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Patellar Luxation - Surgery or no surgery?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Member Since
06/11/2012
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 11, '12 11:25pm PST 
Anyone with any experience with patellar luxation, please, please help!

I've been getting so many different opinions from veterinarians on whether or not my chihuahua should get surgery for his patellar luxation.

He's 1 year and 9 months old. He's a deerhead chihuahua. He's 11 lbs (not overweight at all, very skinny, just very tall). He first started showing signs of luxating patellas in his back legs when he was very young, probably around 7 months old. He's been at Grade 2 for a long time up until recently. His left back leg seems to be at Grade 3 now (since a few days ago). He won't put any weight on it at all, and anytime he tries, he has a limp and his leg is bent weird and looks off. He holds it up now almost all of the time and will only walk about 5 steps at a time before laying back down.

I've talked to a few vets about whether or not he should get the surgery and I've been getting mixed opinions. One vet told me, "If any vet tells you to get surgery for it, find another vet." I guess surgery for this condition is just way too severe and invasive and not worth it. She also said the surgery itself would give him arthritis early in life and you should only go this kind of surgery on bigger breeds. And the other vets that have told me to do the surgery, I'm scared are just diagnosing quick to get money (because of what the first one said). However, at this point, I don't see why I wouldn't do the surgery, considering he can barely even walk, let alone run and play and not be in pain.

I'd just like to know how the experience went for anyone here who got the surgery for their dogs. Does anyone recommend it? And is there anyone here whose dog got the surgery more than a year ago and is still doing okay?

I'm scared and worried and want the best for my baby! Please help!
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Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 12, '12 6:17am PST 
Hi there...I personally haven't had this surgery but know of others who did. I also found this link...it's shows a story of a chi/jack russell mix:

http://www.findavet.us/2010/08/how-to-care-for-your-dogs-lux ating-patella/

Here's what I do know...dogs with a luxating patella will get arthritis whether or not they have the surgery. At least that's my understanding. You still have a young dog. My brother Billy is a grade 1 and he's almost 3.

I know others have had this surgery and found great success. I think what's scary here for you is you have a vet telling you not to do the surgery. Have you seen an orthopedic specialist?

There's lots of information out there about luxating patellas and I believe there are a couple of surgical options. That's why having a consult with an orthopedic specialist may be worth it. I would also add if it were me and my dog had it in both legs, and was having troubles walking because of one, it may be beneficial to have surgery and allow one to heal and then in the future, if you have to have surgery on the other one, recovery would be easier.

It is a personal choice and again, that was just my opinion. I have seen a couple of friends wait until both were bad and I believe it made their recoveries harder. It's a slow recovery but in the end, there have been great improvements.

Good luck to you and we'll be thinking of you! hughughughug

Edited by author Tue Jun 12, '12 6:20am PST

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Daisy Baby

Daddy's Spoiled- Little Girl!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 12, '12 10:24am PST 
I too am in disagreement with our vet. I have a 7 pound Havanese that has patellar luxation in one of her knees and the first vet we went to said she would never do surgery on one no matter how bad it is. So I took her to a second vet that said she had a grade three Patellar Luxation and needed surgery soon. Ugh...I am looking forward to what everyone else has to say on this subject as well...

blue dog
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Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 12, '12 3:58pm PST 
Hi Daisy...I'm curious...I find it interesting that the guests vet and your vet both said they wouldn't do surgery no matter what. Did they give a reason? I always thought that surgery for luxating patellas were successful? Especially once a pet reached grade 3/4/5? shrug
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Daisy Baby

Daddy's Spoiled- Little Girl!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 12, '12 4:20pm PST 
The first vet we visited was the one who made us aware of her Patellar luxation in her left leg and in the same sentance said it was something she would never do surgery on. I went home and googled it and read that most of the time surgery is required. She is at a stage 3 and only 1.5 years old and a bit overweight. After reading all I could I called another doctor in town for their view and was told she needs surgery very soon...ugh I just dont know what to do now. So I have made a appointment with a vet who specializes in orth and see where were at. According to the office I called its going to cost around 1800.00 to just get her one knee fixed...wow wasn't expecting that expense but I did take on my dogs and am expected to give them the best care I can so I guess we will be cutting back somewhere if we do go ahead with the surgery.
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Rascal

Silly
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 12, '12 8:10pm PST 
I would do the surgery especially on a young healthy dog. Problem I see day to day is the dogs that do not get surgery have continuing days of pain. Knee slips out goes back in. Dog won't walk on leg. Most of the time the surgery Deepens the groove so the patella cannot slip. Yes the dog will have arthritis earlier but it will be able to walk. I'd do it on a young dog to improve quality of life.
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Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 13, '12 6:42am PST 
yeah...i guess i would want to know "why wouldn't you do surgery on a young, healthy, grade 3/4/5 luxating patella?" I'm sure that's confusing when one vet says one thing and one says another. I'm glad you are educating yourself by looking at the internet for more info. I can only speak for myself as you know how much you trust your vet, but I would also opt for the surgery. I believe they do one knee and wait a while before doing the other so at least you would have time to save up a bit. Good luck to you both...Feel free to post here and let us know how you are doing way to gohughughughug
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Maggie

986662
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 13, '12 10:15am PST 
Our vet diagnosed Maggie with grade 3 LP. He said the grading scale is from 1-4. He told us that we can either have surgery by an ortho specialist or we can wait and see how she does. We decided to wait for now. She has only had one real "flare-up" where it really caused her any pain. After talking with our vet we decided against surgery unless it becomes a chronic problem for her.

If it is something that causes the dog a lot of discomfort, flares up very often, or inhibits the dog's ability to walk, run, and play, then I would get the surgery. Just be careful to use a reputable board certified ortho surgeon.
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Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 13, '12 1:27pm PST 
I'm curious to know what the vets that didn't recommend surgery DID recommend for treatment?

My foster dog has one knee with patellar luxation but I've been told to just keep her slim & active and let them know if it gets worse.

Edited by author Wed Jun 13, '12 1:28pm PST

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Saige

I wag my butt!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 13, '12 3:24pm PST 
Here's an article about luxating patella from Dr. Karen Becker. This is pretty much the course of action that my vet and I are following with Saige - keep her slim, active, and on joint supplements. She goes in for regular chiropractic adjustments and has some physical therapy exercises that help her to strengthen her leg and core muscles to help prevent the condition from worsening. Hopefully, by doing this we'll be able to prevent her from needing surgery.
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