Grade 3 Luxated Patella on both back legs

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Postby Hollys Rangie » May 27th, 2010, 10:25 pm

Hi everyone - I usually don't post much, but do a lot of reading around here.
I have a quick question for any of you out there that might have a suggestion for me.

I have a 2 year old pit bull rescue. He has got a lot of problems due to apparent inbreeding. He had mange as a pup, is somewhat mentally challenged (vet says he will be mentally a puppy), and his back half has always lived a separate existence from his front half. Despite all of this, or maybe because of it, he has been nothing but a blessing to my husband and I.

He has been experiencing a little bit of tenderness in one of his back legs recently, but then began to have some issues with his back legs after taking a spill while chasing a squirrel. We took him to the vet today and found out that he has got grade three luxated patellas on both of his back legs. According to the vet this is rather unusual in a dog his size, but is also very rare to have both of the back legs in this condition.

We have gone ahead and set up the consultation with the orthopedic surgeon for Tuesday morning, and are contacting the local (about an hour and forty-five minutes away) Veterinary Teaching Hospital. All in all, we are looking at about $5000+ to fix both of his legs. I am not exactly sure how we are going to find the money, but we will somehow.

Anyway, my question is,
Do any of you have any suggestions for how to try to cut down the cost a bit?
AND
How can I help to make him the most comfortable that I can in the meantime?

All suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
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Postby TheRedQueen » May 27th, 2010, 10:33 pm

Sawyer has a luxating patella in his left leg...it's not been too bad...he just limps a bit after a hard weekend of flyball.

Sorry...it does suck. :hug3:

Talked to a sports vet a while back, and she recommended lots of stretching of the back legs...so Sawyer has to get on his hind legs and "dance" before running...it really does seem to help...and he likes it! lol

He's also on Dasequin and gets a rimadyl if he's having a particular "ouchy" day. Lots of soft bedding to lie on helps too...he gets stiff if he's on the hard floor too long.
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Postby Hollys Rangie » May 27th, 2010, 10:42 pm

Thanks for the hug! It has been a bit of a hard day.

Wilbur (his name) is currently on Deramaxx for the pain, but I have to call the vet tomorrow and see if we can find something that will work as well, but is less expensive. The Deramaxx is $80 for 15 pills. Hopefully there will be something out there.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » May 28th, 2010, 7:07 am

I have nothing useful to offer but did want to send some good thoughts for a quick, full recovery for him. :)

And is it wrong that this:
and his back half has always lived a separate existence from his front half
made me giggle?

Post up some pics of Wilbur so we can send him some PBT healing thoughts!
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Postby katiek0417 » May 28th, 2010, 10:23 am

TheRedQueen wrote:Sawyer has a luxating patella in his left leg...it's not been too bad...he just limps a bit after a hard weekend of flyball.

Sorry...it does suck. :hug3:

Talked to a sports vet a while back, and she recommended lots of stretching of the back legs...so Sawyer has to get on his hind legs and "dance" before running...it really does seem to help...and he likes it! lol

He's also on Dasequin and gets a rimadyl if he's having a particular "ouchy" day. Lots of soft bedding to lie on helps too...he gets stiff if he's on the hard floor too long.


Are you speaking of Dr. Zink (I think that's her name)?
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby dlynne1123 » May 29th, 2010, 3:53 pm

Get a good glucosamine Supp, I like Dasuquin with MSM, I love it and it helps prolong the NSAIDS in the long haul.

Also, physical therapy such as swimming or cavaletti poles will help with reduced muscle atrophy with post operative down time. The more muscle you start with the better.

I would also limit sprinting and turning, sharply, to limit added injury such as MCL or ACL.

Keep body weight roughly 5-10% under desired body weight. Helps with recovery and arthitis post surgery down the road.

Good luck! Luckily it really is a helpful surgery and most dogs come out of it already wanting to use the legs. Its just hard keeping them down when they don't want to be!
Good luck again
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Postby katiek0417 » May 29th, 2010, 5:07 pm

Hollys Rangie wrote:Hi everyone - I usually don't post much, but do a lot of reading around here.
I have a quick question for any of you out there that might have a suggestion for me.

I have a 2 year old pit bull rescue. He has got a lot of problems due to apparent inbreeding. He had mange as a pup, is somewhat mentally challenged (vet says he will be mentally a puppy), and his back half has always lived a separate existence from his front half. Despite all of this, or maybe because of it, he has been nothing but a blessing to my husband and I.

He has been experiencing a little bit of tenderness in one of his back legs recently, but then began to have some issues with his back legs after taking a spill while chasing a squirrel. We took him to the vet today and found out that he has got grade three luxated patellas on both of his back legs. According to the vet this is rather unusual in a dog his size, but is also very rare to have both of the back legs in this condition.

