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Luxating Patella
  • Hi everyone. Some questions about luxating patella. Triton has Stage 1 and with daily jogging, his knee had not gone out in 6 months. The jogs strengthened the muscles around the kneecap and were holding it in place a lot better. All of a sudden, this evening it went out again. He was in a lot of pain, it went back in as usual, but he is still very hesitant and scared. I am taking him to the vet in the morning if he isn't any better. He is eating, sleeping, pooping, etc. but doesn't want to be picked up as he is afraid of it hurting his leg. Do any of your Shibas have luxating patella, and if so, do you give them glucosamine? I am thinking about putting him on it. Also, have you ever given anything for pain? I read online not to give aspirin, tylenol, ibuprofen, etc. so what is there to give? Again, I am definitely bringing him in tomorrow if he isn't any better, but I would love some input from the Shiba folks. Thanks!
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-10-21 15:19:23
  • absolutely give him glucosamine. Many if not most of us give glucosamine to our dogs. Some as a preventative measure others to help treat a LP. Also there are a few members who have had their shibas and shikoku receive LP surgery. I am sure they will chime in when they have a chance. Hope that Triton is okay soon.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I don't think the current glucosamine supplements result in much immediate measurable improvement, and there are probably some who will disagree with me. Maybe it's more healpful for LP than it is for bad hips? It could only help, it won't hurt. I think some other effective things for joints are MSM, omegas and for more immediate pain relief, it is safe to give a buffered baby aspirin (in an otherwise healthy dog), until you get an Rx for pain from the vet."Common sense isn't so common"
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2009-02-23 00:40:18
  • Darwin67Darwin67
    Posts: 390
    If you opt for aspirin, make sure it's non-enteric coated. The coated aspirin can get stuck to the stomach and intestinal lining.
  • I'm sorry to hear poor Triton had an episode. Once in six months is not bad at all, though. That is something I would manage with supplements and pain meds as necessary.

    Lucy has stage 1 LP in her right rear knee and it doesn't seem to affect her at all. She had stage 3 in her left knee, but we repaired that last summer with surgery. I had been supplementing Lucy with glucosamine for a few months, but due to her IBD problems I had to stop. Within a few weeks, she went from the occasional LP episode to an average of 5 a week, sometimes multiple a day, and sometimes she had trouble getting it to go back in herself.

    Every vet and dog owner I've spoken to has a different recommendation for which glucosamine supplement to use. I had Lucy on the human Osteo bi-flex for a while, and then I switched her to a corn-based supplement I could only find at whole foods (it's 100% veggie, I don't recall the name). Often time the human supplements will be cheaper than the dog specific ones, and they will most definitely not have any extra crap like lamb flavor in them (which is good if you have a dog with food sensitivities).

    Keep us updated on Triton's progress.
  • Thank you all for your support. This morning T still wasn't doing well so I made an emergency appt with the vet. He was walking fine, eyes bright, ears up, tail up, totally fine until the vet picked him up and he screamed. It was so horrible. I think my heart partially ripped out of my chest. He's my baby. Then the vet tried to touch his back and legs and he just kept screaming every time they touched him. Then they put him down on the floor and he started walking around, tail up, happy as could be. VERY WEIRD. The vet gave him a cortisone shot and wants to keep him until this afternoon and maybe do Xrays if he doesn't improve. I'm sitting here at work, feeling like I could vomit. I wish I could take the pain away but I can't, then I brought him to a place where they hurt him some more.
  • I have been in your shoes before. It is going to be okay. Also try to remember that shibas are the worlds greatest drama queens. I remember Moto once hurt his paw. We think he may have been stung by a bee. Not sure. We rushed him to the vet. He screamed and screamed the entire drive. He screamed in the waiting room. The vet walked in and he sat and smiled and then began to play.

    T will be fine. You are doing the write thing and are likely suffering more than he is.
  • Thanks everyone for all of the support. T is fine, came home last night and is doing perfectly fine. He is a drama queen. Came home, jumped right up on the couch by himself and started playing with a toy. Completely normal. The vet doesn't want him up on our high bed because he could jump down and hurt himself. We've kept him off the bed for the last 2 nights and I think tonight he is coming up. Once he's up, he's done for the night, sleeps with us until we get up. I can't stand to hear him crying forlornly for another night. He has a nice comfy dog bed to sleep in but he has always slept with us on our bed and thinks he is being punished now. No more running for him though, for a while. I'm going to miss my jogging partner!!
  • PhantomPhantom
    Posts: 42
    Not to bring up an old thread on purpose, but instead of making a whole new thread, I figured I'd ask on here.

    I have a friend whose Shiba (Named Kody) that's suffering luxating patella. Her mom is discussing the possibility of putting him down if the surgery bill is too much for them to handle. I'm personally not for that idea and have told her I'd be willing to help as best as I can to keep him alive and receiving the surgery he needs. My question is that although I know cost varies per location and vet, what's the range of cost to get surgery done for this? Is there anything they can do to help Kody deal with it until we can come up with the money for his surgery? Thanks ahead of time, guys.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    @Phantom - Depending on the severity of the LP, sometimes surgery is not required right away. Some dogs can live full, happy lives with LP so long as things are done to prevent the knee from popping out. Keeping the dog at a normal weight helps, as well as giving them low impact activities (swimming, balance ball) and keeping them from twisting their body around. Giving Glucosamine has been known to help as well.

