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DrRalston, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2205
Experience:  Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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We are looking at a rescue dog that had luxated patella surgery

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We are looking at a rescue dog that had luxated patella surgery a few years ago with no complications now. The other leg is symptom free. The question is should the dog avoid stairs as in a two story house or would this aggravate this condition and should be avoided? Thanks
Hello, I'm Dr Ralston.

Luxating patella is typically a congenital problem. So, what that means is that the dog is born with the problem and it just gets worse as they get older.

Luxating patella is basically looseness in the patella caused by a combination of weak ligaments, shallow patella groove where the knee cap should be, and conformation problems. The more "bowed out" the knees are to begin with, the worse the problem.

However, by 5 years old Snow should be showing signs of luxating patella if it is there. It sounds like from what you have described that is not the case! That is good news.

This dog should not have to avoid stairs and it shouldn't aggravate the surgery that was done to the luxating patella.

The only concern you will have for this dog will be weight control. When these pets are obese it puts further strain on the knee and can lead to a tear in the ligament. This would be true for either knee and not just the luxating patella knee that had surgery.

There will be an increased risk of arthritis in the surgery knee versus a regular knee. At the same time, there would have been an even greater risk if the surgery hadn't been done. Again, mild exercise and even stair climbing will be good to prevent the pain from arthritis and help control weight issues.

So, no, stairs aren't a problem. In fact it might help with weight. That should be your concentration going forward.

JD food is a good choice! I like that diet a lot.

Hope that helps, please let me know if there are any questions about this ok?

Congratulations on your new pet!
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