Dogs with luxating patella can be seen running at full speed and suddenly stopping and starting to skip on one of their hind limbs. The movement is a result of the dislocation of the kneecap or patella.
The condition is extremely common among miniature and toy breeds, like Chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers, and Pomeranians. The femur of these dogs has very shallow grooves that supports the kneecap, thus it can easily “float” and become dislocated. Both knees can be affected but the problem tends to be more severe on one knee. The symptoms can range from a minor discomfort to debilitating, which will require surgical correction.
Dislocation of the kneecap can occur several times a day, and most take place when the dog engages in physical activity. The dog soon learns that sharply kicking the leg back usually returns the knee to the proper position. The dog holds the leg up for several minutes so the muscles supporting the patella will relax, allowing the patella to return to its proper position.
Your Folsom, CA veterinarian can explain to you further about luxating patella or other health conditions that your dog is suffering from.