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Well, I was hoping that with 2 days of rest we would see some improvement, but we haven't seen any w/ Oakley. I have no idea what is wrong w/ her knee but something is seriously wrong. It seems like about 1/2 the time the patella just...isn't in its groove, and the other 1/2 the time literally if you touch it, it slides out and can't be slid back in. You can feel it on the side of her knee but it just won't go back in. I know that sounds "off" and "doesn't make sense" and I agree, but its definitely the case. Somehow she really injured her poor little knee, and I can pretty much guarantee that she is going to need surgery :-/

The patella feels HUGE too, does anyone know why this would be? I mean the obvious answer is swelling, because 1) I know it was not this big before, and 2) up until Sunday, she had very solid knees, but...can patellas swell? I have been icing the knee and keeping her completely off it, but it still feels the same.

For those that have had this surgery on their dog, how did it go, how did the recovery go, and was it successful? How long were they bandaged up and did they seem in pain?

Does anyone think that for the time being wrapping the leg with an ace bandage of sorts might help provide support so the kneecap can stay in place better and possibly heal?

The vet said that 10 or so days of "wait and see" isn't going to hurt her or cause any long term damage moreso than what's happened, but wait and see is hard :(


I know this probably isn't the end of the world but its really upsetting :-/
 

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I haven't had this happen to me, but I think wrapping with an ace bandage is a pretty good idea. The problem is, getting the knee cap where it needs to go, then wrapping the bandage snug enough to keep the knee cap in place. When I injured my knee in high school & it swelled up, I waited too long to go to the dr & blood started filling in my knee. Very, Very painful. I had to have my knee tapped (drained). I agree with you about having to have surgery. Sounds like she's going to need a pin put in place to keep knee from slipping around. I hope someone on here can give better advice who may have been in a similar situation. Keeps us informed & hope Oakley finds some relief soon.
 

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The patella itself may not be swollen but the tissue around it might be. Zoey had a Lateral Collateral Ligament Repair in July (which is similar to a cruciate but not quite), she needs the other leg done. She was walking on her leg in a day or two, we didn't bandage it as my dad feels they do better without. We alternated ice & applying heat to Zoeys leg following surgery to help her heal. She wasn't super painful but was on 2 types of pain medications. Swimming therapy (swimming in the bathtub) has been the biggest help in her recovery. I would say go ahead and bandage her leg as it will provide stability for her. The inflammation probably isn't helping things heal, will your vet give you an anti-inflammatory? (Rimadyl/Meloxicam etc)? Most little dogs recover from these surgeries pretty quickly.
 

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I'm getting her back into the vet today, I think its worse than the ER doc thought but it also wasn't as if they could do much more for her that night so they did a good job w/ what they could do, they identified the problem, but not the severity, because really, how could they? I appreciate that she didn't jump immediately to the "surgery" option, but that will be very complicated when we go that route, I will probably have to go up to Denver for a few days because we don't have an orthopedic surgeon here and there's no way I'm letting some ordinary vet do it.

She has insurance, this is covered, at least 80% of it anyway, so, while it will still prob. end up being $500-$700 out of pocket, that is manageable and there is no reason this shouldn't be covered. I now wish I'd coughed up a bit extra for the 90 or 100% coverage, but such is life, at least we have some.

I'm mainly upset because she is hurt. She loves to scamper around but she literally hasn't walked more than 20 steps since Sunday :-/ She also is very clearly in pain despite the medications, she just has been sitting meekly on my lap or in her crate. She's also on a diet, poor baby, b'c she's a chunkey monkey and that's not good for her joints.
 

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Oh kristi this is just awful I know this is your worst nightmare I dunno what to say but maybe increase her glucosamine too
 

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The patella itself may not be swollen but the tissue around it might be. Zoey had a Lateral Collateral Ligament Repair in July (which is similar to a cruciate but not quite), she needs the other leg done. She was walking on her leg in a day or two, we didn't bandage it as my dad feels they do better without. We alternated ice & applying heat to Zoeys leg following surgery to help her heal. She wasn't super painful but was on 2 types of pain medications. Swimming therapy (swimming in the bathtub) has been the biggest help in her recovery. I would say go ahead and bandage her leg as it will provide stability for her. The inflammation probably isn't helping things heal, will your vet give you an anti-inflammatory? (Rimadyl/Meloxicam etc)? Most little dogs recover from these surgeries pretty quickly.
They did give us Rimadyl, as well as a pain killer but I am going to ask for more when we go back today as we only have enough Rimadyl for 10 days, and the pain killer will run out sometime Thursday. The pain killer is a derivative of morphine but the dosage is so low she seems pretty normal, but they said it may make her a tish loopy. They were very thorough and didn't just go straight to the problem of her knee, gave her a thorough exam too, so I appreciated that, most vets around here barely glance at the dog and give it a clean bill of health.

