Webvet

Webvet

Social Media Icons

Follow Us:

Main Content

Patellar luxation in dogs and cats

Twitter Stumbleupon Mixx it! Print Email icon
Pin It
If you enjoy this article,
Go here to sign up for the mailing list to receive more articles like this.
2320081216155357catfeature

Patellar luxation is hereditary and especially common in small and toy breeds of dogs. Affected animals may also have other leg or joint problems. The patella (or kneecap) lies in a "track" on the front of the leg, where it functions in joint movement, sliding up and down easily as the knee bends and extends. In some dogs and less commonly in cats, the patella does not stay in its track, occasionally slipping (or luxating), usually to the inside of the leg. When this happens, it is called patellar luxation.

Signs of patellar luxation in pets vary depending on how severe the problem is. Most pets tend to skip or hop when walking or especially when running, but some dogs and cats may hold the leg up completely. Damage caused by the kneecap slipping in and out of its track can eventually lead to arthritis in the knee.

Your veterinarian can generally diagnosis this problem by palpating the knee joint, but x-rays are often recommended to look for arthritis or other problems.

Many pets with patellar luxation do fine without any treatment or with only occasional pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medication. Surgery may be needed in more severe cases or in overweight pets that typically have much more of a problem when the patella slips. Getting your pet's weight under control is important in management of this condition in overweight pets.

Q&A

What is patellar luxation in pets?

In this condition, the patella (or kneecap) does not stay in its track, but instead occasionally slips (or luxates) out to the side. 


What pets are most affected?

Patellar luxation is seen primarily in dogs, although cats are sometimes affected.  It is a hereditary problem that is more common in small and toy breeds. 


How can I tell if my dog has a luxating patella?

Most affected pets tend to skip or hop when walking or running, but some pets may hold the leg up completely.  Your veterinarian can generally diagnosis this problem by palpating the knee joint, but x-rays are often recommended to look for arthritis or other problems.


How is patellar luxation in pets treated?

Many pets with patellar luxation do fine with minimal treatment, but surgery may be needed in more severe cases or in overweight pets.  Keeping your pet fit and trim is important in management of this condition.

Credit: Written and reviewed by John A. Bukowski, DVM, MPH, PhDand Susan E. Aiello, DVM, ELS
Did you like this article?
Go here to sign up for the mailing list to receive more articles like this.

Related content

All medical-related content on WebVet has been veterinarian approved to ensure its timeliness and accuracy.
Introducing Pet-Pods...

Veterinarian with small dog FREE downloadable PDF files providing a comprehensive review of some of the most timely pet health topics: Allergies, Fleas, Summer Safety Hazards, and Vomiting and Diarrhea.

Newsletter Signup

  
Get FREE Pet Insurance Quotes Now!

Search For A Vet

Crosby