Patellar luxation is a joint disease in dogs that is very common – especially in smaller dogs. But although it is on everyone’s lips, it is just as often overlooked or dismissed as a “tick.” Even many veterinarians downplay them. It is painful and the affected knee joint is permanently damaged.
Patellar luxation – a complex clinical picture
Probably the most common symptom of patellar luxation is shaking of the hind leg or holding it up while walking. What many dog owners whose dog has been diagnosed with “patellar luxation” do not know is that it is divided into different degrees of severity.
It shows that this often underestimated disease of the musculoskeletal system is far more complex than is often assumed. The recommendation for treatment is often based on the degree of severity diagnosed. Surgical treatment cannot always be avoided.
For a better understanding of the disease, I’ve put together the four different severity levels for you here.
The 4 degrees of severity of patellar luxation
Grade I: The kneecap pops out. She immediately jumps back to the normal position and the dog bounces briefly on three legs. In severity I, surgery is usually not performed.
Grade II: The patella pops out and remains luxated until the dog extends its leg. The dog sometimes limps more, sometimes less, there are lameness-free phases. When he is lame, he keeps the knee slightly bent and hardly puts any weight on it. From grade II, surgery is usually advised to prevent osteoarthritis.
Severity III and IV of patellar luxation
Grade III: The kneecap is usually popped out, can be moved back. However, it usually pops right back out. The affected dogs are often lame. This ranges from the occasional bounce to running on 3 legs all the time.
Grade IV: The kneecap is constantly dislocated and cannot be put back into place. The dog keeps the leg permanently bent. He cannot stretch his leg.
As you can see, patellar luxation in dogs is much more complex than most people think. The type of treatment is always based on the severity and should always be considered and decided on an individual basis.
Your dog suffers from patellar luxation? What grade was he diagnosed with and how was he treated? Please share your experience with me in the comments.
All the love, your Martina
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