Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,812 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I need some advice.. My sister's dog Palbert (also a Maltese) hurt his leg the day before Thanksgiving and she took him to the emergency clinic and they sent him home saying he was fine. Well, his leg started acting up again on Friday so we took him into our usual vet clinic but saw a different vet than we usually see (our guy was on vacation.) Well, long story short, he has between a grade 2 and 3 luxating patella and the vet said it probably locked on him and that's why he was limping around and that would continue to be a problem he'd face.
He recommended surgery because the problem is not going to get better but it wasn't bad enough to have to do it immediately... he warned that if he were to jump off the couch or the bed and land wrong he could blow out his knee and mess up his cruciate ligament.. which would obviously be a much worse problem. We just don't know whether to get it done now or later and if we should let this vet that he saw yesterday do the surgery or if she should have our normal vet do the surgery. I'm also wondering if we should get a second opinion about it.. Palbert is only 8 months old. Is there any reason why we should wait before having it done? Have any of you had this surgery on your dog? How was the recovery? Do they have any problems with that knee now? Any advice would be very much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,659 Posts
There is good information on luxtating patellas on the Bhei Jei website:

http://www.bhejei.com/health-patella.htm

I don't have any firsthand experience with the surgery (thank heavens), but I have heard that the earlier you can get it done, the better. As your vet said, it can only get worse, plus arthritis can set in which is irreversible. Also, younger animals (like people) heal better.

One of the rescue groups had a young dog recently (remember Skeeter you AMR people?) who had both knees done at 18 months before going to his "forever home". He had one done at a time, but he recovered very well.

If it were me I'd go ahead and get it done if finances allow. It's a pricey surgery, unfortunately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,483 Posts
I'm sorry to here this. ButterCloud has a Grade 4 in one knee. My doctor called the specialist for me and he said to wait it out. Is Palbert in pain? My doctor said that with the surgery, will definitely come arthritis. And why would you want to risk that when you're not even sure if it's going to be a problem? Later on in a few yrs, our babies will probably need surgery though. But I think it's better to wait since they're still young. I hope he's feeling better now. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,428 Posts
When is your normal vet going to be back from vacation? I have no personal experience with luxating patella. But I would recommend getting a second opinion before doing surgery. Is there a specialist in the area that you could see? Or even a vet that has a lot of experience with this problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,288 Posts
I would see an orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion.

Any instability of the joint will cause arthritis and that includes the luxating patella itself. Surgically interupting the joint capsule does cause some arthritis, but you have to compare that to a life-time of pain from the knee slipping out, risk of cruciate injury, and the arthritis and degenerative joint disease the luxating patella alone causes.

For most moderate luxating patellas, physical therapy can help strengthen the leg and surgery can be avoided or delayed.

If the dog is painful and the knee is grade 2 or above, you need to discuss surgery with an orthopedic surgeon. My dog was VERY active so had a more involved surgery (tibial tuberosity transpositioning in addition to more traditional small dog knee repair) to account for this and prevent future cruciate injury. His surgery knee is now better than the other knee that doesn't luxate on its own! He was almost 4 at the time of surgery and had never had the knee luxate on its own until 3 months before hand and already had arthritis.

A Glucosamine/Chondroitin product like Cosequin would be a good addition.

My dog's surgery was $1600, but he also had an epidural for pain relief and required special care and medications because of other health problems. We had an orthopedic specialist do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,483 Posts
I agree with Lexi's mom. It doesn't seem that we are all agreeing. hehe It's best if you call your normal vet and see what he thinks. Every baby is different. Take care
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,812 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for everyone's replies. I checked, and we don't have any "specialists" anywhere in this area.. but my vet clinic assured me that all the vets were qualified to do orthopedic surgeries and had years of experience doing them. I have a lot of faith in the clinic here, they are the best in this area by a long shot and most of the vets are qualified in a lot of different areas.. I think in a town this small, it doesn't pay to specialize. JMM- what you said about the problems associated with the luxating patella is exactly what this vet told us. I think that's what's making me lean towards the surgery, that he'll continue to experience the knee popping out or worse the blown knee w/out it. But I have to admit, Palbert is so little (3 pounds) that I also worry about the surgery itself. Such a tough call, but I'm glad I have this forum to get feedback from.. I feel so much more knowledgeable about this. I can only imagine how this would have gone if I didn't do research beforehand and hear all the stories on here. Thanks everyone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
831 Posts
We will keep little Palbert in our prayers...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,741 Posts
just keep in mind that the first surgery doesnt always work...my friend had her dogs kneee done at the vet school by specialist and the first one didnt work. but her dogs patella stayed out all the time so it was prewtty bad. luckily it sounds like palberts isnt too bad and most vets can perform the procedure on grade 2 & mild grade 3's. good luck to him...its a pretty simple operation...i think i could even do it
you just have to be strict with the recovery. cage rest is essential, and physical therapy is very helpful.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
258 Posts
Originally posted by JMM@Nov 30 2004, 02:24 PM
A Glucosamine/Chondroitin product like Cosequin would be a good addition.
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=19451
[/QUOTE]

this is exactly what i would recommend you try before deciding on surgery. canaille has had a weak knee for a little over 2 years and my vet opted for no surgery and daily Glucosamine/Chondroitin. the result was instantaneous, i could not believe it. no more limping and she runs like a cheetah. ok, a baby cheetah
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,288 Posts
Originally posted by Mystify79@Nov 30 2004, 02:57 PM
Thanks for everyone's replies.  I checked, and we don't have any "specialists" anywhere in this area.. but my vet clinic assured me that all the vets were qualified to do orthopedic surgeries and had years of experience doing them.  I have a lot of faith in the clinic here, they are the best in this area by a long shot and most of the vets are qualified in a lot of different areas.. I think in a town this small, it doesn't pay to specialize. JMM- what you said about the problems associated with the luxating patella is exactly what this vet told us.  I think that's what's making me lean towards the surgery, that he'll continue to experience the knee popping out or worse the blown knee w/out it.  But I have to admit, Palbert is so little (3 pounds) that I also worry about the surgery itself.  Such a tough call, but I'm glad I have this forum to get feedback from.. I feel so much more knowledgeable about this. I can only imagine how this would have gone if I didn't do research beforehand and hear all the stories on here.  Thanks everyone! 

<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=19457
[/QUOTE]

Poor little guy. With careful monitoring, even the tiny ones can do quite well. I hope he is back to his old self soon.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top