How to Fix a Luxating Patella (Bad Knee) in a Dog Without Surgery

Updated on April 7, 2018
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Surgical repair of a luxating patella is not possible for some dogs.
Surgical repair of a luxating patella is not possible for some dogs. | Source

What Is A Trick Knee?

A trick knee in your dog is caused by a dislocated kneecap, a luxating patella. Patellas (kneecaps) can luxate (move out of place) towards the dog´s body (medially) or away (laterally). The kneecap normally rides in a groove in the femur and works so well that most owners do not even realize that it is there. A trick knee shows up occasionally, though, often inherited in small dogs or larger breeds that have hip dysplasia.

Some dog owners will also say that their dog has a “trick knee” after a cruciate ligament tear, but ruptured ligaments are actually a lot more serious and have to be treated quite differently. If not treated properly they may even require surgery.

Your new puppy may have been diagnosed with a trick knee during his first . You visit to the vet. You may have just noticed your puppy running on one back leg, or running with both back legs together (bunny hopping). This is more common is some breeds but can happen in any size dog, and at any age.

If a luxating patella is ignored, the dog will develop arthritis.
If a luxating patella is ignored, the dog will develop arthritis. | Source

Will My Dog Need Surgery?

When this problem is first noticed and diagnosed the vet will probably recommend strict confinement. She might try NSAIDs like Rimadyl or aspirin, and may even want to put your dog on a course of steroids. Sometimes these things will work.

Trick knees might respond to confinement or might get worse if not surgically repaired. There are four grades of luxations, however, and not all even need surgery.

1. Grade I: Dogs are not in pain. When the knee moves out of place, it can be massaged back to where it belongs. Since dogs carry most of their weight on their front legs, this dog will probably never need surgery if the problem is taken care of right away.

2. Grade II: Dogs have a few more problems with the affected knee. It can still be massaged back but it usually moves out of place again as soon as the dog starts walking around. A dog with this grade is usually not in pain but may develop arthritis and pain in the knee, and will sometimes need surgery.

3. Grade III: Dogs with this level of luxation are usually already arthritic and in pain by the time they are seen. The knee is out of the groove more than in it.

4. Grade IV: Dogs no longer have a groove and the kneecap cannot be put back into place. If this has been going on for a long time the dog is arthritic and in pain. A dog like this always needs surgery.

Surgical repair of trick knees differs based on how the dog is built, how many changes have already occurred, and what the surgeon will think is going to work. Sometimes a dog can get by with having the kneecap ligaments strengthened with non-absorbable suture, some will need a deeper groove cut for the kneecap to move in, and some even need surgical changes to the bone where the kneecap attaches. When the bone has changed a specialist may need to do the surgery and the dog will have less of a chance of recovering.


There are several nutritional, non-surgical alternatives. A non-surgical method is never going to change the anatomy of your dog´s leg. You can choose to accept alternative theories or not, but of course by delaying surgery the chances of recovery after surgery are lessened.

What a nutritional alternative can do is improve the dog´s health and the quality of the joint so that secondary changes are reduced. This is an important issue with knee conditions and a reason that so many dogs develop arthritis in their knees as they become older.

A luxating patella usually needs to be fixed surgically.
A luxating patella usually needs to be fixed surgically. | Source

How Can A Trick Knee Be Fixed Without Surgery?

If your dog´s trick knee is very mild, your vet can show you how to pop the knee back into place during his exam. It is easy to do if your dog is calm and not in pain. All you have to do to put the knee back in place is to straigten out the leg, massage gently and move the knee as you are massaging. I find that it helps a lot to talk to the dog and distract him so that he will be even more calm as you are doing this.

For more permanent results, however, you need to consider all of the following alternatives:

1. Put your dog on a severe diet so that he is not overweight, and definitely not obese: Besides living a shorter life, obesity will cause extra stress on all of his joints. Overweight dogs with trick knees will have more problems walking, and the arthritic changes to the knee will happen that much faster.

2. Walk your dog for a short distance several times a day: Exercise is good to treat many behavioral problems, and in this instance will also keep your dog physically healthier. Besides keeping off his excess weight, the muscles that hold his knee in place will be healthier.

3. Improved diet: A raw or homemade organic diet may improve overall cartilage condition and make all joints, including the knee, healthier. A raw diet can even be made with beef traches and chicken legs, which will add glucosamine and improve the condition of the joint.

4. Give glucosamine and chondroiton dietary supplements: These supplements improve the quality of the joint. They improve the cartilage and may even improve the fluid available in the knee. Some diets advertise the presence of chondroiton, but adequate amounts are only available in balanced raw diets.

5. Give added Vitamin C: This still needs a lot more evidence. Dogs produce vitamin C but the amounts are probably not enough to help with strengthening the ligament when your dog is affected by a trick knee. Doses have not been worked out but you should probably give your dog 1000mg a day (500 mg for a smaller dog), and preferably use natural sources like acerola.

6. Acupuncture: Consult a veterinarian who specializes in treating conditions of the knee.

Dogs with bad knees usually need restricted activity.
Dogs with bad knees usually need restricted activity. | Source

If your dog has been diagnosed with a luxating patella it is not the end of the world. You can find alternative treatments, and if nothing works find a good surgeon to repair the knee so that your dog can live normally.

If your dog has a trick knee, however, she should not be bred! Bad knees are sometimes a sign of hip problems, which are inherited. Even if only the knee is affected, this condition is genetic—it will be passed on to her puppies.

There is still a lot of controversy in this subject so I cannot definitely state which method is best and which method will succeed or fail. In 2011 a report came out that stated the method used by most vets was not even successful. If you choose the surgical alternative for your dog please research this subject carefully. Find the best orthopedic surgeon you can afford, and take care of this problem as soon as you can.

When the knee is okay, anything is possible.
When the knee is okay, anything is possible. | Source

Questions & Answers

  • How much does it cost for a patella surgery on a Yorkie?

    The cost of the surgery depends on the severity of the knee and how many degenerative changes have taken place, by the location, by the skill of the surgeon, etc. It does not depend on whether the dog is a Yorkie or Maltese.

