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Post Surgery

Paddington, our 8lb Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie mix) was a great puppy, a little shy at first, but very happy. She ran around the apartment and loved going outside, no matter what the weather (something I am very grateful for, even to this day!). From the beginning, we noticed that she didn’t ever try to jump up on the couch and never really liked stairs – which wasn’t a huge deal because we lived on the first floor and only had to go up about five steps to get outside. In hindsight, these two minor issues were red flags for her ailment.

We had had Paddington a year when I noticed something wasn’t right. She never complained, but began to hold her right hind leg up while she was standing still. Just a little at first, and then more and more. I called our vet, Mississippi Mills Veterinary Services in Pakenham, and moved up her yearly checkup to avoid going twice.

Before we went to the vet, I searched online for possible reasons as to why she was holding her leg up and found information about pricey surgeries and long recovery periods. With this is stopped researching and just hoped for the best.

Patellar Luxation from pets.caAs it turns out, our vet informed us that Paddington has something called Luxating Patellas in both of her back legs. Luxating Patellas mean that there is a problem with her kneecaps – basically, Patella means kneecap and Luxating refers to the fact that something is displaced or dislocated from the proper place. In the case of patellar luxation, the groove that the kneecap sits in is too shallow and the kneecap moves out of place easily. Some dogs with this condition can learn to click the patella back into place themselves, but others, like Paddington, require surgery to correct the problem.

The problem with Paddington’s knees were different for both legs. The right leg, the one that she was holding up, was worse than the other with the patella actually stuck out of the socket. The left leg, we were told, has a patella that freely moves back and forth and may be less of a concern. The vet told us that if we didn’t correct the problem, she could develop arthritis and may even be unable to walk without the surgery to repair her knee. The fact that Paddington has this ailment in BOTH knees means that there is a very high chance that there was bad breeding and that her parents had this too and passed it on to her.

A specialist had to be called in to do the surgery and it turned out that he only recommended doing the right leg for the time being and waiting to see how she walked on the left after her recovery. He told me that sometimes after they fix the one leg, the dog will realize that the other one hurts too, just that one was hurting less before the surgery.

We booked Paddington for surgery two weeks after our initial visit to the vet – three days after we moved into our first house and five days before Christmas. Merry Christmas Paddington, here’s some lovely surgery! Needless to say I was a wreck when I was told that not only was one knee affected, but both. There was no hesitation in my mind that doing the surgery was the right decision, even though some people tried to talk us out of it. She was in pain and we needed to fix it.

We dropped Paddington off early in the morning on surgery day. She was to be kept overnight and it was the first night we were at home overnight without her since she came into our lives. It was a hard day for me, I wanted to call the vet every 10 minutes but I resisted. Thankfully the specialist called to let me know she pulled through like a champ and was resting comfortably.


Recovery was hard, both for her and for me. It’s hard to see your dog in pain, you can’t explain it to them and you can’t just make it better, you just have to wait it out. The first night home was ok, but the following day she cried in pain any moment she was awake. I called the vet and it turned out that the pain patch she had on was actually making her feel MORE pain so it was removed and she was prescribed children’s liquid codeine which helped her pain a lot. It also made her quite dopey and tired which I didn’t mind because it meant she rested without moving.

One hard thing was that the specialist told me that she was not allowed to run, jump or play for 8 weeks. I will be honest with you and tell you that this did not happen – how do you stop an energetic dog from playing? We tried to keep it to a minimum level and made sure that her cone was on so she didn’t lick or pull out her stitches.

Learning the stairsShe healed well and I am very happy to report that she is using the stairs – we had to teach her how and it took a while, but she’s using them all by herself now! There have been no signs of her favouring the other leg, but we will always be watching for it. I give her a daily dose of liquid glucosamine that I mix in with a bit of yogurt every morning. This helps her joints and hopefully she will not have to have the other leg operated on.

I can’t say enough about our vet – everyone there was absolutely wonderful and was there for us even if we had a stupid question. They responded quickly to phone calls and emails and always made sure to ask how Paddington was recovering.

Paddington is doing so well and her hair is almost back to normal after being shaved up her entire right leg and thigh for the operation. She doesn’t care though, she’s just happy to run around and play.

If you have a dog that has been diagnosed with this ailment, please feel free to contact me and I will give you more information, including the name of the specialist who operated on her and the cost.



  1. Liana says:


    I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I originally found your blog through your Flickr. page. My maltese recently had luxating patella surgery on both his hind legs, and I was looking for photos of the recovery process.


  2. lowig says:

    I too appreciate your post – My little dog Wynton had this surgery today (the house is so quiet I can’t stand it!) on his left leg and I am really nervous about the recovery. The good news is he is crate trained so I don’t think limiting him to his crate for a while will be a problem. I am concerned about his right leg as he has a grade one LP in that one. Do you have any tips on keeping him from making his right leg worse in the healing process? lw

  3. Argosy says:

    I just wanted to take a few moments to thank you for posting about this problem. My Chihuahua goes for her surgery in a few hours and of course I can’t sleep. She’s having both knees done at the same time and while I will worry for her during her surgery. I hope we can keep her comfortable during her recovery! I’ve decided to blog about our experience in the hopes I can help others going through the same thing.

