View Full Version : Peaches' patella surgery...

15th March 2005, 01:57 PM
Further to Cathy's photos of Shelby - thanks for posting those :D - I thought I'd tell you about Peaches' imminent surgery:

Peaches is the Tricolour in the avatar picture - she is 6 1/2, and is on her third home - although I know her original breeder and know much of her background.

We discovered last year that Peaches has luxating patellas {both sides} and hip dysplasia. We were concerned that she may need surgery, but have been managing her with complementary medicine. Over the last couple of months, she hasn't seemed as comfortable - not wanting to run, jump etc. {Peaches does not have any clinical signs of Syringomyelia, and we do not suspect this at all}

Last week we went down to the vet at Inverness - 1 1/2 hours drive - as our local vet does not do this type of surgery. {They deal with mainly farm animals and some pets, but not many Cavaliers or toy breeds!}

We suspected that she would need the surgery, but were disappointed to have it confirmed.

The first surgery will be on the right knee - that leg is slightly shorter than the other one where she is holding it awkwardly, which is also affecting her back and hips. Probably she will need surgery on the other knee too - once the first one settles.

The vet is talking about both deepening the groove for the patella to ride in, and transplanting the tibial crest and pinning it into position {so that the ligament would be in the correct place}.

If Peaches does have both procedures, she will have to stay in for most of the week - mainly as we are so far away, the vet wants to make sure the pins settle ok. We have booked her in for 21st March, she will have x-rays and then will go on to surgery.

It is a fantastic practice - we really liked the receptionist and the vet. They are very understanding about the distance we are travelling - normally you would go back for x-rays, and then again for surgery.

Peaches will need to be cage rested for about 8 weeks following surgery - poor little soul. :(

Please think of Peaches on the 21st and afterwards, and of Rupert, as he will miss his companion. Thank you.

Cathy T
15th March 2005, 03:09 PM
Nicki - Shelby especially sends loving puppy kisses to Peaches. She says to tell her that everything will be okay.

It makes such a difference to have someone doing the surgery that you trust so much. That's how I've felt with both of Shelby's knee surgeries and Jake's cancer surgery. We absolutely love our surgeon. Such a wonderful caring and up to date doctor. We'll continue to use our regular vet for run of the mill stuff but if we ever (knock on wood) have a serious problem we are back out to the surgeon.

Good luck and we'll definitely keep her in our thoughts.

16th March 2005, 10:34 AM
Nikki- Just read your post about peaches. You must be really worried at the moment. It sounds like she will be well looked after having her op next week, and I'm sure she will be spoilt rotten with love and attention when you bring her home.

Good luck for the 21st.

Thinking of you.

21st March 2005, 03:22 PM
Just to let you all know that Peaches came through her op ok!!! She is awake and the vets are pleased with her. I will find out exactly what they have done tomorrow, and hopefully Peaches will come home by Thursday.

Thank you all for the good wishes, thoughts and prayers

21st March 2005, 03:25 PM
Wonderful!!!! Thank you so much for keeping us updated. I hope she's feeling better soon!!!

Rory sends lots of puppy kisses!

-rory's moom

Cathy T
21st March 2005, 03:28 PM
Great news Nicki. Excellent. I'm sure she'll be fine. Keep us posted.

21st March 2005, 05:35 PM
:D That's great news -- she must have been in early today? You'll have to post a picture so we can compare the patella casts! It makes such a difference when you have such a supportive vet practice that will try to work around comnplications like travel distances etc.

21st March 2005, 08:31 PM
Wonderful news Nicki, those positive thoughts and prayers do work, I can testify to that with my Ellie bless her. :) So pleased to hear she is awake and fine and no doubt will be missing you and your hubby and Rupert too.

You must be so exhausted with all the worry, try and chill out with a nice bath with lavender and camomile. Looking forward to hearing that Princess Peaches will be home safe and sound with you all tomorrow! icon_thumbsup

Laurie Moon
22nd March 2005, 02:16 AM
Niki....I am very glad that all is well with your baby....Chloe and Katie sends puppy kisses....and puppy prayers !

