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-   -   Luxating patella surgery - Tierspital or regular vet? (https://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corner/303473-luxating-patella-surgery-tierspital-regular-vet.html)

summergirl 04.04.2021 08:42

Luxating patella surgery - Tierspital or regular vet?
Our little one has had a luxating patella on one knee, but as it was grade 1, the vet told us to pick him up with stairs and not let him jump etc.

Three years have passed and since Friday, he started slightly limping. I’ll monitor if this goes on until Tuesday and if so, will take him to the vet. My question is, for luxating patella, can the regular vet do this surgery or should we go straight to Tierspital? Will our vet be offended if we had it done at Tierspital?

I’ve only taken my previous dog to Tierspital for emergency. My boyfriend vaguely remembers taking one of his old dogs to Tierspital for this surgery but he’s not sure as it was a long time ago. Does your dog need to stay at the vet post surgery or can you take him home on the same day? How long does the cast stay on?

Can anyone pls share their experiences? Thank you!

Mélusine 04.04.2021 09:11

Re: Luxating patella surgery - Tierspital or regular vet?
My eldest dog required this surgery last year. Our regular vet sent us to a specialist orthopedic surgeon to do it. She said it wasn’t a difficult procedure per se, but it needs to be done by a surgeon who is used to doing them.

My dog was kept overnight, mainly for pain control. She recovered well and it really improved her quality of life.

kri 04.04.2021 09:57

Re: Luxating patella surgery - Tierspital or regular vet?

We did the patella luxation surgery at Tierspital in Zurich. Our regular vet at the time would not do it.

Our dog did not have a cast, he stayed at the hospital 3-4 days and then came home. We could go visit once a day but they discourage it as it stresses the animal and they get excited and then fear abandonment, so we followed their advice.

When coming home, dog had to walk as little as possible for a while until stitches came out about 2 weeks later.

Don't remember the surgeon name, was a while ago. He was Dutch and very professional.

meloncollie 04.04.2021 09:59

Re: Luxating patella surgery - Tierspital or regular vet?
I'm sorry to hear about your pup.

I don't have experience with luxating patella but from what I understand as Mélusine adn Kri say this is a surgery best done by an orthopedic surgeon.

Talk to your vet, ask about his or her experience with the surgery, and with cases of similar levels of complication as your dog's. Ask what follow-up care will likely include - and make your decision from there.

If you'd feel better at the Tierspital I would guess your vet would be happy to facilitate that. Or perhaps your general vet will referr you to an orthopedic surgeon at another clinic.

My own vets are never offended when I decide to seek treatment at the Tierspital or anywhere else. In my experience, the vets around here partner quite well with one another.

Several times my dogs have been diagnosed by my local vet, gone to the Tierspital for part of treatment, then finished recovery back with the local clinic. Really it all boils down to what is best for the dog, in the individual case. Included in that 'best for the dog' are also important recovery issues like travel and ability of the owner to be with the dog during a hospital stay, btw.

If you decide on the Tierspital, you will likely need a referral from your own vet anyway, in order to get to see the appropriate surgeon/orthopedic specialist quickly - so this is a necessary conversation in any case.


One factor that has been an influence in my decisions of where to seek treatment in this past year has been COVID restrictions on the owner being present during treatment.

Safety measures that limit owner presence in some situations have been in place at the Tierspital this past year, as they should be, but if your dog is nervous in the large clinic setting then discuss how you will do the hand over when taking your dog into surgery.

Given how large the clinic is, my experience is that the staff do a great job of trying to be as flexible as possible, just give them a heads-up beforehand so that they can arrange special handling when necessary within COVID measures.


Hope all goes well with the surgery, and that your pup makes a full recovery.

summergirl 04.04.2021 14:00

Re: Luxating patella surgery - Tierspital or regular vet?
Thank you Melusine, kri en meloncollie for all your information! Really helpful.

He walks a little better today (the last two days were not good at all), so going to monitor him the next few days. I will then first visit my regular vet and ask for a referral for Tierspital.

Thanks again and wishing you three a lovely Easter Sunday :)

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