Patella Luxation In Pomeranians & Small Dogs

This article hits a little closer to home for us than other topics we have discussed. We have a Pomeranian and his patella is luxating. What does this mean in simple terms? The patella is the kneecap and luxation means dislocating. So this means our Pomeranian’s kneecap is dislocating. This can be very painful, as you can imagine, which is a very sad thing for us to witness. It’s never easy seeing someone you love experience pain.

You may not have a Pomeranian, but you may have a small dog, similar to the size of a Pomeranian. Small dogs can suffer from patella luxation as often as big dogs. Some may think that only large dogs are prone to getting patella luxation because of their size and weight but small dogs are actually more likely to suffer from it. Trauma can cause the luxation but it can also be genetic.

Our Pomeranian is about 12 pounds and he is 11 years old. Once in a while, over the years, he would jump down from the couch and yelp. It wasn’t a constant yelp and he wouldn’t have any other symptoms after his initial yelp. We would check him out, see if everything looked and felt okay and everything always seemed fine. Recently our Pomeranian’s hind right leg has been shaking when he is standing still. He plays on it fine, without any pain. He lays down just fine and he still jumps up and down from the couch without a problem. He walks a little bit with his hind leg turned, favoring his discomfort, we are sure. Now we are concerned that his condition has worsened.

Patella Luxation - Pomeranians & Small Dogs

The problem with Pomeranian’s, and other small dogs, is that they are so small that they often don’t show any obvious or concerning symptoms of issues like patella luxation until it is too late. Our instagram friend, LuccathePom has had two surgeries on his patella. The first one didn’t work, so he just had his second surgery last week. When he went to the doctor, after limping one day, they discovered he already had stage 4 patella luxation. Vets are able to diagnose patella luxation by taking xrays.




According to wagnwoofpets.com, there are 4 stages of patella luxation.

  • Stage 1 – the kneecap can be manually moved out but easily slips back into place.
  • Stage 2 – the kneecap pops out on its own, but can be manually popped back in.
  • Stage 3 – the kneecap is out most of the time but can still be put back in.
  • Stage 4 – the kneecap is stuck outside, causing the dog to be most likely unable to use their leg at all.

By bringing our Pomeranian to the vet, we will be able to get an xray and see the severity of his condition. Unfortunately, without surgery, a luxating patella cannot be fixed. But if you are aware of the problem, you can limit activity that will make the condition worse and give your dog supplements that will help with joint care. The kneecap is considered to be an integral part of the knee joint. If you suspect that your dog my be experiencing any sort of pain or discomfort, even it is occasional, please consider bringing your dog to the vet. Knowledge is empowering, and the sooner you know the condition of your pet’s health, the sooner you will be able to treat or prevent their diagnosis.

Dog Lover Store
August 3rd, 2017

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