22nd March 2005, 09:18 AM
Nicki- glad to hear the op is over for peaches.

Keep us updated please with her progress.

23rd March 2005, 02:27 PM
Thanks for all the good wishes and positive thoughts, they are much appreciated and I know they are working - Peaches is eating, bright and happy, enjoying little walks in the yard at the vets. They are really pleased with her progress, and we are hoping to pick her up on Friday. The staff at the vets have fallen in love with her, and it sounds like she is getting lots of attention and cuddles - she won't want to come home!! :D

That was the good news - the bad news is what the vet found when they x-rayed and operated. :shock:

Firstly Peaches has hip dysplasia - graded moderate. They don't usually operate on small dogs once they are adult - Peaches is 6 1/2. The vet thinks that once her knee is healed, she will be more comfortable, and may just have to have anti-inflammatory drugs for her hips. Basically she will develop early arthritis, which we will have to manage.

Secondly the knee joint was much worse than anticipated. The patella should run in a groove with ridges either side. The groove was virtually non-existent, and one ridge was missing; the other was present but small. The vet has created a groove for the patella, and has carried out a tibial crest transplant – which involves moving the piece of bone the ligament attaches too, and wiring it into position. This should encourage the patella to ride in the correct direction.

The surgery went well, and hopefully no further operations will be required on that knee, unless the wires cause discomfort – however the operation to remove those is quite straightforward.

This is the most extreme surgery they carry out on patellas, and the vet wants to make sure everything has settled and that there are no signs of infection before Peaches comes home.

We are not sure yet about the other knee – she may need surgery for that too.

The vet described the whole of her rear end as a “disaster” – these problems are both hereditary and congenital.

Please can I urge you that if you are thinking of breeding from your Cavalier, you ask the vets to check the patellas – and if possible, have the hips x-rayed and scored. I wouldn’t want other Cavaliers to go through what poor Peaches is going through.

I’m sorry for not posting sooner – I was rather upset by the news. :( I will let you know when Peaches comes home and post a photo.

Karlin, yes we did have a bit of an early start - had to leave home before 7.30am, to get to the vets for 9am. I think Peaches was first on the vets list!


24th March 2005, 12:18 AM
Princess Peaches is lovely.I'm glad she had a successful surgery and I'm sad about her hips. I'm sure you've tried glucosamine...my dog had better results than I did. I had 2 dogs that had double patella surgery. 1 was a humane society mutt, 1 was a Lhasa. I was told this is such a common problem with small dogs...small knees. While it's so important to breed dogs without the problem, it can sometimes just happen. Even in humans. I am the only one in my family with congenital hip dysplasia.

24th March 2005, 01:50 PM
Good to hear that Peaches surgery went well. Sorry to hear of the status of her hind end. Hopefully with antiinflammatory meds when needed her life will be long and comfortable. She certainly is a beauty.

Cathy T
24th March 2005, 03:57 PM
Poor little Peaches. That knee sounded awful. Shelby just required a slight deepening of the groove. Gosh, to have to groove and very little ridge, makes for a very intensive surgery. Glad to hear she is doing so well though. I'm glad you were able to leave her there for recovery. But, I know you'll be thrilled to have her home. Please give her puppy kisses from Jake and Shelby, she's such a pretty and brave girl.

25th March 2005, 05:49 PM
Hope Princess Peaches is happily home again. No doubt she's relaxing after the long car ride and the excitement of seeing Rupert again.

Bet he wasn't the only one who's delighted that she's back in the fold.
Lots of special treats & hugs.

26th March 2005, 06:17 PM
Thanks for all the good wishes - Peaches is home!! icon_banana

We collected her late yesterday afternoon, she was delighted to see us, and Rupert was so excited to see her, it was lovely. :D

The vet was brilliant, he had found a model of the knee, showing the bones and ligaments, and used this to explain exactly what he had done. Basically the patella was riding along the inside of the knee rather than the front, due to the degree of deformity. The amazing thing was that she could still run and jump!!

