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I know at least 2 or 3 other chis on here have gone thru the surgery for luxating patellas.

I was hoping someone could share about their experience with me, what the surgeon did (if you know), what the recovery period was like, what physical therapy was involved (if any), and how long the recovery period took. What did the surgery cost you per leg, what medications was your chi given to aid in recovery, and did you have a specialist or your general practitioner vet do it?

Finally was the surgery successful? Or does your dog seem inhibited still...?

Oakley only has a luxation problem in one leg due to injury, but its likely it will need surgical operation :( So I want to be as prepared as I can and know what the process and recovery was like, and if it was successful.

Finally, what did you do to keep your dog from being bored when it was cooped up for recovery? Shes already bored out of her mind on cage rest.
 

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Hi! Madi went through LP surgery this summer. It was a long road, but we're glad she did it.

We took her to a surgery place in Indianapolis, where they performed the surgery. The surgery was complicated - it involved breaking part of one bone, tightening tendons and 'scraping out' the cavity the kneecap usually sits in. It sounded horribly painful. I think there are pictures on here, but if not, go to my mobile pictures on my facebook (Emily Bedwell | Facebook).

The recovery was LONG. All together, I believe it was almost 3 and 1/2 months before she was given "freedom." The first week was the hardest - after day 10 and we got the stitches out, it was much better. We had a hard time finding a cone for her that fit properly and kept her from getting to them.

She started walking almost immediately, though, and she wanted to run MUCH earlier than she was allowed.

We did one leg, and it was about $1,800 including all medications and follow-up. She was only on a pain reliever and anti-inflamatory for about 2 weeks.

We had a specialist do it.

Her leg is now a stage 1, but should never be worse. I do notice her picking it up very rarely, but only after lots of exercise! She isn't inhibited at all :)

Keeping her sane and still was difficult. She had lots of chew toys and things that took her mental energy. we spent 95% of our time on the floor with her so she wasn't tempted to jump.

It was hard, but i'm glad we did it. I think she's much healthier now that we're through it.
 

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Hi! Madi went through LP surgery this summer. It was a long road, but we're glad she did it.

We took her to a surgery place in Indianapolis, where they performed the surgery. The surgery was complicated - it involved breaking part of one bone, tightening tendons and 'scraping out' the cavity the kneecap usually sits in. It sounded horribly painful. I think there are pictures on here, but if not, go to my mobile pictures on my facebook (Emily Bedwell | Facebook).

The recovery was LONG. All together, I believe it was almost 3 and 1/2 months before she was given "freedom." The first week was the hardest - after day 10 and we got the stitches out, it was much better. We had a hard time finding a cone for her that fit properly and kept her from getting to them.

She started walking almost immediately, though, and she wanted to run MUCH earlier than she was allowed.

We did one leg, and it was about $1,800 including all medications and follow-up. She was only on a pain reliever and anti-inflamatory for about 2 weeks.

We had a specialist do it.

Her leg is now a stage 1, but should never be worse. I do notice her picking it up very rarely, but only after lots of exercise! She isn't inhibited at all :)

Keeping her sane and still was difficult. She had lots of chew toys and things that took her mental energy. we spent 95% of our time on the floor with her so she wasn't tempted to jump.

It was hard, but i'm glad we did it. I think she's much healthier now that we're through it.
Thank you -- any advice and knowledge I can pick up is good. I am thinking a specialist is absolutely the way to go. I do have insurance for her covering 80% from here on out, so that helps, but, still, I know it will add up. I'm glad Madi seems to be much better off now!
 

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Twig mostly recovered in around 7/8 weeks at least that was when she started using her leg again properly I think the first 48 hrs post surgery were the worst pain wise she was on rimadyl but I wouldn't use that now. She was operated on by a ortho vet and I was lucky my vet got to assist the op lasted about 90 minutes and involved deepening the groove for the kneecap to sit in I insisted on her coming home but if I had to go back and do it again I would leave her at the vets so they could have managed her pain overnight I was lucky my vet rung me at 7 am in the next morning to see how she was and told me to increase her pain medication. It cost in all about £1500 which included checkups every few days for about 3 weeks this was nearly 3 years ago. Her movement now is better than it was pre op but she does have days where her leg looks a bit stiff. We didn't do any hydrotherapy as she started to use her leg ok and they were satisfied with her recovery.
 

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Injury or disease

Was Madison diagnosed as a lower grade then progressed to needing surgery?
I know she is about Dahlias age.Was it due to injury?
Did your breeder cover this in her health guarantee?
I live in Ohio as did Dahlias breeder.I found out today she claimed
bankrupsy and moved to Texas! Not good!!
I found a insurance that does not have a pre-existing clause:
petplan.I am considering a "trust fund" for Dahlia or the Ins com for $17 a month.

PS-My vet told me 75% of chis have LP to some degree.
What I wonder is what percentage progress from lower
grades to surgery?
 

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I finally heard back from the specialist up in Denver, she is 7 hrs away but we might as well travel and do this right if we are going to do it. The surgery is scheduled for next Friday, Oct. 22nd.

