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Poor Bentley was just diagnosed with Luxating Patella in both knees. Thankfully at the moment it's not causing him any pain. But if it ever gets worse, it's going to have to be surgery, which costs at least $3000 PER knee here. Let's hope it never gets any worse! Does anyone know of any supplements or anything that could help with this? Would Glucosamine help?
 

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3000 is really steep. I was quoted $1000-1500 per leg.

That said, I would not operate unless you need to. Too many stories out there of surgery making things worse for dogs. My vet says he sees MANY toy dogs with luxating patellas that function normally forever. He said in bigger dogs it's usually a bigger concern but smaller dogs it may or may not be something that needs done. He says a lot of the toy dogs just don't have enough weight to really make it a problem past some arthritis. I was surprised at how conservative he was about it since he's a pretty traditional vet. I worry about Mia because she is so active and there is no way to stop her from running and jumping. My vet actually highly encouraged keeping her active because he thinks that her amount of muscles on her rear legs is helping her. I try to keep her lean and we do lots of rear leg strengthening exercises.

I would also advise seeing another vet. I'm seeing a sports vet right now that does holistic therapy and I'd definitely recommend that too. There are 4 dogs at the agility place that also have LPs and all four are doing very well. Mia is three now and has not missed a single step yet. Is Bentley ever skipping a step or holding it up at all?

Mia's on glycoflex III. Don't know if it helps at all. She's not ever had a problem either way.
 

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Yeah my vet advised me to continue to keep him active as well.

From everything I'm reading, I'm actually surprised my vet didn't recommend the surgery for at least his left back leg. His left one is ALWAYS giving out on him. It just collapses under him and then it takes a bit for him to pop the knee back in. He limps quite a bit for awhile after each incident as well. And yes, he also just randomly limps once in awhile without his knee completely popping out.

The vet said it's not painful to him and he will learn to compensate for it. But to be honest, it LOOKS painful. I obviously want to avoid the surgery if at all possible, but I also don't want to do more harm by not doing anything at all.
 

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Potsie has grade a 3.5 in one knee and a 4 (the worst) in the other knee. I give him Cosequin DS Plus MSM daily. It takes awhile to load in their system, then you cut back a little - the directions are on the bottle. It says to give Potsie a 1/2 tablet every other day as a maintenance dose, but I give him 1/2 tablet daily - so far, so good. I also give him a fish oil capsule daily in his food. Additionally, I make sure he gets a high quality grain free food (I've fed Taste of the Wild, Acana, Innova Prime, Wellness Core, and Evo).

It's imperative that the dog NOT be overweight; otherwise, it puts strain on his knees, further damaging them. My vet likes Potsie on the lean side (can feel his ribs easily, but they don't stick out). He's not to weigh an ounce over 13 pounds, and preferably 12.5 lb. Steady walks are good for the dog, too; just don't overdo it. I don't walk him the 5k (3.1 miles) like I do Maddie and Dempsey anymore, but about a mile is good for him.

Currently, Potsie (age 4) doesn't show signs of lameness, which astounds my vet; he should be needing surgery at this point. She asked what I was doing to keep him like this, and when I told her, she said to keep doing it, b/c it's working right now! She has another client with an overweight dog, taking no supplements that only has grade 2 luxating patellas, and he's quite lame.

I can't afford $3K/knee for surgery either...not happening. I pray Potsie's luck holds out for a good while!
 

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If it was bothering him like that, I'd be concerned. Mia is a bit different since even though she graded poorly in one knee and moderate in the other, it's not ever caused a problem or a limp.

I don't limit her at all. I tried for a while but she is too active and I was too stressed. It was miserable for both of us. Lots of very tearful nights for me since I had such high hopes for agility for us. Talked to the vets and the sports people I know who have dogs with LP about it. My agility trainer actually has luxating patellas herself so offered a unique perspective of it.

The bottom line is if they have it then keeping them inactive isn't going to help. Some dogs will go forever without any lameness at all, being inactive isn't likely to help your chances that they'll not go lame. All I can do is prepare for the worst and pray for the best.
 

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My Shiba has LP in both knees as well, but his is pretty mild. He's an incredibly active dog, and I really think that helps keep his knees in good shape. When he gets a good long hike or walk in every day of the week his knee seems to pop out less compared to when he gets less exercise a week. The stronger the muscles and ligaments are, the less likely the patella is going to slip, is what I've come to understand from the research I've done. I do allow him to jump onto a few things, but I limit how high or how far down with some stuff since I know of a few dogs who have LP who really made it worse by landing incorrectly after a high jump.

This is my advice, which basically mirrors what's already been said above.
Keep him in really good shape. Feed a good high-quality food (higher protein is better than low) and possibly add in some fish oil, the anti-inflammatory properties of fish oils are good for helping to reduce inflammation and damage if the patella slips. If you can (and don't already) add in some raw foods too. Chicken parts with joints are good since there is cartilage in them.
Give him lots of exercise, gentle uphill slopes will help build those rear leg muscles, then you can work on harder stuff if you want. Try to avoid spazzy stuff that requires fast and hard directions changes if possible. Being a bit lean is much better than a bit heavy for any dog, but especially one with skeletal/joint issues.
Supplements will not cure LP, they won't repair any existing damage either if it's bad enough, but they can help prevent it. Get a good high-quality supplement with glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM in it. That will help keep the joints lubed properly and will aid in the prevention of future arthritis buildup.
One thing I find comes in handy is that I learned from my vet how to put the patella back in manually if it does not go in on it's own after a while. DO NOT try this if you have not been showed how, you can do a heckova lot more damage if you do it improperly. If you aren't comfortable doing something like that, don't mess with it and just let it go back in on it's own if it will. (I have to put back in one of my Shiba's patellas manually, it almost never will on it's own, that's why I asked the vet to show me how to do it.)
 
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