Harlequin Haven Great Dane Rescue

Harlequin Haven
Great Dane Rescue

11567 St. Rt. 774
Bethel, Ohio 45106

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Patellar Luxation 
slipped kneecap

The most common dog kneecap problem is a slipped kneecap. The medical term is patellar luxation. The condition of patellar luxation is quite common in smaller breeds, such as Miniature Poodles and Maltese, are far more susceptible than larger breeds.

Patellar luxation is caused when the dogs kneecap becomes dislocated toward the inside or outside of the leg.  The direction in which the kneecap slips may vary, but mostly it is towards the inner (medial) side of the leg. While slipped kneecaps can and do result from a direct blow to the knee, they more often occur because of congenital birth defects.  The crippling effects of a patellar luxation are determined by the severity and duration of the luxation.  Severe cases cause intense pain in and around the knee, which then causes limping.  

Many techniques are available to treat patellar luxation, depending on how severe the condition is. Treatments range from rest and the administration of pain relieving drugs in mild cases to complete surgical knee reconstruction in the most severe cases. Results are usually satisfactory if the joint degeneration has not progressed too far.  Once treated, most affected dogs make a satisfactory recovery, reoccurrences are common when dogs do not have surgery. If dogs are not operated on they should not be allowed to become overweight.

Dogs with the hereditary form of patellar luxation condition should not be used for breeding.

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