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I just got a AKC registered GS puppy from Petland. Brought it to the vet within a couple days of getting it and the vet informed me that she had bilateral grade 2 luxating patellas.
She asked how attached we were to the dog and hinted that we should take her back. In any case, we opted to see if it would improve over the next couple weeks. It hasn't and now the vet is saying she needs surgury and that she will probably be a high maintenance dog her whole life.
I have a wife and 4 kids (12, 10, 8 and 2) The family loves the dog and when i hint at taking her back, they freak out on me.
I regret getting the dog from a petstore. I hadn't a clue of the issues with puppy mills and such and when i got it the manager said she's known the breeder for 15 years, she has a sheperd from the same parent... blah blah blah. Aside from thsi knee issue, the dog is loving, awesome around people and opther dogs. Ohh and she is 13 weeks old.
In any case, what am I in for with this dog?
Is this surgery usually successful?
Is this health issue something any of you had to deal with?
Feedback would be appreciated.
BTW, I have an appontment with another vet today to get a second opinion.
 

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Welcome!! I don't know the impact on a large breed dog but one of my shih-tzu's has bilateral luxating patella's on his rear legs. He was diagnosed when he was just 6 months old and he will be 3 yrs in December.

I have never done the surgery. He looks funny when he walks...kinda double-jointed. But he is in no pain at all. The vet said that he could live his whole live pain free or we could elect to do surgery immediatly or down the road. I decided to wait it out and see how he does. He runs, jumps, wrestles, everything perfectly normal. The only thing he does not like is someone touching his back legs. I guess he realizes he's not quite right and doesnt like them played with.

Please let us know how the second vet opinion goes. I know it's hard once everyone gets attached to a pet to return it. I could have returned my ShihTzu to the breeder but my view on it is this.....I bought the dog with the intention of loving and caring for it for the rest of it's life...he's part of my family. If he were my skin kid I wouldn't turn my back on him if he were disabled so I won't turn my back on my fur kid. That's just my personal opinion, other's may feel differently.

I wish you the best of luck and please keep us posted! Oh and we LOVE to see pics!!!
 

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My sisters papillon had surgery a few months ago for luxating patella, he's her agility dog, has had alot of PT including water therapy, and is back in the ring.

I also don't know the impact on large breed dog.

Can you get some vet bill reimbursement from Petland??? I'd be taking them to small claims if they are unwilling to help with vet bills.
 

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Our Bullmastiff, Akira, had a luxating patella in her right leg, which was diagosed at about a year old. She ended up tearing her MCL the age of 5, so when we did the surgery for that, we also did the surgery to fix the patella issue. We did PT with her that included swimming and she did great. Unfortunately, we had to put Akira to sleep due to a horribly aggressive form of Lymphoma only a year later, but the knee surgery was a success and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. My only advice is make sure you have a great ortho surgeon. Ours was fantastic and I believe that makes a huge difference.
 

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Good on getting a second opinion.

Some states have Puppy Lemon Laws. Not sure what all that entails but......
Puppy Lemon Law States
Lemon Laws

I have a smaller (35#) dog who had surgery for a luxating patella. Vets will say it's one of their favorite surgeries - fairly easy (for them!) and a high success rate, happy pets and happy owners.

Luxating patella
ACVS - Patellar Luxations

Message board: http://www.lab-retriever.net/board/luxating-patella-t7286274.html?

They are more common in smaller dogs, but like you've seen, when you go to a place like Petland :( you are not getting thoughtful breeding. Cases from our Clinic: Luxating Patellas in a Litter of Puppies

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We took the dog to vet #2 today. Same diagnosis except she thinks its a grade 3 more than a grade 2. Both vets we visited so far have said this condition, in a larger breed (mine is a german shepherd) is rare and they both haven't seen it much at all.

The patellas on her is luxating laterally (outward) on both knee's (bilateral). Medial luxation is when it shifts to the inside and is more common on small breeds. OK, i'm not a vet but i've been reading up on it.

I feel like i just bought a new car and right off the showroom floor it's got huge problems.

Petland's warranty 800 number said they are pretty sure it would cover the surguries. We have to provide documentation from the vet they originally sent us to and fax it to them. I'm in the beginning process of this all so i don't know what's gonna happen.

One thing that urks me is that when we got the dog the paprwork had a check-up by a vet at 8 weeks. The only section on the vet checklist not documented was the skeletal inspection of the knees. How friggan ironic huh? I'd like to take the dog back but the warranty and sales paperwork says no refunds. When I talk about taking her back and fighting them for a refund, my wife makes me feel like a completely insensative a-hole with no compassion towards animals. So, here i am, $1100 german shepherd with two f'ed up knee's.
She is cute though.
 

