A Luxating Patella Can Be A Common Condition for the Chihuahua and Small Dogs
Browse articles:
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health
Browse companies:
Automotive Crafts, Hobbies & Gifts Department Stores Electronics & Wearables Fashion Food & Drink Health & Beauty Home & Garden Online Services & Software Sports & Outdoors Subscription Boxes Toys, Kids & Baby Travel & Events

A Luxating Patella Can Be A Common Condition for the Chihuahua and Small Dogs

A Luxating Patella Can Be A Common Condition for the Chihuahua and other Small Dogs. With care, you can help your dog avoid a luxating patella. Know the signs, symptoms and treatment for a luxating patella in dogs.

Chihuahuas are wonderful, tiny little dogs with a huge “bigger than life” personality. The Chihuahua thinks that it can conquer the world and jump or leap anywhere without thinking of the consequences. Sometimes, as the owner of 3 of them myself, I think they believe they can climb and jump like a cat. I don’t allow it because I fear what could happen to their little legs. There is a condition that the Chihuahua and other small dog breeds is prone to known as a luxating patella. A luxating patella is known as a “trick knee” which is extremely common in toy breed dogs. What happens is that the knee cap slips out of the small groove in which it normally rides up and down and actually slips medially. It slips to the opposite leg instead of laterally as it should. With the patella dislocated, the knee cannot extend properly and stays bent. Fifty per cent of dogs have more than one leg/knee affected with the other fifty per cent having only one knee involved.

A luxating patella in your dog is graded to assess its severity. With grade one, the knee can be manually pushed out of the groove but returns to position when pressure is released. In grade two, the knee can be manually pushed out of its groove but will not go back into place until it is manually pushed back in. Grade three, is a little more severe as the patella continually slips out of place, though it can be pushed back into place. With flexion and extension of the leg, it will keep falling back out of place. With a grade four, the patella is permanently luxated and cannot be repositioned without surgery.

A luxating patella can be very painful for your dog, holding up the affected leg. In early stages your dog may appear fine, walking normally though the patella can pop out of place from time to time. At that time your dog may have an abnormal gait, the stifle joint bent and the leg will turn inward. Sometimes the patella may snap back into place. As time goes by, the condition can worsen. Your dog will develop soft tissue pain due to the patella out of alignment. Chronic slippage of the patella can cause cartilage wear and osteoarthritis in the joint. Your dog will become lamer with pronounced chronic pain.

Your veterinarian diagnoses a luxating patella according to the severity and grade of the patella. This is when and how a treatment plan is determined. Grade one luxation may only need some medication for occasional pain as the condition may not worsen. Grades two and above will require further treatment and/or surgery. The object of surgery is to deepen the trochlear groove to better contain the knee cap. Surgery also will release ligaments in the direction of luxation, tighten ligaments opposite the direction of luxation and repair any torn ligaments. Actual surgery performed depends upon the individual dog and severity of the luxating patella. Response after surgery is usually rather quick with complete recovery in about 30 days.

Post-op care for a luxating patella should be slow and easy. Your dog can slowly walk back to normal but not run until completely healed. Physical therapy may be necessary for proper use of the leg or legs. Medication may be prescribed during the healing process which should be administered as needed. Keeping your pup from jumping can help although it does not mean that the dog will get a luxating patella if it does not jump. Just monitor your dog and hope for the best health in those precious little legs.





Additional resources:

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
in Pet Health on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Pet Health?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (1)
Ranked #6 in Pet Health

I learned something new here, Susan. Not being a small dog person, I have never encountered this problem with any of my dogs over the years.