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Discussion Starter #1
I know she's not a chi, well partially a chi. But my service dog came up lame a couple days ago and the vet says she's grade 3/4 luxation and has popped out of place.

I am very upset. Surgery is an option we are considering. It will take a long time to save up for, I am disabled. Very little money. I do have emergency vet funds but not enough to repair the knee, and it would gut the account.

Has anyone ever gotten an incorrect diagnosis, or had a dog with high level luxation live comfortably?

She has never shown symptoms and will be 2 in may. My pure chi, Douglas, does show symptoms but is comfortable and happy without medical intervention.

I'm so scared. And at a loss. She's my healer, and I rely on her. She's on crate rest so I can't leave my home much.
 

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My 2.8lb. 16 yr. old, Rheana, has it. She was diagnosed when she was about 2. I don't think I ever knew the grade. At that time she would occasionally do the three legged hop. Over the years she has progressively not used that leg more and more until she was never using it. She has never had any pain. Several months ago I started giving her glucosomine/chondroitin, with the vets approval although he did not examine her again, and after six weeks she was beginning to slowly use that leg again. I'm told it lubricates the joints. It's a bit pricy as I only use human grade meds but surgery has never been a good choice for her if it's possibly avoidable because of her tiny size. Tiny chi's do not tolerate surgery well because of the anesthesia and loss of body temp. My service dog, Pearl, is 3.8lbs. and the vet has already told me that I'm very lucky that she has no problems that might require future surgery because of her size.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mine has never hopped. My little boy does..

Our next step for now is to get X-rays done by my vet, who would be performing the surgery, and go from there. If he thinks she can be comfortable and live a normal, active life, we won't do it, but if she needs it, I will have to find a way to make it happen for her.

Keep her in your thoughts. She's still in a lot of pain.
 

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Sorry to hear this. Mickey was diagnosed with 3/4 right after I got him. Large part of my decision to neuter him. Subsequent vets have said it's not that bad. I have to wonder if the vet's manipulations to check for LP actually loosen the joint. When I got Piper the vet said her patellas were great. She said unusually good for a chi. Just 2 weeks later the same vet said she had LP. ????? She has no symptoms at all. Makes me wonder.
 

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Why not get a second opinion? I often do and I don't let the second vet know that's what I'm doing. Go to another vet, tell him you think it might be a slipped patella, etc. and see what he says. This is a very painful recovery for the dog and may or may not fix the problem completely. I've seen dogs repeatedly slip everything back into place on their own with no pain when the leg gets stretched out by running or jumping. Also, she may be having pain now that was caused by something that irritated her condition. I try anything and everything before going for surgery both for my dogs and myself unless there's an emergency situation. Your baby is not going to die from this. Inform yourself very well...read it all and talk to lots of people. On the internet look for forums and info from foreign countries that are dog friendly, like the U.K. and Australia. You'd be surprised what others are doing that is not yet done here. Almost forgot....exercising and moving is much less stressful if you do it in a tub full of warm water. Your dog will quickly learn how to hold on to your hand with her front paws and move some with the back. One of mine learned to hold on to a small blow up pillow{actually baby water wings with the straps cut off)and kick himself around the tub. Later it was the bay. If water therapy is done for injured horses then why not dogs?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
She will be getting X-rays done this week on friday and we will go from there.

I am so shocked, since she never had symptoms before, her knees were awesome. No skipping, no previous luxations of any sort. I am wondering if it was a traumatic luxation, since it did happen while she was running hard (she was playing with a little puppy at the park). If so, it should be a one time deal and she should recover. That's what I am praying for.

I am also looking into some alternative therapies including bracing and lazer therapy.

I will not make any hasty decisions. I can't anyway. I can't afford the surgery, so if the vet says it's needed after seeing her x-rays, I'll have to save up for it for quite a while.

Unfortunately the meds she is on have made her so ill I had to stop giving them. She was vomiting a ton and having bad diarrhea. I am going to put in a call to the vet and see what they say about it.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this :(.
I'm not sure where you are located, but if she has to have surgery, could there be any organizations near you to help with service animal veterinary costs?
There are also a lot of joint supplements on the market that you can discuss with your vet. They may be worth a try.

I don't know if this link will help:
Floating Kneecaps or Luxating Patella in Dogs
 

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Also contact your local ASPCA as there is programs to help with medical situations like this that they might be able to tell you about.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update!

Surgery is going to be less than I thought it would- still expensive, but I have the money now so no need to wait and save up. It is scheduled for next thursday.

The vet said she absolutely needs it done. Her knee is severe. I agree. She's clearly in a ton of pain- she hops on 3 legs most of the time. It is very sad.

Now we wait. I'll be cutting her hair short (she has a long, soft yorkie coat) so that it will not impede surgery or collect nastiness during recovery.

Have any of you tried other styles of cone? I hate to put one of those plastic ones on her, I thought about trying the KONG donut ones.
 

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Well, good luck with the surgery. I hope she mends quickly.

I know this will fall on deaf ears but....try not to stress and worry too much. I'm sure it will all go smoothly and she'll be running around like a crazy Chi in no time!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you!

So I am now in that frantic couple of days before surgery.

I've packed her overnight stuff. I want to make sure I haven't forgotten anything!

Food (dry pre-measured, wet just in case she goes off food)
Blanket
Paper with food instructions, my name, her name, my cell and work numbers

I am leaving out her supplements for that night just so it's less for the vet to deal with.
 

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Is she going in the pm before surgery or the am of surgery. If it is the am then she has to be fasting for 12 hours before. No solid food. Water is OK. She probably won't want to eat after surgery for awhile due to the anesthesia. You could try some baby food chicken, that she could lap up. Good luck, and don't worry toooooo much!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
She is going in the morning of. But they are keeping her overnight afterward, which is why I am sending food- that's a long time to go without eating.
 

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I asked the vet to check my dogs blood sugar right after surgery, before they took out the IV. If it was low, they could give her glucose. Most of the time the dogs are upset, and that raises cortisol, which raises blood sugar. Mine also had a warmed mat under them.
 
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