    If you are in NY it will cost several thousand, half of that in Kansas, and about $1500 for a small dog in Chicago.

  • What kind of brace is used while a luxating patella is healing?

    There is a temporary brace that you can use. Instructions on how to make it are on YouTube, or you can read this article and look at it there. http://hubpages.com/dogs/dog-cruciate-ligament-rep...

    The article also discusses a more permanent brace that you can purchase through Amazon. It is not always needed, and if your dog is very small and you can control her movements, then it will probably not be needed at all.

  • My dog has been limping around the house for a day now and there is no evidence of glass or burr in her paw. I noticed today that her front right leg was dangling above the ground. This is the first time this has ever happened to her and she is within the weight limit for her breed (she’s a Shih Tzu around 12 pounds). She doesn’t seem to be in any pain. What’s wrong with her?

    This could be a problem with a nail, a problem with arthritis in one of the joints, or even a sore muscle. There is no way to tell without doing an exam. You can read this if you want to learn more about diagnosing the front limb lameness at home.

    https://pethelpful.com/dogs/diagnosing-your-dogs-l...

    The treatment will depend on the damage. She might respond to a steroid, an NSAID, or even antibiotics. You will need to take her in to your vet for most treatments.

  • I have a ten year old papillon with Addisons. She cannot have surgery for her knees due to medical issues. Would leg braces be any good?

    Some people claim they delay the onset of arthritis since they keep the patellas in place. Of course if the patellas are not in place when the brace is put on, they also keep the patellas from moving back into a normal position.

    The most important thing you can do for your Papillon is carry her up and down stairs, put her up on the bed if she sleeps with you, etc. She may benefit from massage.

  • What kind of care does my dog need after patellar surgery?

    If your dog has undergone a surgical procedure you should discuss this with your vet. He may have your dog taking anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, or other medications to deal with the pain and swelling.

    Most dogs also benefit from rest. When you take the dog out do not let him run, and in the evening lift your dog up onto the bed (if he normally sleeps in the bed.)

    Also discuss post-surgical wound care with your dogs surgeon.

© 2012 Dr Mark

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    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      12 days ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Stephen , did your Yorkie also have a urinalysis done as part of her senior panel? If not, you should really consider that first before going to a brace. Also, consider a hormonal based cause. Talk to your vet about this.

      As far as a brace, there is one available on Amazon that I have used with cruciate injuries but a lot less with luxating patellas. There is also one that can be ordered from your vet that fits well because it is measured by the dogs xrays. It costs a lot more.

      If you want to try the one from Amazon (it is not expensive), there is a link here on my crucuiate ligament article:

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/dog-cruciate-ligament-...

    • profile image

      StStephen 

      2 weeks ago

      Dr Mark and any others with knowledge of this,

      My 13 year-old, 2-1/2 lb. female Yorkie has a Luxating Patella (Left Rear). She isn’t in pain. Our vet doesn't feel it's serious and advises against surgery. I am able to walk her a 1/4 to 1/2 block before she stops, due to her condition, but when let out in the yard alone, she gets around enough to do her business, hang out for a while and get back. I don't mind carrying her - especially since her partner, a 3 lb male Yorkie passed a couple of years ago and when I saw her getting low in spirit, I bring her around to everywhere that I can, and since she's, "the cutest dog in the whole-wide-world," - their opinions - she gets more attention then I do (curses foiled again! - I thought I might get a few dates out of it...;-) ).

      The problem now is that she is beginning to pee in her bed, while she's lying in it, and it seems to be the result of not being able to/or comfortable getting up and letting me know - although it's been overnight or when I'm napping. She just had a Senior blood panel last week with Everything A-OK!

      Well, to make a short story long, I have perused articles and advice and something that I thought could help was not mentioned, so here goes,

      Is there a brace of some sort that could help her get around more and more often? I have seen photos of dog leg braces, just not any expert advice that they would help a Luxating Patella.

      Thanks.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Amy, dogs tend to sit a lot, so I am not sure about your comment about your Poodle being in pain.

      Have you had the knee examined? Are you able to put it into place when it goes out, or does it stay fixed all of the time?

      Is it going to get worse with time? Yes, it is. Does that mean you need to have surgery soon? Not at all. Try some of the things suggested in this article in the meantime and decide how he is responding. If things are not getting better, surgery will be his only option.

    • profile image

      Amy 

      7 weeks ago

      My toy poodle has a bad knee. He holds it up a lot when he runs/walks and he tries not to put weight on it. He also tends to sit a lot, so it is causing him a little bit of pain.

      He is over half a year old.

      I don't know if it will get better or worse in age because he is so young.

      Should I get him into surgery sooner or later?

    • profile image

      Kim 

      2 months ago

      Thank you Dr. Mark. I sought PT but the canine PT said she wouldn't take my money because PT won't help as the luxating patella is hindering her knee from stabilizing by forming scar tissue on its own. Basically, she said that it will never heal on its own due to her patella movement. That is when I felt like I had to give up the good fight and try surgery. I will look at the link you sent. Thanks again, any further insight you may have would be appreciated.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Kim, you have obviously done a lot of reading already but you should get several opinions before proceeding. Surgery for CCL rupture is never a good idea, or even necessary, in a small dog like your Shorkie. Yes, the patella might need surgery, but you should not put your dog through both procedures.

      There are several good sources out there on CCL ruptures and non-surgical treatment. Take the time to read https://pethelpful.com/dogs/dog-cruciate-ligament-... and check the results from surgery by looking at the refereces at the bottom of the article.

      I with you two the best of luck. Sorry she has to go through so much.

    • profile image

      Kim 

      2 months ago

      Should I have sx on my shorkie? 7 y/o, 19 lb. Acute left ccl rupture chronic grade 3 patella luxation. 12 weeks past injury-limited improvement. Gets around ok but still limps and tripods. Sx is correction via etracapsular nylon and patella correction w aid of femoral trochleoplasty. Medial menisectomy (partial) if indicated at time of stifle exploratory. Very afraid to do more harm, very likely her other leg will rupture after.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Missy, if my dog had PLE and was on all of those meds I too would be very hesitant to go through with surgery. Is surgery the only fix? According to a surgeon, it is always the only fix. We know how wrong that is so often, but often not until it is too late.

