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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Our baby is almost 2 years old and about 4 months ago he was diagnosed with a luxating patella. Being somewhat paranoid, I proceeded to get 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinions and we even took him to an orthopedic specialist. They all rated his knee differently, anywhere from 2-4. But most thought it was about 2-3 and everyone thought he needs surgery. My husband and I just kept debating the positives and the necessity of the surgery. Miko does not limp and loves to run around. The luxating patella has not stopped him or slowed him down. One of the reasons for the surgery is to prevent early onset of arthritis. However, most vets think he would end up with arthritis even if he had the surgery. I have been giving him glucosamine.

However, in the last few weeks he has started holding up his leg while running at times. So now I think maybe we should do it. Has anyone had the surgery done on their babies? I am also concerned about recovery, which involved 8 weeks in a crate or some way to limit his movements. Snce Miko loves to walk/run at least 2x/day outside, I just don't know how he would deal with this. Does anyone have experience with luxating patellas? I would greatly appreciate any and all advice. Thanks in advance.
 

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Originally posted by okw@Mar 20 2005, 04:41 PM
I am also concerned about recovery, which involved 8 weeks in a crate or some way to limit his movements.  Snce Miko loves to walk/run at least 2x/day outside, I just don't know how he would deal with this.  Does anyone have experience with luxating patellas?  I would greatly appreciate any and all advice.  Thanks in advance.
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=44653
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I don't have experience with the surgery, but perhaps you could get one of these carriages for your baby and take him for walks in it until he is all better....



http://www.happytailpets.com/product_details.asp?ItemID=370

EDIT: The store is owned by our own SM member TwoMalteseMommy.
 

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Originally posted by Kallie/Catcher's Mom+Mar 21 2005, 08:13 AM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-okw
@Mar 20 2005, 04:41 PM
I am also concerned about recovery, which involved 8 weeks in a crate or some way to limit his movements.  Snce Miko loves to walk/run at least 2x/day outside, I just don't know how he would deal with this.  Does anyone have experience with luxating patellas?  I would greatly appreciate any and all advice.  Thanks in advance.
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=44653
I don't have experience with the surgery, but perhaps you could get one of these carriages for your baby and take him for walks in it until he is all better....



http://www.happytailpets.com/product_details.asp?ItemID=370
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=44666
[/B][/QUOTE]
i love the carriages.........how cooooool...................nat and elmo.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Originally posted by Kallie/Catcher's Mom+Mar 20 2005, 03:13 PM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-okw
@Mar 20 2005, 04:41 PM
I am also concerned about recovery, which involved 8 weeks in a crate or some way to limit his movements.  Snce Miko loves to walk/run at least 2x/day outside, I just don't know how he would deal with this.  Does anyone have experience with luxating patellas?  I would greatly appreciate any and all advice.  Thanks in advance.
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=44653
I don't have experience with the surgery, but perhaps you could get one of these carriages for your baby and take him for walks in it until he is all better....



http://www.happytailpets.com/product_details.asp?ItemID=370
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=44666
[/B][/QUOTE]

That is sooo cute. The funny thing is, is that my husband has been wanting to buy one of these for a long time now because we can then take Miko on our 1.5 hr jogs!! Thank you for the suggestion, its very helpful.
 

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The rule of thumb I go by is once they start limping (the patella is luxating on its own), it is time for surgery. I would have the ACVS surgeon with a specialty in orthopedics do the surgery. Once it starts luxating on its own, you are going to have degenerative joint disease and arthritis. Interupting the joint capsule with surgery will cause some arthritis, but the stable joint will be healthier in the long run.

Mikey had his right knee done a year ago and it was $1600 with the orthopedic surgeon (he had eye surgery while he was under, too, so about $200 was for that, he also needed special hospitalization after because of other health problems). He did great and has no problems now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally posted by JMM@Mar 20 2005, 04:39 PM
The rule of thumb I go by is once they start limping (the patella is luxating on its own), it is time for surgery. I would have the ACVS surgeon with a specialty in orthopedics do the surgery. Once it starts luxating on its own, you are going to have degenerative joint disease and arthritis. Interupting the joint capsule with surgery will cause some arthritis, but the stable joint will be healthier in the long run.

