Yorkiepoo Patellar Luxation – Overview
A Yorkiepoo is a mixed-breed dog, having a cross between a Yorkshire terrier and a toy poodle. Yorkiepoos are friendly, people-oriented, small dogs that are also easy to train. These dogs are the best of all worlds: a miniature version of a full-sized dog with a sweet disposition.
Yorkiepoo Patellar Luxation Explained
The patella, or “kneecap,” is generally found in a groove immediately above the stifle on the end of the femur (thigh bone). “Out of position” or “dislocated” best describes the term ‘luxating.’ In simple words, a luxating patella is a kneecap that shifts out of place. There are several types of Patellar Luxation.
A traumatic injury causes patellar luxation to the knee. Extreme lameness can occur instantly in this situation.
The most prevalent type of patellar luxation is medial luxation. It occurs when the kneecap rubs on the inside of the knee.
Medial luxation is a hereditary condition. Yorkiepoos may be born with anatomical defects that allow them to luxate throughout time. It’s more common in puppies and young dogs.
According to one study, 82 percent of dogs with luxating patellas had them from birth. Small dogs made up 98 percent of the dogs with medial luxation, and half of the dogs with medial luxation had it in both legs.
Large dogs are more prone to lateral luxation than tiny canines. It occurs when the kneecap rubs against the outside of the knee.
In tiny breeds, lateral luxation is frequently caused by a breakdown in soft tissue rather than skeletal problems. In large breeds, lateral luxation is commonly caused by additional issues such as hip dysplasia, resulting in improper femur rotation. The patellar mechanism is harmed as a result of this. Trauma or overexertion can both produce lateral luxation.
In dogs, medial patellar luxation is far more common than lateral patellar luxation independent of the Yorkepoos age or size. Medial luxation affects 83 percent to 95 percent, whereas lateral luxation affects large and giant dogs more than smaller dogs.
Causes of Patellar Luxation in Yorkiepoos
Patellar luxation is most commonly caused by a congenital deformity of the femur’s (thigh bone) end. However, it can also be caused by a traumatic injury to the knee, resulting in acute non-weight-bearing lameness. It can also arise due to cranial cruciate insufficiency in a dog breed with a long lameness history.
In dogs with non-traumatic patellar luxation, the femoral groove into which the knee cap ordinarily rides is often shallow or nonexistent. The hypothesis of patellar luxation occurring from a congenital or developmental misalignment of the limb is supported by early detection of bilateral illness in the absence of trauma and breed predisposition.
The disease is mainly caused by genetics, mainly amongst the Yorkiepoos of parents with bow-leggedness. In such circumstances, a Yorkie poo puppy is born with normal knees, but the bones and muscles of the hind limbs begin to develop defects early in life.
The knee joint medial (inside) aspect is the specific direction of improper patella movement. When the powerful quadriceps mechanism begins to move in this direction, it functions like a bowstring, causing the thigh (femur) and shin (tibia) bones to deform into an outwards bow. At this point, the groove that usually houses the patella fails to develop correctly, and the limb abnormalities become self-perpetuating.
How Patellar Luxation Can Affect Your Yorkiepoo
A hole is formed when the patella moves in and out of the groove. This condition can happen because of how the patella moves. It leads to pain for your Yorkie poo breed and starts a chain reaction of osteoarthritis that gets worse over time. Also, the abnormal pull of the quadriceps causes the tibia to rotate inside of the femur, which can put pressure on other parts of the knee, like the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL).
When the kneecap slips, it stops the knee from bending, causes a limp, and rubs against the bone as it slips. There are four kinds of Patellar luxation.
Grade I: When your Yorkiepoo applies pressure to the knee, the kneecap moves out of place. When they let go of the force, the kneecap moves back into place right away. Grade I is usually found by accident during a vet’s examination and doesn’t usually cause symptoms.
Grade II: The kneecap moves quickly with manual pressure and stays there until it’s manually moved back into place. Lameness usually happens when the patella moves out of its normal position. Also, it can be painful if there is damage to the cartilage caused by luxation.
Grade III: The kneecap is usually disjointed, but it can be put back together with manual pressure. When this pressure is removed, the patella starts to move independently. Yorkiepoos at this grade may have their limbs changed or their cartilage damaged by luxating over and over again. This can cause more pain and lameness.