    Though, if it is really bad, then he may need the surgery to prevent the ligaments from tearing (which would require a more expensive surgery to fix). Sometimes getting a second opinion at a different vet clinic can help shed light on if surgery is necessary right now, or not. LP is somewhat common, so if they don't want to spend the money on him they are just better off giving him to a shiba rescue that will put the effort into getting the treatment he needs.
  • PhantomPhantom
    Posts: 42
    @Calia Thanks. I'm considering offering to take Kody in and take on his surgery. I'm just not sure what kind of costs I'd be looking at. Shiba Rescue is definitely another option if it comes to it.
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    My best wishes for Triton's quick recovery.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Maybe $1000-1500, maybe more or less depending on what all the dog has going on.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    I live in Decatur, IL my shiba Ryu has a grade 3 LP in his left rear leg. My vet quoted me a price of $1,018 per knee. She recommended that we wait til he was at least 18 months to make sure his growth plates are closed. Unless your dog is older and is dealing with major arthritis or lameness (the results of grade 3 or 4 LP that isn't treated) I don't see why someone would even consider putting a dog down for this condition. Obviously the sooner you can get the joint surgically repaired the better chances of the repair lasting the life of the dog and the dog being pain free (Vet said surgery is 90% successful if I remember correctly). I have even heard of instances where all that is needed is to limit the dogs activity to some degree and some mild pain medicine on occasion.
  • Thought I'd update and link Bel's LP recovery surgery thread here, too, because it will tell you what to expect:

    Our surgery was...hmm....around 1500 I think? (price may be listed in the thread above). But Bel had torn the ACL too, so that upped the price. And my vet is VERY inexpensive.

    I wouldn't put down a dog for LP unless there were other serious health issues going on too, or unless the dog was very old. They can live with LP for quite a long time (though be aware there is a window of opportunity for the surgery if LP is bad--if it is let go, the knee will eventually NOT be fixable with easy surgeries. I think we're talking years here though--this came from a conversation I had with my vet about someone who had just not done the surgery on a pretty bad LP then 5 years later came and asked and the knee was far too damaged for her to fix), and so if it is mild there the surgery doesn't need to be done right away. Some dogs with mild LP never have the surgery--my male Shiba has had it since he was a pup, and he has not had, and probably will not need the surgery.

    LP is hardly a death sentence!

  • PhantomPhantom
    Posts: 42
    Thanks everyone.

    It appears I misheard my friend what she was telling me. Of course, it comes as no surprised as I was doing 2 different things when she was talking to me about it. The mom doesn't want to put Kody down. She loves him. He is under medication for what sounds like first stages. I did give her the link to this forum, so hopefully she and her family pay this place a visit for anything and everything about Kody.

    But the information I read from everyone is very helpful.

    One curious question; Is there any preventative measures we can take to prevent LP from occurring for dogs that don't have LP? I read there's a certain type of something in the food that would help. Was it Glucose? Thanks!
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    LP is genetic. The best thing you can do to prevent it is to get your puppy from a reputable breeder who tests their breeding stock for conditions like this. Even if both parents have good joints, you are still not guaranteed your dog won't have LP. However, it significantly reduces your chances.

    Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM are all compounds in joint supplements that you can buy and are included in some high quality dog foods. There is some debate as to how effective these supplements are, but they will not prevent LP. LP is caused by the groove in the femur being too shallow to properly hold the patella or ligaments being positioned in a way that pulls the patella out of its groove. If you google Luxating Patella you will find a lot of veterinary websites discussing it since it is a fairly common genetic problem.

    I have also read that in some cases it can be caused by major physical trauma, such as being hit by a car.
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    Also, I would like to point out that I got Ryu from a reputable breeder and I have looked through his parents, grandparents, etc. on the OFFA database and they have no joint issues. However, Ryu still has a grade 3 in his left leg and a grade 1 to 2 in his right. It is not something that can be determined at birth, you have to wait until the dog is older (after 6 months or so?).
  • Yes, good point. My male Shiba comes from the top producing Shiba stud in the country, and is dam is from a very good breeder too (San Jo) and both have good knees, BUT Toby still has grade 1 LP. So even the best parents are not a guarantee. (And Toby's LP showed up as a young puppy, so sometimes it does show up earlier. It has gotten better, not worse over the years, though, luckily. As a puppy it slid out more than it does now).

    But that's a fluke. You're more likely to get a dog with LP from not so good breeders who don't do the OFA testing.
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    Ryu's wasn't discovered til about 7 months, after he had an incident where his knee went out and he fell over and screamed. I got Ryu from Joan Morningstar.
  • Yeah, it happens, and even testing is no guarantee, as can be seen from both our experiences. But going with someone who doesn't test at all is a much bigger gamble.

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