Pepper's problematic knee cap

Meet Pepper the Cavoodle who will be celebrating her 3rd birthday on September 28. Pepper had been showing some intermittent right hind leg lameness over the last month or so. Being knocked over by a friend's Red Heeler didn't help the situation and she presented at our clinic early this month with a very sore leg.

A thorough physical examination followed by x-rays of Pepper's right knee revealed the problem: a knee cap that was not staying in position. The correct term for this is luxating patella. This is not an uncommon condition in small dogs and is usually characterised by intermittent hind leg lameness. One minute they seem fine, the next they're holding up the leg. Sometimes you'll even feel a "click" in the affected knee. This is because the patella (or knee cap) is clicking in and out of position. Over time, osteoarthritis usually develops.

After her pre-anaesthetic blood tests came back clear, Pepper was admitted to hospital to undergo repair of her medial luxating patella. This was a 3-step process involving deepening of the groove the patella normally sits in, realignment of the tendons and tightening of the knee joint capsule.

Pepper is doing well post-operatively, and can look forward to an arthritis-free knee!