Although surgery is invasive, it is often the only way to effectively treat many types of injuries and disorders. When performed with unparalleled precision, a surgical procedure can drastically improve the quality of a pet’s life and help him or her maintain a healthy lifestyle for as long as possible.
At the Laveen Veterinary Center, one specific type of orthopedic surgery we offer is patellar luxation corrective surgery. If your pet is currently suffering from a luxating patella, then you should immediately schedule an appointment with an experienced and qualified veterinary orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Evan Ware is the primary orthopedic surgeon on the Laveen Veterinary Center staff. He is one of the best pet orthopedic surgeons in the business and will offer his full assessment of your pet’s injuries after conducting a thorough physical examination.
Over time, a luxating patella can develop into other painful injuries and disorders, including arthritis and a cranial cruciate ligament tear. It is important for you to schedule your appointment with Dr. Evan Ware as quickly as possible. Contact the Laveen Veterinary Center today to take preventative action and get your pet the care he or she deserves.
What Exactly Is Patellar Luxation?
A patellar luxation occurs when your pet’s kneecap slides sideways out of its normal position, becoming dislocated from the joint. Whenever the kneecap is out of place, it makes it difficult for your pet to place weight on the limb. It also damages the cartilage inside the kneecap, causing your pet excruciating pain and eventually triggering the development of arthritis and other painful injuries.
Can Both Dogs and Cats Experience Patellar Luxation?
Patellar luxation is most common in toy and small breed dogs. While bigger dogs and cats can experience patellar luxation, it is much less common. Patellar luxation can develop over the course of a pet’s life or exist at birth. However, it is widely believed that most cases of patellar luxation are genetic. If your pet has a confirmed case of patellar luxation, then you should avoid using them for breeding purposes.
How Can I Tell if My Pet Is Suffering From Patellar Luxation?
Most pets are good at hiding their pain from their owners. You may not even know your pet is suffering from patellar luxation until corrective surgery is required. Even still, it is important for you to remain vigilant and keep a watchful eye on your pet. Here are the most common symptoms you can expect to see if your pet is suffering from patellar luxation.
- Favoring a particular limb
- Shaking of a particular leg
- Keeping one leg off the ground while running
- Kicking one leg to the side while walking or running
- One or both back legs in an awkward position
- Temporary paralysis of one or multiple legs
- Lameness in a particular limb with a sudden recovery
What Are the Different Classifications of Luxating Patella?
Veterinary orthopedic surgeons use a classification system to judge the severity of your pet’s luxating patella. After evaluating your pet’s condition, Dr. Evan Ware will rank the symptoms from one to four with one being the least severe and four being the most severe. The four grades of patellar luxation are the following:
- Grade One: An orthopedic surgeon can manually pop your pet’s kneecap out of place. The kneecap will pop back into place on its own.
- Grade Two: The kneecap can manually luxate out of position on its own. However, it spends the majority of the time in place.
- Grade Three: The kneecap is out of place the majority of the time. An orthopedic surgeon can manually pop it back into place for a short period.
- Grade Four: The kneecap is permanently luxated and cannot be manipulated back into place at all.
How Does a Pet Orthopedic Surgeon Diagnose Patellar Luxation?
After scheduling an appointment with the Laveen Veterinary Center, Dr. Evan Ware will determine whether patellar luxation exists by manually manipulating your pet’s kneecap. Based on the severity of pain and the symptoms you have described, your pet may undergo procedural sedation to ensure a successful diagnosis. Additional X-rays may be necessary to visualize the joint and help with diagnostics and surgical planning.
Is Surgery Required for My Pet’s Luxating Patella?
After diagnosing your pet’s luxating patella, Dr. Evan Ware will determine whether surgery is the preferred method of treatment. There are both surgical and non-surgical methods of treatment for patellar luxation. Non-surgical methods of treatment are typically prescribed for pets that have Grade One or Grade Two patellar luxation. For more severe cases (Grade Three or Grade Four), surgical methods are often your pet’s only option for alleviating pain. The most common surgical procedures for a luxating patella are the following:
- Soft tissue reconstruction surrounding the knee joint
- Deepening the groove in the femur bone
- Securing the kneecap to the outside of the bone
Need More Information About Patellar Luxation Corrective Surgery?
Contact the Laveen Veterinary Center today to schedule an appointment with veterinary orthopedic surgeon Dr. Evan Ware. He will answer your questions, let you know what to expect during your visit and help you make an informed decision about the health and safety of your pet. You can reach us by phone at (602) 559-9600 or by filling out our online contact form. Reach out to us today to book a surgical consultation for your pet. Our compassionate and loving staff will treat your pet with the patience and care that he or she deserves during this incredibly stressful period.