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LP surgery - yes or no?
  • KeikoKeiko
    Posts: 18
    Keiko turned 1 year old in April and was diagnosed with a grade III luxating patella to her right knee last month during a routine examination at her vet. I have very rarely noticed her limp on the right leg for a few seconds maybe just twice in her lifetime and this came up in conversation with the vet during her annual exam. When he discovered a grade III luxating patella, he recommended consultation with a surgical orthopedic vet. I just returned from her consultation with the surgeon.

    The surgeon has recommended proceeding with surgery given that it is a grade III LP. However, my spouse and I are extremely hesitant since Keiko is practically asymptomatic. She runs daily and goes on long hikes for miles and miles without any problems. The surgeon told us that she will inevitably develop arthritis in her right knee given the severity of the LP and that it would be best to proceed with the surgery now before things could become much more complicated in the future. We want to make the very best decision for Keiko and are having a hard time deciding whether or not to put her through a major surgery like this with a long recovery period when she is happy and doing well at this time. We would prefer to focus on regular exercise, healthy diet, and the regular use of supplements like glucosamine and fish oil and monitor her for now. Certainly if she were to become more symptomatic, we would feel much more comfortable with proceeding with surgery.

    For those of you who have dealt with LP, what are your thoughts on this issue we are facing? Would you recommend proceeding with the surgery now as more of a preventive measure? Or do you agree with our thoughts on waiting until Keiko is showing symptoms of this being a problem for her? Thank you for any input you can offer.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    Oh that's a toss up. By the time a dog is systematic it may be degrading pretty badly. Grade three is pretty bad for 1 yr.

    On the other hand some dogs don't degrade as quickly.

    The younger the dog is the more easily it is corrected surgically, with the caveat, if you do the follow up therapy, maintain therapy and keep them at a healthy weight as they mature.

    Did the orthopedic vet slate out exactly what they will do? I would seek a second orthopedic opinion so you know what different options are (if there are several) for your particular case.

  • meixdidimeixdidi
    Posts: 59
    Mei had Patella luxation in both her hind legs one was grade 3 and the other one is bordering grade 4. She had undergone 3 surgery for her legs one before she turned 1 (Which failed) and twice, one on each leg (When she is around 2 Years old). She was limping severely on one of her legs and that why we did the surgery.

    From experience, if she is not showing much of a sign of the knee hurting, I wouldn't do the surgery. Like you said, it is a major surgery and a long recovery, but that is if her leg doesn't degrade. But if you went along with the surgery, it would be easier to wait until she has mellowed out and doesn't have that much energy all day. Since when Mei got her 1st surgery, she had all these energy and just would not rest. She even stood on her back legs since the first few days after the surgery. Which I think was one of the reasons why the surgery failed. It was much easier to control her the second time round since for the first few weeks all she wanted was sleep.

    But these are just my experience and since we didn't have a choice as to doing the surgery or not. Hopefully this has helped you.
  • KeikoKeiko
    Posts: 18
    @staticnfuzz The vet stated he would do a tibal tubercle osteotomy and would be examining the quad tendons and any other tissue that needs "tightening."

    @meixdidi very helpful, yes we are worried about something going wrong when she may have time to run without problems for who knows how long. I understand the area most likely will deteriorate over time, but its hard to go the surgery route when she doesn't even limp or show any signs of problems.