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My dog’s “knee” pops out about 10 times a day. Can this be fixed?


My dog’s right knee pops out at least 10 times a day, and I believe this is called a luxating patella. I took her to the vet and they just gave her anti-inflammatories for the pain and said to take it easy. However, recently, she looks in horrible pain with both legs and walks awkwardly. Should she have surgery?


Thank you for your question. You have indicated that your 10-month-old dog (breed not stated) has what we call a luxating patella, or a dislocating kneecap. You indicated that this is happening about 10 times per day. If it is happening that often, it is most likely a severe enough problem that surgical correction is indicated. These surgeries are generally very successful in restoring good function for dogs and can be performed on one or both legs.

I cannot tell you based on this history if there are other concurrent conditions in the knees or hips you should be concerned about, but that should show up during a physical examination and from X-rays of the legs. I would suggest talking to your family veterinarian and asking if a referral to a surgical specialist is indicated for help with your dog’s problem. In addition, this article on patella luxation might answer more of your questions.

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