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Luxating Patella - Does My Dog Have It?


Does My Dog Have a Luxating Patella

A Luxating Patella is a common abnormality of the knee joint that may cause your dog to develop arthritis if left untreated.  A Luxating Patella, or Patellar Luxation, is a condition that involves the dislocation of the knee cap, where it rotates to either the inside or the outside of the leg.  It is commonly associated with the rear legs.  During normal function, the patella and the coordinating muscles and tendons, stay properly aligned while the knee moves smoothly through its groove (the trochlear groove).  If the patella becomes repeatedly dislocated, or remains in a dislocated state, your dog may experience pain and cartilage damage.  The breakdown of cartilage can attribute to an increased risk of Osteoarthritis for your dog.

A Luxating Patella can result from a traumatic injury or from a birth defect, but it is primarily passed down through ancestral genes.  If your dog is diagnosed with the condition, it is recommended that you do not breed.  A Luxating Patella is usually seen in smaller breeds of dogs, such as Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers.  However, veterinarians have seen an increase among the larger breeds, such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers, over the last ten years.   It is beneficial to get as much information as possible from the breeder of your dog upon adoption.  Ask health questions regarding the health of the dog’s parents and request to take a look at the veterinarian’s records if they will allow it.  If you adopt your pet from a shelter, they may not have any history on your dog or its parents.  In either event, you should have your veterinarian do a thorough evaluation on the health of your dog.  Veterinarians can usually recognize the signs of the condition (if genetic) when your pup is as young as 2-4 months in age.

You may not notice the warning signs of a Luxating Patella until it has progressed in your dog.  The first symptoms you may recognize include an awkward gait, limping, bunny-hopping, and/or a reluctance to jump.  Over time, if left untreated, a bowlegged stance may occur or your dog may hold one of its legs up while walking.  You may also see that your dog is shifting all of its weight onto its other legs, or other side.  Although 50% of dogs with a Luxating Patella develop the condition bilaterally, on both sides, so you may not notice the distribution of weight.

You should consult with your veterinarian if you suspect that your dog is suffering from a Luxating Patella.  Early detection is ideal and may require less invasive therapy.  Don’t be afraid to request that your vet check for the condition, even if there are no visible signs.  Your vet can usually determine if your dog is affected by the condition through a visual examination.  If your vet believes that your dog is at risk, then he will likely perform X-Rays to determine the severity.  There are four stages to this condition, with 1 being the least invasive and 4 being severe.  Non-surgical approaches are often preferred for dogs with a Grade 1 and Grade 2 status.  Exercise, diet, and Glucosamine products containing Chondroitin, like Synflex®, may be suggested as a first course of action.  Grade 3 and Grade 4 may require surgical treatment.  Having your veterinarian perform visual examinations early in your dogs life, may be an easy way to ensure the health and vitality of your dog.

You also might be interested in:

» Osteoarthritis in Cats and the Warning Signs
» Does Your Pet Exhibit Osteoarthritis Symptoms?
» Your Pets Arthritis Risk
» Arthritis and Your Dog
» Keeping your Dog Healthy
» Glucosamine in Pet Food
» The Aging of Your Dog and the Need for Glucosamine
» Arthritis in Labradors
» Cats and Arthritis
» Glucosamine Supplements for Pets
» Truth Behind Prescription Pet Drugs
» Arthritis in your Pet
» Glucosamine for Pets
» Osteoarthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease in Cats
» Types of Canine Arthritis
» Determining the Health of Your Senior Cat
» Arthritis and Your Pets
» Veterinarians’ Recommendation of Glucosamine Use for Pets is on the Rise
» Common Types of Feline Arthritis
» Hip Dysplasia: Cats are Affected Too!
» Glucosamine is Beneficial in the Joint Health of All Dogs
» Arthritis Checklist for Pets
» Supplements to Fight Arthritis in Pets
» Does your Dog have Arthritis?
» What to Expect as our Dogs Age
» Arthritis and Aging Pets
» Good Health Habits For Your Pets May Benefit You As Well
» Is Arthritis Pain Causing Depression in Your Pet?
» Laxity in Hip Joint is Identified as Risk Factor For Canine Arthritis
» Progressive Polyarthritis and Calicivirus
» Pet food and arthritis
» Senior Dog and Arthritis
» Mimiced Arthritis Symptoms In Your Dog?
» Pet Arthritis and Acupuncture
» Glucosamine and Chondroitin againgst Hip Dysplasia
» Arthritis in pets and Acupuncture
» Hydrotherapy Drowns Arthritis Pain In Your Dog
» Cat arthritis
» Arthritis and Big Dogs
» Review all posts


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