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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15556
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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I have a 4 1/2 pd teacup poodle. He will be 5 yrs old in Dec

Customer Question

I have a 4 1/2 pd teacup poodle. He will be 5 yrs old in Dec and he is my registered service animal.... he tells me when I need to take anti-seizure meds. When he was a 1 1/2 old he was attacked by a ***** *****. He had some minor injury to his mouth and a bit more serious injury to his back legs and hips. He recovered with mild pain meds and rest. However, every since the attack he has had problems with luxating patella's which have been getting progressively worse. It is getting harder and harder to keep the patella where it belongs. He doesn't cry in pain but he is obviously having some as I have noticed that he is walking differently. Our vet says he is compensating for the kneecaps by walking with his hind legs noticeably farther apart than his front legs and even with gentle manipulation we can't always get the knees back in place or to stay. Our vet has recommended surgery as soon as we can as his walking the way his will ultimately cause damage to his hips as well and possibly cripple him in time. He is a healthy dog otherwise. He is lean and gets regular exercise. Our vet uses a special orthopedic surgeon that comes to her office when necessary. My question is if the surgery is really necessary. I couldn't find much info online other than it saying to avoid surgery. He is a special dog to me and my constant companion. He never leaves my side. When he cannot find he howls. He takes his job as a service animal very seriously especially when he has on his harness and is in public. I was in the hospital recently and the hospital allowed him to stay with me provided I had someone who could take him outside for potty breaks during the day. He even goes potty on command and seldom has an accident. I want to do whatever is going to be best for him. I'm hoping you can help me with this difficult decision. He also loves to play fetch and will continue to want to play even when he is obviously having a problem. Keeping him from wanting to play for recovery will be difficult but I'm willing to do whatever is necessary for him. He is a family member and very important to me. He is also the first service I've ever had. Recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.


I am sorry to hear you are worried about Brady. I am a veterinarian, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help. You are lucky to have a dog that can help you with your seizures; these dogs have a real gift.

I am sorry to hear he has luxating patellas. Little dogs often have this problem; the groove the patella normally rests in is more shallow in the small breeds.

Surgery is the best way to fix thid problem, espeically if his problem is grade 3 (we grade it 1 to 3, 3 being the worst). If it is 1 or 2, prolotherapy might help. Prolotherapy is joint injections to tighten the ligaments that support the patellas and the knees. You would have to find a veterinarian experienced in it; not all vets do prolotherapy.

The only other alternative to surgery is to treat him for the arthritis that will probably develop, with pain and anti inflammatory medication, and supplements like fish oil, glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, Doggone Pain (herbal).

Let me know what else I can help with or answer. Rebecca

Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.

I hope you were able to see my answer. Can I help with or answer anything else? Rebecca