View Full Version : Very hard going

6th January 2006, 11:28 AM
I am finding it extremely difficult so see my girl in pain with her knees. As i told you she was recently diagnosed with luxating patellas. She is only 1 years old and she cannot bound around like she should be. Either she walks around not bending her knees or she limps trying to hold one or the other back leg up. I have a weeks supply of painkillers but what do I do when they are gone. I cant keep pumping her with them long term. Im heartbroken over her :cry:

Has anyone in Ireland had a dog with her condition and had surgery? How did it go? My vet is adament about not operating but i feel she cannot continue on the ways she is. He did not tell me what grade she has but from my untrained eye they look really bad. She now avoids walking up the stairs and is visibly in pain when jumping off the couch.

How long is the recovery time and should I even be considering it?

6th January 2006, 11:44 AM
ah sorry to hear this.... it is hard to see any of our friends in pain, my Max is said to ahve this [but then what doesnt he have!] but it has only just started and i had no idea it could get so bad.

he doesnt limp yet but he sits funny an the knee can do funny things.

i hope the operation works, as you say you cant keep feeding her pills

6th January 2006, 01:36 PM
Found this on one of the sites, may be worth doing a varied search....


What is a luxating patella?

The patella, or knee cap, should be located in the center of the knee joint. The term "luxating" means out of place or dislocated. Therefore, a luxating patella is a knee cap that moves out of its normal location.

What causes this to occur?

The muscles of the thigh attach directly or indirectly to the top of the knee cap. There is a ligament, called the patellar ligament, which runs from the bottom of the knee cap to a point on the tibia (shin bone) just below the knee joint. When the thigh muscles contract, the force is transmitted through the patella and through the patellar ligament and results in extension (straightening) of the knee joint. The patella stays in the center of the leg because the point of attachment of the patellar ligament is on the midline and because the patella slides in a groove on the lower end of the femur (the thigh bone).

The patella luxates because the point of attachment of the patellar ligament is not on the midline of the tibia. It is almost always located too far medial (toward the middle of the body). As the thigh muscles contract, the force is pulled against the groove on the inner side of the femur. After several months or years of this abnormal movement, the inner side of the groove wears down and the patella is free to move out of the groove or dislocate. When this occurs, the dog has difficulty bearing weight on the leg. It may learn how to kick the leg and snap the patella back into its normal location. However, because the side of the groove is gone, it dislocates again easily.

Does a luxating patella cause any long-term problems for my dog?

Some dogs can tolerate this problem for many years, some for all of their lives. Since the joint surfaces are very slick and bathed in a slippery joint fluid, there is usually little or no discomfort early in the process. However, this abnormality predisposes the knee to other injuries, especially torn cruciate ligaments. Also, with advancing age, the joint may become arthritic and painful. The bones may actually curve in response to the abnormal location of the kneecap..

Can a luxating patella be corrected?

Surgery should be performed if your dog has a persistent lameness or if other knee injuries occur secondary to the luxation.

The methods used for surgical repair depend on how far the process has gone before intervention. Surgical repair may include any or all of the following:

1) The point of attachment of the patellar ligament is cut from the tibia and transplanted to its proper location to correct the in correct alignment.
2) The groove in the femur is deepened so the patella will stay in place.
3) The capsule around the joint is tightened. This last step is important because the joint capsule will have stretched during the period of luxation.
If the surgery is performed before arthritis occurs, the prognosis is excellent. Your dog should regain full use of its leg. However, if arthritis has already occurred, the joint will still be somewhat painful, especially in cold weather.

