Friday, March 8, 2019

Lucy's Luxating Patellas (A Post by Momma)

Someone has bunny hopped into my home and my heart.  

That caption was the first thing I posted on my facebook when I brought Lucy home on March 1st 2017.  I was referring to her adorable little 15 week old puppy self just hopping around the floor of my grandmothers dining room playing with Gracie the cockapoo.  At the time I thought it was adorable.

A few weeks later I bought a golf cart so we could take rides down our small country road and explore.  When we would come to the soy bean field I would let her down to run....and run she did!  She loved being down in the field so much for Halloween 2017 she was a Kentucky Soy Bean.  

On our adventures she always did this little skipping thing, holding one leg up for a step or two then putting it back down.  Mostly it was her right but occasionally she would do the same thing with her left.   Again I though it was something she did.  Then the skipping became more frequent.  I, like most pet parents, went to Google to see what typical causes would make her skip while running.  The most common were something stuck in her paw, Hip Displasyia and  Luxating Patellas.  At a vet appointment I asked the doctor to check her legs and explained what I was seeing.  She didn't feel anything out of the ordinary upon exam.  

In late 2017 our family moved cross country to Texas.  Lucy and I moved into an apartment with a strict leash law.  We still  have the golf cart and it stays at my grandparents house and we ride in their neighborhood on weekends, far less than we used to in Kentucky.  They also have a back yard and we go over often to visit and it gives Lucy time to go off leash and free.  My grandparents neighbors have two beautiful boxers that like to have a fence "chats" with Lucy when they are all out.  Well during one of these little "chats" Lucy was running the fence and barking.  Then her leg extended and went stiff.  She came hobbling over to me and was whining.  After a few seconds (which seemed longer in the moment) she stopped whining and her leg relaxed.  I put her down and she walked perfectly fine.  That was frightening.  I again turned to google to see what could have caused this and everything pointed to Luxating Patellas.  At the time this happened she was a week shy of her 1st Birthday.  

After that she had a few incidence of her knee slipping out of place usually while I was at work and she was playing with Gracie or fence running while at my grandparents house.  I keep record of these in the  "Limpee Leggie Tracker" of her dog book.  The incidences of her holding a back leg up and skipping also became more frequent as well.  Even during short trips like potty breaks, not just on long runs or leash free times like in the back yard.  

In April of 2018 Lucy was due for her annual exam and vaccinations.  When we arrived in Texas we registered at a new vet clinic and Lucy's knees were on the top of my list of questions for the doctor.  During the exam Dr. Wurster extended and bent her leg.  Her knee slipped.  Causing her to cry and tinkle.  It was easily slipped back in to place right away.  He diagnosed her with LP.  He mentioned that it was not very severe and easily went back on its own.  Surgery wasn't a good option right now.  He recommended putting her on a GCM will help and if it progresses we may look at surgical options later. He brought out a plastic model to show me exactly what was happening and that was extremely helpful to see it in 3D. 

In late May 2018 we were doing trick practice when I gave her the down command and as she laid down she screamed.  I checked her paws and belly to make sure something hadn’t poked her but couldn't find anything.  I didn’t think much of it until I got off work and my Grandmother mentioned that Lucy was quiet that day and had yelped a few times during play.  When we got home I leashed Lucy in the car she hopped from the passenger seat over to the drivers side, then down in the floor board and out onto the driveway.  She screamed again.  She was holding up her right leg.  I carried her inside.  The next morning I let her out to go potty and when she went down the back porch stairs at the apartment she screamed again.  I decided to take her to the vet and have it checked.  Of  course when we arrived she was all bouncy and happy.  Jumping around to get any human she could see to come say hello to her.  The tech that came to call us back even said “Lucy you don’t look like you are hurting”.  Isn’t that the way it always goes, kids/pets are sick or hurt till you get them to the doctors office then miraculously they are acting just fine?  Dr Wurster  did his exam knee still slipping same as before but she didn’t cry this time.  He thinks she may have sprained it and it was just bothering her.  He prescribed a NSAID to help with inflammation. 

Since that time she hasn’t really had a problem other than the usual skipping when running.  Until February of 2019.  We were out on the golf cart and stopped in an empty field. I let her and Poppy my Chinese Crested puppy off leash to run and I noticed she was holding her right leg up and hopping along on three legs for extended periods of time.  She never yelped while we were out this time.  However I had not seen her hold her leg for this long on prior runs.  So I began looking into something to help her during runs.  Because golf cart rides and runs in the field are her happy times.  Just the mention of “GOLF CART” makes her go insane! 

Online I found a company called WalkAbout.  They offer many types of amlatory aids specially designed for pets.  They have knee braces, back end harnesses, belly harnesses, boots and more.  I am excited to try them out with Lucy and see if it helps.  



  1. We hope the brace will help Lucy feel better when she is out running. Our paws are crossed that she can keep up her regular amount of exercise.

  2. Good luck with this all. It's so difficult to be a parent to a child who can't tell you what they're feeling.