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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I've posted before, Puck has a luxating patella in his right hind leg.

The vet called it, at the time, "a mid-grade median slip." And said that "at some point if it starts to bother him, we might recommend a minor surgury."

I asked about it bothering him and what kind of surgury. The vet assured me that the condition shouldn't cause Puck any pain--not from the knee slipping in and out. He said that the surgury would go in and make the joint a little deeper so it couldn't slip out so easily.

Each time I've brought Puck in, the vet has sounded a little bit more "sure" about going for a surgury. At first it was "at some point, maybe" then it was, "probably need," then it was "that surgury should definately be considered." But he has continued to assure me that Puck shouldn't be in any pain--I'm the one that keeps bringing it up.

Because it seems to me that he is in pain. A lot of the time when you pick him up, he'll cry out. He also growls at you if you put your hand near his leg. He's obviously nervous about his whole rear end.

I told both the vet and his assistant that and they both seemed confused. They gave me some pain medicine and said that if it appears to be bothering him on some day, give him one pill. I can't even see that it helps when I give him the pill.

How many people have had to get a knee surgury for their Chis? How traumatic was it? How expensive? How long did the vet keep your dog? How long was the recovery? Was it effective? Are there any specific dangers to NOT getting the surgury? Are there any specific dangers TO getting the surgury?

They told me it would be around $350 for the surgury and they'd want to keep Puck for "at least 2 nights." I asked them if that $350 included any probable after-care costs. She said, "No, but there shouldn't be much involved in after care..." but then proceeded to list the possibility of needing pain medicine, anti-biotics, a collar to keep him from pulling out the stitches, and a host of other things.

I am really poor. I want to do what's best for my dog, but the puppy's going to need spaying soon (maybe I can put that off. Puck's nuetered and it's not as if going through heat will hurt her...right?). I have about $1,500 in credit card debt and $350 in my savings and I need to have that credit card debt paid of SOON so I can go back to school. :( Cost is a consideration. But there are a lot of other considerations as well. And if putting off this surgury might cause him some sort of injury that will require a more expensive surgury, then being proactive is the best idea.
 

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Oh geeze I just saw an Animal Cops show last night that had a dog that had a luxating patella and never had it operated on.
His leg was sort of bending in towards his body instead of bending the normal way. It was pretty uncomfortable for him to walk also. He held it up as best he could. The vet on TV said that if he had had it fixed when he was younger, you wouldn't know there was ever a problem.
I would go ahead and get it done. It's not going to get any better and doing it while he is still young will help him heal much faster.
I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear, but if Puck is in pain because of it now, it's only going to get worse if you don't get it fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just don't think I adequately understand the condition. As I was given to understand it at first, it's considered a severe problem that from birth can cause the pelvis and back legs to be malformed.

But then I read several entirely different things, and as my vet explained it, it didn't sound like a big deal.

So I just don't get it, what does Puck have, how is it different from the what I first read? What are the dangers? Is it really causing him pain or is he just grumpy? Some dogs do have "hot spots" that they don't want you to touch--often the back paws.

But yeah. If that sort of thing is a danger for Puck, that is something that would make me want to get the surgury.

But I also have all the important questions above. :lol: That I'd like answered.

Because I'm actually not keen on leaving him anywhere. I don't see how it's better for him to be left in a cage at the vet unattended all night, when I could keep him in a cage at home and monitor him. She lied to me and said that "we would check on him." I live right by this vet and I know I've never seen anyone there at night--and I've heard them SAY that even on days off they have people come by "a few times during the day" not at night. Jerks.

Part of my concern is due to the fact that I know I'm going to HAVE to get a second opinion on this from a vet I trust more.
 

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:( So sorry to here about puck's knee! Every time I see your avatar, it reminds me of how Lola looked as a pup. Sorry I can't offer you specific advice on luxating patellas, as we have not had that issue, however Lola ended up having avascular femoral necrosis (the top part of her femur lost its blood supply and died and then collapsed, I posted about this in the Hip dysplasia thread that JeepGirlTX started a while back) that was misdiagnosed as a partialy torn ACL by my local vet for weeks causing the recovery time to be much longer than it would have been if diagnosed correctly right off....

If you are having any doubts about the care puck would receive from your normal vet, I would highly recommend seeking out an animal hospital that has staff round the clock and lots of experience with these types of surgeries. I know that Lola was checked on every 15-30 minutes after surgery and given pain medication and iv fluids as needed. Your pup will have to contend with that knee for many years to come, so you might as well get it fixed as soon as you can and by the best surgeon that you can.