He also showed me the x-rays of her hips, and explained those.

The vet was surprised that Peaches wasn't in as much pain post-operatively as he would have expected - I had sent in some homoeopathy for her, which they've been giving her, have had friends sending Reiki and our forum friends have been sending lots of positive thoughts - thank you all, I'm sure it's helped.

We are not sure yet about the other knee – she may need surgery for that too. We will take Peaches back for a 6 month check up in September, and will discuss that then.

We are very upset at the findings, but grateful that Peaches is doing well, and were so pleased to bring her home.

I've been in contact with my homoeopathic supplier, and there are a lot of things we can try, so hopefully won't have to resort to conventional medicine! Peaches has been on a homoeopathic combination to prevent arthritis {for the last 14 months}, and there are no signs of arthritic changes in the hips yet. This includes Glucosamine.

***Nancy, I was sorry to hear about your hips – hope you don’t have too much pain.

We had rather a rough night – Peaches settled in her crate next to the bed, but I woke up every time she moved. Then she wanted to go out about 5 am, I took her out but she only wanted to eat grass. She came back in, and vomited on the hall carpet, so I had to clean that up! Poor wee soul, she had a slightly loose tummy this morning too, and the straining hurt her knee. She is much better this afternoon fortunately.

Special hugs for Shelby, and thank you for sharing her story and photos, they really helped. Peaches is sulking as she hasn’t got a pink bandage! The aftercare seems to be slightly different here?

MB, it’s lovely to see you on here – special hugs for all the gang.

Sorry for not posting sooner, it’s been a hectic 24 hours!

Peaches sends you all love and kisses, for thinking of her and helping us through this traumatic time.


PS Peaches has got a "lampshade" - which she hates :( , so when we are supervising her, we take it off.

26th March 2005, 06:28 PM
It's so good to hear that Peaches is home. Hopefully, you'll both have a more comfortable night.

{{{ Hugs }}}

26th March 2005, 07:17 PM
Ahhhh, look at Peaches. She doesn't look too pleased at the moment but still very relaxed, all things considered for what she's been through. Plus at least that cone isn't on my head, I'm sure she's thinking! :) Hope she heals quickly now and can be up and about and her old self before long.

26th March 2005, 09:19 PM
Oh Peaches you dont look too happy, I dont blame you though. Make sure you take it easy.

I bet Rupert isnt letting her out of his site, they would of missed each other like mad.

Hope Peaches is feeling better and on her feet soon.

Hugs to Rupert and Peaches

Cathy T
26th March 2005, 09:43 PM
So glad Peaches is home. I've found that aftercare definitely varies by case. We also had the cone for Shelby but only put it on when we couldn't supervise her.

Hugs and kisses and well wishes from Jake and Shelby.

26th March 2005, 11:09 PM
By the way her stitches look very neat and clean!! :)

26th March 2005, 11:51 PM
Oh poor Peaches...gentle hugs and positive thoughts coming your way for a speedy recovery.

28th March 2005, 07:27 PM
Thanks everyone. Peaches is brighter today, much more interested in food too :D not that she lost her appetite at all icon_banana

She sends you all love and kisses, and is very pleased to be home.

She flatly refused to sleep in the crate, so we've resorted to converting our bed into a giant cage, by putting puppy panels all around it 8) The things we do for these doglets :D

Cathy T
28th March 2005, 08:50 PM
She flatly refused to sleep in the crate, so we've resorted to converting our bed into a giant cage, by putting puppy panels all around it 8) The things we do for these doglets :D

But I doubt that anyone would argue with you that they are worth it!! :) When my friend's cairn terrier had patella surgery she slept with him on the couch for I don't know how many nights!!

29th March 2005, 05:08 PM
:lol: :lol: This is Peaches' way of making sure you appreciate all SHE has gone through!!!