  4. Argosy says:

    I suppose it might help if I left the blog address! Silly me, I’ve been so anxious about the surgery this morning I forgot to put it down.

  5. lowig says:

    It has been exactly a week since my dog’s LP surgery. He is doing very well – much better than I ever expected. The range of motion in the leg is good – he keeps it pulled up when he walks. Every 6th step or so he will put it down. He sometimes will stretch it completely out behind him also. Of course he puts weight on it when he relieves himself and did so right away. Last night was the first time I saw him curl up on his left side – he didn’t stay in that position long (maybe 10 minutes) but it was encouraging to see him not favor that side. He is also contemplating jumping again – I have to watch him carefully when he is out of his crate. His appetite has been good and he seems to be getting back to his old self. He is not happy about all the crate time especially when I am home… barked at me last night! I do feel like the crate time has been helpful. I can see how it would be very easy for him to aggravate his right leg with to much activity. I was very pleased with week to week outline his vet gave me – good tips on walking, rehab exercises etc. He gets his staples out on Monday – I hope it doesn’t hurt to much.

  6. Liz says:

    Lowig – it sounds like Wynton is recovering well! Thanks so much for the update!

    Argosy – thanks for posting the link to your blog. I am sure it will be a great resource for a lot of people. Good luck to Jabby – I will definitely be following the blog and tracking her recovery!

  7. Nathalie says:

    My Papillon has to have surgery on both her patellas and I’m dreading it. She never seems to be in pain but she has trouble jumping up on the bed or couch. She has been diagnosed with grade 3. Every time I pick her up I can feel and hear her knees pop. I’m waiting for flea season to be over so that she won’t try to scratch herself while healing. We use front line and tried everything but she will still get a flea here and there. I’m so worried about trying to keep her still for 6 weeks while she recovers. They recommend keeping her in a crate the entire time except to take her out to pee etc. but she absolutely hates the crate and I don’t want to scar her for life. How do you keep your dog quiet and still for 6 weeks? Do they give you a sedative to give her for 6 weeks straight so that she sleeps and recovers the entire time? I plan to sleep on the floor with her and stay with her in small confined areas until the 6 weeks is over. Please let me know the best way to help her recover.



  8. natalie says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you can tell me the price of the surgery for both back knees? Thanks

  9. Liz says:

    Nathalie – I sent you an email – keep me updated on how everything goes.

    Natalie – I send you an email with detailed info on how much everything cost for us.

  10. DobeLuv4me says:

    My sister is facing this surgery with her maltese…could you e-mail me with the cost as well?

    Thank You!!!

  11. says:

    My little 8lb toy poodle had both knees operated on – May 1, 2008. She turned one on May 5th! What a birthday with 2 shaved legs with lots of stitches. I kept her very calm for about 6+ weeks…it was hard, but I managed by putting her toys away while when she was at the hospital. I stayed extra close to her for several weeks and made sure I loved on her telling her everything would be okay…she recovered great and is running and playing and using stairs/jumping all over..she is more energetic than before the surgery. However, I have noticed she is a little stiff on one side but she never limps or says anything, so I guess it is not bothering her…surgery was a very hard decision and at times I stilll question the decision, but I couldn’t let her continue to suffer…Lots of luck to everyone….Andrea and Daisy May in NY

  12. says:

    I paid $4,000.00 – surgery was on a Thursday and she came home on Saturday…

  13. TEE540 says:

    My Chihuahua was diagnosed with this yesterday. She has it in both legs, but her left is worse. she is having surgery on her left leg on 10/21. The vet says she will get to come home on the same day. I am really worried about this. Can you send me any information that you have? I would really appreciate it.


  14. PomPom says:

    My 6 lb pomeranian had her LP surgery back on 9/05/08. She seemed to be doing okay and we even took her to rehab for 2 weeks already, but she was still non weight bearing on her operated knee. She mostly hopped around on her 3 legs and ocassionally toe touched. The surgeon saw her yesterday and said the patella migrated out and he has to do a revision patella surgery. So she’s currently at the hospital now getting a second surgery on the same knee. I just wanted to know how long did it take until your baby was walking again. Did it take well over 6 weeks? We were already at 5 weeks and she still wouldn’t put weight on the leg. But now we have to do the whole process and crating again. Thanks!!

  15. TEE540 says:

    My Chihuahua had her surgery on 10/21. She is doing great. She had her stitches out today. Yesterday she started putting weight on her bad leg. She even tried to jump yesterday. I am so proud of her.

  16. Liz says:

    TEE540 – I am so happy to hear that your pup is recovering well! Even though she wants to jump, don’t let her. The recovery is extremely important and you don’t want her to undo the surgery by using the leg too much too soon. But it’s good that she is feeling better!!

  17. sophiasmom says:

    My 2 year old Yorker Sophia is exhibiting symptoms of LP. It started in her left leg about 8 months ago. She was not “skipping” as seems so common these days in small dogs, but walking on three legs for many steps. Our vet explained the problem and the surgery. Since she did not seem to be in pain and was still keeping up with her 3 Border Collie pals, we just kept an eye on her. Now she is showing signs of pain and increasingly more lame in both legs. Her surgery is scheduled for this Wednesday on one leg (we still have not decided which one is worse). I am so concerned that our game little Sophia, who runs our 6 acres, including the horses, won’t be the same. I have much faith in our vet and his surgery skills; still I cannot help but be anxious. Just wondering about the cost. Could you let me know what “the going rate” might be? We are in California. Thanks for posting this subject that is so close to so many pet owners’ hearts.

