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Discussion Starter #1
Our mini is 15 weeks. Our breeder is reputable and was a referral from PCA. Yesterday, I was told by my vet that our puppy is declared “unfit for sale” as he has bilateral luxating patellas (medial + lateral). I am very interested in how I should move forward with this info. My vet is not recommending ANY action at this time. 2 different vets examined him and agreed on the diagnosis. They took this very seriously and were very sorry to deliver the news. The breeder’s vet did 2 sets of shots on the puppy before we picked him up at 10 weeks and did not note anything about patellas. Sire and dam show “normal- practitioner” on the OFA paperwork. I notified the breeder right away. Any advice ????
 

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So sorry you are going through this. It's something a puppy parent never wants to hear.

Can you tell us what your puppy contract stated in terms of health guarantees? And has the breeder responded yet?
 

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What action is the vet speaking of? Surgery? Did they say the grade of luxation the dog is at? With Fluffy’s diagnosis, we didn’t know until he was 3, and that was after a visit to a temporary vet, who checked him as part of a ‘small dog’ routine. All the other vets we saw didn’t even touch his knees. So it is possible that the other vet didn’t even look. Definitely look at the contract, as Raindrops said.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No stated guarantee on her paperwork, which is shame on me. I trusted the referral and the ofa papers and I thoroughly researched her history with poodles to confirm that she was experienced breeder. She wasn’t very receptive to the information, no breeder or owner could be eager to hear that news. She urged me not to rush to surgery. And said she wanted to speak to her vet. And she said the quoted price for surgery on the Unfit for Sale form was outrageous.

My vet is very conservative and Dewey is my second mini. The discussion was explaining what the diagnosis could mean. What the prognosis might be. I asked if I should limit his activity and she said, no. I asked what it would look like if the knees went out so I would know what to look for.

Dewey is a big puppy. The breeder told us that he has solid bone structure and would be at top end of mini size. she said the sire was at top end; he was a Gr. champion so he met conformance for size. Feast forward... Dewey is 10 lbs at 14.5 weeks. I asked the vet if he is fat because our female is tall, slender at 11 lbs and he seemed big. The vet said he is not fat and do not cut food. He has a waist, no rolls at tail, and you can feel his ribs and spine. I feed the exact mid range, in grams, that is on the Fromm Gold bag. If he is going to be a 20 lb dog, I am actually under feeding him because I was going by 15 lbs full grown. But it’s not a huge difference. When I told breeder he was almost 10 pounds early last week, she said he was on target. When I told her about patellas, she told my she read articles and I should cut back food.

My first concern is Dewey. Sounds like surgery may be in his future at some point. Orthopedic vet works tues and thurs at my vet. They will have him look at him a week after next. I am considering pt to help him strengthen other parts of leg to shore up the knees.
 

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My vet said my girl had crap knees at 17 weeks, from all my reading some pups can do just fine with no intervention, My vet didn't grade her knees at the time for that reason or maybe it us hard to grade the knees on a growing puppy.
Around 7 months Beatrice developed a hitch or skip to her step.
At 16 months she ruptured her cruciates ligament, which was surgically repaired and at my insistence her other knee was repaired at age 3.
You can do knee strengthening exercises, works for some.
I hope you have pet insurance or start saving now.
I live in the Northeast so I spent $8000 having Beatrice's knees repaired.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My vet said my girl had crap knees at 17 weeks, from all my reading some pups can do just fine with no intervention, My vet didn't grade her knees at the time for that reason or maybe it us hard to grade the knees on a growing puppy.
Around 7 months Beatrice developed a hitch or skip to her step.
At 16 months she ruptured her cruciates ligament, which was surgically repaired and at my insistence her other knee was repaired at age 3.
You can do knee strengthening exercises, works for some.
I hope you have pet insurance or start saving now.
I live in the Northeast so I spent $8000 having Beatrice's knees repaired.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
They did not give a grade but I’m guessing the orthopedic vet will do that. I also live in northeast and in an area with high cost of living. Did you go back to your breeder when you were told at 17 weeks? My vet did say that some dogs do fine. But logic tells me that bigger dog and bad knees are a recipe for bad things. If you told me my 11 lb female had bad knees, I would believe she could live a long, active life without surgery.
 

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My vet said smaller dogs are better with this than larger dog even if your pup gets to 20 pounds that is still considered small. I saw a collie, Bulldog and Golden come in for knee surgeries, they had a harder time.
As for Bea she came from a BYB, which basically it was good luck you are on your own.
Also unless the knees are crippling bad vets tend to hold off, as some pups out grow or it never gets bad.
Bea didn't see an orthopedic veterinarian until she ruptured her knee and my vet was happy to leave the other alone.
Keeping your dog at the correct weigh and fit is key, so long as your is good with you pups weight.
Wait and see what the othropedist says.
 