      I cannot guarantee that your dog will not develop arthritis in the joint with the luxating patella. I can tell you that even if he does that is a preferable choice to dying subsequent to the drugs he will receive during surgery.

      My suggestion is that your try some of the non-surgical therapies described in the article above. (glucosamine, vitamin C) It may not be enough, so after a reasonable time (6 months) I would try to get him in to see a veterinary acupuncturist that deals with luxating patellas that are not able to be surgically improved. I do not know that anyone will be available in your area--you will just have to search.

      Best of luck to your little Pug.

    • profile image

      Missy MM 

      3 months ago

      Hi. I commented a few days ago but for some reason my comment never posted. My 7 year old pug has been diagnosed with a grade 3 luxating patella. The orthopedist said the only fix is surgery. I’m hesitant to do that as last year my dog was diagnosed with protein losing enteropathy from inflammatory bowel disease and has had bouts of pancreatitis as well as they detected a possible congenital liver abnormality. He’s acquired multiple liver shunts. He’s on a lot of meds to keep him stable and has been doing well on that front. He’s on chlorambucil, metronidazole, metoclopramide, clopidogrel, and dexamethasone. I was informed that surgery can be done but there’s concern of flare up of other diseases and delayed healing. I’m very afraid to have surgery for these reasons and don’t know what to do. I do notice the clicking of the knee when he walks but he’s walking a lot better than last week when it first started. I do think he may have gotten hurt stepping off the curb and I know his meds can cause muscle wasting and weakness. What should I do? I’m so scared and don’t want to do the wrong thing. He doesn’t seem to be in pain at all.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Angie, please read the section above on "will my dog need surgery?".

    • profile image

      Angie 

      3 months ago

      I have a 2 1/2 year old Chihuahua and I was told she has trick knee. She sometimes holds it up and other times can run and jump no problem. When she holds it up it's usually o lt for a few minutes then she is ok again. I'm nit sure about surgery at what point should surgery really be considered

    • profile image

      susan menser 

      3 months ago

      Patty, I am now the owner of two Bostons, girls. The oldest jumped up on my bed fell and dislocated a knee. I took her to the vet, you could see him popping it back in place. Told me to give her half on a baby aspirin once a day. Surgery would be $500.00, but I could do it 6 months from now. She wasn't in pain.

      Another girl told me that her's did the same thing, and it healed itself in about a month. Smaller dog but I am hoping Rudy will heal before the 6 months which will give me time to get the money.

      Hey mine are 1 year and the other is 5 months. Love them but have never this bred. Totally different!!! Good luck hopes this helps.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Patty, what pills is she on? Does the knee come out of place every time she walks?

      I realize this is an expensive surgery so if you are strapped at the moment since your husband has lost his job then you should definitely wait. Continue to use non-surgical methods to keep Minnie comfortable, and then get the surgery when you can afford it.

    • profile image

      Patty 

      3 months ago

      We are looking for a surgeon now. Minnie is 2 year old Boston, we have tried the pills but she continues to carry her leg up all the time now. Seems that she is in pain part of the time, she has a rambunctious sister who she wants to play with. Not sure what to so, my husband just lost his job. I am aware this is quite expensive surgery and not sure what to do?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      John, of course the surgeons that perform it and the company that sells the implant (ridgestop) will tell you it is great. The question is whether or not you want to put your Aussie through a surgery. Will it prevent an ACL problem in the future? No one can guarantee that.

      No, they do not clear up on their own but non-surgical techniques can allow you to avoid sugery. Was it just from trauma? No, not likely. She had underlying anatomic issues.

      It is diffcult for me to tell you what to do without an exam. Before rushing into any procedure however you should get a second or third opinion. This is not an emergency and you have plenty of time to think about this.

    • profile image

      John C 

      4 months ago

      My 15 mth mini aussie was playing with another dog, she yelped when her leg got stretched and twisted and over the next couple days would lift her leg up on occasion which she never did before. The two vets I took her to said she had about a grade 2 Luxating patella. One recommended the 4-part surgery(very invasive!) to prevent a possible future ACL issue and one said to give it several weeks since it was also swollen a bit. I've kept her on leash and now short runs and she hardly ever has the problem. Have you ever heard of a LP clearing up on it's own? Could she have stretched the ligament or torn some facia that held it in place? Her other patella is fine. Finally, I read about the new less entailed Ridgestop technique to correct the problem and there are vets here in CO that offer it. Have you heard of Ridgestop? Thanks and thanks for all the postings!! I never even heard of this type of condition till three weeks ago. Now I know way too much!!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Dick, based on the fact that he gets around and is not in pain, if you were in a similar situation would you put yourself through the surgery if you were 75 years old?

    • profile image

      Dick 

      4 months ago

      My 13 year old peke has a luxating patella. He has no pain. He can run and jump on the furniture, but his leg wobbles all over. I have noidea whether to go the surgery route, or not.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Renee, without an exam I cannot tell you if your Pom needs surgery or not. You can try the non-surgical options listed here and if he gets bad again proceed with the vets suggestions. If he never goes lame again, however, and has no clinical symptoms, why put him through the surgery?

    • profile image

      Renee 

      4 months ago

      My 1 yr old POM was on 3 legs last Sunday. We took him to the vet where she manipulated his knee back in. Then set up surgery for a luxating patella. Since then he’s been fine. Walking, running, jumping. He’s never cried out in pain. I’m not sure he really needs the surgery. I’ve been watching him closely and he’s on all 4 legs. I’m confused as to what to do. Any thoughts?

    • Candi Collins profile image

      Candi Collins 

      4 months ago from Alpena, Michigan, USA

      Thank you Dr Mark for your encouragement and sound advice!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Mel, from your description it sounds like your dog is not a surgical candidate. Read the recommendations above (weight control, glucosamine, etc) and your Poodle may never need surgery. If he seems to be in a lot of pain you should consult a local vet.

