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Luxating patella

Just curious to know if anyone on here has been through luxating patella surgery on their BT. I fear that Dezi may need to have the surgery and I am mainly concerned with how she will do AFTER the surgery. Dezi is super active and keeping her still or crated is almost impossible except for night time or when we are not home. I would love to hear from anyone that has gone through this, thank you.


  • philsergeantphilsergeant Palm City, Florida, USA
    edited October 2013
    I've never heard of an EBT needing that knee surgery.... Can you give us some history... How old is she?, what diet is she on?, why the surgery was recommended?.... You'll find that not many here on the forum are totally fond of vet advise.... If she is older, leading up to this, did she have any problems with under exercise or over weight ? If someone has any experience of post surgery performance I'm sure they'll chip in....
    Talking about her hyperactivity ( which Bullie isn't ?)... Has she had, does she get, a good ( tongue hanging out, panting) workout every day?
    In the beginning God created English Bull Terriers, in the image of EBT's, God created all other breeds.
  • Hello phil. Dezi is now 9 mo. Old and she is on taste of the wild lamb. The surgery would be a "next step" type thing right now it's a off and on limp. Restricted activity (yeah right) and recheck next week. I tend to be a bit paranoid and am already anticipating the worse case scenario. She is at a good weight. She leans on the smaller side she is 37lbs at 9mo, and I would think she is at a good weight maybe a tee tad on the pudge side. She gets plenty of exercize as she has a big yard and we play fetch quite a bit rarely crated except for overnight. Dog park visits weekly. And no she has not had anything like this until a few days ago.
  • BulliesofNCBulliesofNC Richlands, NC
    edited October 2013

    @Sara81 - As with any breed of canine there are always certain health issues to be aware of that plaque each breed. The Standard Bull Terrier has 5 areas of concern in regard to congenital disorders. They are:
    •  Kidney Disease
    •  Heart Disease
    •  Deafness
    •  Luxating Patella
    •  Skin Allergies
     There are tests that can be conducted to ensure these health defects aren't present within an individual dog. Unfortunately many breeders overlook genetic testing and roll the dice with the health of their breeding stock as well as the health of the puppies they produce. I can almost guarantee your Vet has already told you that Luxating Patella is a genetic fault. I will agree that this statement is usually correct but not always. A Bull Terrier does have the capability to self induce this problem through injury. It isn't common but it is possible.

    In many discussions you will probably note me talking about the importance of boosting a Bull Terriers immune system by proper nutrition and supplements designed to help their immune system. I will always be adamantly vocalizing the importance of providing assistance to a young BT's immune system to fend off possible future health issues that often stem from weak immune systems that haven't matured at a pace that adequately protects them, especially with skin disorders.

    With BT's, if there's a congenital problem you'll know about during the first 24 months of the puppies life. Providing a BT with exercise, nutrition, and supplements often proves to pay off in the long run with a healthy dog free from ailments. However, if the particular BT has hereditary faults there's only so much you can do to curtail the inevitable.

    My advice to you would be to contact your breeder and let them know your puppy has a health problem which is known to be a congenital defect. Find out what he knows about the health of the bloodline he's producing. Does he/she test the dogs they breed for genetic problems? Do they provide a Health guarantee for congenital defects?

    Find out from your Vet what category of Luxating Patella Dezi is in. Based on your statement explaining that she may be in need of surgery I'm assuming she is in Stage 4 or 5. Your Vet can conduct a surgical procedure called Block Osteotomy which has a real good success rate. Since Dezi is still young if she gets this surgery now she is less likely to develop arthritis as she gets older.

    On a good note, her condition can be corrected with surgery which will prevent her from suffering in pain and causing her activity level to be greatly reduced. I'm confident if you research Luxating Petella you will gain a lot more information than I can provide. I'm only aware of it because I know it's an area of concern within the breed and still remains in certain bloodlines. I wish Dezi luck and I'm glad she's in good hands with you looking out for her.
    - Steve Gogulski
    "It's not just a Dog, it's a Bull Terrier!"
  • My sisters toy poodle began having knee troubles at around 5 months old- her knee dislocated for the first time. thankfully it went back in on its own within about 5 minutes, but after that it was popping out regularing about once per day.

    she was a hyper active poodle coming from agilty dogs-lots of energy and still a puppy.

    the vet said she would most likely need surgery early on in life (she guessed about 8 months old)

    i began combating it to try fixing the problem myself, every day we would go swimming-and swim she would, in a circle around me for 45 minutes a day-every day.

    she was put on fish oil and coconut oil.

    and her human "treats" were no more.


    After about 4 months of doing this, her knees went from dislocating once per day to once per week to once per month to once per year.

    i want to explain a bit about the knee cap.

    slipping knee caps are caused by(essentially) 2 reasons

     either the joint is slightly deformed meaning the joints don't fit well

    or you have surrounding damage. if its due to the bone being deformed (so to speak) and doesn't fit the socket well, you have a chronic problem, while it CANT be fixed-it can be helped. Surgery helps, but so does strengthening the surrounding tissue-that tissue is extremely important.