29th March 2005, 07:44 PM
That's great news that Princess Peaches is on the mend.

With everthing she has just been through I'm sure she is loving every moment of you giving into her every whim. You just enjoy it girl after all you are a princess! :D

23rd April 2005, 11:50 AM
Yesterday we went to the vets for Peaches' one month post-op check...the vet was VERY pleased with her progress icon_banana

She has been trying to run and jump. so we knew she was feeling better, but it was wonderful to have it confirmed!!

Peaches was very good when the vet manipulated her leg - he was surprised at the range of movement, and she didn't even wince! He also walked her outside, and was very pleased. Peaches has some muscle wasting on that leg, which will recover as she uses it more, she is swaying a bit as she walks, but is using the leg well.

The great news is that she can walk further now, she's allowed out in garden on her own, but is to avoid anthing that may cause her to twist, such as ball games etc.

We are so pleased, we have one much happier little dog :D

Thank you for all the good wishes and positive thoughts, together with the homoeopathic remedies {she has also been on two to help knit the bone together, which have really worked!} and Reiki, this has given Peaches a brilliant recovery, much quicker than we anticipated.

We are going back again in September, and may make a decision then about her left leg - which is also affected.

Peaches sends you all love and kisses.

The only bad news is that her heart murmur is getting worse - she was diagnosed with a grade 2 in December 2003, it then went down to a 1, but is "worse than a 2 now" :( The vet said not to be too concerned about the grade, it's more relevant to watch out for clinical symptoms - such a s coughing, reluctance to exercise etc.

He does however expect that between the ages of 8 and 10, Peaches will start to show clinical signs, and will need to go onto medication {based on his experience of MVD}. Fortunatley the medication available is very good, and she could still have many years of quality life.

Thank you again for all your suppport - especially Cathy - it would have been much harder going through this experience without you all.

Cathy T
23rd April 2005, 03:42 PM
Nicki - All in all, great news. The heart thing is bothersome but doesn't sound dire. Do be careful with her being loose. That was something my vet warned about was twisting the knee. No wild running for another month, okay?!

It's such a wonderful day when they get full freedom. Shelby acted like she had never been contained in the first place. Everything fell right back into place.

Shelby also had some muscle loss after the first surgery and unfortunately after the 2nd surgery it was even worse. But now!! Right back to whee she should be. That was the reason we opted for water therapy.

Great news!!


24th April 2005, 10:23 AM
Thanks Cathy - it's great that Shelby is doing so well now, really encouraging.

I've told Peaches "no wild parties" icon_banana icon_yikes and no pretending she's a greyhound!!! :D

Actually she's being pretty good, in between times she goes into the cage on the floor quite happily - which is better, 'cos if she's out she tries to jump up on the furniture. :shock:

We're keeping an eye on her in the garden, if she's overdoing it then I will put her back on the lead.

I wish we had a hydrotherapy pool near us - I think there's only one in Scotland icon_yikes

That's the disadvantage of living here, you don't get many "unusual" facilities :( When I win on the Premium Bonds, I will pay to have one built... icon_whistling

It's still a bit cold at the moment for swimming in the sea - and a bit dogdy for such a little dog. I did suggest putting her in the bath, but the vet didn't think it would help really :oops:

Edited to say: this is the Canine Hydrotherapy Association poolfinder for the UK


24th April 2005, 10:59 AM
This site has pools in the USA and some other countries too:


Still none near us though :(

Cathy T
24th April 2005, 03:49 PM
We used the water therapy as a last resort. Because she did so poorly the first time through I was desperate enough to try anything! If she has the 2nd knee done we won't do water therapy unless absolutely necessary (it's very expensive to pay for this on top of the surgery!)

25th April 2005, 11:24 AM
I'm pleased to hear Peaches has made a good recovery from her knee surgery. I'm sure she must still have to take it easy for a while but has all those lovely long walks to look forward to soon. :D :D