    • profile image

      Mel 

      4 months ago

      My dog is a Toypoodle, he is 1,5 years old. Yesterday I just heard a "click" sound from his leg, it was happening just for a while when he walk and it's gone. He's not in pain at all. But today morning, he's totally fine.... and there is no " click " sound from his leg. But tonight, I heard it again the "click" sound. And the way he is walk is a little bit weird, but it just a very short time. He's no pain at all. His weight 2.9 kg. Please let me know is he really need to take the surgery?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Rachel, your puppy is not even lame, so certainly you should try some of the non-surgical options before even considering going to surgery. If the vet told you that your dog HAD to have surgery, you should consider getting a second opinion from a holistic vet.

    • profile image

      Rachel 

      4 months ago

      We just bought a 6 month old English Bulldog and when we took him for his new puppy exam they said he has bilateral luxating patellas. He is 36 pounds. Would these be good alternative for him. We can’t afford the sugery. We know EB are expensive to raise but were not anticipating a 5000 surgery a week after buying him.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Candi, I have seen many dogs of her type and weight that did fine and never needed surgery. Follow the recommendations in the article, especially about keeping off the excess weight. Do not proceed with surgery at this time, but if she gets worse have her knees examined by a veterinary surgeon and get a second opinion.

    • Candi Collins profile image

      Candi Collins 

      4 months ago from Alpena, Michigan, USA

      My dog is approximately one year old and in excellent health. Except that when I adopted her from the humane socialist they did a wellness veterinary visit and diagnosed her with "floating kneecaps". She is not overweight and her breed is a Pomchi and she weighs 8 pounds. They said she would need surgery to repair both knees but my regular Vet said if she experiences no pain not to worry about it. Last week she was in pain for about 8 hours and I restricted her movement and the next day she was fine and has been fine and playful ever since. I am on a limited income and heard that surgery could cost up to $2000.00. I love my dog and if she needs surgery I will do whatever it takes to get it for her. What is your opinion on the matter?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Marcia, if your dog really has a grade IV luxated patella he will have some symptoms. Their will be no patellar groove and the patella will always be out of place.

      Who told you it was Grade IV? Can you seek a second opinion. If the dog has no symptoms, he is a candidate for the non surgical techniques described in the artile. If he is really already a grade IV he is a surgical candidate.

    • profile image

      marcia lloyd 

      5 months ago

      stage four luxated patellar, no symptoms at all, treatment?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Kim, your Morkie could not have gone from grade I to grade IV just from running on ice. If he is grade IV, and does have arthritic changes and no longer has a groove so that the kneecap can go back into place, he will need surgery. I do not think it is grade IV. If you have any doubts about his diagnosis from your first vet get a second opinion from a different local vet.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Bev, that sounds like his opinion. Your dogs still have a grade I luxation, based on the lack of symptoms, so unless he felt any arthritic changes, which I do not know, your dogs may respond to weight control and the other things listed in this article. If things get worse though they may need surgery eventually.

    • profile image

      Bevvrobinson 

      5 months ago

      My dogs just saw a new vet he said both have dislocated knee caps neither of my dogs showing any signs no limping or lifting legs they run around with no bother. The vet said my puppy will need op costing 1800 when she turns 18 months is this right no x-rays no signs of any pain and previous vets not mentioned this and my other Chihuahua is 2 years old .

    • profile image

      Kim 

      5 months ago

      My Morkie is 4, he had a stage 1 luxating patella when he was little and after running hard on ice he now has a stage 4. Is there any non-surgical recover for a level 4?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Shannon, knee braces have a lot of problems in dogs. They do not usually leave them on, so even if they help (they do not always keep the knee in place) the dog is unlikely to leave it. You can give it a try if you want be be prepared for failure. (It sounds like you already are since the vet told you 60%.)

      If your Staffy has not developed arthritis, you can try the non-surgical methods described in this article. The problem with a dog that big is that she is going to be hard to handle if she does becomes lame in the future.

      If she were my dog I would get a second opinion before proceeding with the surgery.

    • profile image

      Shannon 

      6 months ago

      Would some sort of knee brace or wrap assist with keeping the knee in place. I have a 62lbs staffy that I rescued. Both of her knees have this problem. Vet suggested surgery @ $4000 a knee with a 60% chance of success. It seems to be an on and off issue with her. She just turned 4 we discovered the problem about a year ago.

    • profile image

      Andins Mom 

      6 months ago

      Thank you so much for your quick and informative response

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Andins Mom, yes the luxating patella does slide out laterally. The stairs are a good idea, and with a Yorkie/Bichon I guess that is not a big problem. I cannot tell you if he damaged that leg in the fall but it is more likely a congenital problem, and something that may get worse over time (with arthritis) or may stay about the same.

      With a small dog like that it is okay to try non-surgical options, but monitor for arthritic changes.

    • profile image

      Andins Mom 

      6 months ago

      I have a Yorkie/Bichon that will be 9 this May. Last September he tumbled down about 4 stairs and blew out a disc. He required emergency surgery which I had to borrow money to pay for it. When he was 18 months old he had I think it is called FHP surgery (I've only had him for 3.5 years) on the right leg. The doctor at that time said he might require patella surgery down the road but I don't remember which leg he was referring to. After the disc surgery his surgeon stated as he healed that his left patella was luxating and suggest rehab. At $100 a pop I couldn't afford it for long. He doesn't act like he is in pain but my question is twofold. He doesn't have full strength in the left leg when peeing and when he shakes himself the leg will slid out, more like a hip thing. Do you think he damaged the left leg when he fell down the stairs as well as the back? And would a luxating patella have that structural response of sliding laterally? I carry him up and down the stairs just as an added precaution. Thank you in advance

    • profile image

      Jeannett 

      6 months ago

      Thanks Dr Mark I appreciate your advice

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Jeannett, you are correct in that your dog really needs an x-ray before going ahead with anything. Maybe the luxation is very bad and the vet was recommending surgey based on that. If your dog is not lame though I would want to keep her thin, try glucosamine, etc (as outlined in the article). I cannot promise you that your dog is not going to need surgery down the road, but in the meantime I would try some non-surgical methods.

      Your vet is correct about the steroids. They just mask the pain, and since the dog does not feel it she is more likely to bear weight on the joint and cause it to deterioate all the faster. The same thing happens with human athletes when taking steroids.

