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Activities for Shibas with Luxating Patella?
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Conker has Luxating Patella in both back legs. He occasionally dislocates his knees when he runs fast over rough terrain, changes directions rapidly and plays really rough with other dogs. Never in straight lines, running or walking normally though, just with really intense rough stuff. He never whines or cries when it happens and doesn't seem to notice except for the fact that he suddenly can't move his leg. (He's very good about letting me know when he's in pain. Drama Shiba.) I can manually move both kneecaps when his leg is fully extended and he doesn't notice when I've gently put it back in place for him.
    I'm holding off on a vet visit until July when I'm going to take him in around his first birthday. I'll get his knees looked at and the grade diagnosed by the vet then. If he cries when it happens or it gets worse I'll take him in sooner but for now it doesn't bother him except for the occasional occurrence.

    I'm doubling his salmon oil and going to give him some trachea chews until I get the grades diagnosed.

    What I'd like to know is what kind of activities can I do with him? I can't find much information on that on the net, just surgery recovery stuff.
    I'm going to be cutting back on his dog park time to avoid rapid direction changes and roughhousing and are going to make up for it with longer walks. However, walks are incredibly boring for me, so what kind of things could I do with him to keep his knees in good shape? I read that building muscle around the joints helps prevent the patella from slipping.
    I'd bike but he's only nine months old and I'd rather not do that every day until he's at least a year old.

    My goal for this summer is to hike. Not as in day hikes or mountain hikes. Week long backpacking trips out in the boonies, mainly flat stuff. If I carefully build up his strength with easy non-rough terrain trails would I still be able to do that? If his vet visit in July is good and he doesn't need surgery that is.
  • I'll tell you what my vet said when I was in today. We talked about Bel's knee that had the surgery--it looks good, 2 plus months out from surgery. It's her OTHER knee that is the problem now, though my vet still wants me to be careful with Bel as the knee that she operated on is still very much in recovery.

    She said I should not take Bel for a walk of longer than a mile, though she does want daily walks (starting with a quarter mile, but Bel, of course, is in recovery still). She said flat is fine, but hiking up hill and jumping on boulders is bad. She said running with quick turns is very, very bad, and any place Bel might fall or get her foot caught (thus a sudden stop) is really bad too. She doesn't really want Bel to run around in the yard even, because there are gopher holes and she worries she might slip into one, esp. at night.

    I asked how long I should be on this kind of regime, and she said really, until the other knee was done, I shouldn't let Bel run around too much at all.

    My vet is pretty conservative, so your mileage may vary, but I'm afraid if the knees are bad, their mobility is really limited.

    You might give him glucosamine/chondotrin if you aren't already--it really does help. Also, if you have any thought that he might be low thryoid, get it checked and get him on thyroid meds, because they also really help with keeping the body in shape. We've upped Bel's dose for now, partially because she's been slow to grow her hair back, but also because my vet is convinced--as am I--that it really helps speed the recover process, and also helps keeps the knees, and the body in general, in better shape.

    This isn't great news, I know, but I'd be really careful with Conker. His LP sounds worse than either Bel or Toby's. Toby's knee slips out of place occasionally (a few times a year maybe?), but when it does, he just does the little "mule kick" and it's back, and he never seems to be in pain, or be bothered by it. But he's never gotten it "stuck" either so he couldn't move it like Conker. Neither did Bel--we thought hers was fairly minor (the vet could easily move the kneecap in and out of place, but it didn't seem to slip out of place on its own), but then it got dramatically worse after a sharp turn in deep snow (and of course, she tore her ACL).

    I'm sorry....it really sucks.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Tikaani was diagnosed with grade 2 LP, and even though he isn't a shiba, some of the info I got may help you. You really do want to be careful with the twisting and playing as dogs with LP have a higher risk of tearing something. The vet said that it was ok for him to go for walks, continue with obedience classes and even go bikejoring (him pulling me on bike). That he should still live life as a normal dog and that we just keep him from twisting his body.

    Glucosamine is a great thing to give, and seems to be helping Tikaani (though his condition is not bad enough to really notice). Depending on the grade, Conker may still be able to go on those long hikes you want to take. Good thing about shibas though is that they are small enough to carry when they need a break. Keeping excess weight off seems to help too, so no packs on his back and keep an eye on his body weight.
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  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 882
    Although I can't chime in about activities to do with Conker, I will suggest that you start giving him Vitamin E supplements since you are upping his dosage of salmon oil. Salmon oil does deplete Vitamin E. I used to give Mika 100 IU everyday, but have recently started doing it every other day.
  • I agree with the glucosamine/chondortin regime. But also try massaging his thigh muscles. I took Ammy to my chiropractor's office when I had an appointment (he's a good friend of mine and everyone at the office wanted to see her). I told him about her LP (grade 1) and he started messing with it. He told me to massage her thigh muscles and to gently work her knee joints. The massaging will help with muscle knots and strengthen it so it will probably help out a lot. Ammy is only a 3-month old puppy and she tolerated the massage very well. In fact, she rather enjoyed it. :o) I think that with the glucosamine supplement should help.
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
    Question for you @shibamistress or anyone in the know, I took Foxy in for her yearly shots/rabies today and told the Vet that everyone has been telling me that Foxy seems fat to them. She has put on weight since her spay, she's now just over 21lbs. She wants to test her Thyroid which I'm fine with as I don't feel that I over feed her at all and we do exercise everyday including hikes or dog park on the weekends.

