Our poodle who is now crossed over had patella issues from injuries that they recommended letting the joints fuse which we did. And she did just fine although had no flexibility in the joint.
Our current pup,Maggie, however, was BORN with a problem with her knees. Reticulated kneecaps. It didn't begin to show until she was 6 months old and we thought it was a stretched ligament. Then at 14 months the other knee became lame. We had her thoroughly evaluted at that time.
Basically there was no groove for her ligaments to run in. As she grew these slipped off the bone and her ligamets and kneecaps would move to the side and back again. It was quite painful for her and she got to the point that squatting to urinate was difficult b/c she would fall over.
We decided to have surgery to correct the problem. She was 16 months old when it was performed. The surgeon carved a groove in each leg bone to support the ligament, the knee was realigned, and then the upper bone was cut to realign the tendons and a pin placed in to hold it until the bone fused again.
She now is able to act as a normal dog. She runs and plays and is not in distress. Without the surgery the knee cap may have continued to move around and not fuse. This would have caused her a lot of pain. Now she has full use of the joints.
They do say she will likely develop arthirtis so she gets glucosimine/chondroitin daily.
They did both knees at the same time since she is small. We had to help her a lot those first few weeks after surgery. We also had to do PT with her 3 times a day. The surgeon showed us how to do the exercises and stressed how important it was to do the exercises faithfully so that she would have maximum mobility.
It was the best thing I think we could have done for her. We are hopeful that breeders will begin to screen for the genes for this problem just as they do for hip dysplasia b/c this knee problem is becoming quite prevalent.
If you decide on surgery be sure you find a surgeon who is good with joints. Ask around. Ask for referrals.
Edited by: STARLASUE at: 9/3/2009 (12:23)
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