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What is Patellar Luxation in Pets?

Patellar luxation occurs when a dog's kneecap (patella) slips out of the groove that allows it to slide up and down. There are several reasons why luxated patellas can occur, including malformation of the groove. The kneecap may pop back into the groove on its own, or your veterinarian may need to push it back into place. Your dog will be lame when the patella is out of place, and over time your dog may develop other degenerative joint changes, such as osteoarthritis.

A predisposition to this disease is commonly inherited in the following breeds: Miniature and Toy Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, Pekingese, Chihuahuas, Boston Terriers, Basset Hounds, Bichon Frise (Bichons), Shih Tzus, Silky Terriers, and Lhasa Apsos. Patellar luxation can also occur in any breed as a result of trauma.

When the knee cap is out of place, your dog will be lame and may refuse to bear weight, or his/her knee may be "locked." In severe cases, the kneecap slips out of place more often, or is never in a normal position. It may not go back into the groove on its own and your veterinarian may need to push it back into place. If your dog has a mild case of this disease, you may not notice the actual luxation, but your dog may eventually develop secondary pain due to osteoarthritis.

Moderate or severe cases often require surgery to make sure that the knee cap stays in the groove in the femur, and to prevent painful osteoarthritis. Exercise restriction is important for a period after surgery, and the results are usually very good. "Chondroprotective agents" such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may also be recommended to help prevent and/or treat the disease.

Flint River Ranch has developed two glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate-fortified products to assist in the possible prevention and holistic treatment of patellar luxation and similar hereditary diseases: our Flint River Ranch PLUS premium pet food and our Jubilee Wafers.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate are naturally occurring nutritional supplements widely recommended for their potential value in helping animals suffering from or genetically predisposed to suffering from arthritis and joint pain, including luxated patellas. These organic supplements work by minimizing cartilage damage and swelling, increasing joint lubrication, helping to rebuild the cartilage that cushions and protects joints, and enhancing new cartilage production.

Seek veterinary treatment if your pet's condition worsens. With extra care and nutrition, your pet can live a long, happy, and virtually pain-free life with patellar luxation.

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Some of the information on elbow dysplasia courtesy of the Canine Inherited Disorders Database.

Related terms: osteoarthritis, osteochondrodysplasia, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia,

FAQs: Pet Health Risks and Remedies

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