This is a very common condition in small breeds of dog (such as Jack Russel Terriers, Yorkshire terriers and Pugs), but it also may present in larger dogs.
The patella (knee cap) sits in a trough and ideally remains in this trough, gliding up and down as the stifle (knee) moves.
In this condition the patella can slip out of its groove and get stuck down the side of the knee. This can cause an intermittent lameness until the patient feels the patella move back into the groove, as well as general pain due to cartilage being lost over time.
Patients often have a ‘bow’ leg that makes the problem worse. Treatment involves making the groove deeper and cutting and pinning a wedge of bone in a different place to remove the ‘bow’.
This treatment is highly successful generally and most patients make a full recovery and don’t experience the problem again after the surgery.
Patients must be rested for 6 to 8 weeks after this operation and have only limited lead walks, whilst following a physiotherapy plan provided by the practice.