Grade IV: The kneecap is permanently out of place and can’t be put back in place. Lameness can happen if there are significant changes to the structure of the limbs.
Exactly How Severe Can This Health Condition Get
Yorkiepoos don’t always hurt when their patella moves. But, as a rule, Grade I luxation of the patella doesn’t hurt. So, if you take care of your dog’s Grade I condition with dog food and exercise, it may not get any worse.
If it worsens, it can be excruciating for your Yorkiepoo because the knee cap may dislocate more frequently out of its groove over time, degrading cartilage and eventually exposing bone, resulting in arthritis and pain. Other components in the knee may become more stretched, putting the cranial cruciate ligament at risk of rupture. The abnormal position of the patella in puppies might result in significant leg deformities.
While your Yorkiepoo may be able to put up with the discomfort, we don’t want our dogs to suffer needlessly. It’s recommended to take your dog to the vet for an examination if you observe your dog limping or avoiding using one limb. If you ignore a luxating patella, you risk him developing more significant problems like muscle rips, ligament strains, and needless inflammation. Exercising can trigger minor or occasional flare-ups of the luxating patella, requiring surgery. Mild cases may be left untreated at the discretion of a veterinarian as long as the dog does not suffer undue pain.
Life Expectancy of a Yorkiepoo With Patellar Luxation
Fortunately, the average life expectancy of this mixed breed (10-15 years) is not affected by this health condition.
Signs That Your Yorkiepoo Might Have Patellar Luxation
When your Yorkipoo puppy is standing, peek at him from the rear. Is he inclined to bow-legged posture? If yes, this could mean your Yorkiepoo is at risk of developing patellar luxation. If your Yorkie Poo develops patellar luxation, he could show the following signs.
Skipping is the most prevalent sign of patellar luxation in Yorkiepoos. Your Yorkiepoo may hop along for a few paces, then return to its average walking pace. As the kneecap jumps out of position, you may even hear a snapping sound.
Awkward Sitting and Walking
Also, you might see your dog sitting with his knee pointing outward. Your dog may walk awkwardly if he has luxating patellas in both knees. You could see that his knees aren’t fully extended. Sometimes, a dog’s kneecap will come out of its groove when kicked to the side.
Your dog will likely limp by placing pressure on the leg with the luxating patella, since they are in pain. In addition, dogs tend to become overexcited, which might lead to them neglecting their painful limb, causing them to cringe in discomfort.
When their joints hurt, even the word “walk” may not attract a dog in agony to get any exercise at all. Instead, your dog’s sluggishness and unwillingness to engage in physical activity may be due to a luxating patella.
Licking Too Much
When dogs are in pain, it is common for them to lick their wounds to heal them and alleviate their discomfort. If your dog is licking excessively at a kneecap, they are likely in pain.
Pain in the Neck and Back
As the dog’s knee problems worsen, they will use the other leg more and not use the one that hurts. This means they will overuse the leg that isn’t hurting as much when they run or jump. Muscle strains happen because they carry their weight unbalanced and cause pain in the body.
As soon as the symptoms of luxating patella begin, some puppies have aberrant hind-leg movements when they walk. Grade III and IV cases are more common for these cases.
Aberrant gaits in Yorkiepoos with Patellar Luxation can be found at all ages, from puppies to adults. In some cases, Grade II or III luxation is common in Yorkiepoos.
Older dogs may suddenly display signs of lameness due to deterioration of the tissues in their bodies. Injuries or deteriorating joint conditions may also cause luxation; this mainly occurs in Grade I and Grade II luxation.
Sometimes, patellar luxation is found during a regular physical exam. In adult dogs, non-surgical treatment may be the best way to deal with this. However, in young animals, surgery may be the best way to keep their limbs from becoming very deformed.
The diagnosis of patellar luxation is mainly made by feeling for an unstable knee cap on an orthopedic exam. However, other tests may be needed to determine other conditions that can cause your pet’s patellar luxation and help your veterinary surgeon choose the best treatment for your pet. These could be:
X-rays of the pelvis, knee, and tibias to check the shape of the bones in the rear leg and look for hip dysplasia. A three-dimensional computed tomography (CT or CAT Scan) to show the skeletal features of the entire back legs. This advanced imaging method helps the veterinarian plan surgery in cases where the shape of the femur or tibia needs to be changed. Moreover, before anesthesia, blood and urine tests are done.
