"My dog skips!"
Does your dog skip when he walks or runs? If so, your dog may have a luxating patella. A luxating patella means that the knee cap can pop out of place. There are varying degrees of severity where it can relocate immediately, or worst case scenario, it can dislocate, and not return to its normal position.
This can happen in small dogs, including pomeranians, Yorkshire terriers, and miniature poodles, as well as large dogs, such as Great Pyrenes and Akitas. Typically, both knees are involved, but may differ in degree.
Luxating patella can occur for multiple reasons. These reasons can include:
Malformation of the thigh bone (femur)
Malformation of the lower leg bone (tibia)
Malformation of the groove in which the knee cap (patella) sits
Muscle imbalances, including quadriceps or hip flexor tightness
Depending on the severity, canine rehab can help! Oftentimes, the pup can manage without the need for surgery. In severe cases, surgery may be implicated, in which case, rehab is recommended in order to achieve optimal recovery.
The pup in the picture above started walking normally ~3 weeks after surgery and is continuing to do well!
Stay tuned for the next topic: CCL tears!