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$1,100 for two bum knees?????? I won't laugh I know it's not funny and she's lucky because she is super cute and you obviously love your wife a whole lot,lol but not laughing I promise:D So you can't take her back or you spent $1,100 for nothing and will miss out on an awesome friend and companion- she's yours knees and all. I don't know much about the disease but it seems it would be harder on a larger breed dog so I would go the surgical route and young so all her bones and ligaments form well and you don't have further issues down the road. Good luck and keep us updated on that pretty girl- she really is adorable:)
 

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Well we went through a similar route with our first GSD puppy. We bought this puppy from a local breeder and by week 12 started noticing bunny hops. 2 vets later we ended up at a veterinary orthopedic specialist and although she didn't say it outright, she hinted strongly to start over again. The puppy was with us for 2 months and had got nicely attached to our family and it was really hard to make a decision. But based on what the Orthopedic specialist told us, even after surgery, the puppy would need therapy and be able to swim on a daily basis. Living in the city we dont have access to water bodies. So, we ended up taking the puppy back to the breeder (who incidentally has a swimming pool) and we started all over again with a new puppy a few months later.
I still catch myself thinking about that puppy occasionally. It's a hard decision, but you have to make a choice on what is best for you, your family as well as your pet. If you can afford the surgery, post surgery therapy and provide all the right activities to care for the high maintenance dog, then by all means go for it.
 

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I faxed over all the documentation Petland requested today. I'll keep my post updated as to how they reply to this issue.
 

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At the end of the day Petland will only warranty veterinary costs up to the purchase price of the dog. They did agree to give us a cash refund which was not part of the original warranty, but we decided to keep her and just let things be. We did take her to a specialist and they were more concerned over the early signs of arthritis as opposed to the luxating patellas. If we did opt for surgery it would break the bank. I will say that dealing with the warranty department was not a bad experience. They had Petland agree to cover any diagnosis costs up to the purchase price as well.
Ohh well, Sasha's been spayed and so begins owning our first dog.
 

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I wish you the best with Sasha, and yes she is beautiful. :)
 

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I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I wish this could be made into a sticky so other people could see the danger of buying from pet stores.
 

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At the end of the day Petland will only warranty veterinary costs up to the purchase price of the dog. They did agree to give us a cash refund which was not part of the original warranty, but we decided to keep her and just let things be. We did take her to a specialist and they were more concerned over the early signs of arthritis as opposed to the luxating patellas. If we did opt for surgery it would break the bank. I will say that dealing with the warranty department was not a bad experience. They had Petland agree to cover any diagnosis costs up to the purchase price as well.
Ohh well, Sasha's been spayed and so begins owning our first dog.
What kind of food are you feeding Sasha and what kind of supplements do you have her on? That can go a LONG way in helping out with arthritis.
 

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I had a poodle that was given to me with bilat lux pat. She was diagnosed a 4 months. If you are to get the surgery done, do it while they are young and light of weight. It will be alot easier in the long run. Just a suggestion, you may want to change your pups diet. You don't want her growing too fast, talk with your vet about a lower protein diet for the duration between the surgery(s) and rehab. Good luck.
 

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My mom's male Pomeranian has bilateral luxating patellas, grade 3. He's had this problem since he was little (he's 9y/o now). It's just gotten worse over the years. Our vet said surgery was an option, and that it is very high success rate. The dog doesn't seem to be bothered by it, and he's not in any noticeable pain, so my mom is going to wait and see how it goes.
The vet told my mom the surgery would be around $2000, so looks like you got a better price.
 

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Petland?!? I cannot stand these stores.they are the worst most disgusting place to get a pet.they lie through their teeth.even their adoption center?thats all their puppies that they couldn't sell while they were in their cute fluffy stage so they tell you they are rescues.they had one lab in there once that was so full of deformities that she had to be tube fed and then held in an upright position for 30 mins after every feeding for life because of a malformed stomach and they still wanted a $600 adoption fee!then they sell unregistered mutts for $2500 (frenchtons) that had mange.literally bald spots that they had scratched raw.then they sell ds cats for $500 and up.i was curious one time after i saw a thing on petland and where their dogs come from.i called them and said i had a litter of puppies,they directed me to the girl who purchases puppies for the store.i told her i had a litter of pups and would they take them?she said it depends on how old they are or rather how young they were and what they looked like,how cute they were.i asked what were they were worth and she said they never pay more than $100 for there pups and that depends on how cute they were.not a word about health or history.the same pups they got for $100 would be sold the next day for $1500 a piece.i told her thanks and i"d get back to her.like i said,these are the worst places ever to get a pup.petland is no stranger to lawsuits regarding the sales of sick inbred dogs at inflated prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah, i get the whole Petland is a bad place to get a puppy. Given the opportunity to do it over again, i would not have gotten her from there.
In any case, she is doing very well. Honestly a very good dog. In the back of my head i just know that she has these knee issues and it may be something to deal with down the road. I wish i had the money to have it all taken care of but it is just so out of the budget.
 

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