    Then during her exam, the Vet noticed that she has luxating patellas. A grade 2 on the right and a grade 1 on the left. How much glucosamine/chondortin would I give her if I buy it at the drug store for people?

    The Vet bill today alone was $407.00 which I'll be submitting to the insurance and hopefully they'll cover some of it since I do pay for Wellness.

    I swear Foxy is going to be the million dollar dog before I'm through.....
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  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    After I took Conker to the vet a couple months ago his LP was diagnosed as being barely a grade 1. That was very relieving, but I still need to watch him to make sure he doesn't play too rough or jump off something too high.

    I don't know how much joint supplement to give is you're using human stuff. I used a dog kind that seemed to work okay.
    Something I'd look into is green-lipped mussel. It's got some promising looking research behind it, and some of the studies have shown that it's more effective than glusocamine/chondroitin/msm. There are several places you can get it, crazy health stores and online shops and doses for dogs are very small.

    Joint supplements won't cure LP, but can help with arthritis and joint problems caused by the patella scraping against the joint whenever it slips out. The more lubrication there is, the less damage generally occurs.
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
    Thanks @Losech. I'll definitely check that out too.
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  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    My breeder recommended Natures Pharmacy PhytoFlex, I've been using the capsules so far and it seems to work well. Ryu has grade 3 in his back left and grade 2 in his back right, we haven't been back to the vet for a while so we will see how it looks now that he has developed a little more. It doesn't seem to bother Ryu at all, we only realized it because he had an incident where he fell over while squatting to poop. We thought it was a seizure or something but the vet checked him out and discovered the LP. It has only happened one other time, he falls down and screams but as soon as you move his leg he is fine and acts like nothing happened. He still spends a lot of time running around and wrestling with the other dogs at the dog park.
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
    Yeah, we noticed that she favors her right leg at times at the dog park but lately I hadn't noticed it so it must not have bothering her too much.

    I was really hoping that by dealing with all the initial problems I had with her that I'd dodge this bullet but nope!! Crossing my fingers that she doesn't have a Thyroid problem too. I had her tested since everything else I've had her tested for has seemed to come back positive. Let this one not be!!!
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  • JoyceJoyce
    Posts: 28
    Mieko was diagnosed with LP when I first got her. She is a rescue and approximately 3 years old. I have been taking her to doggy day camp for socialization and notice it is worse after all that running around. Last night she would not put any weight on her leg for about an hour after being there. I do give her glusocamine that the vet recommended. The vet also gave me Metacam to use if she is going to be very active. I am taking her in for an x-ray next week, so we can find out what we are facing. She walks daily and is quite bowlegged and gets tired easily.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Poor girl :(
    "Common sense isn't so common"
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  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Someone recommended these for joint support. I use them for Saya along with salmon oil.
    http://www.natraflex.com/superflex.html

    Saya at first didn't like the taste, but it was easily crushed up and mixed with an egg, ground meat or canned fish. I'd offer her the pill before crushing and eventually she ate it and now she likes it and eats it without need of hiding.

    I also do the green lipped mussel stuff too. I rotate one day she gets the green lipped supplement other day the superflex. Seems work for Saya. She has spinal issue not LP OR HD.

    Keeping weight good is only thing I can say. Saya gets regular walks and if weather is too bad i try to do some type of indoor activity like flirt pole, tricks and fetch.
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    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Since the last post here was in 2014, figured I would see if there are any updated thoughts on brands of supplements to help.

    Moxy went in for his first (I'm a bad mom, I know) dental yesterday. He's just over 10 years old. They were able to give him a full exam since he was knocked out. Teeth look good considering his age and they've never been brushed. But the vet noted Luxating Patella in both back legs. She asked if he ever walks/runs funny or seems in pain. he doesn't. She said he might go the rest of his life without problems from this, but I thought ya know.. a little weight loss and some joint supplements might be a good idea. So I would love some suggestions on supplements for this. Thanks! :)
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    @MoxyFruvous, For our foster dog with an old soft tissue injury, the chiropractor recommended a product called HylaSport (got it from cleanrun). It does help with the limping, but she's a picky eater and isn't fond of the flavor (it smells vaguely of curry), so we have to doctor it up with turkey stock.

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