Dog joint and ligament care - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 02-14-2013, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Dog joint and ligament care

I have a 3 1/2 year old Maltese furr child. She gets regular exercise, is on a very strict diet only getting her kibble Pacifica | Acana and she gets raw meat as a treat(no chicken, she is allergic to chicken).

However she seems to have this weird thing where she will randomly start yelping and crying in pain. She will jump up and climb on top of my head if we are in bed or my chest into my shoulder if we are sitting down.

I have taken her to the vet and she said she thinks that her ligaments in her back legs randomly will pop over the joint and back. In a horse it would be a hock/stifle issue? I wish I could remember exactly what it is called.

Anyway the vet suggested surgery but I don't feel its bad enough to go that route as it only seems to be every once and awhile it happens, it will go on for a week or two every few days then it wont happen again for months.

I was wondering if there is a supplement I could try her on to help prevent it or at least help it so its not as bad when it does happen.

I just really hate to put my poor lil one through a surgery especially since its not a regular thing. And my vet does agree that its not really bad enough for surgery yet.

So yea any ideas? It breaks my heart seeing her go through this

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post #2 of 11 Old 02-14-2013, 09:59 AM
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I'm thinking the vet was meaning this

It's a luxation of her patellas, so essentially her knee cap is coming out of place. It's very common in small dogs. I have been in on a few surgeries to fix this, it's an ortho surgery, and essentially the make a new nest for the patella to sit in so it doesn't slide around. Have you ever seen a small dog running full tilt on three legs and only occasionally popping its held up back leg on the ground? That's what a luxation of the patella looks like. Essentially it slides out and locks the leg up.

It's a common surgery, routine even, but it does offer quite a bit of relief. Some dogs can live with this condition and show no signs of discomfort, others not so much....

Hope that helped
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-14-2013, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Muppetgirl View Post
I'm thinking the vet was meaning this

It's a luxation of her patellas, so essentially her knee cap is coming out of place. It's very common in small dogs. I have been in on a few surgeries to fix this, it's an ortho surgery, and essentially the make a new nest for the patella to sit in so it doesn't slide around. Have you ever seen a small dog running full tilt on three legs and only occasionally popping its held up back leg on the ground? That's what a luxation of the patella looks like. Essentially it slides out and locks the leg up.

It's a common surgery, routine even, but it does offer quite a bit of relief. Some dogs can live with this condition and show no signs of discomfort, others not so much....

Hope that helped
Yes!!! That's it!! He kept trying to describe it in how it would be for a horse. I think he missed the ball a bit lol. We used to have a pony who would come out of her stall dragging her back leg, you backed her up a few steps and it popped back in.

I just don't know how I feel about doing the surgery when its not a chronic day to day thing. It will happen for a few days off and on for a couple weeks then nothing for months. I was thinking maybe a joint supplement would help it a bit?

I have recently changed vets and haven't talked to the new vet about this much. I might take her in and see what she says. Surgery just seems so extreme. I'm scared to death of her having surgery because I don't want anything to happen. I know its rare but my puppy is my world. I don't know what I would do with myself if something happened during surgery.

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post #4 of 11 Old 02-14-2013, 10:15 AM
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I would wait to see what the new vet says and what they suggest as far as supplements. I would also ask if this is something that will occur more frequently as the dog ages. It might be better to get the surgery now when the dog is strong rather than a few years from now and the rehab time would be harder and longer.

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post #5 of 11 Old 02-14-2013, 10:16 AM
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Ya I will be honest here, no supplement can fix it! I'm going to get graphic here, but remember your dog will be anesthetized through the whole thing!
In a nutshell they open up the leg, get a chisel and a mallet and chip out a new hole or nest for the patella to sit in so it doesn't slide around. NOW I forget if you put her age in your OP but if she's old, forget the surgery, if she's young you will find that over time this slippage will in most cases get worse, so surgery will certainly be of advantage to her.

Ortho surgeries can be painful upon waking for animals, and the vets don't like to give too much pain meds if any because they want the dog to stay immobile for a little period after surgery as to not do even more damage racing around pain free!

My 110lb lab cross had an invasive ortho surgery on her shoulder, she healed vey well and has never had issues since and it's been 7 years since!
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-14-2013, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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I figured a supplement wouldn't fix it. I just had high hopes.

She is young(3 1/2) and it does seem to be getting worse as time goes on. I guess I can kiss my savings for my Schleese saddle goodbye. I knew I should have gotten vet insurance on her *grumble*

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post #7 of 11 Old 02-14-2013, 10:43 AM
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Arrghh pet insurance, tell me about it!!!! We considered getting insurance on our labx but put it off, we had no kids, cash to spare......$10,000 over a three year period with this dog!!!!!! 7years later and she hasn't given us more than a bee sting treatment, so I count my lucky stars she's remained relatively healthy for the last seven years.....don't even ask me to list off the weird and crazy accidents and illnesses that became this dog!!!!! It was one stupid accident after another, then mystery lumps, bowel torsions, shoulder surgery, barbed wire fence wounds, etc etc etc.......ugh she's the Frank Spencer (Some mothers do ave em! - English comedy) of the dog world!!!

If all this had happened to her now, we would probably have to euth her, we now have a set in stone $2000 limit!!!
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-21-2013, 10:55 PM
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I would definitely recommend surgery. As was said, it is something that is likely to get worse with age, as well as cause arthritis. The surgery is fairly routine, they simply deepen the groove that it sits in and tack it down. If you wait too long for the surgery there is a good chance that the area will have deteriorated to a degree that surgery is not likely to help. On the upside, recovery is usually successful, I would also recommend hydrotherapy once cleared by the vet if you can swing it. It's incredibly beneficial and will cut down the healing time significantly.

Good luck!!

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post #9 of 11 Old 02-22-2013, 01:58 PM
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I'd get the surgery and start supplementing with the joint supplement made by Springtime, Inc. We use Longevity, but the plain joint supplement is a bit more affordable.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-22-2013, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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I'm making an appointment with the vet soon for her. I will talk to my vet about it more. I haven't really spoken with her about surgery yet. I know its the best route to go so I will talk to her about it and go from there I guess *sigh*

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