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Luxating patella - rehab and exercise

Discussion in 'Diseases & Illnesses' started by Caro, Jun 15, 2020.

  1. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    I'm pretty sure Kismet (5 1/2mths) has a lux patella on the left side. A few weeks ago I saw her hop sometimes, but it's gotten more noticeable. Kis is uber high energy, she bounces, she jumps and she runs and runs. Which should be good, as she's my agility hopeful (I think she will be too small for conformation now), but is bad for a luxating patella.

    Anyway, after just spending a small fortune on her baby teeth, and another small fortune on Tully being sick, things are too tight for her to visit a physio or specialist atm.

    So has anyone worked with a rehab program for a dog with lux patella? Can you tell me the sorts of things I can do to help?
     
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  2. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    Oh my, Caro! When it rains it pours! Sure hope surgery is not necessary!
     
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  3. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    I don't have personal experience with this but I have a friend who had a young Sheltie with a luxating patella and I asked her what she did for it. This is the basic exercise she gave me. She also used the brace in the second link below.

    Have the dog lay on its side with the affected limb up. Gently and slowly extend and flex each joint (ankle, knee, and hip) 10 times, for 2-3 sessions daily. This should not be painful or unpleasant and should only take 2 to 5 minutes. Short, slow, controlled short-leash walks are also good.

    I know a few people who have used these braces for support, but I don't know if they're good for luxating patellas. This one comes from Chewy. I don't know if you can get it there but if not perhaps we could get it and ship it to you if you want to try it.

    This is the very expensive brace specifically for luxating patellas from an Animal Ortho company.

    I hope some of this helps!
     
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  4. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

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    The first brace you've shown looks like a hock brace to me (I have a pair similar lol) and not sure if that would help.
    Have you felt her joints Caro to see if there's any heat? The only way I caught that it was Finnie's hock the last time was to do a thorough check of his joints for heat and swelling. By the time he had his appointment at the vet the heat was gone and just minimal swelling but the X-ray did show the injury.
    Good luck and I hope you can figure it out!
     
  5. Elei

    Elei Premium Member

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    Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear this!! I really hope it is not a luxating patella.

    I don't have any experience with luxating patellas, but Kip and I have been working with a canine physical therapist for over a month now, because of the clicking in his knee. Our only diagnosis at this point is that it might be a loose ligament or tendon in the knee, so the vet + experienced agility trainers recommended he do physical therapy to help tighten up the knee, and build muscle to stabilize it. Since he's still a puppy, we can't actually do much strengthening/muscle building since that could damage his growing body, but we're learning lots of safe puppy foundation exercises. The Physical therapists has 3 Shelties and competes in agility - so its perfect!! We are doing this remotely by the way - she is in Canada!

    Can you find a cheaper Physical Therapist (remotely) who could at least give you some exercises to start with now? Good luck!
     
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  6. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    Thanks, didn't think to check for heat. She's a bit better today, hoping it's ligament or muscle strain but I think doing the exercises will still help a lot. She's been squeezing under the inner wire fence, plus she jumps non stop so really important to have strong ligaments. I know they say don't let a puppy jump - but sometimes it's impossible. The beds all have matresses next to them for a soft landing and all the steps have pieces of yoga mats for cushioning. I think I'll leave the yoga matting in the long run - it's good for Tully's old joints.

    Thanks - now that you say that, I remember seeing a dvd back when Tully was doing agility for strengthening and stretching exercises for agility dogs. There's probably something I can look at online, even if it's pay for view (as long as it isn't too expensive). Heck the dog club may even have a copy of something. I used an animal physio for Tully and Deska - she was great but a tad expensive for me atm.
     
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  7. Elei

    Elei Premium Member

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    There is Silvia Trkman's DVD: "Tricks for balance strength & coordination" http://www.lolabuland.com/training-videos-2/tricks-for-balance-strength-and-coordination/ My only concern would be that some tricks may not be suitable for a dog with a luxating patella.

    Have you done cavaletti poles with Kismet? Kip's vet, another vet friend of mine, and the PT all recommended caveletti poles. Maybe ask your vet, but I think they'd be safe. General recommendations that I've heard are that spacing between poles should be the dog's shoulder height, and pole height should be less than dog's hock height.

    Here is Kip working on cavalettis
     
  8. Elei

    Elei Premium Member

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    Here's another cavaletti video, with slightly wider spacing between poles (16.5")
     
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  9. pomshe

    pomshe Forums Enthusiast

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    You do such a great job with Kip!
     
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  10. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    We did do cavelleti years ago with Tully's hip problems. I do have a shed full of home made agility jumps I can make into cavaletti - when I brush off the spiders. But I would need to check if she's old enough yet.

    That's interesting about the spacing, must remember that for when we can use them again.
     
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