    • profile image

      Jeannett 

      6 months ago

      My dog is 9 years of age my vet said it’s my choice to wait or do the surgery what bothers me no x rays was done can she tell me that my dog needs surgery without x Ray. My dog don’t seem to be in pain slips when she first starts to walk once she is outside she runs now I walk her on the lease is it ok to give her a child’s asprin. I gave her a steroid she was great but the vet said never to give her that

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Jeric it sounds like you already know what is the best for her so not a lot else I can recommend. She may not jump up just because of her personality; some dogs are like that. It has nothing to do with weight or a bad patella.

      You already know to keep her as thin as possible. I would definitely give her the natural glucosamine.

    • profile image

      Jeric 

      6 months ago

      I have a 3 yo Shihpoo and she has luxating patella and she's about grade 1 or 2. It sometimes pop out and not often but rarely limps without pain of course. It can be popped back in with a little massage so she wot't limp but it pops back out the moment she moves. At that time the limping stops. She's been using the stairs since puppyhood but idk if that helps her knee overtime. A bit over weight due to my parents feeding her human food. (She Prefers human food over dog food and spoiled rotten from my parents) I'm trying to put her on strict diet but sometimes my parents secretly feed her scraps. Shes unable to jump but is it due to the defect or her weight or both? Should I put her on supplements? She's very quick when climbing those 20 step stairs and overcomes it seconds. Any recommendations?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Jeannett, how old is your dog? How bad is the knee? DId the vet tell you how soon the surgery needs to be done? I cannot recommend anything without more info.

    • profile image

      Jeannett 

      6 months ago

      My dogs right back knee pops in and out my vet got her on supplements and metacam but she wants to do surgery but I just can’t afford it my dog is a shi chu what do you recommend

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      HI Denise, did your vet give you any indication of how easily the kneecap slipped from its normal place? I think you need to decide if it is worth it based on how bad it is, and also that all dogs will eventually develop arthritic changes in the joint without surgery. Of course he may also develop arthritic changes in the joint with surgery.

      Your JRT is 11, and is able to walk okay. Are you interested in giving the non-surgical option a try? It would involve keeping your dog thin even as he got earlier, dietary changes (as outlined in the article), and maybe carrying him around and giving supplements if he did eventually develop arthritis.

      I cannot make this decision for you, but if he were my dog I would not rush into the surgery. Whatever you decide, put your JRT on a natural glucoasamine supplement ASAP.

      Dr Mark

    • profile image

      Denise 

      6 months ago

      Hi

      Our 11 year old jack Russell ruptured his cruciate ligaments and had a TTA performed. He is now approximately 8 weeks post op and is recovering slowly. He walks well now on all 4 legs but still lifts the affected leg when he runs. We visited the vetinary surgeon this morning and he says the kneecap is still dislocating and needs another operation. He says he needs to add a groove through the plate (that was put in originally) to stop the kneecap slipping and this is going to cost us another £2500. I'm not sure what to do now. I felt he was doing well after a few weeks but don't know what is the normal rate of progression is for these type of operations. I don't want to put my dog through another big operation (not including another £2500) if it's not needed. Your opinion would be grately appreciated.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Stephen, if it is a luxating patella read the part about helping your dog without surgery.

    • stephen w fish profile image

      stephen w fish 

      7 months ago

      My little Morkie jumped off the counter a week ago and hurt his Leg he limped around so I took him to the local vet she said the part of his knee that's like a knee cap is moving back and forth and it's not suppose to she gave me some pills to give him after taking x-rays and said give 2 weeks if he's no better he will need knee surgery. so today I looked around on the internet just to get a Idea about how much I was looking at. Let just say I was ready to fall out could cost up to 3000 dollars or more.I am on SSI there's no way I have that kind of money I don't know what to do any suggestions

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Diane, please follow the suggestions above before putting Sukie through surgery, you may not even have to. I have not examined her, but it is always better to try alternatives first. And you are correct, recovery does usually take a lot longer than you were told.

    • profile image

      Diane 

      7 months ago

      By the way from just sent email, Sukie my Maltese/bichon, she doesn't seem in pain & runs like a whippet most days !

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Paul it will get worse over time, but since you have a Cairn terrier, and not a Great Dane or Mastiff, you have the option of picking him up to take out. At this point I still feel that the outlie above is his better option

    • profile image

      Paul 

      8 months ago

      Hello Dr. Mark, Thanks for the quick response. I have not taken him yet to see the vet orthopaedic surgeon but my friend is a human orthopaedic surgeon and he said that these surgeries are only done as a very last resort. So he’s hes only limped 2 times in 3 yrs and each episode lasted 24hrs or less. But I’m worried that because he is young and the problem gets worse over time to the point if and when we decide to take him in for surgery it would be to late because of age complications. He’s a very healthy and active dog right now and is not fixed yet.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Paul, if your cairn has only shown lameness 2 times in 3 years I cannot recommend surgery. I cannot see any arthritic changes in the xray. At this time, if he were my dog I would follow the steps outlined in the article, but keep in mind since he is very young if there are more problems surgery may be your only option. Have you had him examined by the orthopedic sugeon? What is his opinion?

      Not sure I can be much help since I have not examined him, but let me know if I can answer any more questions for you.

    • profile image

      Paul 

      8 months ago

      Hi Dr. Mark, I have a 4.5 yrs old cairn terrier with pattela luxation. It’s only showed signs of it 2 times in the last 3 yrs but you can definitely feel and hear it when you massage his back leg. During the last episode I took Marty to the vet and he took x rays which revealed that he was at level 2.5-3 — so the vet referred him to an vet orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in this corrective surgery. I’m wondering if I can do without the surgery and just focus on a good diet and exercise.

      I have attached the link to his x Ray. https://instagram.com/p/BctYuLogiqO/

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Mahir, sorry to hear that. If he were my dog I would just put him on aspirin (not one of the new NSAIDs, which may have side effects), and give a chicken foot at each dosing so that he would have a natural source of glucosamine. (It is not going to make things better, but may help him be in less pain.)

