What is Patellar Luxation?
This is a condition where the kneecap slips out of the groove in which it normally sits and ends up to one side or the other of the groove. The degree to which the displacement occurs will worsen over time.
How does my dog get Patellar Luxation?
This is a congenital problem although it may not be noted at birth but until there are clinical signs associated with the kneecap slipping out of place.
How do I know if my dog has Patellar Luxation?
The severity of the slipping out, will determine the significance of the signs that your dog may show. In mild cases, your veterinarian may be able to feel changes in the kneecap and your dog may not show any signs at all. As the condition worsens, some lameness may develop leading to your dog rotating between three legged lame and normal. In later stages with more significant changes, more persistent weight bearing or non-weight bearing lameness may be present. In final stages, persistent lameness with the patellar no longer remaining in position at all will be present.
What can I do about Patellar Luxation?
Diagnosis of patellar luxation is based upon history, physical examination and radiographs. Your veterinarian will be able to manipulate the kneecap and determine the significance and grade of the patellar luxation. Radiographs will assist in determining the appropriate treatment modality. Treatment may include conservative care with pain mediations. Surgery is recommended for more significant cases especially in younger dogs. Surgical success is quite good leading to a more comfortable pet.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my dog from getting?
The best option is to make sure to select dogs of parents that have NO family history of patellar luxation.
Are there certain breeds that get Patellar Luxation more often?
Deviation to the middle, Medial Patellar Luxation is most common in small and toy breeds, including: Boston terrier; Chihuahua; Cocker Spaniel; Pomeranian; toy poodle; miniature poodle; Yorkshire terrier; silky terrier.
Deviation to the side, Lateral Patellar Luxation is more common in larger breeds, such as: Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Rottweiler, St. Bernard. It does occur in small breeds also.