Luxated patella

Dislocated kneecap

A luxating patella happens when the kneecap slips off of the groove where it belongs, causing a variety of symptoms in pets. Signs may include:

  • Limping or skipping on one or both back legs
  • Difficulty or reluctance to bear weight on the affected leg(s)
  • Intermittent or persistent lameness
  • Favoring one leg while standing or walking
  • Swelling or thickening around the knee joint

Other health conditions may share similar symptoms with luxated patella, including Arthritis, Cruciate Tear, or Hip Dysplasia.

If you notice any of these signs or have concerns about your pet's health, it's essential to consult with your veterinarian. Early detection and intervention can improve the chances of successful management and prevent complications.

When you visit your veterinarian for concerns related to luxated patella(s), the following may occur:

  • Medical History: They will take a detailed medical history, including any signs and their duration.
  • Physical examination: The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet, focusing on the affected leg and knee joint. They will check for any abnormalities, range of motion, and signs of pain.
  • Diagnostic testing: Diagnostic testing such as X-rays may be recommended to evaluate the position of the patella and assess any underlying joint abnormalities or damage.
  • Treatment options: Treatment options for luxated patella can vary depending on the severity and its impact on your pet's quality of life. It may involve conservative management, such as rest, pain management, weight management, and physical therapy or exercises to improve mobility and strength. In some cases, surgical intervention to correct the position of the kneecap and repair supporting structures may be recommended.
  • Follow-up care: Your veterinarian will discuss a follow-up plan, which may involve regular monitoring of your pet's condition, additional tests, or adjustments to the treatment regimen.

Your veterinary healthcare team will partner with you to decide which treatment option is best for your pet's and your family’s specific condition and situation.

While it’s not possible to prevent luxating patellas, there are things you can do at home to help support your pet's joint health to reduce the severity and discomfort your pet feels:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can put strain on the joints, so keeping your pet at a healthy weight can reduce the risk of joint problems.
  • Provide regular exercise: Regular exercise helps keep your pet's muscles strong and supports joint health. However, avoid activities that involve excessive jumping or twisting.
  • Avoid slippery surfaces: Provide traction on slippery surfaces to prevent your pet from slipping and potentially injuring their joints.
  • Supportive supplements: In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend specific joint-supportive supplements to promote joint health. Consult with your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your pet's diet.

Consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance on managing luxated patella(s) in your pet. They can provide tailored recommendations based on your pet's specific needs and medical history.

Please note that the information provided here is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If you suspect your pet has a luxated patella or any other health concerns, consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$830

You pay only

$83

Luxated patella

You save

$747

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$830

You pay only

$83

Luxated patella

You save

$747

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$830

You pay only

$83

Luxated patella

You save

$747

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.