We have gone ahead and set up the consultation with the orthopedic surgeon for Tuesday morning, and are contacting the local (about an hour and forty-five minutes away) Veterinary Teaching Hospital. All in all, we are looking at about $5000+ to fix both of his legs. I am not exactly sure how we are going to find the money, but we will somehow.

Anyway, my question is,
Do any of you have any suggestions for how to try to cut down the cost a bit?
AND
How can I help to make him the most comfortable that I can in the meantime?

All suggestions appreciated. Thanks.


I know it would be a bit of a hike, but if you can get an appt with VOSM in Maryland for a consult, I would highly recommend it...I have a few friends in NC coming up here with their dogs (and they get referrals from all over the world now) because they are considered one of the top in the country (they even have relationships with hotels because of all the out-of-town referrals that they get)...and even being that good, their prices are really reasonable (People have told me how much they have paid for a TPLO, and I paid considerably less for Nemo's)...

They are also big on cutting edge treatments, and between Drs Canapp and Lotsikas they have a ton of publications on new research in the area of veterinary orthopedics (including stem cell research, minimally invasive therapy, and therapies that have previously only been used on horses because of the high cost of owning the equipment)...

Also, someone suggested swimming for him...believe it or not, swimming isn't always recommended for sports injuries in dogs....it's been found that in some injuries it can do more harm than good (i.e., partially torn CCL or other knee injuries)...because of the motion that dogs use it can cause more harm to the joints...I didn't know that...but was very glad to find out before I started swimming Nemo...

Oh, and as far as the teaching school near you...well, I'm pretty sure I know which one you're talking about..and it has a very good reputation, but a friend of mine (has a certified police dog) took her dog there with a wrist injury that a year later they've been unable to do anything for...so she brought her dog to VOSM, and is VERY happy with what she's been learning, and their plans for his treatment...and was surprised that what they came up with wasn't even a suggestion made at this teaching hospital (and was very happy that they not only considered the pre-surgery and surgery outlooks, but also the post-surgical outlook - which I was also very pleased with regarding Nemo)...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
Axo - Psycho Puppy
Rocky - RIP My Baby Boy
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Postby dlynne1123 » May 30th, 2010, 1:33 pm

I was referring to treadmill swimming. Only for muscle atrophy. It is recommended here for post ACL surgeries. My girl had a partially torn ligament and we did teeter tables, exercise balls and treadmill therapy and she came out without needing sugery in the long haul. It our case it was very helpful.
Ryder - Rescue APBT
Panser on a Roll - APBT (American Bully?)
Gretchen - the red headed cat that thinks shes a dog
Prudence - the new cat on the block to put the dogs in their place!
Punchlines Better Than Lojac - APBT (RIP)
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Postby Hollys Rangie » May 31st, 2010, 8:59 am

Thanks so much for all of the information and suggestions guys! We are heading to our consultation on Tuesday morning. Hopefully, they will have some good news for us. We plan to start with his right leg, since it seems to be the worst. Our regular vet was able to give us some new medication that is only $53 a month vs. the $160 we were paying for the other. Hopefully it will continue to work as well.

We are in the process of finding some ways to gather together the money for his second leg (we can pay for the first one outright, but need a little time to save for the second one.) We will be having a massive yard sale next weekend with all of the $ going in to the "Wilby's new bionic leg fund"! I always said we had too much junk around here anyway. :wink:

He is in great spirits, but is definitely slowed down by this. The pain is obvious, so we have decided to do the surgery as soon as possible. Also, I am a teacher and my last day at work is June 3rd, so I will be able to be around to help him convalesce.

We got a lift harness for him so that it might be easier on him to go up and down the steps out in to the yard. So far, he is not overly impressed by it - I think he would rather chew it up than put it on, but we are working on that. I know we will need it after the surgery. Also, we are working on building a ramp down, so that hopefully he won't have to use the stairs at all.

We have cut down his food some to see if we can't slim him down just a bit. He is not overweight, but the suggestion to keep him a bit lower than his suggested weight makes sense to us.

I promise to post some pics soon! Thanks again!
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Postby katiek0417 » May 31st, 2010, 9:48 am

dlynne1123 wrote:I was referring to treadmill swimming. Only for muscle atrophy. It is recommended here for post ACL surgeries. My girl had a partially torn ligament and we did teeter tables, exercise balls and treadmill therapy and she came out without needing sugery in the long haul. It our case it was very helpful.


Okay, so underwater treadmill...at VOSM it's not swimming at all...

And, yes, Nemo will start doing it around week 6 when the bone starts to heal...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
Axo - Psycho Puppy
Rocky - RIP My Baby Boy
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