Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Luxating Patella

I really wish "luxating patella" was still a word I didn't have a clue about.

I think I'll start in reverse with the weekend. Brent already sort of told you about Pippin's big acrobatic attempt. I hate to see the little guy in pain, so I was really relieved we were able to take him to the nearby Pet Emergency Clinic. We knew it wasn't a broken bone, because he wasn't whimpering or crying, just not putting any pressure on his foot at all. They told us to take him to our regular vet on Tuesday for a 2nd opinion and possibly X-rays. Since we've moved I don't have a regular vet, but luckily I had already made an appointment for Pippin at the Berry Hill Animal Clinic for this afternoon for his annual shots. Great timing, huh?? I had looked them up on the internet, read good reviews about them, and had a recommendation from a friend so I already felt good about them being his new vet, but when the really nice vet tech at the Emergency Room said she worked there (and she's also a BT owner) I felt really good about them being Pippin's care provider.

Since Christmas Eve he still hasn't put any weight on his leg, and we've been carrying him in and out to go to the bathroom. He's mostly been sleeping, and we truck him around wherever I go. Pippin's main goal in life is to have two eyes on me at all times. Every once in a while he gets a little burst of energy and will try rolling around in the laundry, or licking the dishwasher but all those tasks are a little bit tougher on 3 legs. We've moved little floor mats all around so it's easier for him to hang in our now 99% hardwood/tile house. He was super amped to go for a ride, and he's always a fan of the going to the vet.

I totally don't see how people have children. When they flipped him over on his side and held him down to examine his leg I wasn't sure if I was going to cry, pass out, or puke. His little eyes were so scared, but he wasn't in any pain. After they were finished moving his leg around to examine it I ended up sitting down in the chair because I swear I felt like I was going to pass out. Pippin has a luxating patella, which is also what the emergency room vet said was wrong. I've now done loads of research on the internet and this is fairly common in Bostons and other small-ish breeds. Basically his knee cap is dislocated and won't go back into place. The vet said his other leg has it some as well, and that this was something he has had for a while, triggered by his fall (which would make this a trauma induced case of luxating patella). He said it's a grade 3, meaning he popped it back in place but it came right back out. Which also means he might have to have surgery. For now he gave us some anti-inflammatories (which knocked the guy OUT), he should rest and avoid being hyper (fat chance!!) and we have a follow-up in a week and a half. Pippin's not in pain - he just holds that foot up at all times when he walks. The doc said 1/3 of his limping is caused by pain/swelling from the fall, 1/3 is caused by him having this condition already, and the other 1/3 is caused by him being scared to try to adjust and put the leg down. We're trying to encourage him to walk around a bit more, and test his leg out. I read a lot of different posts about this condition on the Boston Terrier Woof Board and I'm really hoping since this episode was caused by a trauma that in a few days he'll be fine.

I would say that if anyone has any advice about this condition to leave a comment. But, I was catching up on my NIT reading this afternoon and saw where guest blogger, neighbor Jag, was filling in this weekend and did a post wishing Pippin good health. Check out the comment someone left. Geez. That's loads of happy.

Have a great day everyone! Hope you're all enjoying some time off like we are, or are enjoying a lighter than normal week at work. OH, and our hardwood floors are FINISHED and we can move the furniture back into our bedroom tomorrow! YEAH!! And they are BEAUTIFUL!!

And I promise I will post about our great visit with Robb, his wonderful wife and insanely well behaved boys tomorrow. We have some really great pics from the meetup, too. It was loads of fun!!



At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Shalini said...

Poor Pippin! My heart goes out to you guys. I know how terrible you must feel for him. I'm sending lots of positive vibes Pippin's way and I'll be extra optimistic to make up for that jackass's stupid comment!!!

At 6:11 AM, Blogger David said...

One of our fox terriers has the luxating patella thingy. She aggravated it by jumping to earn doggie treats for years. Now she can't jump on the bed or couch anymore and used to limp a lot. She's 11. Now we give her Novox prescription twice a day and glucosamine. She gets around okay.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Cliff said...

Poor Pippin...

u guys seem like good parents...

