We have a 17 month old VERY active mixed Terrier. Over a month ago she was not walking on her back left leg off and on. We took her to the vet and he diagnosed her with Luxating Patella, however, the vet popped her knee back in and her leg has been fine ever since. A few weeks ago we noticed the same thing happened to her back right leg, but only when she would turn quickly. About a week ago we noticed that both legs seemed fine, but we went to another vet for a second opinion. After a thorough exam he suggested having surgery on both legs at once soon since she was so young. He said he noticed arthritis in one leg already. We have been giving her Cosequin, which the vet said is basically a bandaid. Does anyone know what can happen later in life if the surgery is not done? I've heard arthritis will set in. After reading the horror stories about the recovery (with a very active dog) we are hesitant to have the surgery done.
What scale did the Dr place on your dogs knee (1-4) our 16 month old pittie was on a scale 3 out of 1-4...her knee was popping in and out of joint periodically throughout the day...she had the surgery on January 19th, by Saturday she was driving us nuts wanting to play and go for her walks....I would recommend the surgery....if it's not performed, over time the joint will wear down from it popping in and out, hence forth creating a more unstable joint, it will also create more pain for the dog as well...your dog is young enough, I say go for it!
My vet told me if you and your dog don't seem to notice the luxating patella then surgery isn't necessarily the answer, but now I've learned that if you let it go untreated it is almost guaranteed arthritis. So, I think if your vet can feel it then you should see an orthopedic surgeon about surgery.
My 3-year-old "specialty blend" terrier has to have both legs operated on for luxating patella. It seemed like it didn't bother him and then, boom, he's limping and holding his leg up off the floor constantly. My vet referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who recommended surgery because the luxating patella is almost like a progressive, degenerative disease in that it keeps rubbing in the wrong place and causes painful arthritis. So, the sooner operated on, the better. I also found out that just like surgeons that operate on humans dogs need a board certified orthopedic surgeon as well! My vet said there are sugeons who will do it but an orthopedic surgeon has several more years of training and, of course, is board certified in orthopedics.
We knew my "specialty blend" terrier had luxating patella - our vet noticed it around his first birthday but it didn't seem to bother him. The first sign I noticed was he looked like he was skipping occasionally while walking but I thought it was cute. A couple of times he ran as fast as he could in a circle while we were playing and and it popped out of joint. We could tell because he shrieked and his leg was sticking out an awkward angle - he tried to lick it but as soon as it went back into place he seemed fine. Around 2-3 years old, and the time it became enough of a problem that I asked the vet about it, he would jump off the sofa and then hold a leg up off the floor for awhile, or keep a leg stiff and limp around. One leg was worse than the other but both the vet and the surgeon could feel it in both legs.
It really depends on how bad(grade) it is. sometimes surgery isn't the anwser, and they will get arthritis with or without surgery. I have a mini poodle that I rescued who is a grade 1, and I have just given her gluecosimine(sp?) her whole life. She has never needed anything else, and it has never gotten worse. Some of my clients learn to put the knee back into place and never due surgery, and there dogs are fine. I was told by my vet, excersize can be the best medicine. Building up the muscles there at the joint to help keep the knee in place. water therpy is a great way to do that with little to no impact on the actual joint. good luck