I have done several post on health problems that you may see in your chihuahua. Knee Problems (Patella Luxation) in chihuahuas is another health concern to be aware of. This can be inherited or happen over time as the dog ages. If it is inherited signs may not show up until after the dog is over six months old.
What is Patella Luxation
Patella Luxation is when the kneecap dislocates from its original position. A dislocated kneecap is one of the most frequent knee joint abnormalities in toy dogs. Females are 1 1/2 times more likely to have this problem.
When the kneecap is dislocated from the groove of the thigh-bone, it can only return to its normal position once the thigh muscles in the hind legs relax and lengthen. This causes most dogs with the condition to hold up their hind legs for a few minutes.
What to Look For
- Sporadic lameness, which may range from partial to complete non-weight-bearing in one or in both of the hind legs
- Loss of range of motion in one or both of the hind legs
- Abnormal movement of one or both of the hind legs
- Pain when moving (or when the bad leg is manipulated manually)
- Difficulty standing up
- Reluctant to run or jump
- Swelling at or around the knee
Four Different Grades
- Grade one: the kneecap pops out but pops right back in on its own.
- Grade two: the dog has less stable knees. The kneecap that pops out of place and doesn’t always pop back in automatically, sometimes requiring manual manipulation to re-set it.
- Grade three: the kneecap sits outside its groove most of the time, but can be manually positioned back in the groove, where it stays only temporarily.
- Grade four: This is the worst-case scenario, in which the kneecap sits outside the groove all the time, and won’t stay seated in the groove when it is manually popped into place.
Unfortunately, surgery is usually recommended to fix this problem. Especially, as the problem progresses past the first grade. The knee dislocating can cause a lot of damage if it is a persistent problem. There are some other things that you can try to help your pet with the discomfort.
- If your dog is overweight; putting him/her on a better diet to lose weight
- Regular exercise will help keep the muscle in the legs in shape, the stronger the back legs are the less likely the knee will dislocate
- Oral joint supplement in the form of glucosamine can help; this is also good for arthritis which can also go along with patella luxation
- You can also can get pain medication from your veterinarian
- Some dog food are made for certain health problems or certain breeds of dogs. This might help maintain your dog’s health as well.
Wrapping It Up
This is a health problem no one wants their dog to get. II hope I have given you enough information, so if you dog starts showing signs of patella luxation you can take precaution and seek medical attention for the best options for your pet.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.