Even though luxated patella is not considered is not a condition that needs to be treated in the emergency room, getting your dog tested for this problem prevents it from becoming worse. Experts recommend that all dogs should be tested for this condition because a slipped kneecap can affect dogs of all breeds and sizes. On the other hand, if you own a small or a toy dog breed, you should have him tested for luxated patella as soon as possible.
Good breeders should know that this condition is hereditary, and therefore, have their dogs tested at around six weeks of age, preferable before sending them to their new homes.
Treatment Preferences For A Slipped Kneecap
Physical tests and the length of time that the dog is showing symptoms such as limping, skipping, and carrying his leg, will determine his diagnosis. To specify the severity of the condition, an X-ray of the thigh bone and the knee will be carried out.
This type of treatment is not required for Grade I, although you should check your dog in case the problem gets worse. For Grades II, III, and IV, surgery can be performed in order to restore the malformation.
An Orthopedic surgeon performs this kind of surgery and it includes correcting the dog’s bone alignment, tightening his joint capsule, and/or deepening the groove where the kneecap rides.
The price for this kind of surgery is around $1,500 – $3,000, depending on the severity of the case.
This is not a dire emergency; however, it is best to consult your vet as soon as possible if your dog is suffering from a slipped kneecap. Your vet will refer you to an orthopedic specialist, if surgery is needed.
If your dog has a condition of Grade II, Grade III, or Grade IV, it is wise to give him the surgery right away before the condition gets worse. Increased damage of the bone and joint may make the outcome of the surgery less successful.
How to Care For Your Dog After The Surgery
Following your dog’s surgery, your vet will recommend medications for your dog’s pain as well as anti-inflammation to be taken for approximately one week. In addition, your dog will need a lot of rest during this time, meaning very minimal activity for at least 1½ weeks.
Your pet should be kept on the leash when outside your house. Make sure that you keep him in a small and comfortable room to avoid jumping, running around, or other types of activities that can add pressure on his knee.
Last but certainly not least, physical therapy will commence around seven days after the surgery. Take your dog on slow walk s for about five minutes. Another suggestion would be to take him swimming. In due time, your dog should be able to handle longer walks on the leash 6 weeks after the surgery and be able to have complete recovery and regular use of his knee around 15 weeks after his surgery.