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Discussion Starter #1
Can't believe I am writing this - but I have a serious suspicious that Louie may have a luxating patella in his left rear leg. He is now 8 months old - exceptionally well bred (every dog in his pedigree 4 generations back has been checked for Patella so I am baffled to say the least) I am still in shock that this could be an issue for us. Vet appointment scheduled and forthcoming - but his patellas had been checked 3 times in his young life - each time the result was excellent.
Until yesterday I honestly thought his very occasional and very short lived (under 20 seconds) limp was due to pebbles in his toes. I had a dog before (big hunky Pointer) who would act like he had broken his leg every time the tiniest stone got caught in his paw.
Yesterday however he sat right next to me when he avoided putting weight on his paw and I could palpitate during one of these events. In the knee area (above the knee) it felt like his tendons were oddly tensed and touching it gently made it relax (snap?) back. This was a very tender move and seemed to cause him no pain. Every time before when I palpitated he also seemed to not mind or be in any pain at all - but he also seemed to be post event. He hikes with me almost every day - he plays, romps no sign of any pain - but he will lift his rear leg at times not using the paw for a few seconds...
Of course going to the vet - although not sure she would be able to feel anything when there is no acute event. I just checked his vet records again - and he literally had an excellent Patella report just 3 weeks ago.
My questions to you: Could this just be a growing pain? Could it be just a spasm of tendons? Any advice for us?
 

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Others can tell you more, but my friend has a 5 year old toy and never had surgery on the leg from a pup and the poor thing keeps that hind leg up all the time. My girl Cayenne was jumping at the door due to a squirrel and yelped and limped, then was ok. I think some dogs has the problem but it goes back in on its own. I do not let my girls jump on sofa or bed, so that is the only time Cayenne had a problem and she is 5
 

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Young dogs do experience growing pains. We used metacam to get them through tender moments. But what would feel off wouldn't be the actual knee, but the growth plate area for growing pains.


I hope it isn't what you are worried over, but think you are wise to get it checked.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Just had a lovely and informative session via email with my breeder and her mentor - breeder of my dog's mum - and we have concluded that even though we maybe within the exercise guidelines of Puppy Culture etc we may be overdoing it.
We are definitely on the upper range of those excercise guidelines and even though I go for short rounds and intervals of shorter walks around the block I still come and am used to walking twice as much with my big boys. So my overall step count is down to not even half - it may still be too much for this 8 month old boy.
So this weekend we will rest - won't be hard with the awful weather we will have and then we will do smaller - much shorter walks - at a much slower pace.

Fingers crossed it is just a temporary glitch...
 

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I was thinking a mild sprain, since he’s been in the clear for patella issues. Buck had one at that age and was on restricted activity for a week which he resented. The vet gave him anti inflammatory meds too. Hope it’s just a temporary ‘hitch in his giddy up.
 

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My now 21 month old toy poodle was suspected to having LP. During my consult with a very well-respected and experienced orthopedic surgeon, she told me that knees evaluated at a young age can definitely change, and it's usually after 6 months of age that the patella starts to show luxation if the dog has LP. This is due to the tibial attachment of the patellar tendon being slightly medial, and therefore the angle gets more pronounced as the tibia grows and eventually pulls the patella out of place. If the patella luxates frequently, then the patella also won't be resting in the patellar groove frequently enough for the groove to deepen naturally, so it's a double edge sword.

Therefore, even though my boy was evaluated as grade 2, she recommended no surgery or treatment because the patella comes out of the groove by itself ~3 times/year and he has absolutely no pain. On the other hand, if your puppy's patella is coming out quite frequently, then it's most likely going to be a vicious cycle of the groove not being able to deepen enough as he ages, causing it to luxate even more frequently, etc..., and an ortho consult would be best (especially if he is in pain).

Also, vets have dramatically different evaluations for knees (not exaggerating at all), so I would visit at least 2, and ideally an orthopedic specialist if you want a reliable diagnosis. Since turning 6 months old, my boy's seen 5 different vets, 2 of which said his knees are "solidly in place", one said they move a little (so maybe grade 1-2), one said he has grade 3 (!!) LP and needs surgery right away, and finally the ortho specialist gave him a grade 2 evaluation but said she would not recommend surgery due to lack of symptoms.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My now 21 month old toy poodle was suspected to having LP. During my consult with a very well-respected and experienced orthopedic surgeon, she told me that knees evaluated at a young age can definitely change, and it's usually after 6 months of age that the patella starts to show luxation if the dog has LP. This is due to the tibial attachment of the patellar tendon being slightly medial, and therefore the angle gets more pronounced as the tibia grows and eventually pulls the patella out of place. If the patella luxates frequently, then the patella also won't be resting in the patellar groove frequently enough for the groove to deepen naturally, so it's a double edge sword.

Therefore, even though my boy was evaluated as grade 2, she recommended no surgery or treatment because the patella comes out of the groove by itself ~3 times/year and he has absolutely no pain. On the other hand, if your puppy's patella is coming out quite frequently, then it's most likely going to be a vicious cycle of the groove not being able to deepen enough as he ages, causing it to luxate even more frequently, etc..., and an ortho consult would be best (especially if he is in pain).

Also, vets have dramatically different evaluations for knees (not exaggerating at all), so I would visit at least 2, and ideally an orthopedic specialist if you want a reliable diagnosis. Since turning 6 months old, my boy's seen 5 different vets, 2 of which said his knees are "solidly in place", one said they move a little (so maybe grade 1-2), one said he has grade 3 (!!) LP and needs surgery right away, and finally the ortho specialist gave him a grade 2 evaluation but said she would not recommend surgery due to lack of symptoms.
Thanks Alyspring for taking the time! This is worth knowing and I will keep it in mind!
 
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