The infamous Rare Luxating Patella

steel panther

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So, a little over a week ago my lil' buddy (11 months old) went into hiding for a day or so. When i finally found him and lured him out, I saw him limping horribly bad on his back left leg. After a few minutes, he was okay and started walking normally and playing with my other kitten (also 11 months old). The next day, he started limping again only this time, i started noting that it was when he was landing from a jump. So I kept him on the ground for the rest of the day pretty much. Then I noticed it was bad when he got up from laying on his stomach. I made a list of my notes of when it happened, and took it and him to the vet. So, to make me a liar, when he was let out of his kennel, he jumps off the exam counter and starts running around. Then tried getting under the table, then jumped back onto the counter, walked around, then jumped off again, with ZERO effects. When he jumped back up again is when his knee got weak. The vet then checked out his legs and said she's 99% sure it's a luxating patella, and its very rare in cats and it could have been hereditary. I wouldn't know, as they were both strays. Because he's still growing, so she suggested that since he's not in a lot of pain to wait at least 6-8 months until he finishes growing and it could fix itself, or if it gets worse, they can do surgery on him then, or ASAP if we wish. I hate seeing him injured like this, but he'll play for hours on end without an issue, and then he'll have problems again. When I just came home an hour ago, he was in his sleeping chair, went to the bathroom and came out and jumped up on the window ledge. then on the computer desk, so I took him down so he didn't jump down. He's still very playful and happy. Does anyone know how much (on average) this costs, or recovery time or the success rate? All I know, is I'll likely have to crate him for at least a month if and when he has the surgery.
 

white cat lover

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Several years ago, I was in your shoes. I had a "kitten" who was about the same age as yours who started limping. Off to the vet we go, to discover she has luxating patellas, on both back legs! My vet wouldn't do surgery until she was at least 3 years old, as cats can grow for that long. (And she continued to grow until she was 2.5 - 3 years old)

In her case, it would require 2 separate surgeries, as they cannot do both back legs at once. Something like $500/leg? And recover time was 8 - 12 weeks, depending on how well it went. (This vet, IMO, is over-cautious & wants you to keep them confined for a very long time to reduce chances of problems post surgery)

She is now 4 years old - and we never had to do surgery. She "outgrew" it, thank god!
 
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steel panther

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Thanks for the reply. $500 I can live with, considering I've heard upwards of $1200. Unfortunately I live in Canada and it'll probably cost more than the $500. I hate seeing him like this and gotta trust the vet. I just came home again and he came out from under the couch just fine and played with his girlfriend, went to get up and there was the problem again. Now, technically, he does have the problem in both knees, but his right one is significantly better than the right. I'm probably going to have to get him diet food as he can't be as active as he wants to be, which is going to be tough considering they're both free fed from the same bowl. She's a very lean cat and does not need diet food at all.
 
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steel panther

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Okay, so now I e-mailed another vet and she recommended rehab as surgery on a year old cat is overkill. Maybe I'll drive out there tomorrow and talk in person. The downfall is, its over a half hour away as my current vet is about 3 minutes away. Oh well. Anything to get him normal again.
 
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steel panther

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He got drastically worse in a couple weeks. He started walking almost raccoon like (back legs bowed and scurrying). Had an X-Ray done to confirm and his left was completely out and his right is partially out almost non-stop now. He's getting his left leg done tomorrow morning. I asked the vet how much damage would be done if we kept waiting (as much as I didn't want to) and she pretty much said that he's in a lot of discomfort and with as bad as it is, its better off not to wait much longer. Poor guy.. Had to spend his 1st birthday getting X-Rays and 4 days later, surgery...
 

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I'm sorry to hear that he's gotten so bad, & so fast.


At least you are treating him, and he is getting the much needed surgery. Keep us updated on how surgery goes, and recovery. I'll be sending
 

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I have not dealt with this in cats but have in dogs... accupucture saved me thousands and seemed to fix the issue
 
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steel panther

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He's been home for about 9 hours and the first 2 were rather interesting shall we say?. He spent about 40 minutes meowing and screeching and doing everything in his power to try and rip his bandage off. He kept trying to sleep but just wouldn't put his head down and relax. I shut everything off and went for a nap myself, and woke up to him laying flat and sleeping comfortably. He hasn't gone too crazy since we got him home but he was NOT impressed when we re-taped part of the bandage =) ... Now for the rather.. annoying factor. The lil' guy has to go potty SO bad his eyes are turning brown, BUT, he can't stand on his repaired leg and his other one is so weak he can't support the weight on it. I tried holding him up and he's so uncomfortable that way he wont go. Its only been a few hours since he started eating again its just bothersome to me seeing him not being able to go. I understand some animals won't go for upwards of 4-5 days after this surgery, but its the fact he's trying. He's "supposed" to wear the bandage for 3 weeks or a bare minimum of a week if he doesn't chew it completely off before then. If anyone has suggestions on how to get him to go easier, I'll listen. Still calling the vet in the morning for some kind of help on the matter as well.
 
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steel panther

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So, a few weeks after his first surgery he was running like the wind, jumping, playing but still had problems with his other knee. 2 Months later (this past Friday) he went in and had his second leg done. This is the problem. He's a jerk. He's taking advantage of his other good leg now and trying to jump on anything and everything possible 2 DAYS after the most recent surgery =P However, he's locked out of the bedroom now as he tends to try and jump onto the window sill and fight the other cat behind the dresser. Hopefully, it's the end of this until he's older and the arthritis kicks in. =( But, if anyone needs a price, it cost me roughly $1400 for Both legs.
 

