Our 13 month old Lab was diagnosed yesterday with a luxating patella tendon, aka a Trick Knee...
Basically from what we were told by our new Vet, our puppy's patella tendon is not holding his knee cap in the right place which results in his knee cap slipping out of place and locking his leg for various amounts of time..
We can tell by our puppy's reaction he's in pain when this happens....
The Vet told us that at his age surgery was the most common treatment and that he stands a very high chance of gaining normal use of the leg without arthritis when he gets older if the surgery is done relatively soon.
We are treating him right now with a pain and anti-inflammatory pill for the next 3-4 weeks at which time we will go back to Vet for the next evaluation.
My wife and I are not ruling out surgery, we are all for it if it will fix our puppy's knee...
However, we both are of the natural or non-surgical mindset if at all possible..
What I would like to know is, what are some supplements, food additives, etc. that we might be able to treat him with that might have a chance of making his knee better without surgery....
My now 5 year old lab had surgery to fix a luxating patella when she was 10 months old. At the time it was explained to me like this. It made sense. This is more common in small dogs, like toy group dogs. In those dogs it is usually left alone for they don't bear as much weight. In larger breeds the more the patella slips out of place the more the wearing down on the head of the bone. Eventually the patella will slip more and more until completely dislocated.
Since labs are active dogs, especially as puppies, we had the surgery. We originally noticed she had a problem at about 7 months, but the vet kept missing it. It did get worse because she would freeze up more and more. Until one day when she was about 10 months old and I had to pop it back in myself. Oddly enough I had the same problem, as an athlete, in high school so I knew what was going on.
She is doing well, if she does a lot of running she gets sore afterwards. But nothing that seems to bother her. We actually went to a orthopedic specialist our vet recommended.
Hope this helps. Good luck. There are a few dogs on this board that have had it. I think one's name was Shanna and her owner actually had a web site that tracked her recovery.
Scout was diagnosed with luxating patellas in both knees - medial luxating patellas. First knee was diagnosed at 9/10 months. Second knee at 18 mos. She became completely lame on the first one very quickly. Surgery was a must. The ligament attached to the patella tore completely during a luxation. Shortly after that surgery her other knee started luxating. We did conservative management for a while - restricted exercise, crate rest, supplimenting her diet with Glucosamine HCL. There was no improvement, in fact her knee deteriorated quickly - she could no longer get the patella back in place on her own, she'd stop and wait for us to push it back into place.
Surgery has been very successful for Scout. She is an active lab now. We'll never do agility because I don't think her knees can long term handle the stress of the jumps, but other than that she is back to the type of life she was supposed to have before luxating patellas.
I decided on surgery because it was recommended by my vet and the ortho vets I spoke to about her condition. All said she was a good candidate for surgery because of her age. There was really no other option with the one knee - the ligament had finally torn and she was lame.
If you do decide on surgery, be sure to find for ortho vet who has done this type of surgery on larger breed dogs. I would not hesitate to recommend surgery for a young dog. I remember the pain Scout was in when the patella luxated. And surgery gave her back an active life.
My SIL's pup (11 month old lab/shepard mix) just had this surgery last Wednesday. They were told that there is a grading scale as to the severity of the problem...1 - 5 (5 bieng the worst). Gabe's was graded at about 2.5. The ortho vet usually does not do surgery unless it is a 3 or higher,but he was very uncomfortable and there was a lot of fluid build up in his knee. They put him on Rimadyl and restricted activity for abotu 2 weeks and it did not improve so they went ahead with the surgery. Here is a picture of him this past weekend when he got home:
Don't panic about his haircut...this was the same cut my girl got about 2 years ago when she had a TPLO. Apparently this animal hospital really over-does it in the shaving department! Most other dog's I have seen after knee surgery just end up with the "turkey leg" cut! SO far he is doing very well and they haven't even had to use the Elizabethan collar much..he is being a good boy and leaving the staples alone.