Massage Therapy provides the following benefits for dogs suffering from Luxating Patella;
Strengthens muscle increasing tone thus supporting the Patella joint
Enables mobility and exercise
Encourages weight bearing across all limbs
Reduces areas of overcompensation
Signs and Symptoms of Luxating patella are highly dependent upon the severity of the condition but may include;
Unusual gait particularly hop hop skip in the hind limbs
Stopping suddenly and yelping with the affected hind limb being extended rearward
Crouching or appearing bow legged
In severe cases the dog may attempt to walk solely on its front legs appearing unable to weight bear on the hind limbs
Want to know more;
Luxating patella, slipping knee or trick knee is a condition whereby the patella or knee dislocates or moves away from its normal position. The patella is usually situated within a groove called the trochlea located at the lower end of the femur, when the patella is able to luxate out of the position it causes the leg to lock and remain off the ground.
It is fairly common condition within smaller breeds of dogs with an extensive list of breeds that are predisposed to the condition; Breeds such as the Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Chihuahua and Papillon although it can occur in larger breeds with Labrador Retrievers being higher risk.
There is no definite single cause of Luxating patella however there may be a genetic link with malformation of the trochlea being inherited or damage during occurring during the growth phase. Luxating patella can also become a problem following an accident/injury or as the result of obesity.
There are 4 grades of laxating patella;
Grade 1 – Where the patella can be moved manually but will go back into its correct position when let go.
Grade 2 – The patella can be moved manually bit does not return back to normal position when let go.
Grade 3 – The patella is in the incorrect place all of the time but can be moved manually back into correct position, although it will not remain there.
Grade 4 – The patella is out of the place all of the time and cannot be moved into correct positioning manually.
Arthritis is often a secondary condition which occurs within the joint due to the constant damage occurring to the cartilage.