What is a Luxating Patella?

Q

What’s a luxating patella?

A

Luxating patellae can happen in any breed although, they are much more common in small and toy breeds. In this condition, the kneecap, or patella, pops in and out of its normal position. It usually moves to the inside of the leg and when it happens, your pet may act as if his leg has “gone out” on him. Many pets will learn that stretching the leg out behind them moves the kneecap back into position.

This is both a congenital and acquired disease. This means that pets are born with the bone structure that allows this to happen but it takes time for the condition to actually develop. How long varies from dog to dog with some pets having difficulty very early in life and some pets living their entire life without a problem.

Fortunately, this condition usually occurs in very light-weight dogs and with so little weight borne on the back legs, they rarely have a problem. If your pet is larger or does seem to have a problem, the correction would require surgery.  This involves deepening the groove the patella sits as well as a variety of other procedures. Surgery is generally very helpful for these pets.

If you have further questions or would like to schedule an examination for your pet, contact Hudson Veterinary Hospital at (330)650-2929.