It is not uncommon to see a small dog to suddenly walk on three legs. Indeed, dislocated patella (kneecaps) is a problem often seen in small breeds such as Yorkshire terriers, Poodles, Chihuahuas, etc., but can also disturb larger breeds of dogs as well as cats.
What it means? In fact the dog patella is mobile and can moves in an abnormal position. In some cases, it will remain displaced, but often it moves out and back in place intermittently. There is then a sudden lamensess that is usually temporary. Although this condition has often congenital cause, which mean a birth defect, it sometimes be cause by a trauma.
When the situation is not corrected, it is at first uncomfortable for the animal. Then, osteoarthritis may settled in his knee and the risk for the anterior ligament to rupture and tear will increase. Inevitably, the condition of the animal will deteriorate.
There are several types of surgeries to put the patella back in the right place and permanently. Sometimes it is even necessary to combine several of these surgical techniques. These procedures must be performed by a veterinary specialist in orthopedic surgery. The success rate is very high, especially when the post-operative instructions are followed to the letter.
In case the budget of the owner would not allow the surgery, it is strongly recommended to provide food specially designed for joints of the animal, as well as giving supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin. Some veterinary products are very effective and even contain molecules that have a natural anti-inflammatory effect, thus making the animal more comfortable. Not to mention that some of those product exist as treats, so the treatment is easier for the owner!
Finally, we must always take into consideration the weight of the animal. Any animal that is overweight will have more trouble with his joints. This is one more reason why it is always important to monitor the weight of your pet so that it stay healthy.
If you see your pet limping, even if it is intermittent, do not hesitate to contact a technician or veterinarian of the Ste-Rose veterinary hospital to get an appointment or advice on products offered.
Catherine Lapierre, Certified Veterinary Technician