Medial Luxating Patella?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 30, 2014
Has anyone been through this with their small dog? Looks like ours definitely has it and it looks like a grade one/boarder line grade two as of right now. Our vet is recommending corrective surgery before arthritis becomes an issue, other recommendations i've seen say try resting for a while and see if it goes away.

Any advice would be welcomed.


macrumors 68020
Jan 31, 2015
Grade I doesn't require surgery. Grade II is questionable. Grade 3 and 4 are required. Depending on the situation MLP can also cause ligament damage. One of my past coworker's Pomeranian had Grade 3 and had the surgery.

Generally, I would take the Vet's opinion. Perhaps talk to another Vet for second opinion if you don't feel confident in his determination. Even if we have a qualified Vet on the forum, the only qualified person to make the best reccomendation is a vet who has inspected your pooch directly.

Some things consider, that might affirm your Vet's reccomendation or lead you to seek a second opinion or question your current Vet- how old your dog is, expected lifespan of the breed, how active he/she is at this point, and how the injury is currently is affecting your dog. If your dog is young and active, I would presume it's probably a smart decision. If he/she is older, less active, then you might be able to get away without the surgery. Arthritis that develops may be able to be managed with medicine.

I would in human medicine, not veterinary, so you should ask your vet about how effectively the condition can be managed pharmacologically, which would theoretically cost less. I do know some of the common dog arthritis drugs have effects with long term- such as liver issues (Rimadyl) and GI bleed (any of the NSAIDs, just like with humans).

Dogs can work with 3 legs just fine functionally speaking- they adapt really well. That said, you don't want him/her to be in pain (either from the M.L.P. or the subsequent arthritis). Also consider the surgical recovery complications of your dog is older. Lastly, if your dog has any complicating factors that would make skipping the surgery worse (if he/she has a breathing issue, limping, that expends more energy, requires more breathing, worsens breathing issue).

Additionally, it might be worth asking your doc how long you can put off the sugery before the dog starts to incur negative consequences. That might give you a timeframe to see if he/she recovers without intervention.

Sorry to hear your pooch is injured. Best of luck!


macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
Sadly, Vets are these days range in "opinion" from do nothing to spending thousands for a surgery. I always suggest that folks (if they can afford it) grab the data from the first vet (x-rays, diagnosis etc.) and get at least a second opinion.

I'll just say that years ago I was very glad I got a second opinion on a particular surgery for my dog. The dog definitely needed it but the 2nd vet not only offered a cheaper recourse but a superior one (using freezing over scalpel). The dog was able to come home the same day (as the time put under was less than half of what the first vet stated)...

Bottom line is its always a good idea to get more than one opinion on such matters. My last run around was with meds for my present dog who does suffer from allergies and other issues (a rescue that had a sad live before). At a later time, another vet told me to go through the diet test and I was able to get the dog off the allergy meds except for rare occasions. Again - a second opinion that I got paid off and the dog is happier.


macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
The Misty Mountains
Second opinions sound like sound advice. I wonder how much of this is attributed to selective breeding as I imagine the indestructible mutt. :)
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