  18. Liz says:

    Sophiasmom – I sent you an email detailing the costs and recovery.

  19. Ryan says:

    Hey everyone, my Havanese was just diagnosed with a luxating patella. I was wondering if any of you would care to share how much your surgery was. I have to take him to another vet as the one we use doesn’t do that type of surgery. They were unable to give me a ball park figure and I am just trying to come up with the money.


  20. Liz says:

    Ryan – I just sent you an email with the costs.

  21. riya says:

    my dogs only 3 yrs shes a mini lhasa terrier.. while peeing three months her hind limb faced the knee coming out of the joint which we manually put back in she limped but ran around fine in 2 _3 days.. yesterday it happenede to her again while she went for a walk.. the vet put her on pain likkers anti inflammatory and shes still nt using her limb and is week.. which stage is this?

  22. Liz says:


    I’m so sorry to hear about your dog being diagnosed with luxating patellas. Some dogs learn to click the knee back into place and don’t end up needing surgery.

    You may need to speak to the vet and see what they think about the severity of the affliction. They would be the only ones qualified to tell you if you’ll have to get her operated on to fix it.

  23. Dawn says:

    My dog, Piper, is having her left hind leg operated on tomorrow. Once she recovers, the doctor will access further the condition of her right leg. Each leg will cost us $2500, but I am convinced that she needs the surgery; I cannot leave her in pain. I am desperate to find out how to make her comfortable during recovery. She is comfortable being in her crate for about 4 hours at a time. How does she go potty? Do I carry her? Do I let her walk on the leash to a favorite spot in the backyard only? I am at a loss and my baby is relying on me to help her. Can you help me?

  24. Liz says:


    I am so sorry to hear that your dog has to have surgery. It is such a hard decision when they are diagnosed, but I can tell you I am so pleased we chose surgery. Paddington is fully healed and actually jumps now, something she never did before. I even have her doing flyball!

    It is extremely hard to keep the dog still during recovery. The first few days aren’t too hard because generally, they are on a lot of painkillers that makes them sleepy. Crating is a great idea if she is ok with it and you should definitely carry her outside to do her business. If you try to make it a schedule, she will have an easier time with it I think. So take her out to pee at the same times every day etc. It is difficult to carry them, just try not to touch the leg that has been operated on. I held Paddington close to me with her operated leg facing out. she did very well getting around on three legs and was surprisingly quick. Make sure she doesn’t use ANY stairs – put a baby gate up if you have to. Try hard not to let her run and play – it’s hard when they give you the “please play with me” face but you have to keep in mind that it’s not forever, just for the recovery and you don’t want to mess up the surgery that cost a lot as well as takes a long time to recover from.

    Good luck and your little one with definitely get through it! They are a lot more resilient than we think they are :)

  25. Dawn says:


    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. Piper’s surgery went well (so they say over the phone), but they discourage us from coming to see her on the day of the surgery. She is scheduled to come home tomorrow, and I will put her in her crate and give her tons of love (belly rubs and head rubs). When she gets high energy, I will give her a cow heal or some other favorite chew toy. She’s still a puppy and rawhide bones and cow heals keep her happy for hours. I also plan to take our other dog (Phoebe) away for a few days so that Piper can sleep without distraction (or jealousy).

    In any event, thanks again for your help. My dogs mean the world to me — much like Paddington’s relationship with you.

    If you have any other suggestions on how to keep an energetic dog happy while she has to remain still, I would greatly appreciate it.

  26. Krista says:

    Kira was diagnosed when she was very very young (it made me sick to my stomach!) – but when we had a consult with a veterinary surgeon a few months after he determined that she was fine and did not require surgery! The reason I wanted to mention my situation is that the price I was quoted was seemingly considerably less than what I’ve seen posted, and I’ve been very pleased with my vet all along. (ie: I think they are very competent.) As well this was a “Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon” and he was going to do both legs at once in order to get them over with which I think they will do if they feel they both need to be done anyway.
    So…feel free to e-mail me and I’ll give you some details.

  27. nicci says:

    My chihuahua had surgery about 10 days ago and seems to be doing well. I have been carrying and holding him basically 23 hours a day and the other 2 hours he is in his crate. I have not been letting him walk more than a couple steps at a time (to get out of his little crate or to go to the bathroom) He seems like he is ready to walk. My question to you is what did your vet say about when to give him a bigger crate/kennel? His release papers say ‘severe restriction’ to a small carry crate but im not sure how long this should be for. Thanks!

  28. Heather says:

    What a really informative post, thank you so much. My little Jack Russel (Maggie Thatcher) has to have surgery for her knee in the very near future. Can you advise on how your little girl coped when needing a poop etc? I gather the leg is in plaster of paris.

