Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dog Health: Luxating Patella

The other day I took my dog, Kara Reiko, a pekingese/shih tzu mix, to the local vet for a wellness check up. She hadn't been to the vet in about a year so I thought it was about time to go. Now, Kara is a very happy, energetic and playful dog even at almost four and a half years old. She loves nothing more than to run after her favorite toy or for me to 'chase' her around the house so I thought for sure this was going to be a quick in and out check up.

Unfortunately, it wasn't. The first thing the vet commented on was that that Kara has what is called luxating patella. According to the vet there are four types of it, with one being the most mild case and four being the most severe. The vet also said that Kara has type IV, the most sever case of it. She even let me feel as she moved Kara's kneecap right out of place and back in again. It was extremely disconcerting especially since I've never noticed any symptoms of it in her, and the other vet that I took her to on Long Island didn't catch it.

She explained to me how I need to keep Kara from jumping on and off the bed and couches and things like that. Which is going to be extremely hard to do considering how often we play by her jumping on and off the couch or the bed, or how at home she jumps off the couch arm rests when she's barking at some squirrel outside.

The part that baffles me the most is the fact that the vet says Kara has type IV, which is the most severe and everything I'm reading online talks about how a dog with type IV would be limping all the time and need to have the kneecap reset by a vet. Except, like I mentioned, Kara runs around all the time and has never shown any signs of limping or any kind of pain at all. If the vet is right then I'm not sure how I missed it because it sounds really serious and I'd hate to thing that this is happening to my poor little dog and I didn't catch the signs. I mean, I spotted a random red mark on the back of her neck that was gone within a few hours, how can I miss limping or running in pain? I don't get it especially because Kara is a faster runner than I am, and if I want to take her outside to run full tilt I have to get on my Razor scooter in order to keep up with her.

I've decided I'm going to call the vet and ask some more questions just to make sure that I understood correctly and I'm not just driving myself crazy for no reason. If anyone out there knows more or has experienced this with their dog I'd really appreciate hearing about it. I know Kara will appreciate it to because as of right now I have the couch and my bed blocked off so she can't jump up on them and I know she's hating it.

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