6th January 2006, 01:41 PM
Hi Edel,
I'm really sorry to hear about this - it must be heartbreaking for you. If I were you I would get a second opinion. I have read that surgery does inprove the condition and lets face it she has to be able to get around. Maybe Karlin would be able to offer some advice but I think a second opinion is definitely the way to go.
Beat of luck,

6th January 2006, 02:05 PM
that ties in with Max then as he has a muscle desiese so should be par for the course

Cathy T
6th January 2006, 03:50 PM
Hi Edel - I posted on the "other" board as well. We had the surgery done on Shelby's left knee when she was a year old. She was a grade 2 progressing to a grade 3 after 6 months of exercise and glycoflex. We were not successful through the first surgery and had to have it redone (very unusual!) but all is well now. Shelby turned 2 in October and is doing wonderfully! I would get a 2nd opinion. We met with our vet and then met with a surgeon who recommended the surgery. Turns out she did surgery on Jake's mouth for cancer 3 weeks later :shock: . Both of them are doing great over a year later.

7th January 2006, 06:09 PM
Edel, I would definitely get another opinion - preferably from a vet with experience in orthopaedics.

Peaches has luxating patella in both knees- one was so badly deformed that the knee cap was running along the INSIDE of her leg.

She hasd surgery on that one 10 months ago - Cathy was brilliant and very supportive (((hugs))) and got me through it!! Peaches' knee is brillliant, very stable now - it's all her other problems that are giving us heartache :(

7th January 2006, 06:39 PM
Edel, this is who you should go see:

Tom Farrington
he's in Rosscarbarry
023 48811...

My friend notes: "there is a bit of leg work by the owner to be done first (as in fill out reports and such) about the pet before tom will see them."

So I'd give a call and see what he says. I'd also try your best to not allow her to jump off the couch or beds -- put a steps there or keep her under your control so she can't jump. icon_thumbsup Let me know how you get on. Tom is very well known among a lot of the animal rescue crowd and a much trusted and caring vet. It is worth making the drive to see him if you can.

Cathy T
8th January 2006, 01:02 AM
She hasd surgery on that one 10 months ago - Cathy was brilliant and very supportive (((hugs))) and got me through it!! Peaches' knee is brillliant, very stable now - it's all her other problems that are giving us heartache :(

Thanks so much for that!! I just love Peaches to death and am so glad I was able to be of help. This surgery seems so scary but really isn't if it's done by an experienced surgeon.

12th January 2006, 02:44 PM
Molly had to have both of her knees done, about two months apart. She recovered very quickly, and now, almost two years post op, she is just perfect. She was about a year old at the time of her second surgery.

I agree with those who suggest another opinion. I just could not bear to see my baby in pain.

12th January 2006, 03:58 PM

I rang Tom Farrington and have set up an appointment for January 28th with him.

Hopefully he will help me sort her out :)

12th January 2006, 04:42 PM
That's great Edel, let me know what you think and what he says. Fingers crossed!

17th January 2006, 12:37 PM
Zola was diagnosed with having luxating patella and was immediately reccommended for surgery. Our vet is in the Vet centre in Clontarf. Apart from the obvious pain she was in, what really swung it for me was the vet saying the longer she went without surgery, the more it would worsen arthritis for her in her knees in years to come. She had her first one done in November and is due to go in for her second one in the next couple of weeks. She was operated in the vet hospital out in UCD and they were just wonderful. She was in for 4 days and the vet rang each night to let us know how she was getting on (it appears she was hogging all the attention the whole time she was there!)
Her recovery rate was surprisingly quick although stairs and jumping up and down from couches are still a no-no (although try telling that to Zola. It's like she's saying "it's ok, I can do it now!")
In short, it used to break my heart every time Zola's knee would "go" and she came hobbling over to one of us, looking to tuck her head into us for comfort. Now, you can see her recovering day by day, telling those cats that they better watch out!

Cathy T
17th January 2006, 03:26 PM
Apart from the obvious pain she was in, what really swung it for me was the vet saying the longer she went without surgery, the more it would worsen arthritis for her in her knees in years to come.

That's what swung it for me as well. I couldn't stand the thought of seeing my baby in pain in her old age from something I could have fixed. So, we got the surgery done and couldn't be happier with the results. It's been over a year and she is as good as new. She gets her annual exam in another month or so and I'm curious what my vet will say about her knees. I haven't noticed any problems with her right knee so I'm hopeful.