I know a few people who have had hip surgery done on cavaliers and indeed Leah on the board here is about to have it done.

I'd want to check back with the surgeon's office first and clarify whether he just feels the breed is the issue, or whether it is the particular case and the state of her hips.

Now: the good news is even if she is inoperable dogs have other options! For example, loads learn to use a cart and I have seen videos of dogs flying down the beach, chasing balls, etc using a good cart. There is one type that is really excellent and actually can be set to allow dogs with some leg mobility to use them to some degree.

To be honest: I would likely be more inclined to use a cart and avoid this complex surgery myself in some situations anyway, if there wouldn't be any significant discomfort to the dog in not doing surgery. If there isn't an option, then I would certainly check out these carts. I am going to go look for the link for you.:-)

Karlin
14th November 2009, 12:50 PM
To me these sound the best, with semi-support for rear legs if needed:

http://www.eddieswheels.com/

But there is also this this company:

http://www.k9-carts.com/

Videos of Eddie's Wheels dogs -- you can see they can do pretty much everything in a cart!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ps0lCuSS5Q

Check out the change from this little guy's first use of his cart, and a bit later!

First testrun:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SelN1bWm3V8
Later:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8rG1QDqfrc&NR=1

jessie22
14th November 2009, 10:56 PM
Karlin, thanks so much for those links! I watched the video clips and looked at the Eddie's Wheels website as well. :p As far as Ruby's hips go, it isn't her breed, but the way her hips are made, she's got an interesting set-up. I agree, the cart as opposed to surgery may be the way to go. I love that she'd be able to go fast and even chase her brothers around! (I also have two big dogs, a lab mix and a beagle-shepard mix...they LOVE her!)

You really made my day with those links and the message, Karlin. It's so nice to know Ruby and I have a friend in Ireland. :) Take care and I hope you and your doggie crew are well when you read this!

Have a happy weekend!

Jessie and Ruby (the wonder rescue dog!)

Karen and Ruby
14th November 2009, 11:19 PM
You could also try Hydrotherepy for her as she would still be getting some exercise with out having any strain on her joints.
It has worked wonders for Ruby with her Lux Patella and she is getting stronger and stronger all the time with out the need for surgery. Her muscle mass has increased majorly and it provides alot of suport and cushioning for the dodgy joints.
Plus she gets some really good cardio exercise without the strain.
We only go once a week and she does really well with it and very much enjoys herself (never wants to get out)
In the words of Dory from Finding Nemo- "just keep swimming"

Good luck with your Ruby- just another option!

jessie22
19th November 2009, 06:13 AM
Thanks Karen! I will be looking into that! I just have to find where there may be a place for it. :) It sounds just what my Ruby needs. She doesn't know how to swim yet, but I bet she could learn pretty quick. I've seen lots of Cavaliers on youtube swimming like crazy!
Thanks again for the advice, I really really appreciate it!

--Jessie

mellie
19th November 2009, 08:12 AM
My baby girl Bella had bilateral lux patella surgery in July, and at her post op appointment when they took the xray to confirm everything was ok and in the correct position, the surgeon said her hips were not looking very good for her age. (she was 16 months old) and we would have to watch them and if she began having pain or mobility issues we may have to intervene. He said we could manage with meds, and that there was a new surgery done for smaller dogs with hip issues. He said we would get more into that discussion if it became a quality of life issue. Sounds like our babies have that in common! Hopefully your sweet Ruby will continue to have a great life! Bella got the short end of the stick when she was born to a backyard breeder. I am so glad I saved her, she would have been put to sleep if I hadn't. Bless you for saving your girl too! Good luck! But we are the lucky ones, they are precious!:)

-leah-
19th November 2009, 04:36 PM
Hi Jessie,

My Holly also had hip dyspasia and a luxating patella. Her right hip is severely dyplastic and her left patella luxates. The patella isn't causing her any dicscomfort, she gladly allows the vet to exam it without so much as a flinch. The hip however is a different story :(

I won't go into the minor details as it's all in this thread: http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=31260 and here in my new thread: http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=32738

I second the reccommendation for hydrotherapy, it is a must to maintain her muscle mass :thmbsup:

If you have any questions feel free to throw them this way :wggle:

Good luck!:flwr:

harleyfarley
20th November 2009, 02:56 PM
Well, here's the final outcome...

