View Full Version : Dog had luxating patella surgery

28th January 2013, 04:01 AM
Hello... I have never posted on this board but have read alot of posts thru the months.. I have two cavaliers brothers that are about 11 months old. One has shown signs of patella at about 6 months.. its been getting worse and worse thru the months and he never wanted to play.. so I decided to have surgery with a Dr who came highly recommended but he was not an ortho.. He had surgery on both knees

Anyway, Barney had surgery three weeks ago and it has been so hard on me.. Barney has been a trooper. The vet said at his two week check up he was doing well but I fear he is not. He only takes a few steps and then sits down. He walks very funny

I am wondering if anyone else has gone through this recently.. Are my expectations to high that he should be better by now? My vet also said to cut his tramadol in half but I am afraid to do this because I dont know how much pain he is in..

Any input would be greatly apprectiated.


28th January 2013, 11:31 PM
Hi and welcome -- sorry you have been through the mill with this patella surgery! We have a lot of people here whose dogs have had it. Try doing a search on the term -- you should find lots of older threads with all sorts of advice, which might be helpful as well. Strict crate rest tends to be necessary and the hardest part as often the dogs want to do more. I am sure that is part of what you are finding hard! If your vet feels he is doing fine then he likely is. Having surgery on both knees at once is very limiting for the dog and he will need a LOT of recovery time. Keeping him from doing too much will help ensure a good recovery.

I am sure your vet that performed the surgery will be happy to answer questions -- that is typical of aftercare and they know your dog, of course, too. :) I would phone them if you are at all worried.

Here's some good info that might help:

This pdf on rehab for after surgery indicates where a dog should be. At 2 weeks -- it is only just being able to put a bit of weight on the leg! So sounds like your dog is doing fine. Also note that by two weeks they suggest the dog will be reducing painkillers but can be used occasionally if needed. So sounds like you are right where you should be.

Just remember: recovery from patella surgery is sloooooow -- and needs to be, for a good recovery. :thmbsup:


Also this page on the surgery and aftercare gives loads of info: http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/patella.htm. Again -- your dog should only be doing what he is doing right now and yes, it will be 2-3 months before he can use his knee again fairly normally:


Provide analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication as directed by your pet's surgeon
Excessive activity must be limited for about 2 to 3 months
Rehabilitation therapy is very important.


By 10 to 14 days after the surgery, your pet should be touching the toes to the ground at a walk
By 2 to 3 months after surgery your pet should be using the limb well
If your pet does not follow a normal progression of recovery, the surgeon should be notified


Surgery has approximately a 90% success rate. Success is defined as the return of good function of the limb
Unfortunately surgery will not remove the arthritis that may already be present in the knee. As a result, your pet may have some stiffness of the limb in the mornings or after laying down for a nap. In addition, your pet may have some lameness after heavy exercise
By having the surgery done earlier, the chance of developing significant arthritis is decreased
Dogs that have a higher grade of patellar luxation may have increased risk for reluxation of the patella

29th January 2013, 02:48 AM
thank you so much! I am going to read article asap!

29th January 2013, 07:11 PM
hi there. my megan had a luxating patella at 4 years old. She had her operation and she was confined to her soft cage for a long time until we felt sure things were getting better. we carried her outside for wees and poos, and didnt allow her to walk for ages. when she did walk freely she wasnt allowed to do any thing like walking upstairs, and her daily walks were tiny to start with, and slowly built up over a good few months. we also bought lots of anti slip rugs to put in places like the kitchen which has a slippy floor. i think the key to this is dont expect too much too soon, and dont let him do more than necessary. megan of course wanted to do everything straight away lol.

30th January 2013, 03:20 AM
Barney has been really good about not doing much.. doesnt run or jump or anything.. takes some steps and then sits down. Its been about three weeks.. did you do physical therapy with him? I am wonderig if I should be doing anything other than allowing him lots of rest and love

30th January 2013, 03:45 PM
Hi there, no we didn't do pt with her, but I do think it took about eight weeks or so before we felt comfortable enough to let her go for a tiny walk. With it only being one of her legs, I imagine things are different to Barney with both of his legs because he won't have a good one to take some of the strain, but Megan was pretty lame with that one leg, pre-op (always hopping, or crying if it popped out) so we had to have the op done, and in all honesty it was the very best thing we could have done for her. (i am fairly sure we had regular vet visits every so often where they checked it, stretched her leg, moved it around etc., and advised us on what to do and when). After six weeks we went back to the specialist vet in Cheshire for him to check his handiwork, so I know she wasn't very active until he said we could let her be. But my rule of thumb is that if you are worried, or unsure, go straight back to the Vet and ask - believe in your mothers instinct.

31st January 2013, 07:17 AM
Hi, My girl Duses had this surgery almost a year a go on lelf leg only. I also was planning spaying her and she had patella and spaying surgrey at the same time. We did not have any problem with spaying but still i watch her very closely for her knee. we did not use any pain killer to be honest as i thought she could feel fine and make unwanted moves. She didnt look in pain, at least there was no yelping or screaming...We let her rest in her cage and go potty on the leash. No stairs, no jumping, no running till our vet let her run. Also, we tried hydrotherapy at home by fulling bath tub. If you have a facility close to you you can try it, of course ask your vet before! Duses is not limping like 5-6 months but sometimes when she gets tired she limps a bit and then turns normal walking. As i said still watch her closely, for instance, if we meet a big excited dog i dont let her to play with him to avoid rough moves. Another thing, i gave her after surgery Glucosamine supp. to help recovering. i recommend you this link (home rehab guıide) to look, might be helpful...love...


Brian M
31st January 2013, 08:15 AM
Hi Dusekiz

And hello ,just to say I have seen many of your posts in other places so nice to see you here and can we have some pics pls .

31st January 2013, 08:22 AM
Hi Brian, photos are coming ;)

31st January 2013, 05:02 PM
Aww poor Barney! Hope he feels better soon. My cavalier Charlie also has a luxating patella. He will be turning 1 in a few weeks. I'm surprised he had the surgery at such a young age. It must have been really bad then? Our doc said it was just slight and he wouldn't need surgery for a few years.

1st February 2013, 03:48 AM
thank you everyone,, you are all awesome. yes Barney had it very young, just under one year.. but his knee was slipping constantly and I just could not bear it any longer.. surgery was inevitable and since he is pretty much full grown, Dr said it was fine.

His spirits are good today.. he is always smiling and wagging his tail. I took him on his leash today and walked him around my house. He basically scurries around and then sits after a few minutes... since today has been four weeks since surgery, I just have to give it some time and realize he is going to limp for awhile.. I am a worry wort for the most part

Thanks again for all your support