Welcome to Coco

Coco, luxating patella

Hello and welcome to Coco! She is so sweet!

This little poppet came for physio to rehabilitate her luxating patella.

This is relatively common in these smaller breeds, so it was little surprise to see her referral.

She is very young and that is when you can start to see signs of this knee pathology. The most common sign is a skipping gait. We typically think of a Jack Russell for the skip in the hind. It’s when they pick up the effected limb and have a hop instead of a normal stride. Often it’s then popped back into place and they carry on running as they were. It’s often not painful but it can get worse over time and in the long term we worry about arthritis in the joint.

This one was following a trauma to the body. She slipped in the kitchen, cried out and then got up completely lame. We call this level of lameness 10/10ths lame.

She saw the vet who diagnosed luxating patella and referred her to me.

I have done my assessment and I’m thrilled to say it’s not too bad at all! They can often luxate in your hands as you assess the knee, but this one didn’t! It’s not a nice feeling so I am always glad when one behaves itself!

So I have set mum up with an exercise plan and ice packing regime.

This is a complex disease and it has various reasons why it luxates. The severity and problem with each individual patient will effect how successful physio can be. We are very honest, we can’t fix them all with rehab.

I have asked her to give me 12 weeks (that’s not seeing me every week, as when the plan is more robust and we are sure it’s going well, the sessions will spread out more) and then we will know if Coco can be one of our many patients successfully using Conservative management, or physio, to resolve thier luxating patella.

Surgery is an option, but even the vet wants to try to avoid it in this situation.

Well done mum and Coco! Keep up the good work!

If your dog or cat has been diagnosed with luxating patella, contact us and we can have a chat about a physio plan so that you understand how it all works.