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Treatment for Patellar Luxation from Your Veterinarian in Winnipeg

A painful, mostly genetic condition common to certain dog breeds, patellar luxation occurs when the kneecap (patella) moves out of its normal position, causing joint weakness, pain and lameness. Toy and miniature dog breeds such as Poodles, Chihuahuas, and Yorkshire Terriers are prone to suffering patellar luxation, although any dog has the potential to suffer dislocation of the patella. If your veterinarian in Winnipeg diagnoses your dog with patellar luxation, nonsurgical and surgical treatments are available to restore your dog's health and quality of life.

Patela Luxation

Symptoms of Patellar Luxation

Clinical symptoms of patellar luxation vary among different dog breeds, their pain tolerance level and how far the kneecap moved away from the joint. If you notice your dog presenting one or more the following symptoms, call our emergency vet as soon as possible:

  • Intermittent limping and/or lameness
  • Reduced movement/stiffness of affected hind leg
  • Abnormal "skipping" gait due to hind leg limpness/lameness
  • Temporary paralysis/inability to bend the knee joint
  • Whimpering if the leg is moved or manipulated
  • Swelling around or on the knee joint

Treatment Options for Patellar Luxation at Our Animal Hospital

The goal of treating patellar luxation is to alleviate pain as much as possible, improve knee functioning by realigning the kneecap with the knee joint and stabilize the patella's position on the kneecap. Nonsurgical treatment involves the use of NSAIDS to reduce inflammation and pain while helping the dog perform rehabilitation exercises to strengthen joint ligaments and leg muscles. Overweight dogs with patellar luxation should be placed on diets to decrease stress on knee joints suffering patellar luxation. Canine hydrotherapy is another excellent method of easing pain, facilitating healing, increasing blood flow to the kneecap and improving a dog's range of motion.

If a patellar luxation does not respond to nonsurgical treatments, your veterinarian in Winnipeg may recommend surgical reconstruction of soft tissues surrounding the joint to better support the kneecap. Deepening the femur bone groove in which the kneecap is located is another surgical technique used by your animal hospital vet to prevent the patella from slipping out of position again. Following patellar luxation surgery, cryotherapy (packing the joint with ice) is done to minimize swelling and pain. Passive exercises to strengthen the joint and increase flexibility should begin as soon as the dog can tolerate exercises.

Patellar Luxation and Osteoarthritis

Dogs with recurring patellar luxation may be diagnosed with osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease causing pain, stiffness and lameness. Your veterinarian in Winnipeg may prescribe chondroprotective supplements to promote joint health and ease osteoarthritis inflammation and pain. Moderate exercise and weight control can also help reduce joint pain and improve flexibility in dogs with patellar luxation and osteoarthritis.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Winnipeg Veterinarian

If your dog is showing signs of possible patellar luxation, please call our animal hospital emergency vet today at 204-261-7376 to schedule an appointment.

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