Health & Medical

Ask a Vet: Does My Dog with Patellar Luxation Need Surgery?

When Does My Need Patellar Luxation Surgery | Vanillapup

Patellar luxation (dislocated kneecap) is a common condition, especially in small breed dogs. Dr. Loon from Amber Vet tells us when surgery may be needed.

Q. My dog has luxating patella. How do I tell when she needs surgery?

Patellar luxation (dislocated or floating kneecap) is a common condition, especially in small breed dogs. It is a result of anatomic bone deformities.

A decision on whether to perform surgery for patellar luxation depends on the following factors:

  • Clinical signs
  • Age
  • Severity of luxation
  • Presence of any other bone deformities

Surgery may generally be recommended for dogs with:

  • a chronic lameness of more than two to three weeks
  • multiple episodes of lameness, or
  • severe luxation (Grade 3-4 out of 4)

Your trusted vet should assess your dog’s knee and bones and discuss with you whether surgery is a good option for your dog.

You may also consult a veterinary orthopaedic surgeon if you are contemplating surgery.

Also read: Our experience with luxating patella surgery.


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Dr. Brian Loon
Principal Veterinary Surgeon at Amber Vet
BSc. BVMS (Hons) (Murdoch), Certificate Veterinary Acupuncture (IVAS)

Dr. Brian Loon graduated from Murdoch University, Western Australia in 2007 and has since been practising as a small animal veterinarian in Singapore. His areas of special interest include diagnostic ultrasonography, endoscopy, and minimally invasive (keyhole) surgery (laparoscopy).

He is also certified in Veterinary Acupuncture with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) and a certified and registered member of PennHIP, an internationally known modality for diagnosing hip dysplasia in cats and dogs.
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