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.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another Opinion On Canine Luxating Patella (Trick Knee Or Floating Kneecap) Surgery

Wish I had access to Dr. Karen Becker's opinion on canine luxating patella surgery BEFORE Simon went under the knife!

A little background - Simon had the surgery for luxating patella last summer. His recovery period (the most critical time frame for successful surgery) was 10 weeks. You can read about Simon's surgery and recovery by clicking this link:

Simon's condition was diagnosed as grade 1 - the mildest form. The surgeon did say we could wait, but the prognosis included arthritis and possible Anterior Cruxiate Ligament tear. We opted for the expensive surgery and the L-O-N-G recovery period.

Dr. Becker, a holistic veterinarian, is clearly conservative. She recommends the following:
"If your dog can’t walk or run normally without having intense pain, you need to consider surgery in correcting the knee cap issue."

In other words, if the dog has grade 3 or 4 luxating patella, then surgery is called for. If not, these are some of the the treatments Dr. Becker recommends:
  1. Maintain the dog's optimal body weight. See this post: How Do I Know If My Dog Is Overweight?

  2. Promote good muscle tone by keeping the dog moving.

  3. Give the dog oral medications to "rebuild and keep the cartilage resilient and strong, as well as to improve joint fluid." See your vet for the medications.

  4. Feed the dog a "species-appropriate, carb-free diet. This can actually help reduce the amount of canine inflammation associated with a luxating patella."
According the the vets taking care of Simon, his issue - a congenital misplaced ligament attachment on the lower leg bone - was correctible only with surgery.

But should we have waited until the condition worsened?