Oz: Even dogs have knee problems

I’ve noticed in all of my history with veterinary medicine that cases tend to appear in pairs or multiples.

Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed in all of my history with veterinary medicine both as a student and as a doctor, that cases tend to appear in pairs or multiples.

Very often, I find myself dealing in the same week with three blocked cats, or two snake bites for example.

This phenomenon has no logical explanation, but somehow it is just like that.

Lately I was visited by few limping dogs that later were confirmed to suffer from the same problem in their knee, a knee abnormality called Patellar Luxation.

The patella is the knee cap. It is situated between the two long bones of the back leg, the femur and the tibia.

In normal leg anatomy the patella is situated in a special groove in the femur (the thigh bone), attached to the two long bones by tendons and muscle.

The patella’s location in the femur groove allows normal gliding motion in flexion and extension of the knee joint.

Patellar Luxation is a condition in which the patella jumps out of the groove sideways when the knee is bent.

This causes the leg to “lock up” with the paw up in the air.

The condition has four grades of severity.

At Grade 1, the patella is normally in the femoral groove but can be manually manipulated outside of the groove.

At the second or third grades, which are the most common,  the patella intermittently slides outside of the groove.  At the most severe fourth grade, the patella is permanently situated outside of the groove.

Patellar Luxation is the most common congenital abnormality in dogs, affecting about seven per cent of puppies. Small breeds are most commonly affected, in particular Boston terriers, chihuahuas, pomeranians, miniature poodles and Yorkshire terriers. The incidence in large breed dogs has been in rise over the last 10 years.

Beside being a congenital abnormality, Patellar Luxation can also be caused in a normal dogs as a result of a traumatic injury.

The most common sign associated with the condition is limping.

The duration and the severity of the limping depends on the grade of the condition.

The more severe the condition is, the more frequent the limping episodes are.

In a typical Patellar Luxation case, the limping will be intermittent  and will be resolved spontaneously, sometimes after only few minutes.

The diagnosis of the condition is done by a manual manipulation of the joint. An X-ray exam can confirm the presence of the patella outside of its normal groove.

Unfortunately conservative treatment has little to offer, and the best permanent treatment for Patellar Luxation is by a corrective surgery. Over time, if stays untreated the condition worsens severe arthritis develops which may lead to permanent damage and compromise mobility.

If your dog shows signs of permanent or intermittent episodes of limping on his back leg, along with yelping and signs of discomfort take it to be checked by your vet.

Early treatment of Patellar Luxation can yield a long, happy and pain free life for your dog. Ask your vet to assess your dog’s knee condition to make sure your dog does not have a knee problem.

Just Posted

Repairs underway to West Kelowna road after flood damage

A portion of Lower Glenrosa Road will be closed until at least Monday says the city

Rally in Kelowna to protest pipeline

Forty people gather outside MP’s office to protest Trans Mountain pipeline project

Protect the Water rally today in Kelowna

The rally will be held at No. 102 – 1420 St Paul Street, Kelowna.

Feature Friday: Is the sky the limit for downtown Kelowna construction?

City building up, not out, as high rise living becomes more popular

Free theatre performance for Lake Country families

Robinson Crusoe + Friday will be performed at Creekside Theatre April 14

What’s happening

Find out which events are taking place in the Okanagan and Shuswap this weekend

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Photos: Salmon Arm celebrates Paralympic champion Natalie Wilkie

Hometown hero welcomed home with parade, recognition ceremony at city hall

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

UPDATED: MPs Elizabeth May, Kennedy Stewart arrested at B.C. anti-pipeline protest

The demonstration is part of a day of action against the Trans Mountain expansion

Most Read