You searched for ""

    Animal Trust Logo

    Patella Luxation in Dogs

    Patella luxation in dogs is a condition where the knee cap (patella) slips in and out of its groove, hindering proper knee extension. While it can affect any dog breed, it’s more common in smaller breeds like Poodles, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, and Pomeranians. This genetic condition may impact one or both legs, and it can also affect some cats.


    Symptoms of Patella Luxation

    Dogs with patella luxation may exhibit a ‘skipping’ or ‘hopping’ lameness, holding their leg up while running and then returning to normal. In severe cases affecting both legs, a ‘bunny hopping’ gait and stiffness may be observed. Although usually not painful initially, it can lead to osteoarthritis over time.

    Causes of Patella Luxation

    Several factors contribute to patella luxation, including a shallow trochlear groove, a medially placed tibial crest, and a bowed femur. These factors combine to misalign the patella, causing it to dislocate easily.

    Diagnosis. Of Patella Luxation

    A veterinarian diagnoses patella luxation through a physical examination, manipulating the patella during a consultation. X-rays may be necessary to assess the knee joint. The condition is graded from 1 to 4 based on severity, with higher grades requiring more attention.

    Treatment of Patella Luxation

    The treatment approach depends on the severity of the condition: Grade 1: Monitoring, as it rarely causes problems. Grade 2: Surgery is considered based on the frequency of signs. Grades 3-4: Surgery is recommended to prevent cartilage erosion and osteoarthritis development. Surgical steps involve deepening the trochlear groove, repositioning the tibial crest, and releasing medial tissue.

    Recovery After Treatment

    Recovery typically takes 8-10 weeks, with strict rest for the initial period. Dogs may be non-weight bearing for several days, followed by controlled walking. Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy can aid recovery. Occasionally, implanted pins and wire may need removal if they cause irritation or infection. Understanding and addressing patella luxation promptly can enhance your dog’s quality of life and prevent long-term complications. Regular veterinary check-ups and post-surgery care contribute to a successful recovery for your furry friend.

    Concerned About Your Dog? Act now!


    Animal Trust is a trading name of Animal Trust Vets CIC, a community interest company registered in England and Wales. Company Registration No: 07938025

    Registered Office: Animal Trust Administration Centre, Cedab Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 4FE