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Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs #5077571 04/17/19 07:46 AM
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xBa380 Offline OP
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Long story short, I have a 11 month old Husky I always thought he potentially had hip dysplasia due to some habits or characteristics he had. So a little over a month ago, my vet did x-rays when he got neutered last month and hips were perfect, but he was diagnosed with luxating patella’s (his kneecap basically doesn’t sit where it should, it pops in/out and moves around). I was referred to an orthopedic specialist in which he was confirmed with grade 3 luxating patella in both legs (1 being least severe, 4 being most) and surgery was highly recommended to avoid arthritis, worse injury in the future and overall comfort as he gets older. This surgery has a very high (90%+) success rate in improving the quality of life long term, especially as he gets older. He doesn’t show much pain now, but over time the constant rubbing of his kneecaps will eventually lead to nerve on nerve rubbing which is extremely painful.

Yesterday he had his surgery done… Took 4 hours on the table, a lengthy one for a dog (right leg was more complicated and advanced than expected, in which surgeon was very happy we decided to do it now vs. wait, as surgery would have gotten even more difficult in time). All went very well and we brought him home last night, a few hours after the procedure was done. Bill was $5500, thankfully we have him insured through the AKC so I’m responsible for only about $1250 of that (80/20, after $500 deductible in which $300 or so is already applied from past x-rays).

Recovery is a challenge, as he doesn’t have use of his back legs at the moment. We have to sling him around his belly and walk with him outside. He wanted no part of that last night… Have him setup downstairs in a penned area (he usually sleep in our room, huskies hate to be alone). He was up all throughout the night, whining/whimpering. I basically stayed up with him, sleeping as much as I could in/out, until about 3am when he finally got out of the anesthesia fog enough to try to get up to get outside. He allowed me to sling him and he was able to do his business, thank goodness.

Afterward, I carried him to our bedroom and he slept quiet the 3hrs or so until we woke up for work. This morning he mentally is more himself, but wondering what is up with his legs. Heartbreaking I admit, but I just tell him it will all be worth it!

Ice packed his legs as best as I could, gave him his antibiotics and got him outside to walk around a little. He already is trying to walk and use his back legs, but obviously far too weak right now. I hope within a few days he can at least support some load. His first follow-up will be in about two weeks, then x-rays in 4-6 weeks from today to confirm repair looks good.

Recovery is about 4-6 weeks of ‘critical’ time. By the end of it, he should be able to walk under his own weight and everything with no sling or anything (hopefully within two weeks) but on reduced activity the entire duration… No steps, rough playing, long walks, etc… By the end of the (long, I’m sure) six weeks, he should be fairly normal again. Then for another 4-8 weeks after that, really build up his muscle mass and be able to return to full activity around that time, in which jumping and all that will be allowed.

So rough seeing my little buddy go through this… But hopefully recovery is quick and he is back being his psycho self soon enough…

Anybody else have this type of surgery for their dog? How did recovery go and the outcome once healed up?


Last edited by xBa380; 04/17/19 07:50 AM.
Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: xBa380] #5077589 04/17/19 08:06 AM
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It's a rough recovery having both done at the same time. He will need a lot of physical therapy. Check on youtube as there is a lot of the therapy on there. After seeing all the time and effort involved, I decided not to put my 10# poodle through that. She's 4 and is not affected by it at this time. She is at least a grade 3 but it doesn't bother her at all. Those vets like to sell these procedures but they don't tell you all that is required. Best of luck for a good recovery.

Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: xBa380] #5077590 04/17/19 08:06 AM
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Wow, great job taking care of your lucky Husky.
Almost 8 weeks ago our 10 year old tuxedo cat, Mr. Charles Bingly, had the tendons, etc, rebuilt in his left leg/paw.
It was due to an injury about a year earlier that was misdiagnosed by the vet.
He gets the cast/splint off next week. Bings is doing well; the worst is over.
He refused his medications. We are $10K into this so far; luckily we are at a place in our lives that the $$ is not a hardship.
He is expected to recover and have good use of his leg.
It was either this or amputation. There was only one choice as far as I was concerned.
The TM3 tax credit paid! Ha!


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Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: xBa380] #5077621 04/17/19 08:36 AM
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aww..poor guy.


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Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: xBa380] #5077641 04/17/19 09:01 AM
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Yikes! That's rough. Best wishes for your pup.

It's good to note that putting a dog under for extended periods of time can cause poor perfusion (blood flow) (Anesthesia-related hypotension) to the pancreas and sometimes results in lifelong low grade pancreatic troubles. Vomiting and lethargy are likely the first symptoms. If your pup experiences vomiting, make (do it yourself) a fat free diet of boiled chicken breast, chicken bone broth, and white rice. Feed small meals 5x/day. This keeps pancreatic inflammation under control and allows healing.

If you have to do such a task in the future, best to keep the anesthesia as short as possible. Dogs are not like people.


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Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: xBa380] #5077781 04/17/19 11:47 AM
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neutering is one of the worse things for any dog especially if its done at an early age. as usual $$$$ drives the recommendation to neuter in the usa. i love dogs + wish a speed recovery for your furry friend. search DR Becker a licensed holistic vet for better health of your dog.

Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: xBa380] #5077790 04/17/19 11:55 AM
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xBa380 Offline OP
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Thanks for the kind words!

This morning and afternoon he is already doing significantly better than he was yesterday (as expected). Stopped home at lunch to see how he was doing and he was back to his normal self, wanting his belly rubs and lots of kisses, haha. It was really nice to see his personality back in action.

He even walked a few feet by himself, using his back legs the best he could. Was impressed. He drank and ate and went for a short stroll around the backyard in his sling. No vomiting or any signs of distress at this point, he seems very ‘normal’ aside from his limited use of back legs of course.

It will be a tough road, for sure. But I have hope he will recover fast and be walking before we know it and improving each day. Will be doing all the required at-home therapy, but at his two week follow-up, depending on how his use of legs are at the time, various therapy will be discussed if required. Of course, we will do whatever is best for him!

Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: benjy] #5077811 04/17/19 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by benjy
neutering is one of the worse things for any dog especially if its done at an early age. as usual $$$$ drives the recommendation to neuter in the usa. .

You think he really needed this? Nice.


Several of our dogs have had surgeries, it's amazing how fast they adapt to their new reality. Hope for an uneventful recovery and photos of dogs are always welcome!


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Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: AZjeff] #5077830 04/17/19 12:39 PM
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xBa380 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by AZjeff

Several of our dogs have had surgeries, it's amazing how fast they adapt to their new reality. Hope for an uneventful recovery and photos of dogs are always welcome!


Yeah, he is definitely making the best of his situation!

First picture is from about two hours ago, the other three are pre-surgery (one with his brother!)... You can probably get a sense of his silly personality from the last one... Very typical, sums him up well. haha.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Last edited by xBa380; 04/17/19 12:43 PM.
Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: xBa380] #5077838 04/17/19 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by E150GT
Surgery sucks for animals. My dog had leg surgery after he was hit by a car. Carrying him outside proved difficult as well as wheel barrowing him outside. Fool just had to walk.

[/posted in wrong thread]


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Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: loneryder] #5077868 04/17/19 01:15 PM
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xBa380 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by loneryder
It's a rough recovery having both done at the same time. He will need a lot of physical therapy. Check on youtube as there is a lot of the therapy on there. After seeing all the time and effort involved, I decided not to put my 10# poodle through that. She's 4 and is not affected by it at this time. She is at least a grade 3 but it doesn't bother her at all. Those vets like to sell these procedures but they don't tell you all that is required. Best of luck for a good recovery.


So in his case, it was made very clear by the surgeon (who was just awesome, by the way… Never been so impressed by any doctor, human or animal...) the risks, post-op therapy, what exactly the dog will go through, etc… There was no pressure at all by him to go through with the procedure. He even made it clear to us that he is not in any pain (right now and why) and that he only has an awkward walk, taking in account all the information supplied to him from us, xrays and his exam. However, his big worry was mainly compounded injuries (possibly, if say he got another injury on top of his current issue) and the high risk for arthritis as he gets older. He said he could go his entire life with no problem, but there is no way to know obviously. But no pressure at all… He just explained the pros/cons very clearly and it was simply up to us to decide to do it now, later or not at all. Obviously having his kneecaps slide in/out of position will possibly wear the bone more and more over time, causing more painful luxation. But again, no promises one way or another. I spent weeks prior to this appointment doing research and understanding the most I could before talking with him. I was prepared as I could be for making the decision.

After the surgery the vet did call to discuss the procedure and told me how happy he was we did it now vs. waiting, as posted in my original post. Doing it now was absolutely the right choice once he was able to work on his one leg. I guess it was really quite complicated/bad and would have for sure caused him issues soon enough… And if we waited, the procedure would have become even more complicated and higher risk. Doing it young before any arthritis had the chance to form among other things also give him the best possible future. Procedure went flawless and he is extremely confident he won't have issues once healed.

It was really tough between my SO and me to make the choice… It was not easy, at all. Doctor was supportive either way. I respected that from him.

Given he is a highly regarded specialist in orthopedics (phd of course, medical papers written in the field and all that fun stuff per my research), with nothing but high regards for his work and “bedside manner”. When we talked with him I really felt confident we did the right thing. His talk afterward just confirmed the decision. It sucks, yeah, but we will get through it and hopefully he has the rest of his life ahead of him more comfortably.

Agree with the procedure or not, we made what we thought was the best decision for us and our pup.

Last edited by xBa380; 04/17/19 01:16 PM.
Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: xBa380] #5077879 04/17/19 01:31 PM
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Good looking pupper


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Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: xBa380] #5077882 04/17/19 01:33 PM
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Huskies are the best. Sounds like you did the right thing and it looks like he's doing okay post-op! Poor guy probably can't wait to get the lampshade off his neck.


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Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: xBa380] #5077954 04/17/19 03:07 PM
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A dog's worst nightmare, the cone of shame. frown


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The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with someone else's life. - Frank Zappa

Re: Dog had knee surgery yesterday on both legs [Re: AZjeff] #5077955 04/17/19 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by AZjeff
A dog's worst nightmare, the cone of shame. frown


The shaved leg look isn't helping things. lol


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