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Patellar Luxation in Dogs
Definition of Patellar Luxation
Patellar luxation, commonly called a “slipped knee cap,” refers to dislocation or displacement of the patella bone from the knee joint. This is one of the most common canine knee problems. Patellar luxation can exist at birth or be acquired later on. Genetic and developmental factors can contribute to luxating patellas by altering the alignment of the shin and thigh bones as they meet at the knee. Trauma to the bones or tissues surrounding and supporting the knee can also cause patellar luxation. Most cases are probably hereditary. Patellar luxation is prevalent in miniature and toy breeds, although larger breeds can be affected. Luxating patellas cause mild to excruciating pain. Affected dogs become lame in the rear and may develop an odd skipping gait. They often have trouble standing up and are reluctant to run or jump.
Patellar luxation can be congenital (present at and existing from the time of birth), or it can be acquired later in life. Hereditary and developmental factors, such as poor hind limb musculoskeletal conformation and/or cranial cruciate ligament instability, can contribute to luxating patellas by altering the alignment of the long hind leg bones as they meet at the knee. Trauma to the femur or to the soft tissue that supports and surrounds the patella can
Patellar luxation is a common, mildly to severely painful condition in domestic dogs. Basically, the patella (kneecap) slips out of place for some reason, resulting in lameness, weakness and pain. It is most commonly seen in young miniature and toy breeds, although any age, gender or breed of dog can develop the disorder.Patellar luxation causes intermittent and chronic hind limb weakness, lameness and pain. The clinical signs of this condition can vary from
While many competent veterinarians routinely perform a complete blood count, a serum biochemistry profile and a urinalysis on dogs displaying lameness or other obvious signs of pain, the results of these tests are typically inconclusive when patellar luxation is the culprit, because displacement of the patella is not a disease or systemic disorder. This condition involves only the knee joint(s) and some form of anatomical malalignment of muscle, tendons, supporting soft tissue and bones. Manual
The goals of treating dogs with luxating patellas are to relieve pain and to improve function of the knee joint by physically realigning the pertinent bones and stabilizing the patella in its proper anatomical position. When an owner notices her dog limping, reluctant to rise or showing other signs of hind limb discomfort, she should contact her dog’s veterinarian for a thorough assessment of its condition. There are a number of treatment options if patellar