Patellar luxation is a problem commonly seen in dogs and occasionally seen in cats. The patella (a.k.a. knee cap) is a “floating” bone associated with the knee or stifle joint. Patellar luxation most commonly occurs in small breed dogs such as poodles, pomeranians and chihuahuas, but can also occur in larger breeds. Most patellar luxations involve displacement of the patella to the inside of the knee, which is referred to as a medial patellar luxation (MPL). Patellar luxations can also be to the outside or lateral (LPL) – although this is much less common. Medial patellar luxations are associated with a “bow-legged” confirmation while lateral patellar luxations are associated with a “knock-kneed” posture.
Intervertebral disc disease is a problem associated with the spine and is the most common neurologic problem in dogs. Dogs generally present to the veterinarian because of difficultywalking. Herniation of an intervertebral disc is a very serious problem with potential permanent consequences. It is therefore important to follow the advice provided by your veterinarian after a definitive or suspected diagnosis of intervertebral disc disease has been made.
Rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is a common problem and is the most common cause of a rear leg lameness in dogs. The cranial cruciate ligament in dogs is comparable to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that is commonly injured in human athletes. Injury to this ligament in people is typically associated with some type of extreme trauma. In dogs, however, the ligament most typically ruptures during normal activities without any abnormal stress on the knee.