I talked through what happened with the surgeon as well as the options. She said that trauma related LP usually will not heal its self because generally a ligament is torn and unless the dog is still as a statue for 6-8 months, there's no way it can begin to refuse/heal. 1) Oakley is only 1.5 years old, there is no need to keep her still for that long, 2) that's a "maybe, it possibly, might, have some small potential of healing, sort-of". The specialist was very thorough describing why it is important to have it DONE by a specialist, because often, once the knee is open, its a play-it-by-ear sort of situation. They will not know exactly what they are going to do with her knee until they can physically see the best thing to do. Because her knee grooves are probably fairly deep, the surgery will probably not be too traumatic for her, but if the knee groove isn't deep enough she will deepen it. The sad part is its going to cost less to have a specialist do the surgery than the vet here (well aside from the fact I will be driving 7 hours and having to prob rent a hotel somewhere). She also will give Oakley an epidural prior to surgery so her backside will be numb until the following morning and pain management will begin before that wears off. She said the first week will be pretty rough keeping her still, keeping her calm, etc. but after that it shouldn't be too bad.

I really wish surgery didn't have to happen but I can't see that happening, I was very familiar with her knees and trust me it feels totally wonked out versus how it felt before. :-/ I want her to be able to heal ASAP not drag this out for possibly another 6-8 months, without any guarantee there will have been healing. This way she should be back to normal in as little as 2-3 months and it should almost guaranteed be successful.

Between that and Bryco's shows, I wont be home for a single weekend between now and the end of November. Bummer.
 

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I'm so glad you heard back from the specialist so soon! That's awesome. And what a detailed conversation! Geez! :) That is exactly what you want from the person you are to be handing baby Oakley over to. It sounds like everything is in order, so good for you. I'll be thinking of your little girl, and my pups send good wishes to you, too!
 

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That doctor sounds top notch Kristi! Glad that she spent the time to discuss it with you and your options. It does sound like surgery is the best thing to do. MIght as well get it over with and done so that she can heal. I would not want to wait around for 6-8 months either, too easy to re-injure the knee or have her end up limping and then dealing with atrophy of the muscles, etc. I think this is the best route. Considering all that's happened, I do think this is the best possible scenario for Miss Oakley!!
 

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That doctor sounds top notch Kristi! Glad that she spent the time to discuss it with you and your options. It does sound like surgery is the best thing to do. MIght as well get it over with and done so that she can heal. I would not want to wait around for 6-8 months either, too easy to re-injure the knee or have her end up limping and then dealing with atrophy of the muscles, etc. I think this is the best route. Considering all that's happened, I do think this is the best possible scenario for Miss Oakley!!
Yeah, I hate that surgery is the way we are going, but I just don't think it's going to heal on its own the way it should, even if it somewhat healed, the chance of re-injury is much greater than it will be if she has surgery.

She may actually artificially bind her knee back together if need be...I think she will do a good job. She is board certified, and has over 10 years of experience doing surgery on small animals/dogs.

So...sigh...surgery it is. She said if I wanted to wait for a month or two that was fine, to see if I saw improvement, she said no real damage would be done in that time, and there is no need to rush into surgery if we need some time to wrap our minds around it or save $$...but she said she rarely sees that in grade 3 or higher no matter what the cause. I know she is healthy and strong and I do feel this is the best option.

She has to stay overnight which I hate...
 

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She quoted us at $1200-$1400 including "everything". Of course we will have local follow ups with a vet here (ugh) but thats gonna be the ticket price there, not horrible, but I'm glad we have the insurance on her.
 

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I'm so sorry it's come down to surgery, Kristi, but it does sound like it's for the best. The surgeon sounds wonderful too, which I know will easy your mind a lot. Don't worry it'll all be over before you know it and your little girl will be on the mend very soon. :)
 

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My girls haven't had it done but my mother in laws dog did.

She had it done at our regular vet. I want to say it was somewhere around $1500 for one leg. I would definitely go to a specialist though.

The first four weeks after surgery, she was on strict cage rest. She was only allowed out to use the restroom and that had to be on leash.

After the first month, Missy was allowed to go for very short walks a couple times a day (like 10 mins or so at a time). Also, MIL was given exercises to do at home to help with mobility. As time went by, the length of the walk could increase.

She was given pain meds and an anti-inflammatory to come home. She went to have the surgery in the morning and then stayed over night and the whole next day for monitoring.

Missy was very bored during her cage rest. I know one thing MIL did was carry her around a lot in her arms. She also would put her in a stroller and push it on flat (non bumpy) surfaces so she could get out some.

Worth a mention- I was surprised at how large the incision site was and how gruesome it looked when she came home. I totally wasn't expecting that.

I would say the surgery was a success. Missy is young (two next month) and is able to run and play like all of the other pups. She no longer favors that leg anymore. It took her roughly 8 weeks or so to fully recover.
 

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My girls haven't had it done but my mother in laws dog did.

