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Patellar luxation surgery for pomeranian?

Species: Dog
Breed: Pomeranian
Age: 1-2 years
Hi, How necessary is it to have surgery on a 2 year old Pomeranian's back legs to help with arthritis that may arise in the future? No symptoms of any kind that I'm aware of currently. They said little dogs have this leg problem, I forgot what it's called.
Thanks for your time,
Sara


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It sounds like what your dog has is something called a luxating patella. This is very common in little dogs. What it means is that the kneecap does not sit properly in its groove and can pop out from time to time.

There are different grades of luxating patellae. In some cases it can be quite mild. But, if the kneecap pops out really easily or is naturally out more than it is in, then I usually do recommend surgery for these dogs. The surgery is one that dogs recover from very quickly and it really should help to prevent future problems.

Do dogs with a Grade 1 luxating patella get arthritis if no surgery is done? This is really debatable. A lot of vets do believe that this is the case. However, I am not aware of any studies that show that this is true. It is true though that dogs with a luxating patella are more likely to need cruciate ligament surgery later on in life, but this is really only common with large dogs.

If the luxation was a grade 2, 3 or 4 then I would likely be considering surgery. Otherwise I'd probably be advising you to monitor things for now. With that being said, I would always trust your vet's advice as they can determine a lot more with Skye being right in front of them.

Hope that helps,
Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thanks so much for your response! You're a Doll. But real quick...I don't know how it's determined which grade it is, Skye never had an xray, just by the Doc feeling I quess...and the fact that it's common in small dogs and surgery will help with arthrits later to come??? (preventative)?? Is that why he said surgery is a good choice? Because as far as I know, they have never popped out of place. But he was like wiggling the knee and stuff...is that how he can tell? Sorry for being a pest, but I'm really not sure if I should keep her appointment and put her through all of this? But would it be worse on her to do surgery down the line? I know I asked alot~I appreciate any answer, if any, that you have time for.

Respectfully,
Sara =^..^=


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

The grade is determined by feeling the kneecap. If it pops in and out easily it's a grade 1. If it's permanently fused out of the groove then it's a grade 4 and then there are two grades in between.

No one really knows if not doing surgery will cause arthritis but I have definitely seen dogs with unrepaired patellar luxations that end up with arthritis in their knees later on in life. I wouldn't wait until later on down the line because if there is already arthritis there then doing surgery won't repair the damage that is done.

If your vet is recommending surgery then this is likely what the best option is. However, if you are not sure, then it's not a bad idea to have another vet take a look and give a second opinion.





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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.