My 10-year-old bichon has one luxating patella grade 3 and other knees deteriorating as well. Surgery for 1 knee is $1700. (I could support five 3rd-world kids for a year thru Children International for that amount). I give her arthramine and doggie aspirin, but she is not happy and limps. I carry her outside. Are there other options to make her more comfortable? Cortisone shots? Leg braces?
As far as I know there is no brace like gadget to use, probably because of their tiny little legs. Have you tried giving her glucosamine? I feed mine that every day, but with a grade 3 patella, you're looking at the dog doing some significant damage to the rest of the supporting tendons and ligaments, by leaving it. If I were you, I would take your dog to a University , and or shop around for a more reasonable vet. My vet charges $350. Good luck.
I'm in the Ottawa, Ontario region and had patella surgery done on my dog last year. We interviewed several vets and the costs were all between $1,400 and $2,000. We opted to have it done by a vet in Montreal, the cost was $1,600 and we were very pleased with the service Pacino received and the results of the operation.
A couple years ago, I paid $1200 from an orthopedic specialist, for one leg. I was given a quote, by a regular vet, of $3000. No brainer, huh? I chose the specialist for half the price.
I have another girl having the procedure in a couple weeks. This will be $1350, for the one leg.
It is my understanding the longer the damage has been there, the surgery success rate drops dramatically.
When my senior was having problems, I used a sling. It was a soft padded material, which went around her belly, with handles to enable me to pull much of her weight off the ground while walking. With limited walking, keeping the weight off it, liquid Glucosamine/Chondroitin (given religiously), and a dose of Metacam (on occasion), she was able to develope scar tissue around her problem areas. This, for lack of a better explanation, replaced the torn ligament damage, which the luxating patella caused.
My girl was a senior doggie. Surgery was not an option. But we were able to keep the pain at bay, and she became very comfortable.