She had it done at our regular vet. I want to say it was somewhere around $1500 for one leg. I would definitely go to a specialist though.

The first four weeks after surgery, she was on strict cage rest. She was only allowed out to use the restroom and that had to be on leash.

After the first month, Missy was allowed to go for very short walks a couple times a day (like 10 mins or so at a time). Also, MIL was given exercises to do at home to help with mobility. As time went by, the length of the walk could increase.

She was given pain meds and an anti-inflammatory to come home. She went to have the surgery in the morning and then stayed over night and the whole next day for monitoring.

Missy was very bored during her cage rest. I know one thing MIL did was carry her around a lot in her arms. She also would put her in a stroller and push it on flat (non bumpy) surfaces so she could get out some.

Worth a mention- I was surprised at how large the incision site was and how gruesome it looked when she came home. I totally wasn't expecting that.

I would say the surgery was a success. Missy is young (two next month) and is able to run and play like all of the other pups. She no longer favors that leg anymore. It took her roughly 8 weeks or so to fully recover.
Thanks for sharing. I am of course worried sick but like your moms dog, Oakley is just too young to not nip this in the bud. It just goes to show even if health testing is done, there are no guarantees because they can hurt themselves too.

I'm terrified of what the incision site will look like, I am hoping since a specialist is doing it they may make it a bit neater. Oakley's incision from her spay way gnarly from the GP, far worse than I've seen on some of the pups here, so when it comes to surgery, specialist it is.

I'm trying to come up with things to keep her entertained during her cage rest. Chewies, puzzle toys, she loves toys with little bits sticking off, she will chew those for ages, etc, but I would love more suggestions. I'm going to get a few of those toys where smaller toys are hid inside too that they have to get out somehow. Don't know if she'll get it but maybe...?

Tricia suggested a puppy purse, I'm totally going to get one, if recovery ranges from 2-3 months, it will be a must!
 

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Worth a mention- I was surprised at how large the incision site was and how gruesome it looked when she came home. I totally wasn't expecting that.
that must of been a shock!, Twig's was really neatly done and prob not more that 2 inches long definitely not as awful as i was expecting she also had internal stiches so that probably made it look better
 

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Here is Zoey's incision from her surgery in July, she didn't have LP surgery but it was knee surgery. This was taken while she was still waking up from anesthesia. So it's a little messier than they normally would be.
 

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Here is Zoey's incision from her surgery in July, she didn't have LP surgery but it was knee surgery. This was taken while she was still waking up from anesthesia. So it's a little messier than they normally would be.
Ohhh widdle Zoey, we so glad you are better! I am totally dreading this but I know it really probably is for the best. Zoey's incision doesn't look too terrible though, really, I could cope w/ that :-/ Its hard, she is already unhappy about the cage rest.

The specialist said it wouldn't do any harm to the injured leg to let her walk around and run on it, her concern was of injury to the OTHER leg because of it having to do so much more work.
 

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Was Madison diagnosed as a lower grade then progressed to needing surgery?
I know she is about Dahlias age.Was it due to injury?
Did your breeder cover this in her health guarantee?
I live in Ohio as did Dahlias breeder.I found out today she claimed
bankrupsy and moved to Texas! Not good!!
I found a insurance that does not have a pre-existing clause:
petplan.I am considering a "trust fund" for Dahlia or the Ins com for $17 a month.

PS-My vet told me 75% of chis have LP to some degree.
What I wonder is what percentage progress from lower
grades to surgery?
Yes, she fell off a footstool height (don't ask) at my in-laws - while I wasn't there, of course, which aggravated it. She had stage 3/4 in the leg when we operated.

She quoted us at $1200-$1400 including "everything". Of course we will have local follow ups with a vet here (ugh) but thats gonna be the ticket price there, not horrible, but I'm glad we have the insurance on her.
1400 is great! The place we went quoted us 1800 on the phone, then when we got there, tried to tell me is was 2400....i was like Uh-huh! Mom-wrath ensued and we got it for the original price. I totally wish we would have had insurance, though. Debating getting it now, just in case the other leg goes bad!

Ohhh widdle Zoey, we so glad you are better! I am totally dreading this but I know it really probably is for the best. Zoey's incision doesn't look too terrible though, really, I could cope w/ that :-/ Its hard, she is already unhappy about the cage rest.

The specialist said it wouldn't do any harm to the injured leg to let her walk around and run on it, her concern was of injury to the OTHER leg because of it having to do so much more work.
It is hard, and it looks so much worse than it is. I think madi's looked really bad, mostly because she's an LC, so it was totally shaved AND had the big incision.
 

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Ohhh widdle Zoey, we so glad you are better! I am totally dreading this but I know it really probably is for the best. Zoey's incision doesn't look too terrible though, really, I could cope w/ that :-/ Its hard, she is already unhappy about the cage rest.

The specialist said it wouldn't do any harm to the injured leg to let her walk around and run on it, her concern was of injury to the OTHER leg because of it having to do so much more work.
She needs her other knee done, but she keeps getting sick, so have to wait.
 
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