      No idea about life span. I guess it really depends on how he is doing with the pain medication.

    • profile image

      Mahir Zolota 

      8 months ago

      Hello Dr. Mark

      Thank You very much for Your fast reply, there isn't any surgeon in my or near countries who "will take" this surgery, We have searched for one, but lots of them refused to do it. We already neutered him because we know he cant mate, on your opinion what are the best "safe for daily usage" painkillers for him or something like that ad what can we expect for future, is there any chance he can live long life ?. Again thank You very much for answer.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Mahir, I really do not think you can help him until he has surgery, and even if you find a good orthopedic surgeon where you live his patellas are so out of line that it may be impossible to cut a groove deep enough for them to start working. His poor little legs are so badly deformed that it is a wonder that he still gets around, and he is probably already developing pain in the joints so the behavioral changes you have noticed are most likely due to the problem with the knees.

      Why did your regular vet not want to put him under anesthesia? That is his only chance. If you are in a country where you can get a second opinion from a board certified orthopedic surgeon you need to do so. Nutritional therapies like I describe above are not going to help him.

      Get him neutered when under anesthesia for the patellar surgery. He is unlikely to ever mate, but being neutered might help with aggression issues.

      Good luck. I am sorry that I could not be of more help.

    • profile image

      Mahir Zolota 

      8 months ago

      Hello Dr Mark,

      Can You please answer me a few questions. My wife and I have adopted one straight dog like one and half year ago. We recently found out he is Mini poodle and he probably had an owner before he got dumped on the street. Out vet said he was around one year old when we got him, so simple math says he around 2 and half years old. He have what we bealive is "Luxating Patella" affected his both last rear legs ( we have found him "Luxating Patell"). Our vet said that he cannot be put under the surgery because it isn't possible and he would have to live with this. At first that wasn't a huge problem for his life, he was managed to do almost all as a healthy dog. He was a very happy dog. But now he is very unfriendly, not so happy and he plays very little. I will send you his x-ray image and other images of him. And finally my questions is can he be cured and with or without surgery.

      His x-ray image : https://imgur.com/a/iPw1K

      Few other images : https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=108306...

      (Those images are 1 and half year old ).

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Flo, since your dog is a senior he might leave the brace alone, but with most dogs they chew off the bandages and braces at night so that is not even an option. Ask our regular vet if he can make a brace out of soft metal, and give it a try. I hope it helps, you definitely do not want to put him through surgery at that age.

    • profile image

      Flo 

      8 months ago

      What about a knee brace? My dogs knee acts up at night . He likes to sleep during the day and then walks about in the kitchen at night. Then at 2am the howls of pain begin. I manipulate his knee and calm him down. He's 14 . Will a knee brace at night help?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Jolie, it is definitely not an emergency situation. When you take her in the vet will manipulate the knee and show you what is going on. I hope it is not too serious for you both.

    • profile image

      Jolie 

      9 months ago

      Rescued a 14 pound dog off the street and the very nextday I wake up she is having puppies. One of the five pups is bending his knee to stand on it but dragging it behind him. I can gently move it back in to place and he stands on it but as soon as hetakes a step it pops out. He is seeing the vet tomorrow....but does anyone have any idea what i can do or can confirm that it is likely a case of luxating a petella? I am greatfull for any infor insights.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Liza, she will be in some pain but since she is small you will be able to carry her around. Not much of a quality of life however. The vet was probably vague because the progression is so different in so many dogs, and it is no different for Chihuahuas than any other breed. I wish I had a better option for you.

    • profile image

      Liza 

      9 months ago

      I recently rescued a young female Chihuahua and didn't realize what her strange gait was caused by until the vet diagnosed her with stage 4 luxated patella. It seems that surgery is the only option to actually correct this condition, but it's very daunting! It doesn't seem to slow her down at all at this point, and I'm curious to hear what is the typical timeline. The vet was super vague, simply stating I need to speak with a specialist. Do I need to get the surgery right away? What does lameness look like for Chihuahuas? If I can't come up with the money, would she still have an OK life quality? I'm trying to decide if I need to rehome her with someone who can better afford costly vet bills than myself, a single mom. It's a tough choice! I live in SE USA, if that matters.

    • profile image

      Cher 

      9 months ago

      My little bisheon is in alot of pain she hurt her knee now she kust sits we hve to carry her everywbere

    • profile image

      sonja caroto 

      10 months ago

      Good morning

      I have a 7 year old Min. Doberman with a floating knee (patella)

      the doctor said they will operate within a few weeks but is there anything else I can do to prevent this.

      She is constantly walking with the right leg lifted up and can't jump on her coach , we have to pick her up.

    • profile image

      michy_40@hotmail.com 

      10 months ago

      Hi good day I have a pug who is one year and 11 months old she suffers from luxating patella she had a surgery and a thread that could hold about 50 1bs was used to hold a foreign object and the knee in place according to the vet well the knee is back out again after about 10 to 12 days

      My concern is should a thread be used or is there some sort of pins that cannot pop that could be used this is a very very active dog who jumps on the chair to sleep or jumps up and down the bed would she ever be able to be like this anymore this anymore .I took her back to the vet and he said that he would have to go back in the knee to fix the problem I would not like it to pop with the same material used before can you tell me what to do she is due to have surgery next Tuesday .Thank you

    • profile image

      Natalie Morris 

      11 months ago

      Hi. Xray yesterday showed luxating patella in my daschund. This was a result of a blow to the leg. Some research says to keep her confined and some say exercise. She has pain in the leg and muscles are already getting smaller through not being used. What do I do to avoid operating or is it necessary.

    • profile image

      Lesley Robson DVM CCRT 

      11 months ago

      Medial Luxating Patellas grades 1/4 , 2 /4 and young animals with 3/4 may be corrected by seeing a trained rehabilitation veterinarian. Stretching the Sartorius muscle and strengthening, gluteal muscle group, cranial tibial muscles and hamstrings group also help support and stabilize the knee and hip...

      Skipping may be caused by other orthopedic problems not just medial patellar luxation.