Mikey had his right knee done a year ago and it was $1600 with the orthopedic surgeon (he had eye surgery while he was under, too, so about $200 was for that, he also needed special hospitalization after because of other health problems). He did great and has no problems now.
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=44690
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Thanks for your reply. Was the recovery rough for Mikey? Is he on glucosamine now? The ortho specialist is definitely the one we would use, however, he thinks that we should get both knees done (the other is a 1-2) and the total would be $3000. This is LA, so I am not sure how much higher prices are out here. This seems like a big practice with lots of experience, and we have an insurance that may pay (but its questionable). Thanks again.
 

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If the other patella is luxating, some surgeons prefer to do both knees at one. Others prefer to do them separately or take a wait and see approach. It depends on the surgeon and your comfort level with his recovery.

Mikey's recovery was very easy. We started physical therapy immediately and he was walking pretty normally in about a week. He did great with it. He has lots of GI and liver issues and does not tolerate glucosamine. Otherwise he would be on it. I would definately use a product like Cosequin if I could.
 

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I'm waiting for the day when my ButterCloud needs surgery. His knees are between 2-4.
I hope all goes well. Take care!
 

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I got a regular Graco baby stroller for Lady at a consignment shop for $25. I just hook the seat belt to her harness and it works great for us!
 

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I also have a regular baby stroller. Mikey is very dependable in it but you can hook the harness/collar to the seatbelt like LMs does. Of course, when Mikey is feeling good he'd much rather jog 1/2 a mile and walk the other half with me!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I made another appointment for a consultation with another orthopedic specialist (but in the same practice). I must be insane, but I really do intend to have the surgery done on him. Thanks for your help.
 

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Consult away! I think it is really important to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I went to a specialty practice rather than have the ortho surgeon who would come and do it at the practice I work at come. I liked the other surgeon better because he was conservative and very gentle with Mikey. He suggested trying physical therapy first. He also wanted to know what kind of activities Mikey did so we could decide to go for the more involved procedure despite the relatively low-grade luxation. He also worked with us on his special medical needs for anesthesia and post-op care. Being comfortable with his surgeon made all the difference on my nerves and comfort with recovery.
 

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My Haley (yorkie) is almost 2 and she will need this surgery! She has grade 4 and Im so scared for her but she doesnt limp and it doesnt seem to both her so we are tryin gto hold off as long as possible. We give her glucosamine and chroindroitin and she seems ok but doesnt jump on or off of anything and doesnt run too much. She is only 3 pounds and Im gonna feel so bad for her to go under and get that
please let us know how it goes, Id love to know more about the surgery and everyone experiences
 

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Well, we scheduled surgery for next week but I am so worried!! The ortho surgeon explained the different ways they fix this problem and it made me pretty nauseous (and yes, I have observed many bloody human surgeries) but for some reason this feels different. I just hope its the right thing to do. I think it is and from what it sounds, this will just get worse, not better and its better to do it before the joint is worn down from luxation of patella and while he is young. But its just so difficult to decide to put a young, healthy dog through such a hard surgery...
 

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Gosh, I can imagine what you're going through. It is one thing to put an obviously sick dog through surgery but I can see how tough it must be to schedule surgery on one that right now seems OK. I'm sure you have researched this fully and have made an informed decision. That's all you can really do to give him the best chance at a pain free and fully mobile life ...... Keep us posted .....
 

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Good luck! Most dogs do really really well adjusting to recovering from surgery. They can walk on 3 legs so well you have to encourage them to use the 4th. I'm sure he'll do great. Better to do it now so he won't be in pain later on and when he can have a fast recovery due to his youth.
 

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Thanks, Kallie/Catcher's mom and JMM! I appreciate your responses and encouragement. Since I definitely see a difference in how he walks (holding up his leg and a weird sort of hop), I really do think its getting worse.


The doctor will have to shave his legs to do the surgery, but that's okay, its just hair that will definitely grow back. My husband and I agreed that if it continued to get worse, we would feel just horrible, so we should do it now, while he is young (as JMM said).
 

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Here is Mikey on Day 6 after surgery...yes, he laid frog-legged immediately upon coming home without hesitation. He had eye surgery at the same time so excuse his messy face.





Here is his knee on Day 8, minus some sutures with others coming untied. When he had his e-collar off, he would untie sutures...whacko! He wore it all of the time the first week for his eyes and then I didn't care if he untied them before I took them out.



Here he is standing on Day 17...nicely healed.



He had been cut down a few months before this for major abdominal surgery...when it rains, it poors!
 
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