I am going to bring a bandage with me to the vets today, and see if they will try to wrap it, if not, I will. Mainly I'd like to give her stability, like you said, until we know "what's next". How did you apply the ice? I am going to see if I can find some of those flexible cold packs. I've been putting a piece of thin cloth between the ice bag and her knee to protect her skin.
 

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I would def. wrap it to see if that will help "stabilize" everything for a bit. I wouldn't make any rush decisions to have surgery done. Personally, I'd find an Ortho specialist in your area, and take her there. They can give you the best advice over a reg. Vet. It might take awhile for everything to heal, but it would be better than surgery, IMO. I know its tough to see her in pain, but the alternative would scare me more. Metacam works very well for pain and inflammation. I would ask your vet about getting some. I would get a playpen for awhile and keep her as still as you can. It gives her room to move about just a little. A place to eat, potty, and rest. I hope she is much better soon. I know you are very worried about your Angel.

And as Heather mentioned, I think the swelling you feel is surrounding tissue. Probably some fluid build up too. It can take 2 weeks for things like that to start looking better.
 

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Oh kristi this is just awful I know this is your worst nightmare I dunno what to say but maybe increase her glucosamine too
Yep, I did, she's getting it AM & PM now. She hatessss it but the doggy stuff has a natural painkiller in it so I am gonna stick w/ that for now until I can find a human one w/ the same stuff, maybe mix it w/ some peanut butter and she'll eat it. Its awful but I also am 100% sure its injury, esp b'c how it is. LP usually progresses the vet said, but hers was WHAM to right now what we are "calling" stage 4, its that bad.
 

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Poor baby!!!

Be careful with the pain meds. Rimadyl has some pretty bad side effects. If you could get her on tramadol, I think that's a better choice.

No experience with this Kristi but I'm sure that your posts are helpful to alot of people as you go through this and we will all learn from this. Patella issues are unforunately so common.

I'm glad you are going to see a specialist though. I can't stress enough how important that is to go to someone who knows exactly what they are doing and not just a GP.
 

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I would def. wrap it to see if that will help "stabilize" everything for a bit. I wouldn't make any rush decisions to have surgery done. Personally, I'd find an Ortho specialist in your area, and take her there. They can give you the best advice over a reg. Vet. It might take awhile for everything to heal, but it would be better than surgery, IMO. I know its tough to see her in pain, but the alternative would scare me more. Metacam works very well for pain and inflammation. I would ask your vet about getting some. I would get a playpen for awhile and keep her as still as you can. It gives her room to move about just a little. A place to eat, potty, and rest. I hope she is much better soon. I know you are very worried about your Angel.

And as Heather mentioned, I think the swelling you feel is surrounding tissue. Probably some fluid build up too. It can take 2 weeks for things like that to start looking better.
The naughty brat can get out of playpens, pens, x-pens, etc. Maybe not now w/ her knee but she would try and prob make things worse. But I was thinking maybe the kind you have for jade, with a cover of some sort. Right now she is in a medium sized wire crate with her favorite bed and a few toys and an ostrich chew, and water. There is no room for her to move at all really but enough for her to be comfortable. I left her at home this morning because she gets so excited when she comes to work with me but I will prob have her in here in the afternoons to change up her scenery a bit. But anyway, I think a playpen where I could put a potty pad for her too would be ideal, we always get home at lunch to let them out and she normally holds it that long w/o problem, but still.

The closest ortho specialist is 7 hours away. However, 2x a month the office where we took her Sunday has one come down to do surgical consultations, he also does surgeries. I will be getting a second opinion, but I think his will be the first. I'm so not joking when I say I live in the proverbial sticks. Either way, I will get a 2nd opinion by driving to Denver w/ her to see a 2nd ortho surgeon. My poor sweet babydoll...