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I’m sorry to hear this. My pup had what the vet termed “loose knees” at her first exam, but she wasn’t worried and said let’s wait and see. She outgrew the problem, she is 19 months old now and her knees are solid. So I think some pups have this, but as they mature it resolves.
That said, your vet sounds very concerned, so there may be a reason to worry.

See the orthopedist and go from there.
 

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Caroline is right, many pups have loose patellas that become more solid as they age. They should be solid by 1 year of age. Are you seeing symptoms of luxation in her gait? Before I got my dog he was seen by a vet as a puppy and his patellas were checked. His were fine, but his breeder said sometimes they are loose when examined at that young age and it is not something she is concerned with because that can be normal. But of course a severe luxation is a different matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What action is the vet speaking of? Surgery? Did they say the grade of luxation the dog is at? With Fluffy’s diagnosis, we didn’t know until he was 3, and that was after a visit to a temporary vet, who checked him as part of a ‘small dog’ routine. All the other vets we saw didn’t even touch his knees. So it is possible that the other vet didn’t even look. Definitely look at the contract, as Raindrops said.
My vet said smaller dogs are better with this than larger dog even if your pup gets to 20 pounds that is still considered small. I saw a collie, Bulldog and Golden come in for knee surgeries, they had a harder time.
As for Bea she came from a BYB, which basically it was good luck you are on your own.
Also unless the knees are crippling bad vets tend to hold off, as some pups out grow or it never gets bad.
Bea didn't see an orthopedic veterinarian until she ruptured her knee and my vet was happy to leave the other alone.
Keeping your dog at the correct weigh and fit is key, so long as your is good with you pups weight.
Wait and see what the othropedist says.Ng
I’m sorry to hear this. My pup had what the vet termed “loose knees” at her first exam, but she wasn’t worried and said let’s wait and see. She outgrew the problem, she is 19 months old now and her knees are solid. So I think some pups have this, but as they mature it resolves.
That said, your vet sounds very concerned, so there may be a reason to worry.

See the orthopedist and go from there.
Thank you for sharing that info.
 

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That info makes me feel more optimistic. I do not see anything odd in his gait at this time. He roughhouses with my unwilling participant, 19 month old female, and he did yelp once yesterday and carry himself on 3 feet for a very brief time. But it passed quickly and he returned to carrying himself on 4 feet within minutes.
 

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Thank you for sharing that info.
Wait and see was the optimistic message to me from the vet. But there was also a clear message that this pup is unfit. I never heard of “lemon law” re puppies until this vet appt. that tells me something and is worrisome.
 

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I think wait and see is good advice. Here are some things you might do to increase his chances of having healthy joints.

I would make sure the pup is on a very high quality food and go ahead and give joint supplements. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and collagen would be my three additions. A natural source of the first two is green lipped mussel, which I always recommend as I prefer natural sources when possible. I would also keep joint stress to a minimum. No jumping off furniture or prolonged exercise on hard surfaces. Minimize overly rough play, especially with larger dogs. Minimize actions that might stress the knee joints such as jumping on hind legs. In addition, another thing to be careful of with puppies is slick flooring. Growing joints do better when the pup is on a surface they have good traction on. I have tile flooring, and when my pup was young I put a large foam play mat in our main room where we played games. This kept him from being on the slick tile. I also used rubber garage tiles as flooring for his pen so he had traction.

Best of luck. Keep us updated. We can all cross our fingers that he improves with time.
 

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My two mini boys were determined to have luxating patella's by our vet while quite young but they also said to wait to see if they outgrew it and no activity was restricted (except skydiving, that sort of thing). I don't remember what they were but our not-an-ortho-vet gave their estimate of grade of luxation at that exam.

I'm a bit surprised that your vet would scare the heck out of you by declaring "unfit for sale" and "lemon laws" and, I'm a bit skeptical that all these vets, including the ortho, are in the same clinic. That may just be me. I take my skepticism seriously.

I personally would get a second opinion at a totally non-associated clinic. Whenever you're even remotely considering surgery as an option, a second non-associated opinion is a smart choice.

I think Twyla's mentioned doing strengthening exercises for Bea, and I inadvertently did a bit by controlled exercise, not realizing til well after that we may have been strengthening his knees.

Remo has never shown any sign of any issue and Neo would start our walks fine, get two driveways down, lift up a back leg and hop the width of the driveway and then go on normally. He probably did that pretty regularly til maybe 2y or a bit younger. He's now 3y and a bit and hasn't done that for well over a year now.

This, I think, is why the health testing is recommended to be done at 12m and above.


