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In this case, pain is usually involved and lameness is more constant and severe.
Occasionally, a luxating patella can lead to a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament.
The patella in dogs is shaped like an almond and its purpose is to assist in knee extension.
The patella resides in the tendon of the quadriceps muscle group which attaches to the bone below the femur, the tibia.
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When this muscle group contracts, it pulls on the tendon and the knee cap, thereby extending the stifle.
A radiograph of the stifles can be performed to see if there is osteoarthritis present or any sign of cranial cruciate ligament damage.
Large breed dogs prone to this condition include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Akitas, Malamutes, Boxers, Huskies and St. Apart from breed predilection, if a dog has poor conformation, such as no angulation in the hock, then this can also cause luxating patellae. The initial symptoms include occasional limping, an intermittent skip in the gait, sudden loss of support on the limb, abnormal sitting posture with the knee placed outward; all of which are usually intermittent.
Sometimes, chronic cases can lead to erosion of the cartilage on the femur from the constant friction, and eventually, to osteoarthritis.
The literature states that at least 15% to 20% of dogs with patellar luxation will eventually rupture their cranial cruciate ligament.
Two main reasons why this scenario may follow are: A luxating patella is usually diagnosed by feel and is assigned a grade based on the severity of the condition.
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