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Old 08-18-2010, 11:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default maltese limping again

several months ago we noticed our maltese limping and would occasionally yelp because of it. he is very active being only 10 months old. we took him to the vet and explained the problem/symptoms we have been noticing, thinking maybe he just sprained it or something while running like a crazy man throughout the house and backyard. he took a look at his leg and in 5 seconds was like yep looks like patella luxation. at that time he told me that it would cost around $1300 for each leg but said you could probably wait till he is 1 year old. so we decided to take his advice and just wait. then a few weeks later we noticed he stopped limping and seemed ok, fast forward to 3 days ago when he started limping/lifting his leg again, although now it seems like he is favoring it everyday and appears to be worse. we discussed it and want to take him back in to have it looked at/diagnosed again. Is it common for it to flare up so to speak like it did at the beginning and then kind of disappear for awhile and then come back? it seems like it appeared the first time while he was outside running around and chasing lizards (live in south florida). my girlfriend said that she saw him slip while going up the stairs and bang his hind leg on the stair. same hind leg that he was limping with before.

i am familiar with this breed being prone to patella luxation due to their size. i was curious are their other tests that i should ask for to determine that is is truly 100% patella luxation? we also have his neutering scheduled for next thursday. just wanted to mention that in case things needed to be done while he is drugged up?
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi, I don't post much but this is something I do have experience with. My advise is to go to a orthopedic specialist. You will get an accurate diagnosis
of the level of luxation and if surgery is recommended you can have someone
do it who is competent do it. Your regular vet, no matter how good, is not
qualified to diagnose or repair this. Your pup will continue to have episodes of
limping until this is fixed and even after surgery he may even develop arthritis, over time, in the knees that were repaired.

You will not regret this surgery. It's dependable and gives great results. The recovery time is pretty long however. You can google veterinary orthopedic
specialists and find the association which will list doctors by state.

good luck
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makettle29 View Post
Hi, I don't post much but this is something I do have experience with. My advise is to go to a orthopedic specialist. You will get an accurate diagnosis
of the level of luxation and if surgery is recommended you can have someone
do it who is competent do it. Your regular vet, no matter how good, is not
qualified to diagnose or repair this. Your pup will continue to have episodes of
limping until this is fixed and even after surgery he may even develop arthritis, over time, in the knees that were repaired.

You will not regret this surgery. It's dependable and gives great results. The recovery time is pretty long however. You can google veterinary orthopedic
specialists and find the association which will list doctors by state.

good luck

B&B has problems with her leg from time to time, if I were you I would consider having the surgery he's so young and he would have better quality of life. B&B is 11 the vet wants us to keep a close watch on her they don't want to do the surgery because of her age and putting her under
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've had one done at 9 months (due to injury). I would seek a boarded surgeon for a second opinion before you do anything. LP is diagnosed by palpation (vet feeling the knees). Other secondary injuries like cruciate ligament injuries or pre-existing structural contributers like bow-legged conformation would really be something to talk to a specialist about.
BTW, my dog who was injured at 9 months runs agility now.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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with a puppy, i think recovery might be the hardest. i would urge you to crate train your puppy (if they aren't) before the surgery so recovery goes smoothly. its at least 6 weeks recovery (no running, jumping or stairs). good luck with your little one.
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with the previous posts. Fonzie had bladder stones which led to having to have a kidney removed. My vet referred us to a specialty vet hospital. The surgeon was great and Fonzie recovered nicely. The hospital has 24/7 emergency coverage with all types of vet specialists. We just had a neurology specialist deal with a cervical disc problem. I have to keep Fonzie from jumping, running, and stairs. He is not crate trained , so he is VERY unhappy when I need to put him in the crate. So #1 is to see a orthopedic specialist and #2 is to try and crate train which will make the recovery a bit easier on both of you.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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so when you say crate him do you mean leave him in the crate most/all of the day except for when he has to go to the bathroom in which case put him on a leash for at least 6 weeks?

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with a puppy, i think recovery might be the hardest. i would urge you to crate train your puppy (if they aren't) before the surgery so recovery goes smoothly. its at least 6 weeks recovery (no running, jumping or stairs). good luck with your little one.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My vet said I can have him on my lap or sitting next to me on couch/floor. But
it is very important to his restrict activity at all other times. I carry Fonzie downstairs and gently put him on grass where he will pee/poop.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niko-b View Post
so when you say crate him do you mean leave him in the crate most/all of the day except for when he has to go to the bathroom in which case put him on a leash for at least 6 weeks?
if he is used to the crate (you used it for potty training) or if he sleeps in the crate then you probably don't need to do anything more. if you've never used a crate, before surgery is the time to get him used to it - toss treats in it, feed him in it, keep the door open, have him sleep in it (maybe on your nightstand), etc. you may need to do some separation anxiety training as well if he gets upset in the crate with you out of the room.

for the first 2 or 3 days, yes he will need to be in the crate except for potty breaks. walking to go potty is okay (even with both knees done), but you might have to carry him for the first day.

after our shiva had her knees done, i also kept her in a "basket" (hard sided dog purse) that i would carry around the house and put on the counter or my desk, etc. there are pix in my gallery of her surgery and physical therapy.

hope that helps!
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Crate rest means in the crate unless the dog is on your lap or having a leashed potty outing. If you have a physical therapy consult, you will have instructions to do slow leash walks during recovery with gradually increasing distance as well as other physical therapy.
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