- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


patellar luxation

April 25th, 2006, 09:49 PM
Does anyone have a dog with patellar luxation?, in both back knees? My Westie was just diagnosed tonight in both of his back knees. I was curious to see if anyone opted for the surgery and if it was successful. My puppy is just 10 months old, he suffered a fall (nothing major, just from the couch) 2 days ago and must have landed wrong. Apparently he aggravated one of the knees, but after being examined at the vet, the doctor concluded that he has the disease in both knees and that the condition was unrelated to the fall. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated! We are scared to have the surgery, but at the same time, we don´t know how dangerous it would be not to let him have it.
Angie :pawprint:

April 25th, 2006, 10:07 PM
I know there are a couple here who have had it done. It probably was provoked by the fall, but the condition was already there (there's a strong genetic component). You were just probably lucky to not have any incidents before this.

Have you researched it at all? There's a lot out there about it because it is quite common, especially in small dogs. Very basically, it's the kneecap that doesn't stay positioned properly.

Here's a vet surgery site that might help you:

April 25th, 2006, 10:19 PM
This surgery is the only means of correcting the problem, not going ahead with it will leave your dog in pain, limited flexibility/movement and eventually arthritsis will set in. Have had this performed on 2 dogs in the past, the vet makes a deeper groove so kneecap doesn't slip out. Both dogs were walking within hrs. of coming out of anesthetic and the healing process was very rapid as they were young dogs like yours. This condition is usually a genetic one and very common in the smaller breeds. I would inform the breeder of your dog about his condition and request $$$ assistance, especially if your were given a health guarantee.

April 25th, 2006, 10:23 PM
yeah, we are big on researching, so i think we pretty much understand everything that it is and what´s involved. it´s just that, even with humans, we worry any time there is a knee surgery involved, especially on both knees. he´s such a sweetie, we just feel so bad for him. we were wondering how necessary the surgery really would be, and what are the pros and cons of it. the vet explained it from his perspective, but i just wanted to see if there was anyone that could also shed some light. i´ve read good stories and horror stories about the surgery, so it is something important to think about, especially because he is so young.

April 25th, 2006, 10:31 PM
thanks guys, i really appreciate it. i think we will try to find out about the health assistance, because it really is so terrible. this is not the first problem we´ve had with our pup, and i just wonder how cared for he was, -and how is genetic line was-, before we got him, although of course we have papers, etc saying he was from a pure good line.
he is in no obvious pain, he´s never showed any pain at all, which has made this very difficult...he limps only just about 1x a day and it is usually just one or two hops, and that just started on Sunday after the fall, so I guess that´s why we´re wondering how severe is it and if it warrants such a tough surgery.

April 26th, 2006, 09:26 AM
There are different grades of patellar luxation, some are minor and do not affect the dog but movement can be noted slightly on flexing the joint and others advanced and will cause problems with walking, pain and inflammation, my Nikki has a very mild grade in both knees, when younger my vet warned me it could get worse, but she is still bouncy and as crazy now at 8 1/2 years old as she was as a puppy when it was first diagnosed during a physical . She has never limped and can still stand upright walk around solely on her hind legs. The last time she was at the vets the vet had commented on how she struts around like a show dog when she walks.

If it is affecting your dog definitely consider the surgery, your vet would likely send you to a orthopedic specialist to have the surgery done

When making arranging for knew repair for another dog who had ligament tears the vet offered 2 referrals for surgeons there was a big price difference between them roughly $600, so I asked why and which he would recommend if it was his dog. When he explain the difference, I had no problems deciding to go the the more expensive of the 2, one had more equipment to do specialized surgery in the event once she was on the operating and they open her up and seen there was more damage than what the x-rays revealed, The cheaper surgeon would not be able cut and reposition the head of the tibia if there was a problem with the bone surface, so their was a greater risk of an unsuccessful surgery.
She never did have the surgery as cancer was found during the new set of x-rays higher up in the same leg.

I brought this up in the event your vet does offer more than one referral option, I know the surgery will be expensive, but if there is a big range of prices, then ask questions of your vet to help in deciding which surgeon to go with, lower price does not necessarily mean less skills or equipment, sometimes it reflects the vets overhead costs.

April 27th, 2006, 07:54 PM
Thanks for the info. I think my husband and I are both prepared to spend whatever if he needs the sugery, and to make sure we find a very good surgeon. We live in a metropolitan area, so I think we´ll have a lot of options. The vet told us before that he could suggest at least one surgeon that he recommends, so we´ll see what happens.

Scrappy the Westie has been on a painkiller since Tuesday and anything that happened during the fall on Sunday that caused us to initially go to the doctor to have his knee checked seems to have been cured!, or at least the meds are masking the pain. He has been acting crazy like usual, running all around without trouble, playing with his toys, doing steps, jumping up on beds, etc. all on his own accord. I´ve been trying to lift him as much as possible, but today especially he seems to just want to do things on his own, which I am taking as a very good sign. He brought me his tennis ball to play fetch and he ran, just as normal-so fast, and chased it without any limps or signs of trouble. So, I think it seems that the aggravated knee is over with, we just need to find out what we are dealing with as far as the patellar luxation goes. The vet said to check back in with him after Scrappy finishes his meds to see if he is still doing as well and is still as hyper as he has been today and yesterday!

Thanks again for everyone´s posts. This has been a great forum for us!

April 27th, 2006, 07:56 PM
One last thing, the vet didn´t tell us about what level of PL Scrappy has, but I have read about the varying levels on different websites. I am assuming he wasn´t able to tell without doing at least the x-rays...

April 27th, 2006, 08:12 PM
about assistance for the surgery, we looked back into our papers from when we bought Scrappy and there were only 2 health things listed that the Pet Store would not assist with during the first year of ownership, and of course one was PL. In the major problems that were listed that they would help with, "help" meant that you were allowed to exchange your dog. Meaning, they wouldn´t provide monetary assistance for any surgeries, just that you could select another dog from the pet store.

We bought Scrappy, our second Westie, because we saw him in his cage for 4 months without any buyers interested and in a pet store that did not care for him. Just to give an idea, when we bought him he was sitting in his own fecies because the cage was not cleaned. He was 4 mo old, hardly walked, not potty trained, was behind on his shots (which we didn´t know about-we were mislead) and had worms. He came to our area in Maryland from Minnesota, I believe, and we always suspected that he was from a puppy mill. I feel so bad for him, and I am just really hoping that this knee condition won´t warrant the surgery, mainly because he has already been through so much. I am really contemplating going to the Better Business Bureau, because I just think the whole thing was ridiculous.