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Kelsie was on her hind legs when she suddenly went down from that position and screamed. I took her to the doc a few days ago and she said it looks like her knee is the problem. She gave me metacom and told me no running, jumping, or on her hind legs for 10 days. If she doesnt have improvement within the 10 days... they recommend i talk to a surgeon about repairing the knee with surgery. So my question is...

Is it common or very uncommon for an injury like hers to heal itself? Are the odds against her?
 

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Well they should take an x-ray to see how much damage there is. If after 10 days she is not putting any weight on that leg you should consider surgery. You don't want her to walk on 3 legs for the rest of her life and without surgery she is more prone to get arthritis down the road on that leg.
 

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I am so sorry to hear about Kelsie. Is it a LP issue and/or did she tear her ACL? The only reason why I ask, is I know ACL tears are very painful.

I can only offer what happened to Kara, she tore her ACL, which was very painful, she also had LP's. After doing what you are doing, rest as much as possible, no bare floors, as much as possible, and all they told you, plus they put her on Cosequin. She did fully recover from her ACL tear, with this method and had no residual problems from her LP's. When this happend, we were referred to an Ortho specialist, who is currently at our vets office.

Leo was just diagnosed, grade 2 LP. We noticed he was holding up his back left leg. We immediately made an appointment with Dr. C. and he put Leo on Cosequin. He does not want to operate on Leo, at this point, and wanted to see how he did. Leo, within days, stopped holding his back leg up and is prancing around once again. Dr. C. measured the muscle mass on both of Leo's back legs, and they were even, which to him, was a good sign that he is not favoring either leg.

There is a girl at the office, whose shitzu had the same situtation, however, after taking all the necessary steps, her baby did have to end up getting surgery, and did beautiful. Dr. C. performed the operation.

I see you are in NJ, if you are in South Jersey, I would be more then happy to send you a link to my vets office, where Dr. C is the head of. I ADORE him. It's an option for you, in case you do need a specialist.

Thinking of you and sweet Kelsie.
 

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It really depends on the cause. If she just has a luxating patella and it only rarely causes her a problem then you have to make a judgement call on the risks and benefits of surgery. If she is a rather inactive dog then not doing surgery can be a more viable option. For an active dog where the patella will luxate frequently, the instability increases risk of injuries like an ACL injury and the constant popping out creates arthritis. If she has an additional injury like an ACL plus a grade 3 or 3 luxating patella, if it were my dog, I would get it fixed now and avoid the chronic problems with an unstable joint, especially if it is a complete or near-complete tear. If everything is mild, a wait and see approach is reasonable. Not a straight answer...so think about the structural problem and your dog's lifestyle. A 2nd opinion with a surgeon can always help answer your questions.
 

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Jackie what about a dog who does not seem to be in pain but is favoring the leg most of the time (specially when he is running)?
 

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Janine, if I was walking around with a leg up it wouldn't be because it felt fine. Dogs don't show pain like people. Either it hurts or the dog cannot get the patella back in. Neither sounds like a comfortable thing.
 

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Janine, if I was walking around with a leg up it wouldn't be because it felt fine. Dogs don't show pain like people. Either it hurts or the dog cannot get the patella back in. Neither sounds like a comfortable thing.

Just what our vet told us too look for. If Leo continued to lift his back left leg, he would definetly need surgery. It would be one of the indicators for sure.
 

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When I had Mia she injured her back right leg (patella). I saw her do it...she slid into a fan stand playing. My vet put her on cosequin (sp??) and I had to keep her crated or in the x-pen for 6 weeks. I put her in the tub and held her up and she paddled as if swimming for exercise. Believe it or not she did fine...no limp and her knee was stable again after about 6-8 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It really depends on the cause. If she just has a luxating patella and it only rarely causes her a problem then you have to make a judgement call on the risks and benefits of surgery. If she is a rather inactive dog then not doing surgery can be a more viable option. For an active dog where the patella will luxate frequently, the instability increases risk of injuries like an ACL injury and the constant popping out creates arthritis. If she has an additional injury like an ACL plus a grade 3 or 3 luxating patella, if it were my dog, I would get it fixed now and avoid the chronic problems with an unstable joint, especially if it is a complete or near-complete tear. If everything is mild, a wait and see approach is reasonable. Not a straight answer...so think about the structural problem and your dog's lifestyle. A 2nd opinion with a surgeon can always help answer your questions.
From what the doc told me its not the ACL... its just the knee... she grades kelsie's knee at a level 3 right now... Kelsie's knee wasnt a level 3 over a yr ago... it was about a 2. Is it possible the injury made the knee a level 3 and it will always stay a level 3? I would say that kelsie is very active inside the house.. she's very spunky! (both of my pups are inside dogs only)
 

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If things have been stretched/torn further the knee usually gets worse over time. Absolutely injury can worsen a LP. Soda had a normal knee and it was a grade 4 in a split second.
 

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I sure hope it resolves on its own. I feel stupid for even suggesting this (since I'm sure you are already doing it)...but just in case... don't let her jump up and down from your sofa, bed, etc (get stairs or a ramp for these places) and carry her up and down stairs. This will help not only her knees but her back. I would make this suggestion for all toy dogs.

((((Feel better soon, Kelsie)))))
 
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