Patellar luxation is a common dog health problem with small dog breeds. However, big dogs can have this condition too. Luxation means to be out of place, to dislocate. Patella means kneecap. So, patellar luxation means, knee caps out of place, kneecaps not in the correct position.
In this picture, the leg on the left clearly shows a kneecap securely in it's groove, firmly held in place by the ligaments.
You can see from looking at the diagram on the right, that the knee cap has slipped out of it's correct placement in the middle, and has now ' floated ' to the left. This is not OK.
A floating kneecap means that the kneecap will not stay securely in it's groove. It either slips to the outside ( lateral ), or the inside (medial ) of the leg. You can well imagine that this would HURT! OUCH!
This condition is graded according to how easily the kneecap slips back into place.
So it is easy to see that if the kneecap continues to slip out of place, ultimately the ligaments holding the kneecap become stretched, strained and perhaps even damaged and torn.
So now you have two problems:
This will cause serious instability in that leg. The dog will be reluctant to use the leg because it HURTS, and so will carry it up.
Your dog may even overcompensate then, by using the other leg more. This can strain the good leg too, and ultimately create an ACL tear in the good leg.
So what's to be done about this type of dog knee injury?
Diet is critically important as part of a program to repair and improve structural issues in dogs.
Carbohydrates are foods that create tissue inflammation.
Dogs as carnivores, thrive on a diet of meat, bones and organs.
It is from the connective tissue of other prey animals, that strength is obtained and utilized for the purpose of building strong structure. I can't emphasize this enough.
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