Understanding Patella Luxation: A Guide by Serra Veterinary Hospital

Welcome to Serra Veterinary Hospital’s informative guide on patella luxation, an orthopedic condition that affects small animals. Our dedicated veterinary team is committed to providing the highest quality care for your beloved pets. In this article, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options available for patella luxation. By understanding this condition, you can better recognize the signs and seek appropriate veterinary care when necessary.

What is Patella Luxation

Patella luxation, also known as “floating kneecap,” is a common orthopedic condition seen in small animals, including dogs and cats. It occurs when the patella (kneecap) becomes dislocated or moves out of its normal position within the femoral groove, which is the groove at the end of the femur (thigh bone) that allows the patella to glide smoothly during joint movement.

Causes of Patella Luxation

Several factors contribute to the development of patella luxation. It can be a congenital condition, meaning it is present from birth, or it can result from trauma or injury. Small breed dogs, such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and Yorkshire Terriers, are more prone to patella luxation due to their genetic predisposition.

Symptoms of Patella Luxation

Recognizing the symptoms of patella luxation is crucial for early detection and intervention. Common signs include intermittent or persistent lameness, reluctance to bear weight on the affected leg, abnormal gait, limping, and pain when walking or running. Some pets may exhibit a skipping or hopping motion while walking.

Diagnosing Patella Luxation

When you bring your pet to Serra Veterinary Hospital suspecting patella luxation, our experienced veterinarians will perform a thorough physical examination. They will evaluate your pet’s gait, range of motion, and palpate the knee joint to determine the severity of the condition. Additional diagnostic tools such as X-rays or other imaging modalities may be utilized to assess the extent of the luxation and rule out any associated joint abnormalities.

Treatment Options for Patella Luxation

The treatment approach for patella luxation depends on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, conservative management may be recommended, including rest, physical therapy, and pain management medications. In more severe or recurrent cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. Our skilled veterinary surgeons at Serra Veterinary Hospital can perform procedures such as trochlear block recession, tibial crest transposition, or realignment of soft tissues to stabilize the patella and restore proper joint function.

Post-Treatment Rehabilitation

Following surgery or conservative treatment, a customized rehabilitation plan will be designed by our veterinary team to aid in your pet’s recovery. This may involve controlled exercises, hydrotherapy, and therapeutic modalities to improve muscle strength, joint mobility, and overall function. Regular follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your pet’s progress and make any necessary adjustments to the rehabilitation program.

At Serra Veterinary Hospital, we understand the impact that patella luxation can have on your pet’s quality of life. With early diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and compassionate care, we aim to provide the best possible outcome for your furry companion. If you suspect your pet may be experiencing symptoms of patella luxation or have any concerns about their orthopedic health, do not hesitate to contact our veterinary team. We are here to help your pet live a happy, active life, free from the discomfort of patella luxation.