    Many thanks

    Heather (very nervous Jack Russell Mummy)

  29. Liz says:

    Nicci and Heather, I just sent you both emails.

  30. Gail says:

    We are amost 3 weeks post op……2 weeks in a bandage and now aweek on thursday after bandage off and sutures out.Tomorrow we will go to vet to get another injection to build up the joint.We are so worried that things are going ok. She is very stiff aguess when she has rested and gets up so she holds the leg up alot. Then she will get to putting it down and we are encouraged.But again after reasting she holds it up for awhile and then will put it down.She has cretched out twice when she has been held wrong and i just bathed her and she slipped on a dry towel.So much worrying.Like to hear how long this takes to get back to walkin Gail

  31. Norman says:

    I have a Boston Terrier named Pete. He is about 3 years old. About 8 month ago the vet told me that he had luxating patellas and to keep an eye on it even though he wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms and was still running and jumping like Boston Terriers do. The past month he has started to display signs of it. When he gets up he balances on his front two legs and then will drop his back left leg after a few steps and will eventually put his back right leg down.

    I am taking him to the vet this Saturday to see what they say. I was wondering how much the surgery cost as well.

  32. Kerbear says:

    Wow, an Ottawa site :) I’m just west of Ottawa and today I found out my Dog’s left hind leg is showing signs of this condition. I’ve taken him to the Vet twice now for pain in his legs, though the first time it was him front leg. He kinda yelps when you pick him up, and sometimes when he gets off the bed. Last night he didn’t want to move at all, which is unlike him. He’s a Shi-zu/poodle mix, and he’s a medium sized dog. One problem I have when I take him to the vet, he stops showing symptoms. I think he might be faking it (being pain free that is) which makes him hard to diagnose. I think the first time he was sore it was the muscles in his front leg. I suspected this again but I noticed his back leg shaking a bit, he didn’t limp or hold it up though. When the vet was checking out his leg she told me she could move his knee cap out of place but it popped back in. It’s so fustraiting to know me dog is in pain, but the vet never mentioned any pain relief for him. Just that I should keep him quiet for the week. Do you know of anyone who has a dog that won’t show weakness in front of the vet? When she was moving his legs around it was hard to tell if he was in pain, or just didn’t like being held down. Do you think I should have asked for an X-ray? She told me if it happened again an X-ray might be taken, but this is the second visit for leg pain, just a different leg this time. I’m just not sure if I should be doing more or not.

  33. Donna says:

    I am hoping you can help. My 4 years old yorkie Toby, needs surgery on both legs but we will do one at a time. He is to go for surgery next week but hope you can tell me about the recovery time and anything that will make Toby’s recovery a little better for him. I am sick of the thought of leaving him that day. He is my baby and I know that surgery is the a must. Thanks

  34. tamra says:

    My 7 year old Maltese, Gus, just had the LP surgery on his right knee 6 days ago. He had a pin placed as well as part of the surgery. He is not bearing any weight on it yet, and will have what appears to be twinges of pain that get him all stirred up. He does not cry, just gets really frantic. He was over medicated in the beginning with oral meds and a pain patch; this actually made him feel worse. He is on Tramadol, and at 6 days I have begun to wean him off of it. Any idea when his personality will start to come back? He is not interested in walking, nor is he interested in anything going on in the house. I miss my dog. His ears are down and he looks depressed. I was not anticipating this.
    How long did it take for your dog to get her personality back, remember Gus is not a puppy (it has actually been easy to keep him at rest).
    He is eating and drinking fine and peeing, but still no poop! How long before your dog pooped after the surgery? I know the vets have told me not too worry, but we are at 6 days! Just wanting to know what to expect from here on out, I was completely caught off guard by his recovery. I was told it was simple, common surgery and he would be fine in a few days. That is not the case. Just looking for some guidance in what to expect in the next few weeks.

  35. Sumiko says:

    Thank you for posting about Paddington. Our little 3 year old Yorkie-Shihtzu cross Miffy has been diagnosed with luxating patella on her right hind leg this past Saturday. I am in Edmonton and haven’t been able to find out much about the recovery side of the surgery. We are going to be booking the surgery this week and I am absolutely nervous. I have been told that she would be up and normal by the day after surgery, but from reading your post and others, it doesn’t seem to be the case. I am wondering if I need to take time off work etc. Anything that you can let me know about what to expect would be great.

  36. Maria says:

    Hi all,

    When we noticed that my mother’s young Pom, Sofia, was hopping around we took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with Grade 1 Luxating Patella in both her hind knees. The vet suggested giving her glucosamine tablets as well as Omega 3 fish oil (available at the vet’s office, health food store, or pharmacy) and since then, Sofia has not been seen limping or in pain at all. She may or may not need surgery in the future, but for now the glucosamine/chondroitin is helping to rebuild cartilage in her knees and the fish oil serves to lubricate the joints (as well as gives your dog a luscious coat!)Not all vets will automatically recommend these natural remedies, as I recently found out when I took my own Pom to a new vet who diagnosed Ricky with the same problem. She only mentioned the possibility of surgery, but when I asked about the glucosamine and fish oil she agreed that it would help and it is!

