Veterinarian Column: What is Patella (patellar luxation in dogs)?

by スタッフAlice’s Dog & Cat

Alice’s Dog&Cat Veterinarian Column Patellar luxation in dogs

Have you ever taken your pet to the veterinary hospital and been told in the examination room that the pet has a dislocated patella?

Patellar luxation is a common problem in small dogs.

Even if a dislocation occurs, the owner may not be aware of it.

If your pet has a dislocated patella (patella), many people may be wondering whether or not to undergo surgery.

This time we will explain in detail about patellar dislocation.

◎ What is patellar dislocation?

Patellar luxation is a disease also known as ``patella''.

The anatomical term for the patella is Patella . The patella is the kneecap, and this disease causes the kneecap to dislocate inwardly or outwardly (mostly inwardly).

Among small dogs, it often occurs in Chihuahuas, toy poodles, Pomeranians, and Yorkshire terriers.

Among medium-sized dogs, it is said to be more common in Shiba Inu dogs.

◎ Cause

・Heredity: It is thought that the cause is a congenital bone or muscle abnormality, but the exact causative gene is not known.

・Trauma: Dislocation caused by jumping, slipping and falling.

Alice’s Dog&Cat Veterinarian Column Patellar luxation in dogs

◎ Symptoms

In some cases, there may be no symptoms even if the patella is dislocated.

・Put your feet up in the air.

・Pull back.

・Bone deformation, resulting in X- legged legs.

-Arthritis and anterior cruciate ligament damage may occur.

・Differences between the left and right muscles in the hind limbs are observed.

◎ Diagnosis

・Palpation: Classified into 4 grades depending on the degree of dislocation.

Grade 1 : The patella dislocates when pushed manually, and is usually in its normal position.

Grade 2 : The patella frequently dislocates and can be reduced by manual pressure.

Grade 3 : The patella is constantly dislocated and can be reduced by manual pressure.

Grade 4 : The patella is constantly dislocated and cannot be reduced by manual pressure.

・X-ray examination

◎ Treatment

Conservative treatment (without surgery) : Applicable when there are no symptoms or when surgery cannot be performed due to age or coexisting disease.

- Exercise restrictions: Limit jumping and excessive exercise.

- Weight loss: If you are obese, lose weight.

- Improving the living environment: Change the environment to be less slippery, such as by installing carpet.

- Taking injections or oral painkillers to treat arthritis.

Alice’s Dog&Cat Veterinarian Column Patellar luxation in dogs


・If symptoms persist even after conservative treatment.

・If there is severe lameness.

・If the pain is frequent.

・If the frequency of dislocation increases during the growth period.

・When the range of motion of the knee joint is restricted.

etc. are indications for surgery.

The surgical method varies depending on the condition of the ligaments, muscles, and groove in which the patella fits. There are various surgical techniques, and depending on the condition, a combination of surgical techniques may be used.

The length of stay and surgery costs vary depending on the hospital and surgical method, but in most cases it costs 250,000 yen for a one- week stay.

Alice’s Dog&Cat Veterinarian Column Patellar luxation in dogs

◎ Prevention

Prevention of patellar dislocation is also important. Regardless of whether or not your pet has a dislocated patella, be careful not to make them fat, create an environment where they don't slip, and don't let them jump from high places.

Place carpets or rugs on wooden floors, or install slopes if there are sofas, etc., to prevent children from jumping from high places.

Also, long-haired dogs can become slippery if the hair on the bottom of their paws is allowed to grow.

Make sure to cut and maintain it regularly to keep it from slipping.

If you are not feeling any pain with a dislocated patella, you may be unsure whether to undergo surgery, but it is important to consult with your veterinarian and make a decision, taking into consideration the grade, symptoms, and age of your pet.

Alice’s Dog&Cat Veterinarian Column Patellar luxation in dogs

We also recommend supplementing with joint supplements.

Supplements are sold in various forms such as tablets, powders, granules, and capsules.

Also, the ingredients are different.

When choosing a supplement, consider the ease of administering the medication and the amount you can afford to continue using it.