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Old 11-07-2014, 06:49 AM   #1
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Default when should you get surgery done for luxating patella?

Teddy Bear has luxating patella in the lower to mid range. Two vets we went to previously never mentioned that he should have surgery yet. So we assumed that we were waiting to see if it progressed to a higher stage before we have surgery done.

Now we have a new vet. He said lp surgery helps prevent early arthritis. He made us feel like he should have had surgery before now. When is the right time for surgery? He gets around fine. Teddy Bear is alost 11 years old.

Is it best to have both done at the same time?

He also said the surgery does not cure the LP (I thought it did).

Thanks for any help.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:56 AM   #2
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Hi - our Wylie had LP since he was super young - like a grade 2. I'd say it progressed to a Grade 3 later, but he never ever showed a single symptom until he was 8 yrs old, when he occasionally started lifting one leg - it was at that time that we decided to do the surgery. I think we probably should've done it a bit earlier as his vet said his left knee was just a *total* mess and was very difficult to repair. He has done amazing since his surgery, now almost 2 yrs later - and has not once lifted a leg in pain or discomfort - knock on wood!

We did both knees at the same time and I wouldn't change it for anything. Sure, the first few days are challenging as you have to help them stand up to pee, using a towel under their torso for support - but they catch on pretty quickly. I only wanted to put him through this one time, so that's why we elected to go with both at once. Also, the recovery is long (relatively, to other surgeries) - so I also didn't want to put him thru 2 recovery periods.

Some people seem to have a really tough time w/ recovery, but I really do not think it was bad at all in terms of keeping activity low/slow.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:20 AM   #3
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Thanks Ann. I think I would go for both at the same time too. I have heard that this surgery is pretty expensive. Maybe we will consider having it done in the Spring. He will be 11 in Feb, I Don want to wait much longer if he needs to get it done. I'm so happy to hear that he had good results! Did your regular vet do the surgery or a specialist?
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:27 AM   #4
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If it's not causing him pain and he's not limping and skipping steps I would not do it. It is a very hard surgery and a long hard recovery of 8-11 weeks of crate rest. Although it seems convenient to do both at one time I could not do it because it forces them to use those legs before maybe they are ready to. If you do get the surgery it needs to be done by an orthopedic surgeon not a regular vet. Also it does correct and it most cases fix the LP.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:30 AM   #5
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Thanks Ann. I think I would go for both at the same time too. I have heard that this surgery is pretty expensive. Maybe we will consider having it done in the Spring. He will be 11 in Feb, I Don want to wait much longer if he needs to get it done. I'm so happy to hear that he had good results! Did your regular vet do the surgery or a specialist?
A regular vet should never ever do this surgery. We have several people on this board who had a regular vet do it and ended up having to go to an orthopedic surgeon to have it fixed.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:39 AM   #6
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A regular vet should never ever do this surgery. We have several people on this board who had a regular vet do it and ended up having to go to an orthopedic surgeon to have it fixed.
OMG, thanks for letting me know. Teddy will sometimes stop walking and stand still while we are on walks, or he will walk over to me and present his rear end to me indiacting that he wants to be put in the stroler. he never seems to have pain that I can tell. Some mornings when he first gets up he will drag his back legs behind him for a bit like he is stretching them. Maybe he is resetting his knee caps? He gets around fine and runs and chases bunnies like there is no tomorrow.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:42 AM   #7
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Thanks Ann. I think I would go for both at the same time too. I have heard that this surgery is pretty expensive. Maybe we will consider having it done in the Spring. He will be 11 in Feb, I Don want to wait much longer if he needs to get it done. I'm so happy to hear that he had good results! Did your regular vet do the surgery or a specialist?
My regular vet is part of a 10-vet practice, and she doesn't do knee surgeries - but she very highly recommended one of her partners, so that's who we used. He was just awesome - so attentive, calling many times after the surgery to check in about Wylie for the first several weeks.

If I recall, I think his surgery was around $1500, take or give a little. So, not outrageous compared to some things - but def not a drop in the bucket! Our Wylie is our "million dollar dog" bc he has spent so much of our money ! But he is totally worth every penny, of course, and more. He's priceless.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:47 AM   #8
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My regular vet is part of a 10-vet practice, and she doesn't do knee surgeries - but she very highly recommended one of her partners, so that's who we used. He was just awesome - so attentive, calling many times after the surgery to check in about Wylie for the first several weeks.

