What To Do For Dogs With Luxating Patella

Patellar luxation – sometimes referred to as dislocated or floating kneecaps – is usually a genetic condition that occurs in small breeds like Chihuahuas, Yorkies, and Pomeranians, but it can also result from a knee injury.

While surgical correction is the most effective treatment, it may be possible to make changes to your pup’s routine and prevent patellar luxation from becoming a life-altering affliction.

The genetic cause of patellar luxations are shallow femoral grooves that do not adequately cup the kneecaps. This allows them to drift or pop out of place, usually during exercise. Most dogs will have the condition in both knees, but it is common for one to be more seriously affected than the other.

The severity of luxating patella is graded from one to four, with Grade One describing kneecaps that pop out occasionally, but drift back into place on their own. In dogs with Grade Four luxating patella, the kneecap sits outside the femoral groove all the time unless manually put back in place.

The more extreme the case, the more likely a dog is to experience pain, lameness and joint degeneration, as well as require surgical intervention.

If a veterinarian has diagnosed your pup with luxating patella, these three simple tips can help you avoid surgery and keep him pain-free.

1. Help your dog achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

The heavier the dog, the more burden there will be on his knees. Avoiding overfeeding and encouraging your dog to exercise may be the most important steps you can take to minimize the symptoms of luxating patella – and help your pup lead an overall healthy life!

2. Keep your pup moving.

Helping your dog achieve an optimal body condition means more than just losing excess fat. Since the muscles of the knee help stabilize the patella and hold it in place, it is important for your pup to maintain an active lifestyle. Specific exercises that can help stabilize the supportive muscles of the knee include:

  • Having your dog move from a sitting to standing position several times in a row
  • Ascending and descending carpeted stairs
  • Swimming or walking on an underwater treadmill
  • “Army crawling”

3. Provide oral joint support supplements.

Several vitamins and nutrients found in high-quality dietary supplements have been shown to support healthy joints and even aid in pain reduction. Some of the most tried-and-true include:

  • Vitamins B1, B6, C and E are all involved in collagen synthesis – C and E also act as natural antioxidants.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – like those found in krill oil – have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties and may help protect against cartilage degradation.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are thought to slow/prevent the degeneration of joint cartilage, easing osteoarthritis pain.
  • MSM is involved in collagen synthesis and may inhibit pain impulses and reduce muscle spasms.
  • Hyaluronic acid acts as a joint cushion and lubricant.

Joint pain is an absolutely terrible thing to observe in our dogs. Talk to your vet and come up with a plan. If supplementation is right for your dog, we encourage you to try our Happy, Healthy line of Joint Care Supplements. Not only do we believe it to be the best product on the market, but each bottle provides healthy meals for shelter dogs!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.

H/T to Mercola Healthy Pets & Dogs Naturally Magazine

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