patella luxation discovered in newly acquired dog

(20 Posts)
Springerfan Mon 29-Oct-18 22:02:07

Hi everyone
I recently bought a 15 month old springer spaniel from a company specialising in matching dogs to families and providing training. She had a clean bill of health from their vets (with signed statement to this effect) and full vaccinations etc. As recommended I took her to my own vet a week after bringing her home..only to be told that she has mild patella luxation in both back legs and is likely to need an operation in order to avoid pain and arthritis in later life...at an estimated cost of £2.5 thousand per leg!! This is not covered my insurance as it is within the first 14 days of the policy.
She is showing no signs of discomfort at the moment and is otherwise healthy. I am really worried about her future health..the cost...and also angry that this was not picked up by the original vet, who saw her as recently as September. I phoned the practice and was told that there was no mention of any physical defects for in the notes.
I raised this with the seller, who was sorry to hear the news but also protecting his business interests. He is not willing to contribute to the cost as there is no current need for intervention and the dog could be pain free for many years. We left it that I will get another vet's opinion and review the situation then. In the contract I do have the option to have a refund or a different dog but I don't want to do that. We have become very attached to her in a short time.
Thanks for reading this far..I suppose what I am looking for is advice on what else I can do in this situation...or perhaps reassurance that dogs can live a happy life with a mild form of this condition?

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Mon 29-Oct-18 22:04:54

This company is clearly shady. It’s an odd concept. I bought a puppy and put in the hard work. If you want to be “matched” to a dog then why not rescue.
I’m guessing a dog this old was given up as the previous owners maybe knew of the issue.
Start saving. Poor dog.

Floralnomad Mon 29-Oct-18 22:13:34

My 8 yo patterdale x has bilateral luxating patellas , he was diagnosed at 3 and any surgery would be covered by his insurance as he has a lifetime policy however we’ve opted for non surgical management until absolutely necessary . We keep his weight down , keep him fit and he has a joint supplement daily and has had absolutely no problems at all for the past few years .

Springerfan Mon 29-Oct-18 22:14:02

Hi. We tried a rescue dog and very much believe in this. Sadly we had to return that particular dog due to her fear-based aggression. Hence I was trying a different route to dog ownership this time

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Mon 29-Oct-18 22:14:58

This isn’t a good route. I’m sorry you’ve learnt that the hard way. It’s the owner that needs training as much as the dog. And these people are just looking to make money.

Springerfan Mon 29-Oct-18 22:16:00

Thanks Floralnomad, cross posted there, that sounds really encouraging. I'll look into joint supplements

OP’s posts: |
reallyanotherone Mon 29-Oct-18 22:24:21

So, if they were reputable.

a) they should take the dog back
b) it should have come with an existing insurance policy.

The fact that neither is happening suggests they aren’t a company with the dogs best interest first.

I would also get a second opinion. I have always had a small toy breed in which luxating patellas are a known issue. One had it mildly, a quick massage when it “went” and he was right again. He lived til 18 with no arthritis or other issues.

The other had corrective surgery. Again the vet has never mentioned arthritis or issues other than complications of the surgery. He still is a bit 3 legged as he never really learned to used it again, but he is pain free and has no issues

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Springerfan Mon 29-Oct-18 22:31:02

They have offered to take the dog back - it's my choice not to give her up. I agree with insurance issue. It's left me feeling very let down. She is a beautiful and loving dog however, and it sounds like there is hope for her living well with this condition. I will get a second opinion though

OP’s posts: |
Floralnomad Mon 29-Oct-18 22:34:19

We use a powder called Canine Joint Right , we’ve tried a few and this one works best for our dog .

BrokenWing Mon 29-Oct-18 23:23:52

We didn't realise our 4 yr old lab had patella luxation until the first time his knee cap popped out. It continued to pop out a couple of times a day while waiting for surgery and was very painful each time, but we learned how to pop it back in quickly which meant he could cope with just metacam, although he was also prescribed tramadol.