My mom just use the bottle. No way she is touching my fuel belt ;).

No..we do not need a video of me singing in the country side. That is if u consider what i do is singing..(i am so out of tune.that it ain't funny...actually..it is :) )

Hope Pippin get well soon..

At 7:31 AM, Blogger D said...

Poor Pippin. My malamute is still recovering from his knee surgery that he had back in Sept! His weight (120 lbs) has a lot to do with the slow recovery! I can't believe that person that left that comment. Ugh.

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Flo said...

My pit bull was born with luxating patellas in both knees. When she was just a little over 1 year old we had the surgery on the right knee (the worst one). Due to her size we could only do one at a time. She recovered fine and never had any problems with that knee again. We ended up never having the 2nd knee done as we took her swimming a lot and that strengthened the surrounding muscles enough to not need the 2nd surgery. She is going to be 9 years old soon and gets around really well. She is having hip and knee problems due to other problems but the knee she had the surgery on is in the best shape of all her joints. Good luck with Pippin and my kids, Nala and Rocco, are sending good vibes to him for a speedy recovery.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Darrell said...

Poor little guy. I hope he can recover quickly.

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you find information on your vet?

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Anne said...

May Pippin soon comfortably move along those finely (and finally) finished hardwood floors.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Susan said...

my rowdy has a luxating patella . . . poor pippin.

I hope your holiday was wonderful and best wishes for a fantatic 2007

At 3:47 PM, Blogger Jill said...

Poor Mr. P!!! Tell him to get plenty of rest. Ugh... My chocolate lab can barely walk on his left hip now at 13, so I know what you're going through. He's young at mind but old in the body. Dogs should outlive their parents! It is so not fair!!

Maybe see you guys at NY day race??

We do need to get together soon.


At 5:49 PM, Anonymous angie's pink fuzzy said...


Poor pippin!!!

((hugs to all three of you))

At 6:46 PM, Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

I totally don't see how people have children. When they flipped him over on his side and held him down to examine his leg I wasn't sure if I was going to cry, pass out, or puke.

The feelings are about the same...

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Firefly's Running said...

OMG! That's awful. I hope you get Pippen a lot of TLC.

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Just12Finish said...

Good luck ... hope the anti-inflammatories work to help him along.

At 10:17 PM, Blogger Running Jayhawk said...

pips is made of stern stuff...he'll be back and in full force in no time.

If my sister's four pound chihuahua can recover from having hip surgery twice...pips will be golden!! (Although Peanut did have to go through physical therapy...treadmill and pool time...it was a riot!)

We're sending belly rubs his way!!

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Lana said...

Sorry to hear about Pippin...I hope is able to recover soon. And congrats on getting your floors finished!!! Hope you guys had a Merry Christmas (as much as possible considering the injury)!

At 1:27 PM, Blogger TxSkatemom said...

at first, I thought you or Brent were the ones with the knee problems. Hope little Pippin gets better soon. Can you splint it or anything? I guess you can't get doggy crutches. So sad for the little guy.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger jeanne said...

yikes, i'm missed a lot of action! you're right--it's just as hard watching your kid at the emergency room. same feelings! hope he recovers quickly. (and boo at that commenter!)

At 2:12 PM, Blogger jag said...

I'm just now getting caught up....poor Pippin! I hope he's all better now. One of my NY resolutions is to start walking our dogs more often, so we'll wander up and down your sidewalk until we see you.

At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about Pippin -- it sure can be heart-wrenching with these "children" of ours! My Yorkie (Rocky) was diagnosed one year ago with same and it has gotten progressively worse. I am scheduling him for surgery in February.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found out Monday that my dog (Kaleb) also has a luxating patella. Seems to be in 1 leg.
What really surprised me was the vet telling me the surgery would be $1500 to $2000. Does anyone else here have info about cost for this surgery?
(BTW, I live in Minneapolis, MN).
Thanks in advance!

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Maria said...

My 3 year old Havanese was just diagnosed with a luxating patella in her left back leg. I have an appointment with the orthopedic doctor on 1/8. I feel so bad about this. I really don't want her to go through surgery. Is there anything else they can do aside from surgery? I would appreciate any advise or comforting words. Thanks.

