Dislocation of the patella in dogs

Dislocation of the patella in dogs

The content of the article

  • Causes of lameness in dogs
  • Degree of disease
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnostic Methods
  • Treatment of medial dislocation

It happens that you suddenly notice a limp from a pet. At first it may take an hour or a day, and the dog runs as before. But over time, the dog becomes lameconstant and prevents it from moving freely.

That’s when the owner and sent to the veterinarian to find the cause of the disease.

Sad dog lying

The causes of lameness in dogs

Having received from the host description of the problem, especially veterinarians suspect the presence of medial patellar luxation in the dog.

Such dislocation refers to a genetic disease, inherited in small breeds. The pathology is the displacement of the patella relative to its natural position. If the displacement is inside, it is medial dislocation if the outside – lateral. Moreover, the medial displacement of veterinarians diagnosed in about 80% of cases.

Other causes, which in dogs occurs medial patella luxation are injuries and o-shaped or s-shaped curvature of the hind limbs. Lateral dislocation often occurs in larger animals, for their more characteristic x-shaped position of the hind legs.

In addition to these reasons, it leads to dislocation weakness of ligament-muscular system and degenerative changes in the joint, appearing with age.

old dog

extent of the disease

The medial dislocation divided into four degrees, with the main parameter for such gradation is the possibility or impossibility of returning the patella to its normal position:

  1. The first degree of pathology patella is displaced during loading on its paw, or vice versa, while relaxing and can easily return to its natural position. The dog often gets used to it and independently “reduce a” knee, stretched leg. first degree of the disease does not lead to irreversible changes in the joint and can sometimes go without treatment, as with age ligaments and muscles become stronger legs and hold the kneecap in place.
  2. When a second-degree sprained knee has not recovered yourself, dislocation can only be corrected by hand. Due to recurring episodes of patella displacement occurs abrasion of cartilage in the knee and there is inflammation.
  3. For third degree characteristic position where the patella is displaced continuously and sometimes only possible to recover its anatomical position. This stage of the disease causes the dog to keep the leg in half-bent position and try not to rely on it.
  4. When the fourth degree dislocated kneecap and a permanent longer possible to return to the place without surgery, the animal’s paw is no longer involved in the process of walking.


As we have already noted, the main symptom that accompanies medial patella luxation in dogs – a limp. In this case, the frequency and conditions of limping can be different:

  • walking the dog may suddenly start falls on the paw, but it soon passes;
  • while sleeping or relaxed state patella budge, and the animal can not then rely on his paw;
  • if the disease is already in the late stages, the foot or two half-bent, the dog jumps while moving;
  • It reduces the amount of motion of the joint;
  • the motion pain in the knee and crunch.

Dog limping on the way

The first episodes of lameness appear without reason, have to get you to go with your pet to the vet, as this pathology is more easily treated in the early stages.

methods of diagnosis

For accurate diagnosis will need a thorough examination of the veterinarian, palpation of the affected joint and X-ray.

On examination, the doctor will evaluate the dog’s paws and staging character limping. Since the early stages of lameness occurs frequently, it is important to carry out further studies.

When probing joint orthopedic vet determine where the patella is displaced with respect to its anatomical position (inside or outside) and whether its return to its normal position.

X-rays performed in two projections – lateral and straight. The image shows a lateral position the patella is in place, as will be seen in direct her shift in one direction or another. Along with the X-ray of the joint of the patient is necessary to conduct a study of the hip joints for the detection of disease Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, as these diseases often accompany each other.

Also medial dislocation can occur in trauma, as a result of which there is a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament, and this situation must be taken into account to make the correct diagnosis and determine the tactics of treatment.

As you have seen, diagnosis should be performed by a veterinarian competent orthopedist to further treatment was adequate and led to the recovery of the dog.

Veterinarian dog paw bandage

Treatment of the medial luxation

The main method of treatment of the medial luxation in dogs is surgery. Only at the first degree of the disease can be used therapeutic methods aimed at reducing the inflammation in the joints and strengthen muscles and ligaments. However, even in this case, you need to constantly make an x-ray of the joint, so as not to miss it the appearance of degenerative changes.

Second-third degree of disease require surgery. How it will be, it depends on the cause of the medial dislocation of the patella, a dog’s age and general state of health. Thus, in the fourth stage of the operation is not even help fully restore the function of the damaged knee.

The following operations are used most often:

  • Osteotomy – artificial fracture to improve the functioning of the limbs. It is used in the event that the disease is hereditary.
  • Closure articular ligaments helps to break it after the dislocation.
  • Congenital knee a little trough in dogs can lead to the fact that the joint is always “popping”, which is the cause of the medial dislocation. In this situation, the surgeon carries out a wedge of plastic gutters.

For a good postoperative outcome is crucial recovery period. At this time, the dog needs special care, proper nutrition and a complex of physiotherapy. The combination of all these factors helps to preserve joint mobility, eliminate re-dislocated and avoid muscle atrophy.

The hostess takes care of sobkaoy

Help your pet with medial dislocation of the patella can be, it is only necessary to have time to “catch” the disease at the second or third stage, and choose a veterinary clinic, where surgeons operate professional.

In “Belanta” clinic, we will be happy to return your dog to the joy of movement and full life!

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