We went to see the specialist yesterday, a very top-notch orthopedic surgeon/neurologist. He had a good look at Ruby and said her knees were just fine and no cause for alarm. That was the good news. The bad news is about her little hips. She has pretty serious hip dysplasia. So, here's what we have to do: No more running, only leash walks. Rimadyl (doggie ibuprofen) everyday, and the walks can be no more than 20 minutes 2 times a day. It's not likely she could be a candidate for hip replacement surgery based on her size (she's no Great Dane after all!) and the odd placement of her hips. (they basically "float" outside of the socket)
So, we are going to be modifying things a bit, but thankfully no signs of SM, or having a poor quality of life.
I love this little dog so much it's unreal. it's hard to imagine not letting her run at the beach when I go out surfing, and going doggie-crazy on a wooded trail. (she's just a baby!) I hope she will not be too depressed. Do any of you have any experience with hip issues? Advice? Words of wisdom? I just want Ruby to have the best life she can. I think I'm giving it to her, but any tips on this new development would be great!
I really love this forum and am so grateful for all the messages so far! Thanks for reading! :)

Jessie and Ruby


hmmm Harley has this just the one hip though, his hip joint is out of its socket and doesnt go in, he has rimadyl daily and 2 20min walks too, he also had the chari malformation and may develop sm later in life.
He went to a specialist in Kent and it was decided that he wasnt in a lot of pain with his hips and could there for prob get by on low dose painkillers but he thought he might have sm. He is doing fine, if we runs and jumps a lot then he does indeed suffer, he doesnt seem to realise that though. di

jessie22
28th January 2010, 12:18 AM
Hello everybody!

I just was thinking of how much everyone here helped me out a couple months ago, and wanted to let you know what's been going on!

Ruby started hydrotherapy in Seattle at the end of November. She's gotten very strong, and after the first 2 sessions, she has not needed any pain medicine!!! Not a yelp, not a cry, just extra energy and happiness! She's acting like a 10 month old doggie should! We still do the two 20 minute walks daily, and though she'd like to run, I still just keep her on her leash as suggested. We play extra ball inside, and that seems to really help the additional energy. :)
She really isn't a fan of swimming unfortunately. Her stress level has gone way down over the several sessions, but by no means is she a water dog! She really enjoys the massage and just about falls asleep in the therapists arms! Then, very happily afterwards, she zooms all around the room drying off in the most adorable cavalier way.
Thanks so much again everyone who wrote to me. It was such a scary time and you all helped so much. I hope all of you are well, and your doggies are happy too.

--Jessie

For any local people who would like to see a site about where Ruby goes to hydrotherapy: www.wellspringsk9.com (http://www.wellspringsk9.com)
--Everyone there is very kind and knowledgeable. :)

Karen and Ruby
28th January 2010, 06:38 PM
Im so sorry your Pup is going through this already. If you opt out of Surgery which doesnt seem to be much of an option due to her size, you could try Hydrotherepy.
Problem is with restricting the excersise at this vital stage of growth is she may end up with worse problems- I dont know Im no vet and someone correct me if Im wrong but she needs strength in her front legs if she wont be using the back as much and restricting her exercise isnt going to help the front legs get any stronger- the beauty of Hydrotherepy is that it is Weightless exersise and it will help build her muscles mass in all 4 legs with out putting any pressure on her joints- its also great exercise!!

We go once a week with our Ruby as she has Lux Patella and it has meant her muscles are stronger than ever and it keeps her fit and healthy too!!

Good luck with Ruby and I hope she comes through all this OK!!!