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  #1  
Old 01-20-2007, 10:54 PM
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Default an unfortunate vet visit

My girl, Maggie, has severe luxating patellas. She seems completely unbothered by it though.

My questions are: Have any of you gotten the surgery to fix luxating patellas on your dog? Did it work well? Was your dog in a lot of pain? How long did he take to recover? Is it covered by insurance at all? And if you feel like sharing how much did you pay for the surgery and was it for one knee or both? Also, what did you notice in your dog with luxating patellas? Limping? Pain?

I am hoping that some of you have gone through this with your dog. I really feel bad putting my four pound dog into surgery and am just wondering the best way to go about everything.
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:36 AM
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I have a chi that has had both her knees fixed.
I must say getting it done was the very best thing I could have done. She is doing great now and only limps occasionally on her right leg when it is very cold outside and I take her out to potty. It was the worst knee and the surgeon told me to expect it. She aparantly has some authritis in it.
Going through the process for me was very traumatic. She had a cast on each leg for 2 weeks. They were operated on about 8 months apart.
The vet gave her pain meds before I picked her up and also gave me some to bring home. I think she needed them for the first day or 2 but after that she seemed to be in more distress fighting the woosey feeling they gave her so I stopped giving them to her and she was fine until we went back and had the cast taken off.
She actually seemed to be in more pain after the cast came off for a couple of days, I guess because of having her leg in a straight out position for 2 weeks the muscles got used to being that way and then all of a sudden having it bend again maybe gave her leg cramps or something so I gave her the pain meds again for a couple of days.
They took x-rays when I took her back to have the cast off and again 2 weeks after that to make sure everything was staying where it was suppose to and healing properly.
She still limped for about 6 weeks after the surgery so don't expect to see your chi walking around fine right afterwards. I was told not to allowed her to run or go up stairs for 12 weeks after the surgery. I only have one step outside my house going into the yard and my chis are not allowed to go upstairs inside my house anyway so I only carried her out until her cast came off. She started using the left leg alot sooner after the surgery than the right leg. Maybe she remembered the other leg being done and realized she was OK? I don't really know.
Once they start using the leg regularly and realize it doesn't hurt anymore they are fine. Some chis tend to limp a little longer post surgery because it's just easier to hold their leg up and hop. If your Maggie is small enough, you can fill your bathtub and let her swim or take her to therapy where they have special pools. It's to get the muscle built back up and get them using the leg again.
What started it all was she was hoping around on three legs holding her right leg up. She didn't seem in pain, but the surgeon said dogs can tolerate a lot of pain, so even if they don't whine they can still feel it.
I didn't have insurence so each leg cost me around $1,800 or $3,600 for both. If you have insurence, you should read your policy to see if it's covered. Some don't cover luxating patellas and some do. Most of the time it's considered a congenital defect, so check to see it they cover those too.
I don't regret having the surgery done at all. I think it really helped her and I have read horror stories about people not getting it done and the dogs legs can get deformed from the ligaments tightening in the wrong position. I really think it was worse on me at the time than it was for her, and like I said, she is doing great now.
The surgeon also told me to give her Cosequin DS for the rest of her life also. So be sure to ask about that.
Good luck, and let us know how things go
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:38 AM
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About how long until that problem usually shows up? I know it's really common in chis, but is it something that shows up soon, or not until they are a bit older?
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *krista*
About how long until that problem usually shows up? I know it's really common in chis, but is it something that shows up soon, or not until they are a bit older?
Koke's showed up when she was around 6 1/2 months old.
It can show up at any time though. I think if they are older it is usually caused by an injury or authritis.
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:43 AM
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ive heard of dogs as young as 2months old showing signs but its much more common to be "serious" enough to operate around 4+ yrs
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:50 AM
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Oh okay. Thanks ^_^
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:46 AM
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thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. I'm going to look into insurance and just get this done. Poor Maggie: (
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:59 PM
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Aimee,

I'm almost 99% sure insurance won't cover it. Becuase it's an existing condition. My oldest Shea was diagnosed this past June. After about 6 weeks of showing lameness in the one leg it stopped. I guess hers would be considered a 1 or a 2 on the grade level. I was also told when I took Cocoa to the ER vet this past July for something that had nothing to do with her leg that she also has luxating patella. I have never seen Cocoa show lameness though. Anyways if your chi is young and already has bad knees it's probably for the best to have the surgery done. Shea will be 3 in a couple months. If it gets worse I would get the surgery done also. Good luck!
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