If I recall, I think his surgery was around $1500, take or give a little. So, not outrageous compared to some things - but def not a drop in the bucket! Our Wylie is our "million dollar dog" bc he has spent so much of our money ! But he is totally worth every penny, of course, and more. He's priceless.
$1,500 is not bad. I spent that much on Daisy's blood work, and ultrasound. I thought the surgery was way more expensive. Thanks!
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:52 AM   #9
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$1,500 is not bad. I spent that much on Daisy's blood work, and ultrasound. I thought the surgery was way more expensive. Thanks!
Callie's with the ACL repair was $3,500 the other one with no ACL repair was $2000
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:54 AM   #10
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OMG, thanks for letting me know. Teddy will sometimes stop walking and stand still while we are on walks, or he will walk over to me and present his rear end to me indiacting that he wants to be put in the stroler. he never seems to have pain that I can tell. Some mornings when he first gets up he will drag his back legs behind him for a bit like he is stretching them. Maybe he is resetting his knee caps? He gets around fine and runs and chases bunnies like there is no tomorrow.
We had a male mixed dog growing up who stretched like that he had no knee problems. It was half stretching and half scratching his little guy part on the carpet lol
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:56 AM   #11
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Callie's with the ACL repair was $3,500 the other one with no ACL repair was $2000
We also had other issues that added up to make it more, the incision split and caused an infection and in both knees the pins ended up having to come out.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:56 AM   #12
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We had a male mixed dog growing up who stretched like that he had no knee problems. It was half stretching and half scratching his little guy part on the carpet lol
Oh, heehee....
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:01 AM   #13
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In my situation would you wait and see if his knees start bothering him? Our new vet is a younger guy who seems to cover all bases in treatment. He may be a little eager to do surgery. I would def get the opinion of the older female "owner" before I opted for the surgery. I had never heard that the LP surgery did not fix the knee problem. I thought that was the reason for the surgery.
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:30 AM   #14
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Personally, I would never do LP surgery on an adult yorkie unless there were severe problems. I also will only go to a board certified surgeon .. I have seen and heard of too many jobs that ultimately ended up with a specialist after issues with a surgery by a regular vet. Does that mean a regular vet cannot be good at it? No. But no matter how good, my preference still is board certified.

What you need to keep in mind is that LP leads to torn cruciate ligaments. That is because of the in and out and wear and tear. Even if you repair the LP, you may still end up with a torn ligament ... there is no way of knowing if the ligament is worn or not and how much. SO, that is why the ortho I use advises against it...because often if you repair the knee, a few months later you can be back with a torn CCL. More money and more surgery for the poor pup.

As for preventing arthritis, my ortho says that is not true! The risk of arthritis is not that high with LP, but with a torn CCL that is not repaired arthritis can be very severe.

Now, I am sure some will disagree with these statements. To each his own...I don't shy away from surgery on my pups if they need it. Every pup I have has LP to one degree or another and they will not be having surgery. And, they are fine! What I would advise you to do is to find an orthopedic specialist and just get an opinion!
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:23 AM   #15
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Linda, thanks so much for your excellent advice! I appreciate your sharing you knowledge with me because I know you have been through it all. I would like to ask you another question, a little off topic.

The vet found a loose tooth in Daisy's mouth. It is the very last tooth on top. She (the other vet there) showed me how it wiggled a little. I don't know if it is bothering her but when I tried to brush her teeth with a brush, she pushed my arms away and fought me with amazing strength. She is 11 yrs old and has beautiful white teeth and has never had to have a professional dental cleaning. There is a slight amount of tarter or plaque starting on her back teeth.

I would like your opinion...She is taking Denamarin every other day for her liver issues. They were only 10 units above normal on her last blood test. She will get a blood test to check her liver values in about 30 days when her pack of Denamarin is finished. She has never been put under anesthesia before but I understand she will need to be masked to put her under because of her liver issues.

I was going to wait the 30 days until she is due for the liver blood test to get her teeth taken care of so she won't have to get blood work done twice within 30 days. I have no way of telling if her tooth hurts or anything. I would get it done now if I thought it hurt her. What would you do?

Thanks!
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