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Is anyone aware of any surgical alternatives? I want to do the most conservative treatment possible. Sofie is 5 year old Bichon and apparently this is an inherited condition. She was diagnosed around 1 yr. but I was never told that she needed surgery or treatment. It's gotten progressively worse as she now hops or limps regularly.

Any ideas?
 

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Luxating patella can be something that a dog grows out of but in more severe cases the knee gets worse. The groove that the kneecap slides up and down in is too shallow and so the kneecap (patella) that should only go up and down now goes sideways and 'slips' out of the groove..this can contribute to arthritic conditions, pain and inflammation.

You may be able to ask your vet about physio therapy (hydrotherapy, strengthening exercises) to see if you can get the muscles surrounding the kneecap/knee area (the lower heads of the quadriceps muscles) to hold it in place better, but in most severe cases surgery is the best option. He's young and can bounce back quickly, where as if you wait until he has caused more damage his long term pain issues may be more severe. The surgery involves deepening the groove in the base of the femur so the patella has better movement.
 

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If you vet allows payment plans, that could help some with the cost.
 
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