    Swimming helps keep that tissue and joint lubricated,strong and healthy, it also builds up weaker surrounding muscle allowing less pressure on the knee and joints.

    swimming is also low impact exercise-so you never have to worry about further injuring the knee because it is not absorbing shock like it would from running or jumping or even walking.

    another way to keep that tissue healthy, fish oils and healthy natural oils  and glucosamine or cartlige.

    this keeps the surrounding tissues pliable, strong and lubricated.

    think of it like a stick-a green stick can absorb more shock and bend more easily then a dry dead one.


    keep the diet free from yeasts,grains,sugars as those cause inflammation in the body, inflammation and swelling of the joint tissue can be extremely damaging-and its so subtle-you don't even know its going on.

    i would also suggest keeping her away from ciggerette smoke as that also causing internal inflammation.


    if you can find a nearby pool, or even if you can get a big horse trough for swimming in on a daily basis-do it! it will help drain her energy and build muscle while protecting her knees-and if she DOES get surgery, itll be quicker to heal. Good Luck!

  • Thank you Steve and Xcharity. I am familiar with luxating patellas and done as much research as I can find. Still I always find this a great forum to come back to and ask question and get support. Steve I know this is a genetic defect poor Dezi did not come from a reputable breeder. We actually got her 3rd party her owner couldn't keep her at 3 mo. We saw her and fell in love, I mean c'mon, bullies have that power. We had her for about a month or so when she developed Demodex (oh fun) and that's when I started really looking for the breeder, of coarse I got dodged and hung up on and ignored so I know going back to them with a patella issue will not turn out any better. Just hoping whatever puppies they produce end up in homes where owners will hopefully spay and neuter and take care of any health issues that come up. Xcharity as far as the little poodle is concerned that's wonderful and glad she got better, I think Dezi's case is a little more severe as she has a grade 5 in the leg bothering her now and about a 2 in the other. I love the swimming idea because that may definitely keep her from having to have the surgery in the leg with the lower grade. I think surgery may be a must on the grade 5 leg. I am just concerned for the 2 months of "stay calm" time after the surgery. Thus why I was hoping someone could tell me how difficult of a battle this is. :-/
    Thanks again for your replies and advice. I love this forum! :)
  • BulliesofNCBulliesofNC Richlands, NC
    With a young BT Puppy it will be difficult to keep her calm and relaxed while she's recovering from surgery. If she's been diagnosised with stage 5 there's no question she'll need the surgery. As nice as the idea Kim (Xcharity) poses with conducting low impact exercise and as well as providing proper nutrition with omega's it's not going to cure Luxating Patella especially in stage 4 or 5. Actually the problem will worsen as she gets older and soon enough she will not be able to conduct any form exercise especially swimming. The surgery is the only answer for solving this problem due to Dezi's stage of LP.
    I wish I had some good suggestions for keeping her calm after the surgery. Obviously you'll need to limit the amount of time she spends outdoors. It may be better to provide her short and frequent outside bathroom breaks vice waiting for a long time where she'll be very excited to be free to run and exert energy. I would try and keep her in one room in the house where she wouldn't have any chance of getting suddenly excited when visitors come to the door. You may have to invest in some Bully Sticks that will keep her busy while she's gnawing on them. I'm confident that she won't be too energetic for the first couple days after the surgery. I'd use that time to get her used to staying calm and relaxed. Good luck with the surgery and please keep us posted on her progress.

    - Steve Gogulski
    "It's not just a Dog, it's a Bull Terrier!"
  • Thank you Steve. This whole process is frustrating and definitely angers me. It is so sad that these breeders can just keep pumping out puppies and not have remorse to what they are causing pet owners and the poor puppies that will definitely have issues. We love Dezi very much and of coarse we will always care for her and treat her issues. But what about her litter mates? Makes me sad.
  • To keep a bully pup calm can be extremely difficult.

    right now I would invest in the following:

    Several deer antlers-(un split, use the whole ones)

    Several extreme black kongs-

    Lavender oil-

    a couple decent sized soup bones-

    a couple doggy "puzzle" toys.

    You want to find ways of your puppy being entertained-while not out right playing.

    keeping them occupied in the crate is your best bet. Lavander oil (VERY LIGHLTY!!) as aroma therapy along with doggy massage is excellent for calming a bully puppy who is anxious or wound up.

    Put ground beef or chicken into kongs and freeze them instead of peanut butter or yogurt-the sugars wont be good for the body during heal time-nor for a puppy your trying to keep calm and relaxed!

    Working on obedience and learning tricks is also another thing you can start doing-its entertaining while at the same time easy to do without hurting herself.

    freeze each meal the night before in some broth directly in the dish so your puppy has to work for an hour or more at getting her food out of the dish to eat it-again, entertaining and she can do it right in her crate.

    you can even take bully sticks, pig ears, bits of kibble, soup bones etc and freeze them in a gallon freezer bag with broth or  water as entertainment for her while she is resting.

    go on google and look up some dog massage techniques-as those will be very helpful as well.

    When Cesar's back went out and he was on crate rest, I would often try to relax him by tossing in an extra soft throw blanket with some lavender oil dabbed on the corners into the dryer for 30 minutes, lie him down  wrapped in the warm blanket and massage his head and face gently to relax him to sleep.


    AND-while its NOT ideal, sometimes as a VERY LAST resort for a hyper active pupy who needs to rest or cause self injury, invest in some benedryll.

    Benedryll is safe at a dosage of 1 MG per pound of body weight for dogs, each capsule contains 25MG

    so, if she is 35pounds you would give her a whole pill and break open a second to give her a quarter of it.

    YES, benedryll IS for allergys, but it causes drowsiness and will tire a dog out. something I also resorted to when Cesar's back was out and he refused to lie still and not further injure himself.

    but this should NOT be used constantly-just in those instances where absolutely nothing else will work



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