  37. Liz says:

    Maria – Thank you so much for suggesting these natural remedies. We were told to put Paddington on Glucosamine with Chondroitin after her surgery and she responded well to it. Her patellar luxation on the one leg was too far gone, but I am hopeful that she won’t have to have the other leg operated on.

    I hadn’t heard about fish oil, but it makes sense. I will look into that for my little one too!

  38. siouxzeeque68 says:

    i have a 72lb Irish Water Spaniel that will be 10 in 3 months. she was diagnosed with LP in her left knee 3 years ago. she was prescribed Rimadyl which i refused to give her. she has been doing fine with glucosomine, fish oil and acupuncture. today she started limping on the other hind leg. does anyone have any experience with an older, larger dog having LP surgery???? thank you, Suzy Q

  39. Nikki says:

    I was just wondering if anyone heard of a luxating patella surgery NOT working…
    My Chihuahua mix had his surgery on the 5th, and just got his cast off and staples out on the 19th, the vet said everything looked wonderful and that he could barely move the knee joint so it seemed really great… well even since we first brought him home from the surgery the day after with the cast on, I haven’t been letting him walk much at all, I carry him just about everywhere, just as a precaution…
    Well he was laying in bed tonight and threw his leg out like he was trying to put it back into place like he did before… Then when I took him out to use the bathroom, he did the same thing… Just wondering if anyone else has heard of this… I’ll be pretty upset if I paid $1500 for it not to fix the issue. I plan on contacting the vet tomorrow and seeing what I should do… I’m sure he’s going to blame it on me and say I had him doing something he shouldn’t have but the dog has been restricted as much as the vet told me, I leave him walk when he has to use the bathroom and very limited around the house… I couldn’t be more upset or frustrated at this point!!!

  40. Ginnyb says:

    My 11 month old basset hound just had luxating patella surgery last Friday. He is doing very well, the hard part is trying to keep him from running, jumping etc….I am so afraid that he is going to do something to mess up the surgery. We are keeping him confined to a small bathroom when we are not home and he has that darn cone until his stitches come out. He is already putting weight on the leg and tries to jump up on us. We tried crating him, but he won’t lie down while he is wearing that cone. He has the room, he just won’t lie down. He does not have a cast, just staples.

  41. Liz says:

    Hello All,

    I am glad that this article has turned into a forum to help people who are experiencing this issue with their dogs.

    I found some treats that may be of help to you. I know I have discussed Liquid Glucosamine, but now I have found a treat that has Glucosamine in it. I have switched to using these treats for when Paddington does her business outside.

    The treats are called Zuke’s Hip Action and for my little one, I cut them up into fours. They are healthy and contain a good amount of Glucosamine and Chondroitin. They come in three flavours, beef, chicken and peanut butter. So far I have only tried the beef one, but Paddy LOVES them.

    In Ottawa, Zuke’s treats are available at Bark and Fitz and Wag Pet Shop.

  42. Annie says:

    My Yorkie also has this ailment in both his back legs, he is one of the lucky ones though. When I took him to the vet a few weeks after I got him (3 years ago) because he was skipping off one or the other back leg when he ran/walked fast, they told me what it was but he didn’t need surgery for it for a while, he has learned how to ‘pop’ his knees back into place so, for now, no surgery (thankfully). Liz, it’s not necessarily a breeding problem, many small dogs have this problem, regardless of how well they were bred, my Yorkie, Gus is a CKC registered purebred dog with 10 generations of champion showdogs before him and he still suffers from this ailment. I have just begun to give him glucosamine and hope that helps him out, until then, he will continue to skip and hop. I have been told by the vet that it causes him no pain, he can climb stairs no problem and is fine for now, in the future if the glucosamine doesn’t help enough he will need that surgery. I’m glad to hear that most dogs come out of this without much problem.

  43. suzanne says:

    first, thanks for the posts- very informative. my 3 year old yorkiepoo is 10 days out from surgery and seems to be doing fine. everything in her knee had to be fixed. i used highly recommended orthopedic surgeon and the cost was 1,600 (that’s in “alabama dollars”)
    i’ve known since she was a puppy she had luxating patellas and had dreaded the surgery, but did not want arthritis to set in or wait until she was older and chance a more difficult recovery. i know how ya’ll feel, it was so hard to leave her at the vet and she was so pitiful the first 3 or 4 days, looking at me like “why, mom?!”

    it’s still a few days before we go back to get her staples removed- she had snuck and pulled out some stitches (my bad) and i’m wondering about any therapy besides range of motion (bicycle peddling) we are already doing?
    i’ve pretty much let her walk freely around the house and just around outside enough to potty, no real walks. she’s only tried to chase the cat once- on the first night home, of course.
    but it is already very difficult to keep her from jumping on and off the couch- she will just suddenly decide she’s going to jump and i have to be paying really close attention or else…….yesterday, i looked up and she was sitting in front of me with a ball- how do explain no ball for 11 more weeks??

    any therapy or other suggestions? her other knee is a 2 right now, so i’m sure it’s only a matter of time, but i am going to try the glucosamine and fish oil.
    how’s paddington now? how about everyone else’s babies?

