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Thread: Question about subluxating patella

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Question about subluxating patella

    Last night Ruby slipped on our hardwood floor while chasing a toy, and starting screaming and limping on her right hind leg. After a few minutes, she seemed like she was okay and was walking around without limping. I worked today, and my dog walker said she was fine. She was also fine when my husband got home from work. However, when I got home, Ruby got really excited and jumped up on me. Apparently she landed wrong or something because she started crying and limping again. My vet is open until 8 on Thurs., and it was 7:40, so we called them and they were so wonderful to let us come in instead of having to go to the emergency vet. When the vet examined her leg, he found that her patella was out of place and reduced it. He said that once the patella starts slipping out, it's easier for it to keep doing it and may require surgery. Just wanted to get some advice on it and what to expect if we have to do it. She's much better after having it reduced, but it's obvious that it's still pretty sore. (I mean, I would expect it to be, poor baby!!) Any advice would be appreciated! I just was so freaked out last night and was afraid it would be something like this.
    Jessica, mom to Ruby, 1 yr. old blenheim

  2. #2
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    Hi
    My dog Lucie did the exact same thing on our flooring and for months her knee cap came in and out.But we cage rested her,never let her off lead, didnt let her jump, go up and down stairs or on/off sofa and it stopped sliding out as frequently.
    My vet mentioned surgery but said only if she was in pain and it was happening constantly.
    Thats was nearly a year ago.... and its not really flared up since.When she is off lead in the park and we see her bunny hop instead of run then she is rested with only short walks and within a couple of days or so it is fine.
    My vet is a stones throw away from my house but she showed me how to pop her knee cap back in and how to check it was ok....although i have never had to do it myself as most of the time it goes back itself or my vet was open.
    Im sure Lucie was given anti-inflammatorys or steroids for it.....am not too sure which but she def got some meds.
    Leesa
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    Lucie (Blenhiem) 8th Feb 2006
    Sasha(blk n tan) 19th May 2008

  3. #3
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    Did your vet tell you what 'grade' her luxating patella is? I'm thinking it may be beyond a grade 3, because it doesn't easily slip back into place by itself. I researched this a few years ago when India injured her knee, and when the luxation was nearing a grade 3 we opted for surgery - she was still very young.

    A luxating patella can cause arthritis in the knee at a young age, and the arthritis cannot be repaired. Also, as the patella moves, it can wear the bone, so the groove that holds it in place becomes flattened. The surgeon may need to deepen the groove in the leg bone if it is worn (that's what Inia's surgeon did.)

    After finding this information about knee damage, we got India knee surgery when she was young, and she has been a normal dog since, running fast and playing rough with Geordie, etc. The recovery period seems to take forever, but when it's over it's easily forgotten.

    It is best to find a surgeon who has performed this surgery many times with good outcomes. Our surgeon was not a board certified orthopedic surgeon, but he performs all of the orthopedic surgery for a large and busy practice, and I'd trust him to do it again.

    Good luck, there are many members who have been down this road who have lots of advice if asked!
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

  4. #4
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    i had a poodle that had luxating patellas and I opted NOT to do surgery and regretted it. It does get worse as they get older. She walked completely bow-legged at around 10 years and had to be on pain meds. By the time it escalated, it was too late.

    If your dog is showing signs this early, I would start interviewing surgeons and start saving your money. I hear they are about 1000 per knee but I don't know that for sure. Early surgery, I think, would make her older adult life much more comfortable. Good luck, I'm sorry this is happening to your baby.
    Trisha in Southwest Florida
    Cavaliers: Casey, Ollie, & Winston and usually a foster or two! Cats: Pebbles & Benson

  5. #5
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    Surgery depends on the grade of luxation. Surgery is not recommened on a grade II but is recommened above that. Shelby was a grade II at 6 months and by the time she was a year it was edging towards a III. We did the surgery at a year old. Unfortunately the surgery did not hold, we repeated the surgery, did not hold again and her knee is back to a III. We have no surgery options at this point and are relying on supplments, etc to ward off early onset arthritis. That was the reason we did the surgery in the first place....the increased likelihood of severe arthritis as she aged.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  6. #6
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    I don't recall him saying what grade it was, but it was all a bit of a blur because I was upset and felt so bad for Ruby. I thought they started showing signs of this really early on at like 6 months or something, and she's over a year and half old. I did a little research myself on it, and I thought she sounded more like a grade II, but then again I don't know much about it. She apparently popped it right back in the first time she did it. And the vet didn't really have a problem putting it back in. The issue was getting her to be still enough for him to safely do it. She's been fine since he worked on her the other night. We're just making her take it easy and not run on the hardwood quite so much. We're just going to have to really discuss it. The money isn't a problem because her insurance will cover 90% of it, and he said it would cost a total of about $1200. I just want her to be okay!! This is frustrating because I don't know what to do. I mean, I would hate to put her through a surgery that she didn't necessarily need, especially if this was just some freak accident that happened and she got all better. But then again I don't want it to become a bigger problem. He's not my usual vet, so I may go up there sometime this week and try to talk to my vet and see what he thinks.
    Jessica, mom to Ruby, 1 yr. old blenheim

  7. #7
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    I know exactly what you mean when you describe being in a blur. That happens to me without fail when a vet tells me bad news.

    This could be due to an injury and not necessarily genetics - the vet won't know until going into the knee (if surgery is needed.)
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

  8. #8
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    I would consider having her checked by an orthopedic specialist. I would think an orthopedist would be able to tell pretty easily whether this is injury related and a short term issue or an actual problem, and grade the knee and give a prognosis. The thing is, she is young and you'd have a decent window in which to make a decision anyway.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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