He had the op around 6 weeks later, surgery was around £2-2.5k but total costs for xrays, consultations, referral, surgery, pain med, more xrays etc etc before and after came to £3,800 for one leg.

Camsie30 Mon 29-Oct-18 23:33:43

I have a German Spitz Klein who I rescued at 6 months, he's nearly 12 now. He's had luxating patellas since I got him and it's only in the last year or so that his arthritis has started to get bad. But up to now he's had a very active, wonderful life. I chose not to put him through surgery, so am managing the arthritis now with glucosamine and metacam daily. He's not in pain as far as I can tell. The only thing I wish I'd done earlier is hydrotherapy with him, add I understand it can be really beneficial. I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I understand that this is a horrible situation for you, your dog can still have a wonderful life.

tabulahrasa Tue 30-Oct-18 00:35:49

As far as I know, small dogs tend to do better with non surgical treatment... with springers not being a small breed, that is more than likely why the vet is saying surgery is the best route.

BiteyShark Tue 30-Oct-18 09:22:03

I think they rely on you being attached so even though they would take them back and give you a refund they know the majority of people probably wouldn't at this stage.

As you have found, the insurance won't cover it now as it's on your records within the 14 day period. However, if you want to keep the dog as you know it's something that may happen in the future I would be trying to put money aside (on top of paying for insurance) to cover it.

However, I did remember someone saying that there is an insurance company that does cover preexisting illnesses and whilst the cover is very very low for the first few years if you don't claim for the preexisting condition the amount they will pay does go up to a reasonably amount from the third year. I think it's the boughtbymany preexisting illness policy. I haven't looked at the other T&Cs around that policy so you would have to drill down to see if that is a better option for you.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Tue 30-Oct-18 09:30:20

Well the company you've used is obviously an utter con and a very strange concept. Anywho... the only practical advice I have at this point for managing long term join problems is Yumove supplements and hydrotherapy.

Springerfan Tue 30-Oct-18 09:41:28

I agree Biteyshark. It would take a heart of stone to return her at this point, especially since we had to return the rescue dog earlier this year. The idea of having a fully trained, temperament tested dog was very appealing. We have a son with special needs and i didn't want to take any chances with the next dog. Anyway, what's done is done. I'll see what the next vet says. Thanks for your comments

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Tue 30-Oct-18 09:50:01

Yes i agree the fully trained 'non rescue dog which often has limited history' is appealing and I can understand why you thought that was the better option.

I think you just have to view it as this condition could have been picked up in a similar manner if you had taken a rescue dog home. Vets are human and some will pick up things others won't have. I know I pick and choose my vet at our practice depending on what's wrong as they tend to be great in their particular area. Getting a second opinion is a good idea but I do think springers can have lots of problems in that area anyway so do look into all the insurance options as it's now on your record so even if the second vet thinks it's ok you would have issue claiming in the future unless it's declared and they agree to cover it.

Springerfan Tue 30-Oct-18 10:07:32

Thanks Bitey, that's really helpful

OP’s posts: |
GreyHare Tue 30-Oct-18 10:14:02

My dog has had surgery on both his knees due to LP, I had it done early as I was told that every time the knee cap dislocates it damages the joint and cartilage just that little bit more which would then lead to more pain in later years with arthritis, he recovered very quickly and has a Yumove tablet daily to try to keep the joints healthy as he ages.

Phillipa12 Tue 30-Oct-18 10:19:41

My cocker had a luxating patella in his rear leg, luckily just the one leg. We had it operated on 6 years ago, he has had no problems since and hes now 12 and has just been retired from working pheasant and grouse shoots. The recovery was slow though, 12 weeks before i let him off lead for a run, i maybe was ultra careful as he is a working dog and i needed him to be able to work, he had the op just before xmas and was fully fit for the following sept. He has no side effects of the op and no arthritis, the leg is solid.

Hoppinggreen Tue 30-Oct-18 15:13:39

There’s been a thread before about a company who do this, they are absolute con artists if it’s the same one
There were loads of bad experiences mentioned ( along with a VERY positive one that was obviously the owner).
I can’t remember any details unfortunately

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