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Hi Steel Panther.
I just saw this thread now, and wow, I didn't know cats could even have this problem.

I'm so happy to hear that your little guy is doing so much better now, even so fresh after his second surgery. He must be feeling pretty good if he's misbehaving, right?


Hope your little guy continues to improve.
 
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steel panther

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So, a month after his second surgery, he seems to be walking a bit better, albeit still with a slight limp, and he's now decided that jumping on our lower dresser and leaping 4 feet across to the higher dresser with the tv is a good idea. Jerk!. But, he's not wearing the cone of shame anymore, runs like the wind, jumps and has fun -- and has now taken to sleeping on his back with his back legs spread and front legs curled up like he's a rabbit. He went back in to get his rabies/vaccinations and had the vet look at his knee, and its still in place, nice and in place, unmovable so I think I can go a year without taking him in. Hopefully. =)
 

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I didn't notice this thread earlier so replying a bit late. What breed is your cat? I don't know any cat who's had this, but over here many cats which are used in breeding are checked for luxating patella (and hip dysplasia) before they are mated which makes me think it's not that rare?
 

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We just found out that Luna has this as well. She's 6 months old. The vet wanted to wait and see if this healed up on it's own. If it doesn't by 8 months old she can have surgery.

I never heard of this condition before either. I just found the name of it, by asking people here.

Luna is limping every now and then. But she still plays with Midnight and me. She seems to be doing ok. I do give keep giving her breaks from playing just incase.
 
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steel panther

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Originally Posted by NorthernGlow

I didn't notice this thread earlier so replying a bit late. What breed is your cat? I don't know any cat who's had this, but over here many cats which are used in breeding are checked for luxating patella (and hip dysplasia) before they are mated which makes me think it's not that rare?
He's just a regular ol' Tabby. He was a stray and found outside at a few days old however.
 
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steel panther

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Originally Posted by My4LLMA

We just found out that Luna has this as well. She's 6 months old. The vet wanted to wait and see if this healed up on it's own. If it doesn't by 8 months old she can have surgery.

I never heard of this condition before either. I just found the name of it, by asking people here.

Luna is limping every now and then. But she still plays with Midnight and me. She seems to be doing ok. I do give keep giving her breaks from playing just incase.
I really hope for your sake and hers that she can out grow it. As I said in an earlier post, we were going to wait it out, but he got bad enough in the span of a month we had no choice but to do it. It's mainly common in dogs, and rare in cats.
 

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We currently have a 7 - 8 month old kitten at the shelter that has bilatteral luxating pattela, hip displaysia, and her chest cavity is rolled in (I think it is a form of funnel chest). I like to call her our orthepidic mess. She does very well, but then at times both legs will go out completely and she will drag her back end. This just happend for the second time yesterday. It usually only lasts a short time, then she is fine. She has seen 2 different vets, but both said they did not want to do surgery on her at this time.
 

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Originally Posted by Steel Panther

I really hope for your sake and hers that she can out grow it. As I said in an earlier post, we were going to wait it out, but he got bad enough in the span of a month we had no choice but to do it. It's mainly common in dogs, and rare in cats.
We've never heard of this before. My father's had cats all his life, and he's never seen it in them, same with my grandparents, other family members and friends. 1 person here was able to give me the name so I could look it up online.

We're watching Luna closely. Sometimes she's really limping and other times she's running around fine. We still let her play with Midnight, but have limited their time together. She does make it known she wants a break from him, we make sure she gets it. They aren't allowed to play together unless someone's home to watch them. It just started up 1 day last week out of nowhere. We originally thought she got hurt playing with Midnight and brought her to the vet thinking she had a sprain.
 
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steel panther

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Originally Posted by My4LLMA

We've never heard of this before. My father's had cats all his life, and he's never seen it in them, same with my grandparents, other family members and friends. 1 person here was able to give me the name so I could look it up online.

We're watching Luna closely. Sometimes she's really limping and other times she's running around fine. We still let her play with Midnight, but have limited their time together. She does make it known she wants a break from him, we make sure she gets it. They aren't allowed to play together unless someone's home to watch them. It just started up 1 day last week out of nowhere. We originally thought she got hurt playing with Midnight and brought her to the vet thinking she had a sprain.
I thought mine got hurt playing too because it came out of nowhere. It's not common in cats at all, with the only exception of its most common in strays, and its hereditary.
 
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steel panther

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Originally Posted by Rang_27

We currently have a 7 - 8 month old kitten at the shelter that has bilatteral luxating pattela, hip displaysia, and her chest cavity is rolled in (I think it is a form of funnel chest). I like to call her our orthepidic mess. She does very well, but then at times both legs will go out completely and she will drag her back end. This just happend for the second time yesterday. It usually only lasts a short time, then she is fine. She has seen 2 different vets, but both said they did not want to do surgery on her at this time.
No vet in their right mind EVER should want to do surgery on a kitten unless they absolutely have to. They're still growing. Mine's knee(s) would only go out for a few seconds and he'd lay down, stretch then get up and be fine.
 

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Thank you so much for all of your information. We had to take our cat to the emergency vet last night to discover that he has bilateral luxating patellas. He is a little over a year old, and we are consulting with a place that can do surgeries today.

My wife and I both lost sleep last night as Jamal sat under our bed in pain. Reading your post this morning really brings us a lot of hope. It was great to hear all the steps you went through, as well as the financial costs.
 
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