Here are the breed tests recommended for

Miniature poodles

 

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I second the second opinion! Your vet’s reaction was very extreme, be interested to see what someone else says. BTW, here’s the “loose kneed” girl at 18 months. Clearly it Is not an issue, she can fly too!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My vet said smaller dogs are better with this than larger dog even if your pup gets to 20 pounds that is still considered small. I saw a collie, Bulldog and Golden come in for knee surgeries, they had a harder time.
As for Bea she came from a BYB, which basically it was good luck you are on your own.
Also unless the knees are crippling bad vets tend to hold off, as some pups out grow or it never gets bad.
Bea didn't see an orthopedic veterinarian until she ruptured her knee and my vet was happy to leave the other alone.
Keeping your dog at the correct weigh and fit is key, so long as your is good with you pups weight.
Wait and see what the othropedist says.
Thank you for sharing. We keep our dogs very active and feed high quality food and we don’t spoil with treats. Zero human food with the exception of homemade bone broth. Orthopedist will shed more light.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My two mini boys were determined to have luxating patella's by our vet while quite young but they also said to wait to see if they outgrew it and no activity was restricted (except skydiving, that sort of thing). I don't remember what they were but our not-an-ortho-vet gave their estimate of grade of luxation at that exam.

I'm a bit surprised that your vet would scare the heck out of you by declaring "unfit for sale" and "lemon laws" and, I'm a bit skeptical that all these vets, including the ortho, are in the same clinic. That may just be me. I take my skepticism seriously.

I personally would get a second opinion at a totally non-associated clinic. Whenever you're even remotely considering surgery as an option, a second non-associated opinion is a smart choice.

I think Twyla's mentioned doing strengthening exercises for Bea, and I inadvertently did a bit by controlled exercise, not realizing til well after that we may have been strengthening his knees.

Remo has never shown any sign of any issue and Neo would start our walks fine, get two driveways down, lift up a back leg and hop the width of the driveway and then go on normally. He probably did that pretty regularly til maybe 2y or a bit younger. He's now 3y and a bit and hasn't done that for well over a year now.

This, I think, is why the health testing is recommended to be done at 12m and above.


Here are the breed tests recommended for

Miniature poodles

That is encouraging to hear about your pups. I am skeptical by nature too. You are right, an independent vet is the way to go. And I won’t tell them what I have been told. A blind test, if you will. My vet was not pushing any surgery at all. Her thought was let’s wait and see, maybe he will be fine and never need any treatment. She definitely spooked me as it never even crossed my mind that he might have any health issues. I have never even heard of unfit for sale or lemon laws for dogs, so I was totally caught off guard.

Keep feeding good food, keep him fit and active, add some supplements, get another independent opinion, and cross my fingers. I’m disappointed in the breeder’s response and I haven’t heard from her since Friday when I told her.
 

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I second the second opinion! Your vet’s reaction was very extreme, be interested to see what someone else says. BTW, here’s the “loose kneed” girl at 18 months. Clearly it Is not an issue, she can fly too!
That picture speaks volumes! Very encouraging. Thank you for the sounding board and your perspective.
 

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I think wait and see is good advice. Here are some things you might do to increase his chances of having healthy joints.

I would make sure the pup is on a very high quality food and go ahead and give joint supplements. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and collagen would be my three additions. A natural source of the first two is green lipped mussel, which I always recommend as I prefer natural sources when possible. I would also keep joint stress to a minimum. No jumping off furniture or prolonged exercise on hard surfaces. Minimize overly rough play, especially with larger dogs. Minimize actions that might stress the knee joints such as jumping on hind legs. In addition, another thing to be careful of with puppies is slick flooring. Growing joints do better when the pup is on a surface they have good traction on. I have tile flooring, and when my pup was young I put a large foam play mat in our main room where we played games. This kept him from being on the slick tile. I also used rubber garage tiles as flooring for his pen so he had traction.

Best of luck. Keep us updated. We can all cross our fingers that he improves with time.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Green lipped mussels? I prefer naturals as well. Is there a brand that you recommend that I could check out? And what is the source for collagen? We feed high quality food... and feed carefully. No junk, no people food except I make bone broth and use it as a little treat for them. We are discouraging jumping since day one because i don’t like jumping dogs, especially if they jump on my aging 80 yo parents....I want them to be able to visit without getting jumped on and potentially lose their balance. We have not played with larger dogs and I will keep it that way. We have tile and hard wood which is terrible for the dogs, especially the playful puppies. We have used rubberized mats and runners too to help provide an area that is safe. The garage tile might be a good idea for the trex decking at least for now. When they get going, we take them out into the grass where I can enjoy their activity without cringing. Thank you for your time, I appreciate everyone’s experience and willingness to share.
 
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