      Dogs with severe MPL ( medial patella luxation ) must be also evaluated for patella alta (high) and baja(low)- if severe MPL 3/4 or 4/4 and not corrected surgically when young there is tibial rotation. These dogs are at greater risk for cranial cruciate ligament injury. Not evaluating for high or low patella position and subsequent patella ligament length has been associated with surgical failures. if severe and the dog is young surgical

    • profile image

      Alexis 

      12 months ago

      Hi again Dr. Mark,

      We took our puppy in for what sounds like luxating patella and he has been on joint meds and anti-inflammatories. He continues to skip. Our doctor could not feel a loose knee cap though. He skips...but he does not kick his knee back into place. Very confusing. We are hoping he is only a skipper, but our next step is to get him X-rayed. Since our doctor could not feel a loose knee cap especially in his right leg I am relieved but still skeptical.

    • profile image

      pattymob 

      12 months ago

      would you buy a dog discounted knowing it had a luxating patella that was found by vet on exam ,no symptoms. 8 weeks old

    • profile image

      pattymob 

      12 months ago

      I have a dog I was getting in a week or so and it was diagnosed with luxating patella. Should I still take the dog? There doesnt seem to be signs but was found by vet.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      12 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      tina, sometimes it is okay to avoid the surery. It is a case-by-case situation.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      12 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Alexis, I hope you have had him examined by now, but if not o ahead and have him seen by your vet. It does sound like a luxatin patela.

    • profile image

      Alexis 

      12 months ago

      Hi Doc,

      We have an 11 month old beagle. He has been what we call "skipping" for a couple of months. It's silly but we thought he was just really happy or excited. We have a lot of stairs that he bounds down. I wish I could take him in today but it is Sunday. What does this sound like to you? Thank you!

    • profile image

      Tina 

      12 months ago

      My 11 mos toy poodle has luxating patella .. when she was 3months she started limping and vet said it was only soft tissue injury. Limping was on and off (jst for a few seconds only) then now she was trying to jump up on me then she cried really loud.. went to the vet bec I was concerned abt her right back leg. Then they told me both leg need surgery.. vet told me to wait when shes 14mos old so the bone is fully grown and she is doing bone supplements now.. is it ok to avoid the surgery? She will walk and run ok but afterwards will be limping again..

    • profile image

      Susan green 

      12 months ago

      My concern ,I had my jack Russell at 14 months old ,I found that after a long walk she would try hold both back legs up,so went to a vet that said both legs had to have surgery for luxating pattella,I had one done aug 2016 ,vet explaining they cut groove in bone,2nd one was done Dec 2016 ,vet said was not as bad has leg operated on in aug,well July 2017 I'm back cause candy started to limp ,only then I was told they did not think it was necessary to put groove in bone ,and did tendons which I was not told!! Now she needs groove in bone I'm so upset and don't want it done ,I feel so let down by vets candy is a family member who I love dearly has any one else had this happen

    • profile image

      Wissam 

      13 months ago

      Pepe is a 1 year old mid size rescue mongrel, diagnosed with luxating patella (hind left leg).

      Vets here aren't the most competent, two vets did't know what I meant when I asked what grade my dog's condition was, so surgery in this country (Qatar) is out of the question, so is travel.

      Hope someone here can help me guess the grade from these symptoms:

      - He limps when he walks, and more so after laying down for a while.

      - When he runs, you can see that he doesn't apply a lot of pressure on his left leg. But he does run fast, and jumps really high.

      - He cannot sit on his bum, always skewed on his right thigh.

      - Sometimes he would squeal from pain if he turns too quickly.

      On the other hand:

      - He can balance himself on his hind legs, I try not to encourage it.

      - He jumps really high, and seems as though he applies equal pressure on both legs when he does.

      Some abuse info to see if this was induced or avoidable:

      - he's 1 y/o, I know he was kicked around a lot because of his fear of human legs and feet. He's petrified of slippers if ever I pick up a pair off the floor, and will never allow himself to be cornered, always positions himself closest to an opening or a door.

      My wife loves him to death, I need to know what grade luxating patella it is, so I could start saving up $8000 for a ticket and surgery back home.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      13 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Carmen, if YOU decide that it is so severe that they do need sur, I rec, you take your do for a second opinion to the US midwest where costs are more reasonable.

    • profile image

      Carmen 

      13 months ago

      I have a rat terrier mix. Recently she stated limping so I took to the vet. He said she has a luxating patella and could only be fixed surgery. The surgery he said could cost about 4,000.00 and that her other knee has the same issue so that would be about 8,000. All together. You can imagine my reaction. I suggested manipulation of the knee and he said it probably would not work. I guess I need help finding a vet that can give me a second opinion at a reasonable cost. I live in Miami and would appreciate any suggestions to help my little girl.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      14 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Chris, w a grade 4 the signs will be visible at all times

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      14 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Alison, I assume obesity is not an issue, so all I can suggest is the things in the article above (vit C, glucosmine) but w grade III the odds are not good

    • profile image

      Alison 

      14 months ago

      I have a 5yr old Chihuahua with grade lll luxated patellas..Due to her poor condition and other health issues, is there anything that can help her that does not include surgery?..

    • profile image

      Lucy 

      15 months ago

      Hi Dr. Mark,

      I have a 1 year 6 lbs chihuahua was hurt when jumping off a chair it looks like she had sprained her leg or dislocated her knee. She has been limping since Friday night Initially it looked like it was better but Tuesday she was still limping so I took her to the vet and they prescribed Rimadyl 25 mg 1/4 of a pill twice a day. I believe gradeII might be the case but I'm so confused as to what to do my vet told me to wait 10 days to see if she gets better after swelling goes down and minimal to no activity. I asked if a splint, bandage, massage, heat or cold packs. He told me to not do anything just wait but I don't see she's getting better and I could tell there's discomfort because she just lays around not doing much. The Dr. also mentioned she might need surgery for this condition Medial Patella Luxation but it's not a sure thing she will need surgery he also said I'd have to go to a specialist to find out. Is there something that you might suggest that I might be able to do before going the surgery route? Is there a splint you might recommend? Should I bandage it before she goes to sleep so that it can stay in position? Is there a technique? I'm sorry I'm asking so many questions but she's just a puppy I would ate for her to start having pain or discomfort so young.

