My 1 year old Chow had surgery on both back legs for luxating patella's this past March/May. This past weekend, he started to limp, and I heard a popping noise when when walked. The noise stopped after he walked around for awhile, and he stopped limping as well. However, this morning, the threw up, which is not normal for him. Has anyone had problems with a second luxating patella issue after surgery? He has dug a hole in the back yard, and I have seen him slip those back feet in there while playing, so I'm concerned that there could be a new injury. What should I do?
I kept him quiet all day yesterday and night, but this morning Buddha is running around now like nothing is wrong. But I did hear a distinct 'Pop' when he stretched out last night. No more limping and he is eating okay now, and drinking plenty. With luxating patella's is it like arthritis, where sometime it will act up with too much activity or something?
Luxating patellas are genetic, usually, unless the dog has suffered some kind of trauma. In dogs with a predisposition to the condition, it may only take a jump off the couch to pop the knee out of the joint. If you've already had the surgery, I would go back to the surgeon, and have your dog examined. You can't really compare luxating patellas to arthritis, because arthritis is a degenerative disease, in which the bones slowly change shape, calcify and the joints become inflamed from the bony changes. In a dog with a luxating patella, the knee just pops out of the joint, or simply put, is loose. A dog can easily live with a mild grade of luxation, as long as it doesn't progress. Lots of dogs learn to kick the knee back into joint on the run. I would be worried about the pop you heard, and take your dog to the vet immediately. It could have been the knee, it could have been a tendon, or a ligament; so the best thing to do is find out ASAP. Good luck.
I took Buddha to the vet today, he did injury his back knee. The vet said it felt swollen, but not too bad. We are doing an anti-inflamitory for two weeks, with the expectation that we should see improvement in 5 days. If he's not better after that, then we're looking at x-rays. Thanks for your help, any suggestions to keep dogs from digging holes! I think that's how he got hurt, he dug a hole and then was running around and slipped that back leg in the hole!
There really isn't much of a remedy, other than keeping the dog on the leash all the time, and that's no fun. Perhaps smaller, more frequent walks would work, although you don't want to put stress on the dog's leg. I would spread cayenne pepper on his favourite spots, and possibly crushed pineapple. Perhaps just plain old supervision, and a loud 'NO' at the first sign of digging. Good luck with him.
Okay, need help. Buddha has been on meds for about 5 days, and is acting fine. My husband brought up a good point, is the medication masking the pain, and maybe he does have a fracture or something else going on that we should go ahead and get x-rays? We all know dogs have a high tolerance to pain, and with him being on an anti-inflamitory and pain med, I don't want to down play anything. He ran away from me this morning, and slipped on the tile, he didn't fall, just kind of that cartoon like slip, any way he headed straight for the area rug where he knows he gets better traction. What to do?!
Personally, if he were my dog, the x-rays would be done, although your vet is likely quite sure of the re-injury. If he had a fracture, he would have to have had some kind of leap from something high, or blunt force trauma; so I would not worry about a fracture. Most fractures have different signs and symptoms than a luxating patella, however, to put your mind at rest, I would recommend the x-ray.Your main focus is to try as hard as you can, no matter how difficult to keep him resting, and I know how hard that is. I don't suppose the vet told you if the joint is loose, not just swollen? If you're not satisfied with this vet, there's always the option of another opinion, or a specialist.
Thanks Pen2, you've been a big help. Buddha was playing chase this morning, he just loves to run. We have a fairly large sized fenced in area for him to play in and etc. We live in the country, and it is not safe to walk on the road, so I can't really take him for walks, one of us could get hit by a car. If I'm not out in the dog pen with him, he is usually very calm outside, but when I go get him to come in, he thinks it's play time. That's how I think he re-injured himself to begin with. He has dug about a 10 inch deep hole, and he slips in it from time to time. He's calm inside for the most part, I'll just have to work hard on keeping him calm, and see. We may do the x-ray's but, really he's acting like he's not in any discomfort at all, so we may just be paranoid.
He may need to spend some crate time to keep his activity down. I would absolutely go for xrays, the meds are very likely masking the pain, though if he has any further injury to that leg you need to know that now so he can be properly treated and kept confined before he makes it any worse.
My little boy Presley had his left leg done last May and his right done 4 weeks later. Presley is a 3 year old chihuahua mix. Once we had the first surgery, his right knee became so bad that it was seldom in place so we decided to go ahead and do the other. It has been six months and Presley is moving around but he walks very bow legged and it looks hard for him at times. I wanted to know if anyone else experienced this slow of a recovery? Should i do some special PT? His knee's are both in place, thank heavens!, but he just walks crocked. Thanks for any advice!!