DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Canine Luxating Patella - The Surgeon Explains Simon's Surgery

We had a discussion (June 25) with Simon's surgeon about his trick knee (canine luxating patella). His symptoms are getting worse, so we opted for surgery as soon as possible for two reasons:

1. Over time, he will develop arthritis. It's not a concern this moment, but without surgery, he will have problems with an arthritic knee.

2. Dogs with a luxating patella often injure their cruxiate ligaments because of the stress of a dislocating kneecap.

Simon's Symptoms
In case you're wondering - he's showing (or we are better at noticing), these symptoms:
  • Occaisonally he will limp because the kneecap has dislocated. The limp lasts as long as it takes for him to pop it back into place.
  • When he lies down, he groans as if in pain.
  • It takes him a while to get into pooping position (the knees are flexed).
  • He falls up stairs (and has since he was a pup).
Frankly, he's had this issue since he was born, but it's getting worse now that he's more mature. His condition is complicated by the fact he's grown from 9 to 29 pounds since we got him in August of 2009. That's a big growth spurt for a Cockapoo originally estimated to be 20 pounds tops at maturity. He's really not the clumsy puppy we thought he was, just a pup with a trick knee.

More Facts About Luxating Patella From The Surgeon
We asked a lot of questions of the surgeon - this is a family member who's having knee surgery and we wanted to be sure we were doing the right thing for Simon.

So here's a few facts about the surgery -

In Simon's case, the kneecap dislocates medially - to the inside of his right knee. It dislocates (moves out of its groove) because the ligament holding the kneecap in place attaches to protrubing bone in his lower leg bone slightly off center. This condition (off center attachment) was probably present at birth.

During the surgery, the protruding bone (and ligament) will be cut and re-attached in the correct position with a pin. Then the ligaments on the side of his knee will be tightened.

Total surgery time - 30 minutes.

Total time under anesthesia - about an hour.

More about Simon's condition (canine luxating patella) in future posts . . .