Content Reviewed by an Essentials PetCare Veterinarian

Understanding Luxating Patella in Dogs 

Luxating patella is a common condition among small and toy breed dogs in which the patella, or kneecap, can pop out of the groove it normally sits in over the knee and move temporarily to the inside of the knee joint. This typically results in the patient holding the leg up or “skipping” on the limb until the patella pops back into place. 

In most cases, this condition is congenital meaning that it has been present since birth. In other cases, this condition can be caused by some type of trauma or injury to the leg. Luxating patella ranges in severity from an occasional, brief skip/limp with no signs of pain or discomfort, to constant limping and ongoing pain. In almost all cases, arthritis will form in the affected joint sooner than it ordinarily would if there were no patellar luxation present. 

Treatment for luxating patella is based on severity. Mild cases that only show intermittent signs typically do not require any treatment. More serious cases may require anti-inflammatory drugs during times of moderate to severe discomfort. Surgical repair is recommended for cases in which there are frequent or constant clinical signs causing discomfort and pain to the patient.  

In all cases, joint supplements, such as Cosequin or Dasuquin, can be used to help decrease inflammation in the joint and delay the onset of arthritis. 

For more detailed information about medial luxating patella: 

Medial Luxating Patella in Dogs