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Patella Luxation - Lab Puppy

October 27th, 2005, 10:06 PM
I took my 1 yr old lab to the vet yesterday because she has been limping off and on since Sunday. The vet says she has a patella luxation in her right leg and it is a very rare herditary disorder that usually does not occur in labs. I am wondering if anyone has gone through this surgery before? The cost is $700-$900 and recovery time is 6 weeks and she must be kept in a kennel except to eat and use the bathroom. How was the recovery with your dog, and what kind of dog was it? Daisy is very hyper and playful and I think it is going to be very hard to keep her confined for that long! Any advice and/or comments would be breatly appreciated. Thanks!

October 28th, 2005, 07:02 AM
Luxating patella surgery is not always a slow recovery. It really can depend on the dog and it's healing capabilities. We have done it on a Boston Terrier and a Bichon with great success. On a lab, we had a different problem... he had OCD in the front elbow and was out romping with his buddy, his femur fractured during the play and off to the vet he went. He had huge chunks of bone fragment removed and his femur repaired... he was standing on the leg in two days and light playing by two weeks. The vet said with him that it all boiled down to his age and healing abilities... that he was amazed at the quick recovery.

I don't know if this helps you or not but thought I would share some of our experiences with costly surgeries.

October 28th, 2005, 07:50 AM
I have a beagle who had knee surgery approximately 5 years ago, she was 4 at the time. Her anterior and posterior ligaments tore in one knee due to her patella luxating. The surgery itself went very well, no complications. I picked her up the following day and she was obviously in some discomfort. We were given strong pain meds to help keep her comfortable. We were told that full recovery could take months depending on how well it goes. She was put on cage rest except to go out to the bathroom. When she did go to the bathroom, we had to support her back end with a sling. She wasn't allowed to climb stairs or jump on anything. We had to carry her to her bathroom spot and back to the crate for the first little while. She healed really well and quickly. We had to keep a very close eye on her to make sure that she didn't over do it. The vet was amazed at how quickly she was up and moving after her surger. You can't even really see her scar.

November 4th, 2005, 07:07 PM
Thank you so much for your replies, you have really helped. She is doing better, not as much limping but she is bored to death since the vet advised me to put all of her toys up and not let her play. Her anti-inflammatories are almost out and we will be going back to the vet next week to see about the surgery. Because she still limps sometimes off and on it is not healing like the vet thought it might and I think she will end up having to have the surgery. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to reply!

November 4th, 2005, 07:39 PM
Please keep us posted on her progress and thanks for popping back in to share.

December 2nd, 2005, 01:16 AM
She has started back limping again after going home for Thanksgiving and playing a lot. The vet put her back on the anti-inflammatories and gave me 2 months worth and wants to check back with us in January. He is hoping that limited activity and these pills will help the tendons shrink back and delay surgery. He also said that we needed to x-ray her hips because if they were bad then there was no point in the patella surgery. She's only a year old, she seems too young to be having problems like this! Her birthday was on Thanksgiving day :D Thanks for listening!

December 2nd, 2005, 07:36 AM
awww CDM, I hope she improves. Her tendons may in fact tighten up a bit... as for the hips, we've had two 4th degree dysplasias and both dogs you would not have a clue with. They are on Purina Vet Joint and Mobility along with Osteo Crystals and are like pups romping around. Our vet is a huge believer in treat the dog not the xray and I've seen and learnt the results from his prospective. So don't get too discouraged!

December 2nd, 2005, 07:59 AM
I really hope she starts to feel better real soon.

Dogs with luxating patellas generally get arthritis later on in the joint. There are supplements that you can give her to help her with the inflammation and loss of mobility. My Misty had knee surgery approximately 5 years ago to repair her anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments that had torn due to her luxating patellas. As suspected, she does have osteoarthritis (aka degenerative joint disease) of the hips and knees. She is on natural supplements to help her with her arthritis, and they have helped her immensely. You can't tell by looking at her during her very high active times that she has hip and knee problems!

So please, as BMDLuver said, don't get discouraged. When I learned of Misty's problems years ago, I left the vet office crying thinking that it was it for her, but she has proven me wrong.

Lucky Rescue
December 2nd, 2005, 01:52 PM
Anti inflammatories can have severe side effects and I would hesitate to use them in such a young dog for that length of time.

If your vet recommends surgery, it might be better to have it done sooner than later.

You can read about the drugs here:

December 2nd, 2005, 08:05 PM
See to it the that the breeder is informed that they have bred an inferior dog. Was there no health guarantee from the breeder?

December 8th, 2005, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the anti-inflammatory information. We are going to have the surgery in January when we are back home after the holidays and not traveling so much.

She was given to us for free by a family friend. The mother just wandered up to her house and had puppies. She's probably not even full blooded lab. She's full grown and very short and only about 50 pounds (and the vet says she needs to lose at least 5).

December 9th, 2005, 07:57 AM
Let us know when the surgery is taking place and we'll all keep positive thoughts for her. She's a lucky gal to have such a great family!