Thanks for reminding me about metacam, I may ask for that as I don't think the painkiller she has right now is doing much. She isn't a "shakey" chi but has been shaking pretty much non-stop, I can tell she is hurting.

I feel so dumb, I've pretty much cried every time I've talked to them about her, or anyone, really...I also think you are right and maybe waiting a bit and giving it time to heal a bit is the only thing we can do, either way. They said that her whole joint and bone structure was very healthy, no signs of prior irritation, inflammation or stress/strain. Another confirmation that...it was injury. I feel guilty because I let her jump all around like a jumping bean...now I am having lotsss of fun working with the boys to stop the same behaviors. :-/
 

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Poor baby!!!

Be careful with the pain meds. Rimadyl has some pretty bad side effects. If you could get her on tramadol, I think that's a better choice.

No experience with this Kristi but I'm sure that your posts are helpful to alot of people as you go through this and we will all learn from this. Patella issues are unforunately so common.

I'm glad you are going to see a specialist though. I can't stress enough how important that is to go to someone who knows exactly what they are doing and not just a GP.
I will google side effects on it, as well as ask if they have the other...do you by chance know off the top of your head some of the side effects though?
 

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I will google side effects on it, as well as ask if they have the other...do you by chance know off the top of your head some of the side effects though?
Rimadyl has caused serious kidney and liver damage in dogs. I think there are better options. There have been lots of lawsuits, etc.

The Senior Dogs Project
 

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So sorry, Kristi. :( I agree with Tracy on the Rimadyl, I personally wouldn't use it. My Pom was on Tramadol for awhile, it's supposed to be quite safe. Best of luck with everything, I'll thinking of you and little Oakley, keep us posted. xx
 

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Rimadyl has caused serious kidney and liver damage in dogs. I think there are better options.
Oh no, I definitely don't want that, esp. if she is going to be having surgery. I am also switching her to a full raw diet, mostly pre-mades, but just the "purest" nutrition I can give her for now, as her food has been cut back and every bite needs to count, even THK has "fillers". She is getting salmon oil, AM, coconut oil, PM, a bit less than either or if I only gave one a day, but I want her to have the benefits of both. Its funny b'c now that I had a vet tell me she needed to lose weight, I definitely see it. When she lays down she is pretty rolly polly. She is being a trooper, and this is all terrible but I just have to have faith that this is a one time deal. The vet said there is always risk of injury to the other knee too, but that it feels solid, there is 0 luxating, so I just have to keep her from jumping once this is all over to keep that knee from having something similar traumatize it. Sigh.

I might start a chi diary to keep track of symptoms, progress, vet visits, etc. so other people dealing w/ something similar have something to follow along with, also for my own records.
 

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So sorry, Kristi. :( I agree with Tracy on the Rimadyl, I personally wouldn't use it. My Pom was on Tramadol for awhile, it's supposed to be quite safe. Best of luck with everything, I'll thinking of you and little Oakley, keep us posted. xx
Thanks Paula, another vote for Tramadol :) I just hope that they don't think I'm crazy when I say that I don't want her on the Rimadyl. We have 3 options for vet in this town, one stinks (our old vet), one is a bit far out in the country but she is good, and the other is the one we went to the ER vet at Sunday but I am thinking we are going to do her follow up care there, they have 5 vets and one is a small dog specialist.
 

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The naughty brat can get out of playpens, pens, x-pens, etc. Maybe not now w/ her knee but she would try and prob make things worse. But I was thinking maybe the kind you have for jade, with a cover of some sort. Right now she is in a medium sized wire crate with her favorite bed and a few toys and an ostrich chew, and water. There is no room for her to move at all really but enough for her to be comfortable. I left her at home this morning because she gets so excited when she comes to work with me but I will prob have her in here in the afternoons to change up her scenery a bit. But anyway, I think a playpen where I could put a potty pad for her too would be ideal, we always get home at lunch to let them out and she normally holds it that long w/o problem, but still.

The closest ortho specialist is 7 hours away. However, 2x a month the office where we took her Sunday has one come down to do surgical consultations, he also does surgeries. I will be getting a second opinion, but I think his will be the first. I'm so not joking when I say I live in the proverbial sticks. Either way, I will get a 2nd opinion by driving to Denver w/ her to see a 2nd ortho surgeon. My poor sweet babydoll...

