View Full Version : slipping patellas in both legs in my puppy

18th March 2013, 03:15 PM
Hi I have recently joined as I am looking for information on the treatment of slipping patellas. I had arranged for my ruby pup Ailsa, to go for her pre-op, prior to being spayed. While the vet was checking her over, I mentioned that she had lifted her right leg in the air a couple of times,while scampering about the garden. He felt her knee cap and said he could feel it moving and it was a slipping patella. He said to wait till her bones had "hardened" probably at about 1 year old and then they would correct it surgically. Unfortunately, a few weeks after her spay, her left leg started to pop out and this seems to be much worse than the right one.I think too much strain had been put on it by her right leg being affected.I went back and saw the senior vet 3 weeks ago,and he has recommended an operation to correct this. He said they would do it one leg at a time, but I would prefer to have them both done at the same time. I know the convalescent period is a trial, and I would have to crate her for the first few weeks,but i feel it would be better than having to go through it all again shortly afterwards.He has put her on metacam,but some days she is limping so badly that she gets stuck halfway up the stairs,as her back legs are not strong enough to give her the purchase she needs to get to the top.I am really stressed by this,as she is such a bright lively little dog and , it breaks my heart to see her struggling. Her leg sometimes just gives way, and she has to sit down. It's worse when we have visitors and she is so excited to see them,but can't get up to greet them as she keeps popping her leg out She can't go on like this.and neither can I
.I am really on here for some reassurance and advice from anyone else who may have had this problem ,with both legs being affected at the same time.My vet assured me they could do the operation in their surgery,but that's as far as we got in discussing it.
She is now 10 months old, so I dont know if I will have to wait till she is older. Hope not
Yours Jean B

19th March 2013, 03:36 PM
Hi Jean, welcome to the forum.
I'm really sorry to read about Ailsa's patella problems. I have no personal experience of this issue with my two, so can't offer you much advice, but lots of members have been through the op with their cavaliers, so hopefully they will see your post and give you some support and reassurance. I know from reading about this in the past that the recovery time can be tough going - from a keeping your dog quiet and not too bored perspective, but I think generally the operations all tend to go well.

19th March 2013, 03:52 PM
so sorry to read about your new baby i have not had any problems with my cavaliers
i love the name you have chose for her ailsa
sending ailsa kisses and cuddles from louie and his mum

19th March 2013, 04:38 PM
Our Bentley had this surgery done when he was exactly one year old. His knee would "go out" and he would yelp with pain as if he had been hit by a car! At the time of the first surgery we were also in the midst of our daughter's approaching death and it was quite stressful all around. He did wonderfully with the surgery but, agreed, the post-op is hard. We were unable to put him in his crate because the "cone" (I call it) around his neck wouldn't go through the door. That's when he started sleeping in his bed at night rather than the crate and, in fact, never used the crate again at all. We were told that his other leg would need surgery but it has been over 15 months and there are no symptoms. If they'd do both at once it would be nice for you. I hope you can get this accomplished so you just have to have one recovery period.

19th March 2013, 04:56 PM
Hi Jean,

Welcome and sorry to hear about poor Ailsa. I don't have advice but Lady had a patella problem when she was younger that she seems to have grown out of. Unfortunately with Ailsa it seems to be worsening and I hope that it can be corrected with surgery - and that recovery is not too difficult for you both.

Lady used to regularly jump and yelp and favor one of her back legs. She used to do this every couple days to every few weeks and now I have not seen her do it in months. They vet examined her but as it did not seem too serious we are just now waiting to see if it progresses. I am going to have the vet re-grade her patella at her check-up in June.

I know how difficult it can be to get a happy puppy to not jump around. Let us know how everything goes :flwr:

19th March 2013, 06:30 PM
I have never had a cavalier with this problem however, my parents own a small mixed breed dog that had this problem as a puppy. It was both back legs too. They like you opted to do surgery on both legs at the same time.............recovery was hard!!!!! But this puppy weighted like 6 lbs so carrying him around was no problem, helping him potty was awful the first few days, I cannot tell you how many times my Mother was peed on :grnyuk: but we do what we have to do right?!?!

In the mean time, Ailsa should NOT be walking up and down stairs or jumping in anyway. I might even try to limit her walking some too. Lap rest/ crate rest. Personally, I understand waiting until she is closer to full grown but if she's in pain now I would have a hard time with it too. My Mother pretty much refused to wait until their little dog was full grown, he was in pain...had surgery at 8 months I think.

Today he is 4 years old and you would never know. He runs all over and it a pretty happy dog, to date he has had no farther problems.

murphy's mum
19th March 2013, 07:08 PM
Hi, and welcome to the forum, sorry it's under these circumstances.

I can't help, my two have thankfully never had this problem. I'd suggest having a browse through the Health & Diet part of the forum until someone who has been through this see's your thread here :)

20th March 2013, 03:45 PM
When my cavvie was 9-12 months (3 years old this month) she had exactly the same symptom. I noticed it when walking her after a snowstorm. At first I simply thought it could be the size of the drifts. I kept an eye on her and took her to our vet. She examined the right leg and determined the patella was out. She reset it and mentioned how hard it popped back in. She recommended a surgical consult - as a precaution. That person watched our little one walk and stated she didn't need the surgery. You may want to ask your vet what it felt like to set the patella now that the growing he mentioned may have occurred. I can tell you that the surgeon recommend both being done because, in his worse, "She will likely cause damage to the other knee due to the added strain by compensating with the other leg heals." Not certain I buy into that. As an FYI, in my location (upstate/western NY) the surgical fee was quoted at $5k per leg - hence, $10K. While my life isn't worth $10k I would have done it for her - something I think everyone here understands. Oh, and after our vet reset it, this never happend again. I wish you the best and hope your little one doesn't have to wear the party hat (cone).

21st March 2013, 12:33 AM
Are you kidding me, Badge511, $5,000 per leg? We went to the best available in SW Mo and it was $850.

21st March 2013, 07:56 PM
Are you kidding me, Badge511, $5,000 per leg? We went to the best available in SW Mo and it was $850.

Trust me - while in shock at the time - I remember the quote well! Were she to need it, looks I could save money, vacation in MO & have her surgery. Kind of like Americans flying to India and/or Thailand to save money on surgery.

23rd March 2013, 10:01 PM
thank you to everyone who replied. She doesnt seem to be in any pain when she is limping,maybe because she is on a daily dose of metacam. Sometimes she just sits down as it seem to collapse,and she also sometimes freezes half way up the stairs when her legs cant propel her to the top. The left one is the worst,even though it was the right one that she started lifting up first. She seems to hold it out straight behind her,does this sound like her patella?.We have had a lot of snow here this week and she runs about in it,like any puppy would,but limping her way along. I feel like crying for her ,but my husband and family keep saying she isnt in any pain or she would be yelping.I wish I could wave a magic wand and have her legs back to normal.I have covered the wooden floor in the kitchen with rubber backed mats so she doesn't skid,and we are trying to keep her weight down,as the vet said that might help. We can't avoid stairs as we live in a town house with 3 flights of them.

Lindylou, we picked the name Ailsa,as our older cavalier is called Skye and we thought another Scottish island name would be nice. We used to see Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde, from the window of my friends caravan when we went away for a few days,and thought that suited her.
Thanks once again to everyone who took the time to reply,and I will let you know how she is. I will just have to buy a big crate and anything else she needs,and I will sleep in the livingroom with her,as it has the access out to the garden ,and she wont need to go up stairs at all