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous kay said...

my baby chloe had surgery for luxaing pattela around the first of the year she is not doing well at all the vet told us that she was going to have to have the surgery again on the same leg. I am really freaking out, the vet says it the groove needs to be deeper she is only three, i feel like i need to do what the vet says so she willl have a better life. I hope we have made the right decision. wish us luck. I canot stand to see my dog in pain.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today was the first day I came across your blog when I googled "luxating patella." I'm so sorry to hear about Pippin! We have a Boston that is only 8 months old, and she started holding up one leg two weeks ago and hopping on 3 legs. At first the vet told us to crate her often and give her a lot of rest, but that hasn't helped. Long story short, took her to the orthopedist today, and yes, it's a luxating patella. I hate seeing her in pain, she yelps sometimes, but I also hate to see her needing surgery already in her young life. We live in the NYC area and the surgery's being quoted at $3,000 - $4,000 ! Hope Pippin does OK!

At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just found out our 1 year old labrador has a luxating patella in her back left leg. At first it wasn't so bad, so we think it would pop back into place on it's own or she would get it back into place by stretching out her leg. Now, the last couple days, she hardly puts any weight on it at all. We have been treating her with large doses of glucosamine and pains medication when needed. Our vet says that's about all we can do, unless we have the $1500 surgery that has no guarantees that it won't re-occur. We hate to see her in so much discomfort and probable pain, although we haven't heard her cry out at all.

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Melinda said...

At the risk of sounding selfish, I am so glad to read that there are people in my shoes! My chihuahua was just diagnosed with the same thing, and she has an ortho consult scheduled for this weekend. Unfortunately, my vet could not answer any questions as this was not his specialty. How is Pippin now? Did you move forward with the surgery? Do you have any idea IF pills (see David's comment) are an option. I am sick to my stomagh over this...and Saturday is soooo far away!

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Our Malamute puppy (Aurora) had surgery on both her back legs at 4 months old for luxating patellas. It was so hard seeing her with her cone so sad. I never wanted her to go thru that again. Now at 7 Months it looks like what the vet and we all feared that she will need surgery on her right one atleast, it just breaks my heart thinking about putting her thru that again. Give Pippin our love we really feel for you all!

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Elyse M. said...

This is so sad about Pippin! My little dachshund Gingersnap also has luxating patellas (both knees). She was cross bred between a standard and miniature dachshund so we suspect that is why -- basically she's a little deformed. She is five years old and has had grade 3 arthritis (a commonality with luxating patellas) since she was only 3 years old. What I have heard and read at this point is that surgery is the only cure. Her pain comes and goes and this just happens to be one of her bad spells. =(

At 2:55 PM, OpenID Gee said...

My thoughts and sympathies goes out to both Pippin and you. I adopted a 6-month old German Shepherd/Pug mix earlier this year and last month she was diagnosed with a luxating patella in both hind legs, the left being the more severe.

We have the option of surgical repair which will include the re-setting the "shin" bone, deepen the groove and tighten her ligaments.

She just made one in September and although I despise the idea of surgery at such a young age (in my eyes) I believe it's the best long-term option.

It appears Pippin's recovery went well and he's back to normal. A great relief!!

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Felicia said...

I'm sorry for you and piipin. I just bought my second Yorkie that is 4 months old. I had him only 1/2an hour and kept hearing a popping sound from his back legs. I looked it up and bingo "Luxating Patella" then I took him to the vet and it was confirmed. I'm sad. I feel like the girl knew when she sold him to me because now she won't answer my emails. At 4 months do you think I could strenthen his legs with swimming?

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Alexandra De Victor said...

I just got home from the E.R.
My minature Rat Terrier i.e. active little shit who refuses to ever be calm, was diagnosed with TWO luxating patellas. The weird thing is the fact that she has never shown lameness or pain before a month ago.. and we used to live on a 10 acre farm with horses, in which she loves to terrorize with her loving nips [they don't seem to mind!].. but we just moved into a tiny apartment with no yard. How is she going to develop such a thing, when barely being active! Kind of ironic, but it just makes me feel guilty.