Thanks for reminding me about metacam, I may ask for that as I don't think the painkiller she has right now is doing much. She isn't a "shakey" chi but has been shaking pretty much non-stop, I can tell she is hurting.

I feel so dumb, I've pretty much cried every time I've talked to them about her, or anyone, really...I also think you are right and maybe waiting a bit and giving it time to heal a bit is the only thing we can do, either way. They said that her whole joint and bone structure was very healthy, no signs of prior irritation, inflammation or stress/strain. Another confirmation that...it was injury. I feel guilty because I let her jump all around like a jumping bean...now I am having lotsss of fun working with the boys to stop the same behaviors. :-/
Yeah, I would try the kind I use. You can get one at Wal-Mart for under $50. I'm not sure if it will work since she jumps, but I cover mine with a blanket when it's drafty, or cold. I sure hope it works out for you guys, I know you are at a loss right now. :( Maybe since she isn't feeling well, she won't try to jump as much. :/

It makes it so tough when you don't have a specialist near you. Working, and other responsibilities make it very hard to travel. I'm sorry you are having to go through all of this. It's great that your Vet has a Ortho specialist that comes in ever so often. I use an Ortho specialist as my reg. Vet. I absolutely love him, and I trust his judgment 100%. When Jade hurt her leg and wouldn't walk on it, he was so awesome. I went in there a basket case thinking she had broke it, and would need surgery or something. All she did was step off of my Grandson's lap, and he was sitting Indian style on the floor. Ugh! They get hurt so easily. She couldn't walk for 2 days!

Lexie hurt her back trying to jump on the couch last year, and it took about a month for her to stop showing signs of pain. It can be a long process, but I feel better about trying all other options before surgery.

Yeah, when they aren't the shakey type, that is always a sign that they don't feel well. :( I have used Metacam for all my pups for various things, never had any problem, and it works.

Don't feel dumb! Girl, I would be doing the same thing! They can't tell you what's going on, you have no idea how much she is hurting, she isn't feeling well, and it hurts you to see her that way. She is your baby. Not knowing if she'll need surgery or what to expect makes you feel sad. It's natural to feel the way you do.

Yeah, I would try to correct the jumping. It is so cute, but they can get hurt so easily. I know how you feel though. Barking never really bothered me, so I never really made a fuss about it. Now they are older, and it drives me batty. It can't injure them, but it's funny how we don't realize how some things can turn out to be not so good for them, and not so good for us. :lol: Then we have to spend so much more time correcting the behavior. Oh well, we are only human, we do the best we can. I know that you love Oakley with all of your heart. You are one of the best Chi Mom's around. I know she will get the best in your care. Sending prayers, love and speedy recovery wishes. Please keep us informed. :) (((((Hugs))))) She's going to be okay, Mama. :daisy:
 

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Tramadol is a safe drug. I have used that one as well. It is more for pain only, though. Metacam will help with pain and inflammation.
 

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Yep, I did, she's getting it AM & PM now. She hatessss it but the doggy stuff has a natural painkiller in it so I am gonna stick w/ that for now until I can find a human one w/ the same stuff, maybe mix it w/ some peanut butter and she'll eat it. Its awful but I also am 100% sure its injury, esp b'c how it is. LP usually progresses the vet said, but hers was WHAM to right now what we are "calling" stage 4, its that bad.
I'm really upset for you :( it's so traumatic give her a big kiss from me :( poor baby and you and miles its awful
 

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I know I have to trust that she will be fine, its just scary, she is so small, like, she is taller than most 3.5-4 lb chis, and longer, but she is TINY, trust me. Most people say they have never seen a dog as small as her. Its just hard to think of such a tiny baby having such a big operation. I know I have to stop thinking its going to come to that but realistically, I think if any of you felt her knee, you would agree it probably will but I am not going to rush into it. The vet said she could walk around like this for months without doing "damage" or causing arthritis later, she is young and strong. She said there is no "rush" and it might be hard to see her like this but to wait because it may heal itself.
 

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I was going to mention too. Vets try not to give too much pain meds. In a dog, if they feel well, they are romping about. Some pain will keep them off of the injury more, and more likely to heal. We are thinking about you guys here. :( I know you are worried.
 
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