I understand your concern about the cost, I don't have a whole lot of spare money either. Luckily I had Ohio State football tickets that I was able to sell which helped pay for a portion of the surgery (which came to $1100 not including the pre surgery consult, x-rays, etc :shock: ) and a new credit card with 0% for 6 months, or I do not know what I would have done. Some of the animal hospitals have payment plans through financing companies and the like, not sure if this would be an option for you or not?

Sorry again that your little guy and you are having to deal with this. I hope that you are able to work something out to get him fixed up
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmm. Maybe I should see if someone can donate some football tickets to me. ;)

I just went through my accounts and found out I have $182 more than I thought. Due to the fact that I have 2 roommates and I have a joint account with my boyfriend. I tell them how much the bills are, they give me money. But I prefer to transfer in money every week...but I've neglected to give myself the extra back. Investigation proved that the high balance in the account even when everything had cleared was due to my having overpaid somewhat each month for the last 8 months or so. Yay!

Now, to figure out where to take him for a second opinion...

I remeber Angel has gone through something like this with 2 of her dogs! Maybe I should PM her.
 

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Second opinion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is definately what he needs and I say he is in pain if you are merely picking him up and touching his back leg. what pain meds are they giving him Rimadyl?? Careful with that if they are! I can tell you more if that is what it is. :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That is exactly what it is.

And how she gave it to me is an example of why I don't like them. I asked her, "So what exactly is this? A pain medicine like asprin? Or is it an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen?" She didn't answer, precisely. Simply said it would be better to give him than either of those because one pill would last 24 hours.

They have inexpensive puppy visits, though... Plus being right next to the house. I almost switched a long time ago, since the assistant totally pissed me off. I'd be trying to ask her questions and she'd be walking away like the visit was over.
 

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absolethe said:
That is exactly what it is.

And how she gave it to me is an example of why I don't like them. I asked her, "So what exactly is this? A pain medicine like asprin? Or is it an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen?" She didn't answer, precisely. Simply said it would be better to give him than either of those because one pill would last 24 hours.

They have inexpensive puppy visits, though... Plus being right next to the house. I almost switched a long time ago, since the assistant totally pissed me off. I'd be trying to ask her questions and she'd be walking away like the visit was over.
Then that is not a vet for you. You have to be able to ask whatever questions you want and feel satisfied with the answers PERIOD!

Rimadyl they should have checked his liver enzymes before giving and it can have alot of side affects....short term I think its a great med but when used with caution. it is "technically" an arthritis med that more and more vets are using to treat inflammation or pain. It has killed dogs mostly labs.....make sure he gets not more than 1mg per pound or you can double it but that is a full days dose. It has helped Kemo in the past with his pulled muscles.
I had a huge run in with my vets office they finally relented and did what I asked! I like you ask lots of questions and I want answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My thought was, that I would prefer to give him ibuprofen.

My theory on his behavior is that in his favoring the leg and because the affected leg is weak, he pulls muscles in his legs.

I think that probably what happened was that he may have slipped a while back and pulled a muscle pretty bad. He didn't act like it hurt him until a few months ago--then one weekend he was acting like he was in a lot of pain, crying out.

And after that he has made a sort of habit of it. I think it's partially that we reacted to it, and he learned to continue doing it. But I think it's also likely that he's pulling muscles, or straining them, on a semi-regular basis. Or possibly just overworking his good leg by favoring the bad one. So, some soreness, some inflammation.

He'll generally growl sometimes when you put your hand on his leg. As if to say, "DON'T PULL IT."

Then occasionally he'll cry out if you jostle it while picking him up. Once recently he slipped while in the car thanks to my boyfriend never bothering to pay attention to him, and hit his knee and ...boy, did he ever act like he was in some pain then. That's what really got me thinking.

I'm not sure how many mg the pills are, but they are very small and she broke them in half and told me to give him only one half every 24 hours.

But I'd just really prefer if I could get some straight answers about what's really up with him. If it's just soreness and inflammation, ibuprofen would be completely adequate, if I could get them to tell me the appropriate dosage.

I saw that Angel said something about Tequila's surgury and a possibility that she might not use her leg afterward!

Oh! By the way! He's had a blood test before when he went under anasthesia for nuetering. I was told that was to make sure he didn't have any liver problems, etc. that might make it dangerous for him. I hope that's enough and they aren't taking chances with my dog!
 
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