Luxating Patellas are another common thing found in toy breeds. This condition could be hereditary or can be caused by injury to the dog from a fall or jumping off of something. This is a condition of the knee that can be very painful to the dog to the point of crippling to as minor as the dog occasionally running on 3 legs and shaking the knee back into place. Either way your vet should make a determination of the severity of the case. There are many articles that you can read on luxating patellas.

There isn't a breeder out there that hasn't heard, "the puppy jumped off the couch" and started limping. This is the least of the potential problems. Many dogs break their legs when they jump from such a height. You have to remember that this is a puppy and it is still growing and any trauma to its bones can be devastating to the puppy. You wouldn't let your 3 month old child jump off the bed, and the same goes for the puppy. Let your dog grow up and have the cartilage develop properly to prevent any future problems in its growth. Injury is the number one reason most dogs end up with problems in their legs. There is no reason that your adult dog can't jump off the couch but remember it is not injury proof either. You can step off a 4 inch step and break your leg so use common sense if your couch or bed are extremely high, make a way the dog can get up and down easily. Any fall the dog takes should be looked at immediately. Not only do you want to make sure it hasn't broken anything , the sooner you treat it for injury the less chance there is for perpetual problems. Any puppy falling off of your furniture or deck has potential for head injury as well so don't delay in having your puppy checked out by your vet.


The patella is better known as the kneecap, which normally slides up and down in front of the actual knee joint as the leg moves.

A luxating patella might be translated into everyday speech as a dislocating kneecap. The kneecap in question is the cap on the knee of the back legs. Luxation may be caused by injury, but evidence suggest that the condition is genetic. The ligaments around the patella may be weak, allowing excess motion. When the cap dislocates, it will move toward the body, and may lock the leg, making it almost impossible for the dog to walk on. Severity of a luxating patella varies, ranging from and occasional slippage to a permanently dislocated cap. Minor cases may be treated with diet and exercise, but the case must be mild for this to be effective. The only permanent solution to more severe cases of luxating patellas is surgical. There is more than one type of surgery available to treat this condition. You should consult with your veterinarian to determine what is best for your Yorkshire Terrier.

Making sure that your dog does not get overweight is a good preventative step to avoid luxating patellas. The less weight that you Yorkie has to carry, the less strain there is on his kneecaps.

If your dog should be diagnosed with luxating patella, you should contact the breeder from whom you received your puppy. Responsible breeders will want to know in order to attempt to remove the genetic tendency form future litters.


Many toy dogs live their whole lives with luxating patellas and never have a problem. A "luxating patella" would be best described as a "trick knee" which can move out of place if injured by jumping or walking on uneven ground.



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