  44. Terry Douglas says:

    Our little 4 year old carne terrier, Dixie, has to troublesome knees. This condition lies in conjuction with vertibra problems as well. If you have one, the other probably exists
    as well. Dixie just had back surgery eight weeks ago on 5 of her disks. This is a direct result of puppy mill breeders. Dixie is doing well again and is hunting moles, swimming, going on walks. Some things
    we have learned through all of this are; never let your dog jump (air-born) while running for balls or frizbees, run in deep snow or grass, jump off of anything higher
    than 24 inches, especially onto concrete.These things may look good on TV, but, it is not what nature intended dogs to adapt to as a life-style.

  45. gillian barlow says:


    My yorkie (Cleo) was diagnosed with LP yesturday. I’m worried about surgery so i was wondering if there are any other options that we could try first? Eg: Acupunture, physio, special diets etc. She doesnt seem to be in any pain – still runs around and jumps like mad thing!

    Any and all information will be HUGELY appreciated. She’s my furkid and means the world to me. If she needs surgery then she’ll have to have it done, but if there is another option that works and is less invasive then i would like to try that first. Dont think i’d be able to keep her still for 6 weeks let alon 6 minutes!

  46. miss yoka says:

    Could you please email me the estimated cost if I should have my small dog get patellar luxation surgery? Thank you.

  47. Patribella says:

    Hello, could you please tell me the approximate cost of having surgery on the L.P.’s? I have a miniature American Eskimo who is only 13 weeks old and may have it! She is under 10 pounds. Please help me by giving me a ballpark figure of what we are looking at. Thanks a lot!!

  48. Jessica says:

    Hello, my 7 YO Pom had both knees done 6 years ago. Recovery was great (he was walking within 6 days) and we have had no problems since.

    Last Thursday we had to have both done on my my 2.5 YO Pom. By this time the first one was fine. We had the bandages removed yesterday and Baer won’t walk on his right leg, he almost leaves it limp. The only time he has used it was to go to the bathroom. He is not eating harley at all and only wants mommy. Has anyone else had this and did it get better without a repeat surgery (I have seen that some people have to do that). He seems to be perfectly fine with his left leg and pain meds don’t seem to make a difference. I can barley get him to walk a few steps to me.

    Thank you,

    P.S. For both knees we paid $1,546.

  49. Analia06 says:

    Hello, I have a one year old, 6lb chihuahua named Bella who has a case very similar to Paddington’s. She was diagnosed with luxaiting Patellas in both her hind legs. Her left knee was as you described Paddington’s right knee. Her kneecap was basically stuck on the outer part of her leg. Her right kneecap was poping back into place pretty easily. Our vet in southern california estimated the price of one LP suregery to be $1,500 or more if the ligiment had been torn. Since my family was taking a trip to Mexico soon, we decided to wait and have the surgery done there. Our vet in Mexico is a specialist from Irvine California. He also suggested that Bella have her left knee repaired, and that we wait to see how her right knee does without having to support all the weight. She had her left knee surgery done six days ago. The only problem she had with pain was the first night we brought her home. Three days into her recovery she was able to sleep comfortably on her left side and leg. Now she has no problem sitting up. The surgery, medications, and post op check ups cost $235. Our vet has been very supportive throughout this process. We’re always calling with questions that he always takes the time to answer. He did say that Bella will probably develop arthritis in that knee five years down the road. He also recommended that we start giving her glucosamine to prepare for that. I do have a few questions I was hoping you could answer for me. Do you remember how long it took Paddington before he was comfortable standing on his right leg? When did he have his stitches removed? How long ago did he have his surgery and how is he doing now? How’s his other knee? I also wanted to thank you for you blog. It’s very informative and helpful! Also, if anyone else has any questions, please feel free to email me at

  50. debbie says:


    My 3 yrd old Yorkie has been limping for 3 days – brought her to the vet and they said it is an ACL rupture which is unusual for small dogs they said. I asked if it could possibly be luxating patella and she said no – she would not be limping that long – it would have popped back in by now. Of course the xrays do not shown ligament damage and she diagnosed by feeling the knee and the movement. I am skeptical and do not want to put her thru any unnecessary surgery – I am going for a second opinion …. ACL vs. patella issues??? Any thoughts or comments on the difference between the two??? She means the world to me and I want to make the best decision for her but need to get the right diagnosis. Some have actually said – complete rest and she will probably recover on her own…???

  51. Rosh says:

    Thank you so much for your comments. I’m terrified about my maltipoos surgery but I know it’s what’s best for her. She’s so darn active I can’t imagine how I’m going to keep her still..especially for her potty breaks outside. she loves to go run around a bunch before she does her business. any tips?

  52. finley says:

    I too need to have my Chinese Sharpei’s pattella fixed. Who was the specialist, and how much was the surgery?

  53. Olive says:

    Hello, I have a small very active Boston Terrier 10 months old and I am beside myself that she will need sugery for her LP. Can you send my some info on the cost and who did you surgery? I’m thinking about getting Pet Insurance to cover the costs but I am not sure if it is too late.



  54. Raissa says:

    Hi Olive,
    I have the same question now. My Yorki Roxy was diognosed 2 days ago and I’m wondering how much will be her surgery (it is one knee for now, but vet advised that to do 2 at once will be cheaper) and if it is too late to get insuranse. I’m in Calgary. If you have answers, please let me know. Thank you.

