Treatment Timing in Dogs: Pardon Me While I Bang My Head on the Keyboard—Cooper’s Story

Cooper is an adorable, loving senior Shih Tzu mix. He’s a happy guy, still full of life. However, Cooper has problems with his hind legs.

Treatment Timing in Dogs: Pardon Me While I Bang My Head on the Keyboard—Cooper's Story

Cooper had a problem with his hind legs for a few years.

Cooper’s mom started searching for supplement recommendations. But all that is not why I want to bang my head on my keyboard.

Those few years ago, Cooper was diagnosed with luxating patellas.

A patella, or a kneecap, is a small bone located in front of the knee joint and in spite of its size it does play an important role in the knee function. It is designed to move up and down within a patellar groove. A problem arises when the groove is too shallow or damaged allowing the kneecap slide sideways out of its place. This causes pain and lameness.

This problem is classified into four grades. Grades III and IV require surgery but with grade I and II you might get away without one.

I can only assume that Cooper was diagnosed with grade I or II. However …

… when asked about supplements, Cooper’s veterinarian told his owner to hold off until the problem started to bother him.

I don’t even understand what that means. More importantly, though, no such problem ever gets better or even remains the same. Every time the kneecap dislocates out of its position, it makes it that much more likely for it to happen again. Every time it dislocates, it causes further damage to the tissues.

Supporting the tissues involved would be the first thing on my mind if my dog was ever diagnosed with this.

Of course, the time was coming when the problem was going to bother Cooper more and more. Why would one not want to take measures to protect the knee as well as possible? Because there was not enough erosion yet? Not enough of what?

  • arthritis?
  • inflammation?
  • secondary issues?

Carefully selected supplements could have slowed down the progress of all of those things.

I don’t get it. Do you?

Related articles:
Primer on Patellar Luxation in Dogs

Further reading:
Luxating Patella in Dogs

Categories: ConditionsDog health advocacyJoint issuesKnee issuesLuxating patellaReal-life Stories

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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