Luxating Patella in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

A dislocated kneecap or luxating patella in dogs is an orthopedic issue that affects countless canine companions. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options is crucial to ensuring your furry friend can bounce back and enjoy a high-quality, pain-free life.

In this article, we delve deeper into what luxating patella is, how to spot it, and how to address it with the help of vets in Rochester, NY.

Causes of Luxating Patella in Dogs

Two primary reasons contribute to the occurrence of the luxating patella in dogs—genetic predisposition and physical trauma. Inherited musculoskeletal abnormalities make certain breeds more susceptible to knee dislocation. Accidents or injuries can also lead to patellar luxation in dogs without any genetic predisposition.

Symptoms of Luxating Patella in Dogs

When it comes to identifying luxating patella in your dog, keep an eye out for the following key symptoms:

  • Sudden lifting of the hindlimb
  • Bow Legged stance
  • Hunched lower back
  • Cracking or popping noises during knee movement

If you notice any of these signs, it is essential to consult a veterinarian to get your dog assessed and determine the best course of action. Remember, early intervention can make all the difference.

Dog Breeds More Likely to Have a Luxating Patella

Some breeds, particularly small and large breeds, are at a higher risk of luxating patella. This predisposition is due to their inherited physical traits or genetic makeup. Examples of susceptible breeds include:

Small Breed Dogs

– Chihuahua, Pug, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, etc.

Large Breed Dogs

– Akita, Great Dane, Newfoundland, St. Bernard, etc.

Diagnosis of Luxating Patella in Dogs

A comprehensive physical examination is the primary diagnostic tool veterinarians use to identify a luxating patella. In some cases, imaging techniques like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may be employed to further investigate the issue and rule out other orthopedic conditions.

Treatment Options for Luxating Patella in Dogs

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, there are two potential approaches to treating luxating patella in dogs—medical and surgical treatment.

Medical Treatment

This option involves a combination of anti-inflammatory medications, weight management, and exercise restrictions. By undertaking these measures, you can improve your dog’s comfort, mobility, and overall health during nonsurgical management of the condition.

Continued monitoring and communication with your veterinarian are crucial to ensure successful medical management of luxating patella in dogs.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery is recommended in severe cases or if medical treatment fails to address the issue. Although surgical interventions have risks and potential complications, the benefits often outweigh these concerns. Post-surgical care and management are crucial to your dog’s recovery and long-term success.

A professional animal hospital can assist you in determining the ideal course of action for your dog’s specific condition and requirements.

Recovery and Management of Dog Knee Dislocation

Recovery Following Medical Treatment

Recovery varies based on your dog’s specific situation, but improvements can be observed within several weeks of initiating medical management. Regular check-ups are essential to monitor progress and adjust treatment as needed.

Recovery Following Surgical Treatment

Depending on your dog’s condition, post-surgery recovery can take up to 8 weeks or more. Frequent veterinary follow-ups are vital to ensure successful healing and rehabilitation.

The Role of Canine Orthopedic Bracing in Luxating Patella

Although some products claim to address luxating patella, orthopedic braces for dogs are not generally recommended by veterinarians. Factors including cost, potential discomfort, and lack of standardized fitting procedures often suggest that surgical or medical treatment options are more effective and practical.

Additional Services for Your Pet’s Wellbeing

In addition to health and medical services, pet owners may also require convenient and safe pet boarding options for their furry friends. To explore pet boarding services in your area, you may click here.

When it comes to innovative treatment options, veterinary laser therapy has become popular as a noninvasive and effective approach to manage various health issues in pets. Places like Stoney Pointe Pet Hospital utilize veterinary laser therapy as part of their comprehensive veterinary services.

Final Words

Luxating patella in dogs is an orthopedic condition that requires prompt intervention and professional care. By understanding the signs, causes, and available treatments, you can work closely with your veterinarian to ensure your dog receives the best possible care and enjoys a happy, pain-free life.


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