Sandy’s Bilateral Medial Patellar Luxation

Sandy is a 4-year old tiny Toy Poodle who is best described as very easy to love. She is the princess of the Torres house, where she is smothered with love daily. When Ms. Ana Torres, Sandy’s owner, noticed that she began to limp in late 2013, she did what she could and began to give Sandy anti-inflammatory. One year later, Sandy was still limping and taking anti-inflammatory.

Ana knew it was time to have Sandy checked up. She was devastated when her regular veterinarian told her Sandy might need surgery on both of her hind legs. Shortly after, Ana found Miami Veterinary Specialists and met with Dr. Alvaro Larin, one of our four Board-Certified surgeons and an owner of MVS.

After Dr. Larin examined Sandy, he found that Sandy was suffering from bilateral medial patellar luxation, with the right leg’s condition being more severe than the left. Medial patella luxation occurs when the patella (the pet’s kneecap) jumps from it’s normal groove and is unable to slide properly back into the femur. In this case, the condition was bilateral, meaning it occurred to both legs. This causes discomfort and it becomes difficult to walk.

Patella luxation is one of the most common orthopedic conditions in dogs. It can be caused by a number of things. Trauma to the patella can cause the knee cap to slip, but is not often the case. Certain breeds, especially small breeds, are predisposed to the condition. Unfortunately, Miniature Poodles are one of them.

After performing blood work and carefully examining the x-rays, Dr. Larin found that Sandy was a perfect candidate for surgery. Although Ms. Torres wanted to have surgery performed on both knees at the same time, Dr. Larin and her regular veterinarian decided it’d be best to do one at a time due to Sandy’s tiny size. One week later, surgery was performed on the right leg, and using a k-wire pin (also known as a Kirschner wire), Dr. Larin was able to stabilize the patella.

The surgery was successful with no complications. Sandy remained her friendly self after surgery, and went home in a pink bandage (to match her pink leash and collar), pain medication and antibiotics. She is currently restricted with her exercise and awaiting her left patella’s surgery scheduled for early November. Best of all, Sandy is still able to walk on her own despite her right leg being immobilized and her left leg impending surgery!

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