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Most Common Issue: Patellar Luxation aka. Kneecap Dislocation in Dogs

Dog Allergic BronchitisKneecap dislocation (Patellar Luxation) is one of the most commonly diagnosed medical issues in dogs. Once the kneecap is dislocated it can only be returned to its normal position after the quadricep muscle in the hind leg relaxes and lengthens. If your dog dislocates his kneecap he will hold up his hind leg for a few minutes, trying to encourage the quad to relax.

This condition is really common in toy and miniature dog breed and female dogs are 1 1/2 times more likely to get it.


Thankfully this condition does not really hurt after it has happened. The only time it hurts is the moment of dislocation. Most often your dog will hold up their hind leg, or start limping and show lameness in that leg. If your dog has degenerative arthritis it can worsen patellar luxation.

This condition is usually genetic but can also be caused by injury. If it is genetic you will typically start to see it by the time they are 4 months old.

To diagnose this your veterinarian will do a series of x-rays. They may take a fluid sample from the joint to analyze the lubricating fluid in the joint.


Most kneecap dislocation treatment is not very effective. Surgery is the preferred choice in severe cases. You should speak to your veterinarian about whether surgery is an option for your dog.


Unfortunately there is is no real prevention method. Talk to your vet about ways to help decrease instances of dislocation such as restricting certain activities.

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2510 Main St. NE #1 Los Lunas, NM Phone: (505) 865-0662

Veterinarian Clinic Website: www.loslunasvetco.com


The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.