Our foster bully, Bella, who will soon be 4 years old was diagnosed with luxating patellas in her two back legs. We knew that something was wrong as soon as we got her from the owner surrender and took her home. As soon as she went into the backyard her back leg would occasionally give away from under her almost as if she was drunk!! Also, when she did a pee she would put all her weight on her two front legs and her two back legs would often totally lift off the floor. She was quite overweight and there was obviously no strength in her lower half at all. When I put my hand around the thigh of her back leg my middle finger coudl touch the tip of my thumb .. that is how wasted her back leg muscles were. The vet we used for the rescue was one we hadn't used before and I wasn't paticularly impressed but he did diagnose the patellas, and said that he would recommend the supplements and physical therapy before he ultimately did the surgery. Not knowing much about luxating patellas at the time we didn't ask what grade it was. I'll be honest... I was expecting a diagnoses of hip dysplasia!!!
So we've had her since July and put her on a Glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM supplement called Dasuquin .. love this stuff!! Within 3-4 weeks we could definitely tell the difference and on top of that she spent all summer and fall running around our big fenced yard and her back leg muscles have now easily doubled in size.
She still seems a little stiff sometimes, but she's not falling around like a drunk bully now. She can also go up a step without collapsing and jump on the couch without help .. even if she pretends she has to be lifted up!!
She will need a more thorough exam on the back legs, but right now I'm happy that it may not be as bad as we had once thought it was. However, surgery is still something that will probably need to be considered at some point and before any more damage has been done. In Bella's case she has had it all her life and it has never been treated by her previous owners so I'm sure some damage has already been done.