What Dog Owners Need to Know About Luxating Patella

Did you know that dogs experience some of the same health complications that humans do, in particular a dislocated kneecap? When a dog’s patella, or kneecap, is out of place, it can be very uncomfortable. This condition is called luxating patella, and it can have congenital, genetic and/or traumatic causes. As a dog owner in West Des Moines, IA, you know that your pet’s comfort is crucial to their overall wellbeing. Read on to learn about how you can tell if your dog has luxating patella and what you can do about it.

What is luxating patella?

Gaining a basic knowledge of what luxating patella is will help your dog live a more comfortable life. The patella helps keep ligaments in place as your dog moves. Luxating patella occurs when the kneecap moves out of place due to the point of attachment between the patellar ligament and the shin bone. If this is the case with your dog, her movements throughout the years can cause the patella to dislocate. It can cause serious problems for dogs depending upon the degree of luxation and whether both legs are affected.

Some dogs are able to tolerate low degrees of luxation, but it does predispose them to other injuries, including torn ligaments. It also affects how your dog’s able to carry her weight. When stress is shifted to the hips, thigh and shin bones, it can cause arthritis and limit your dog’s mobility.

What are the common signs of luxating patella?

One of the easiest ways to tell if your dog has luxating patella is by monitoring her movement. Here are the main signs to look for:

  • Occasional limping
  • Occasional skipping while walking
  • Unusual sitting posture
  • Sudden loss of support of the affected limb(s)

Do certain factors make a dog more prone to luxating patella?

Both the age and breed of your dog increase her chances of experiencing luxating patella. Older dogs, much like older humans, are more prone to developing this condition. As the body wears down from a lifetime of movement, you might notice any of the signs above occurring more frequently. In addition, some breeds are genetically disposed to patellar luxation, including:

  • Miniature and Toy Poodle
  • Maltese
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Pomeranian
  • Pekingese
  • Chihuahua
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Papillon
  • Boston Terrier
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • Akita
  • Malamute
  • Boxer
  • Husky
  • St. Bernard

How can I correct a luxating patella?

The way you handle your dog’s luxating patella depends on severity. While many small dogs can live with a light case for their entire lives, severe cases usually require surgical intervention. Your trusted veterinarian in West Des Moines, IA can recommend the best course of action for treatment. You can also reduce the severity of this condition, and keep it from worsening, by providing your dog with the following supplements:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • Methylsulfonylmethane
  • Bioflavonoids

Now that you know what luxating patella is, you’ll be able to recognize it quickly and know what to do to solve the problem. Your dog’s comfort is key to living a healthy lifestyle in West Des Moines, IA. Contact Canine Country Club today to learn more about keeping your pup happy and healthy for years to come.

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