If your Yorkiepoo has a Grade III or IV patellar luxation, your vet will recommend surgery. Only dogs with significant clinical signs should have surgery for Grade II medial patellar luxation. No one should have surgery for a Grade I.
If your Yorkiepoo’s Patellar luxation is severe, the only way to fix it is to have surgery. However, You can help your dog’s knee health by giving him joint supplements. You should do what you can to help your dog’s knees, even if they only have a Grade I patella luxation. Joint supplements can help the cartilage stay healthy and reduce inflammation in the joints.
The use of glucosamine and chondroitin can considerably benefit a Yorkiepoo with luxating patella, preventing the onset of osteoarthritis and any discomfort that may follow by maintaining bone and joint health and promoting cartilage growth in the kneecaps by supporting the formulation of collagen.
Even if your Yorkiepoo only has a Grade I patella luxation, it’s still a good idea to do what you can to help their knees stay strong.
Depending on how bad the patella luxation is, your veterinarian may recommend that surgery be done to keep the patella in its correct place. There are a lot of different surgical procedures that can be used to do this, and the best one will depend on the specifics of the dog’s case. For example, surgery will be needed to fix a dog’s patella luxation if the dog is in pain, developed the luxation because of knee trauma, or can’t walk well.
Usually, pain and anti-inflammatory drugs, weight loss, and exercise restrictions treat Grade I and Grade II cases. In this case, physical rehabilitation therapy may also help. It can help your dog build muscle strength and get back to normal. If a dog with Grade II patella luxation is in a lot of pain and has a lot of lameness, surgery could help them live better lives.
Surgical treatment is recommended for dogs with an intermittent or long-term limp because of the patellar luxation. There are many ways to do surgery, but the main goal is to get the quadriceps muscle back in the right place with the rest of the limb. This necessitates bone contouring and soft tissue regeneration. This means bones need to be reshaped, and soft tissues need to be rebuilt.
Tibial Tuberosity Transposition
The most important part of the repair is to move the tendon that goes from the patella (kneecap) to the tibia (bone in the leg) (shin bone). The surgeon cuts the bone this tendon is attached to and moves it to another spot. Bones heal much faster than tendons. Over the next 4-8 weeks, the bone heals slowly. A wire is sometimes added to the pins so that the quadriceps muscle pull is effectively balanced by wire anchored to the bone in the other direction.
Femoral Varus Osteotomy
During surgery on some dogs with a very bent femur (thigh bone), the femur is straightened. In some cases, this is done by taking out a wedge of bone (sometimes in three dimensions). Then, the bone is fixed with a plate and screws. Femoral varus osteotomy is most commonly done on bigger dogs and dogs with more severe patellar luxation, but it is also done on smaller dogs.
When the patella’s groove which it typically moves in is very minimal, surgery is done to make it bigger. As part of this procedure, doctors cut out a wedge or block of cartilage and bone and then put it back in place. Sometimes, when the groove needs to be deeper, a block-shaped deepening may be better than a wedge.
How to Care For and Treat Your Yorkiepoo for Patellar Luxation
Your Yorkiepoo may need to wear a soft bandage or brace for three to five days and be restricted in their activity for four to eight weeks following surgery to allow the wound to heal correctly. The only time your Yorkiepoo should be allowed leash walks is to relieve themselves, and they may need to be crated or restricted to one room for the duration of their recovery. Physical therapy may help some dogs return to normal function sooner by reducing the loss of muscle mass on the damaged limb.
How to Help Your Yorkiepoo Live a Fulfilling Life with Patellar Luxation
It turns out that over 90% of dog owners are happy with the way their dog is doing after surgery. Also, fortunately, often dogs with this disease don’t even require surgery to return to their usual, active lifestyles. There are various ways you can help your Yorkie poo live a fulfilling life with Patellar Luxation. You have to give your Yorkiepoo relaxation, rest, and physical therapy. If your Yorkiepoo needs surgery to get their range of motion back, they aren’t likely to be out of action for a long time, if at all. They should be able to play again and live happily in a few months after surgery.