  55. Liz says:

    For everyone’s information, if you have had the luxating patellas confirmed by a vet then it is too late for vet insurance to cover. It is then considered a “pre-existing condition” and they won’t cover it.

  56. ctbednar says:

    @Raissa, I am also in Calgary and our Pom was diagnosed on the 29 with LP. It so far is only her one knee. The cost in total is $2200, but Thank God, I purchased Pet Insurance when she was a puppy. I laughed when the Vet recommended it. I signed up for a free trail, and kept it since. Best $30 a month I ever spend. As it will only be costing me $220 instead of $2200. I happened to take my Dog to the North Animal Hospital and they are one of the few places that do the surgery. She is booked in for Apr 1 surgery with a VET that happens to be Board Certified but we do not have to pay the board certified prices and she it newly board certified. Good Luck to you, I will post again after the surgery. Lets cross our fingers.

  57. yanskasso says:

    Our yorkie and my Mom’s Pappillion both need the surgery. The yorkie on both hind legs and the vet said she is stage 4 on one leg. Anyhow I am wondering if anyone can recommend how to pick a specialist. I am in LA, CA and there are so many. Does anyone have a list of questions that would be wise to ask the surgeon?
    We appreciate your response.

  58. ursula says:

    It sure is helpful to read everyones comments here. My Maggie, who is a Maltese/Havanese cross- and not quite 2 yrs. old- will be having a Tibial Transplant to correct her grade 3/4 luxating patella on her left leg. I will be using rescue remedy in an attempt to keep her calm after the surgery and the weeks following into the recovery period. Good recovery is crucial for proper healing. Just because the pup feels like being active does not mean it is a good thing to do. Healing takes time.

    For people who have a lot of questions , there is an excellent book, “Scared Poopless”, written from the dogs perspective (Chicklet). The book is full of excellent referrencees. Try http://www.dogs4dogs or google the tittle.
    The guardian of the two Maltese pups is Jan Rasmuson.
    I hightly recomend this book for it’s information value!!
    Blessings to all the pups requiring this surgery and their guardians.

  59. Sarah says:

    Hello everyone,

    I’m feeling very depressed right now. I have a 2pound tiny chihuahua who is very healthy, energetic, brightens every day, has gotten me through tough times, handsome little boy, and he is almost 6 years old. Today I woke up to someone yelling “Chakra can’t walk! He cant walk!” horrible way to wake up mind you… so i literally threw shoes on, grabbed the pup, and took off immediately to an animal hospital my vet sent me to. Once we were there we got x-rays done and noticed his knees are in horrible shape (also he was constipated, we think this may be part of the issue) so i paid for them to give him some form of medication to make BMs. I’m from Niagara area and have been researching the cost of this knee surgery and without heavy income (I’m currently a student) my parents are saying to get both his hind legs fixed is too expensive which may mean we have to put Chakra down. I don’t know what to do with myself, I wish this procedure was not so expensive… I just keep picturing him run through the grass and jump around as happy as he always does. It breaks me down every time.

  60. Teresa says:

    My Chihuahua, Quigley, was diagnosed with luxating patella in his left leg a year ago. My vet suggested taking him to physio, which I did. He seemed to be doing so much better until last week. Then he started to pull his right hind leg up and hop on his left…previously the other way around. Now that BOTH legs are effected, I’m certain I will have to take him for surgery on both legs! I was told $4,000 for ONE leg, but now I’m concerned that it will cost approximately $8,000 for both. I am from the Toronto area. Any suggestions on where I might be able to have the surgery done that will be less expensive? (I didn’t get the left leg done due to the price as I simple didn’t have the money! Now, what do I do? I can’t have him put down – he’s my BABY! He’s a “blue merle” and everyone tells me how RARE he is. I just didn’t expect him to be so costly!) SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME SOME ADVICE!

  61. Valerie says:

    My girlfriend’s dog, a Boston Terrier, has been diagnosed with luxating patella as well. We were told that doing both knees would be cheaper than doing 1. The vet said that it would be 600(ish) for one knee and 900(ish) for two. This is in metro Detroit.

  62. Wendy J. says:

    Thanks for the blog post. Our 8 mths old maltese puppy, Bear, has luxating patella and we’re determining which grade and whether she needs surgery at the knee specialist’s tonight. :( Pls. email me with prices of your past surgeries if possible and more information on recovery. It seems recovery will be the hardest challenge. Thanks again, Bear and Wendy.