All we know that caused it was we were playing ball with her one night and she just welped and ran straight for me and clung to me for about an hour. After that it was just time to time lameness.. Then last saturday she was walking and welped and dropped to the ground. This is Monday and she still wasnt putting weight on it.

The doctor said she has laxating patella's badly in both knees, and it is also weakening her hips? I totally agree with the statement

"I totally don't see how people have children. When they flipped him over on his side and held him down to examine his leg I wasn't sure if I was going to cry, pass out, or puke. His little eyes were so scared, but he wasn't in any pain. After they were finished moving his leg around to examine it I ended up sitting down in the chair because I swear I felt like I was going to pass out"

as my little Laynie was clawing to try to get to me. They finally let me hold her down rather than the assistant. As soon as they were finished she was clinging to me like an infant. I sobbed when I got in the car, she needed me so much and I really can't do anything to make it better.

I am a college student, who can barely pay rent let alone pay for double knee surgery for a 10 lb. dog who only cost me 100 bucks three years ago. :[ Really makes me feel useless.

I hope Pippin feels better, and good luck with the future, hopefully I can figure a way to strengthen her knee enough to lessen the pain. If I find anything, I will let you know!

At 1:41 PM, Blogger lasnene said...

My 4 year old chihuahua was just diagnosed with luxating patella in both his back legs. He gets around fine, he runs, jumps, plays and never acts like he's in pain. About 1 month ago he finally starting showing signs of pain. Our vet said he will need surgery on both his back knees. I'm really worried that after the surgery he won't be 100% recovered. Does anyone out there have positive post-surgery experiences to help and try to cheer me up. Thanks for the help!

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Tracy said...

I realize this post is a few years old, but I came across it when I was googling luxating patella surgery. Our Cavalier King Charles has it in his left knee and I was trying to get an idea of what surgery might cost. I live in Nashville too and was wondering if Pippin had to have the surgery and, if so, where did you have it done? Our vet is Murphy Road Animal Hospital, but I don't think they do knee surgery there. Any info. you have would be great! You can email me at tracy.dehart@gmail.com if that's easier. Thanks!!

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Trista said...

I just came home from the vet for my 15 month old Yorkie/Coton's annual check up and was informed that she has Luxating Patella in both of her back knees. The vet told me it was nothing to worry about because we have not seen any favoring, limping or pain. She also said that they do not recommend surgery. After reading about Pippin and the many other dogs I am wondering if I should get a second opinion. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I hope Pippin is doing awesome and again would love to hear peoples comments on what we have found out. Thank you and have a wonderful evening!!!

At 1:54 PM, Blogger rosepearce said...

My dog Chester a 17 month old Cocker Spaniel, has the same condition.He was operated on at 12 months and is due an op on the other leg soon.I must say that although its upsetting to put my baby through it,I think its the only way to offer him a normal life.After his first op my vet said he now has no more chance than any other dog of getting arthritis.He has recovered fantastically and you would never know there was a problem.I would advise getting an orthopaedic specialist to do the op though.

At 5:42 AM, Blogger elizabeth said...

My 9 month old Pom has just been diagnosed with a Luxated Patella. This is my third Pom. One of the former Poms had this problem at 10 years and surgery repaired it. At that time I was working. Now I am on a very low fixed income and cannot come up with the $1500 needed for surgery. It breaks my heart to hear him yipe and not be able to help him.

At 7:53 PM, Blogger brooke said...

My 6-year-old Maltese, Petey just had his first episode of what I'm pretty sure is a luxating patella. He yelped very loudly, held his back leg funny for a minute or two and then limped around for another few minutes. I freaked out and started having a panic attack. He doesn't seem to be in pain now and is pretty much walking around normally again. I hope this doesn't happen again because it tore me up to see him limping around.

At 9:02 PM, Blogger deborah said...

This is very strange but i was looking up luxating patella since my dog is having the surgery tomorrow. His name is Pippin! He is a chi/terrier mix. What kind of dog is your Pippin?

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