If this is not treated, the ridges of the patellar areas in the knee will wear down…therefore things will get progressively worse for the dog. Arthritis will begin to affect the knee and this often causes permanent swelling and will make it very hard for a Maltipoo to walk and move normally.
Because of this, it is important to have an experienced and professional veterinarian perform a complete evaluation.
Mild, acute cases
- In very mild cases, bed rest is the answer. This is not as easy as it sounds, as the Maltipoo is usually a bundle of energy. However, the puppy or dog must be kept in a crate or cage, only being let out to eliminate. Your veterinarian will need to determine the severity of the problem and then decide how long bed rest is needed. At the minimum, this will need to be for 4 to 6 weeks.
Many owners find this to be a trying time, since dogs can have a hard time being confined for such a long period of time; however this temporary phase is certainly worth recovery.
In addition, anti inflammatory medication is usually given. This helps with both swelling and discomfort.
Severe and chronic cases
- In some instances, the movement of the kneecap will be so drastic that the veterinarian will already know that bed rest will not be sufficient to heal the knee. Also, for chronic cases where a Maltipoo suffers slippage on a continual basis, surgery is then recommended. As stated above, if treatment is not given, the dog will suffer more and more pain as the days go by and it will not get better.
When surgery is performed, it is called a Trochlear Modification. The knee cap is basically tied down to hold it in place. The groove in the femur bone may need to be deepened to better hold the dog’s kneecap.
Recovery is rather fast, relatively speaking, with most dogs fully recovered in 30 to 60 days. This does vary depending on how much needs to be done during the dog’s surgery. After a dog has recovered from surgery, they are usually able to run, play and perform all normal activities.
It has been found that gradually having a dog build up the muscles in his legs can help keep the knee in place and help to prevent another episode. This is usually done by building up the dog's endurance to walk up hill. You'll want to discuss this with your Maltipoo's veterinarian for recommendations regarding frequency and duration.
Some dogs benefit from hydrotherapy exercise
, which is controlled exercises done in a warm, indoor pool.
As with any issue that involves joint and bones, a supplement for joint health is recommended; this not only provides some relief with the current issue, but also may help reduce the odds of developing arthritis in the future.