  63. ann says:


    I am pleased that paddington is doing well after the operation..My dog has the same problem..What worries me is my vet didn’t tell me what grade my dog (Savannah)leg is..she has a lyxating Patella in two legs..she walks fine and jumps..I thought to have this operation the problem would have to be the top part of the grade..The vet said my dog needs an operation which I am reluctant at this moment to have..I have had different opinions from other vets that the problem might not be there when she gets older; it could also just get better as she gets older. Also that after this operation my dog could get arthritis

  64. Danielle says:

    Hello, Just wondering…I just went to the vet for the normal physical and the vet said that my Malitpoo of 3 years old needs both knees repaired. My question is this…the vet said it’s past stage 4….but from all my research….if she was past stage 4 wouldn’t see be holding her legs up or not using them…she is acting as she always has…they have popped since she was born and the vet had said she would get arthritis when older…but her last check up a year ago…they didn’t even say she was a any stage…now shes past a 4? and they didn’t do xrays…I’m taking her to a new vet today for a second opinion I”m just wondering if this seems right…I mean if she was at any other stage this entire time..shouldn’t they have recommended some meds or oils or something for lubrication…and just a side note the past 2 visits they made us fill out new patient forms they keep losing her record and shes been there since a pup at 8 weeks :-(

  65. Pei says:


    How is your little doggy doing now?
    I have just learnt over the weekend that my dog will have to go thru the same surgery. He is a shih tzu and yorkie mix.
    He jumps and walks fine except he does a little skip. He doesn’t cry or anything, I don’t know if surgery is the right way to go but the vet said he’s a grade 3.

    Can you tell me how your dog is doing after the surgery a few year later?


  66. Linda says:

    Our one year old lab was diagnosed with this knee ailment in one of her rear legs. The vet suggested surgery but said it doesn’t always help the problem. I have been unsure about putting her through surgery and recovery with unsure results. Are there are exercises that will help this ailment?

  67. Samantha says:

    please can anyone help me my dog had the luxating patella operation 3 weeks ago now and at the same time they fixed a crucial ligament that was broken I have been trying my hardest to keep her still but 4 times now she has jumped on the sofa I only took my eyes off her for a second I’m really worried this could have undone the operation do you think it could have? she doesn’t seem to be any different all 4 legs are still touching the ground I’m just really worried if the operation was a success will she ever be able to run around in the woods again? that would make me and her so happy I love her so much I love alone and she’s all I have I feel really bad she jumped on the sofa as I know the dog is meant to be kept still

  68. Sean says:

    My Chihuahua has to get her back right leg operated on in Calgary. I would like a good refferal for the most affordable surgeon in calgary for her. please email me thanks

  69. Gwen S. Stubbs says:

    Hi Everyone,

    My pomeranian, Cooper, who is 7 months old is having surgery next week for luxating patellas on both legs! I met with the surgeon today and feel very comfortable and secure. The next couple months won’t be easy however, Cooper’s quality of life is fundamental. I welcome any suggestions, advice or tips you would like to share.

  70. Annette says:

    I have a 18 week old puppy with very bad knees. How old should should you wait to fix the problem? I worry about her because she sits with her legs backwards sometimes.

  71. B.A.R.K. says:

    We just did the luxating patella surgery on a small dog we rescued 7 months ago.

    After reading what people are paying for this surgery I am going to go to our vet clinic and kiss their feet.

    Thank God for discounts for rescue. On the other hand I just spent $14,000 over two years to have both my dogs back legs fixed in Guelph – TPLO surgery. Had a repair done on one leg first but it let go after a year so we had to go back to Guelph to remove the repair and do the TPLO. For the first time in her short three years she is sound in both back legs. So happy she is finally ok.

  72. Chelsea says:

    Thank you so much for this post.
    My dog is due to have the same operation tomorrow and I have been so worried about it and about not being able to explain why she is in pain or that she will feel fine soon and that it will all be worth it. I feel awful dropping her to the vet tomorrow to put her through this horrible operation when she makes no sign that she is in any pain at the moment.
    Your comments have helped me a lot so I thank you for this.

  73. linda Grimmer says:

    thank you for your article didnt realise it was so common in small dogs.

  74. Danica says:

    Hi, my Pomeranian recently got diagnosed with LP and he might be needing surgery on both back legs. I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations as to where I could get his procedure done. I’m a student so paying $3000+ per leg is just not doable for me at the moment. I live in toronto but am willing to travel within a reasonable distance if that means having his procedure done with a reputable surgeon at a good cost. Please any information would mean a lot to me. Thank you!

  75. Elizabeth Dovis says:

    Hello Liz! You may not remember me, but you came to my home in Barrhaven about 4 years ago to do a photo shoot for my Yorkie Tia. Tia has torn a ligament, likely due to LP, and for the time being, our vet has recommended that we manage her care. I have a feeling that I should start exploring surgery options. Can I ask for the contact info of your vet in Pakenham and if you could also tell me how much Paddington’a surgery cost, just so I can get an idea…that would be great!
    Thanks so much!

  76. Jacqueline says:

    My 3 year old 7lb adopted(humane society) Maltese is scheduled to have surgery Feb 2 in Sterling Heights MI. She is having surgery on both hind knees. One leg is definitely a 3 and the other more like a grade 2. I am so frightened; she is my baby. The doc recommended doing both legs at the same time. Dr wilson will be performing the surgery. Should i be concerned that he is not board certified? I am moving to Ottawa at the end of February does anyone have recommendations for a good and affordable vet once we are there. I decided to have her surgery done in MI before we left for affordability. I appreciate ANY insight.

  77. dede says:

    could someone guide me please,
    I do not have the funds to get my doggy s knee operated
    Ottawa area. my yorky is 10yrs and he was playing outside and in the grass. he came in lymping . Vet says its probably the ligements of the knee. operation
    any other possibility,

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