    • profile image

      Chris 

      16 months ago

      If a dog had stage 4 luxating-patella, would he be able to run a lot without showing signs of it?

    • profile image

      Christina 

      16 months ago

      My Pomeranian chihuahua mix was diagnosed with this condition. He is only 3 years old. Is this common for younger dogs? Would a joint supplement like cosequin be helpful for him?

      He recently fell and must have made it worse because of the inflammation because it was bothering him from just walking. Any suggestions on what I can do to help? I did take him to the vet for X-rays to make sure the fall didn't break anything, and the diagnosis was a luxating patella.

    • profile image

      Kasey 

      16 months ago

      we have a four month old Cane Corso not sure what he did to his leg but his left leg has a luxating patella. I think it's a grade one as it goes in and out very easily if I place my hand on his knee and bend the leg I can feel it pop and towards the inside and then back out. he doesn't seem to be in pain though he does limp on it and seems to favor it. the vet seems to think it might be a stretched ligament and rest will be adequate. he also has him on a round of Meloxicam. I'm trying to keep him somewhat confined but it's hard as he is young and full of energy. I'm nervous that this will impact him when he's full grown and he won't be able to live up to his full potential. just wondering your thoughts on this.

      thank you

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      16 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Sue, a luxating patella is only in the knee. Maybe the Walker has early signs of hip dysplasiIa? I would also be concerned about the heartworms, so please read my article on the slow kill method using monthly ivermectin, orally (which is a lot less painful and traumatic than the method many vets recommend.) If the hip problem is mild, you can put her on glucosamine supplements now, feed her to stay thin, and the hips will not develop arthritis for many years.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      16 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Barry, the dogs do stand, even the ones that are very uncomfortable, but the do have limited movement in that leg.

    • profile image

      Barry 

      16 months ago

      Will a treat knee prevent a dog from standing and or have limited movement?

    • profile image

      Sue 

      17 months ago

      I am considering adopting a 1 yr 2 mo Walker/Beagle mix, which they have diagnosed as having Lux Patella in the hip. What do you recommend? I see you have recommendations for a trick knee but what about a hip. We have been visiting her for a few weeks and she does not seem to be impacted other than she plays for awhile then lays down. I am not one to give up on anything but I am asking what is your advise on a solution to her problem. They also told me she has heart worm. Bring me some good news.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      17 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Cathy, not sure a brace would even help but it is worth a try. A 12 year old Yorkie can be managed very well without surgery, so if you do not mind carrying him down steps, etc he should be okay. If he is in too much pain of course you might have to resort to surgery, but try some of the alternatives first (glucosamine, Vit C) and see how he does.

    • profile image

      Cathy 

      17 months ago

      I have a male 12 yr. old Yorkie. He has a luxating patella which is at stage 3. Mostly out of the knee grove. My vet manually moves it back, however it slips right back out. He gets around pretty well, but I was considering a brace? Your thoughts? Recommendations? Interesting read about Vitamin C. I will try that as well.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      17 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      A 10 week old puppy still has a chance of making it without surgery. Try to keep it in place with vetrap, talk to her vet about cosequin injections, and give an antioxidant like vitamin C. Do not wait too long, though, since if it is not improving or at least staying stable the best thing for her is the surgery.

    • profile image

      Kathe 

      17 months ago

      I have a 10 week old Jack Russell that I recently rescued. They (the Human Society) have diagnosed her with a luxating patella (right rear leg), the vet that saw her said it was a three. It does seem to be uncomfortable for her at times but she if very active. I am wondering if we can support/immobilize this and give it a chance to heal on its own? I understand that this breed is prone to this issue and that it can be genetic, in this case I think that she was stepped on (the folks that had her were older and on a cane). The Humane Society has offered to pay for the surgery - but I am not excited about doing surgery on such a young dog that may grow out of the problem. Thanks.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      17 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Molly sounds very lucky. Just extend the leg, sort of like she is stretching it out when she first wakes up, and she should be fine.

    • profile image

      Heather Murray 

      17 months ago

      Thank you so much for your help! I actually just did what Dr. Fox had told me to do and it popped right back in after a few tries. I was smothered with kisses. She tends to have it pop out often, so I'll try your method next time. Should I extend it straight out in front of her as if she were pointing like a human? Or just extend it straight but leave it flat on the floor? Kind of like if she were stretching? And don't worry! I'm going to buy her some supplements tomorrow since she's probably in need of a little extra vitamin love anyway. Molly gets frequently walked. I don't believe that a dog should stay inside and not get to use their wonderful nose! We take her out to the metroparks when it's nice to let them (her best friend/sister-from-another-mother) romp around. And she's lucky that her size is perfect for massages. She gets them frequently. Maybe that's what's helped keep it from getting so bad! You're definitely right, I'm super lucky that she's this old and still acting like a benjamin button. Thanks again, SO much! I really appreciate your quick response.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      17 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Heather, it is so nice to hear from someone that has an older dog with a mild case. The comment just below yours is from a guy with a young Great Pyrenees.

      The best way to get the knee back in place is to extend Molly´s leg so that it is straight; it will usually go back in place by itself. If not, just ignore the strange look and give her a gentle massage above the knee. It should feel just like the other leg, and that is how you are able to tell that you have put it back into place.

      Even though Molly´s case is mild, do not allow her to become obese! Give her a mild walk at least twice a day.

    • profile image

      Heather Murray 

      17 months ago

      Hi, Dr. Mark. Molly the Maltese is 10 and has been diagnosed with grade 1 floating patella. I notice when it's bad because the leg shakes and she tends to put less pressure on it. The dr that diagnosed her said that I can manually pop it back in. It seemed to me he just rotated her leg in a normal walking position until he felt it pop back in. When I do it, I feel like I might be rubbing her cartilage against the knee cap, rather than fixing it. Can you be of any assistance on this? Or explain to me the best way to tell that it's put back in properly? She doesn't exhibit any pain when I try to do this on my own, just gives me a strange look of, "What do you think you're doing? Be careful, please." Any advice would be so helpful! Thanks in advance.

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