Hello and welcome to Tipsey.
Such a dear little chihuahua with a heart of gold.
Sadly these little dogs are very prone to luxating patella. This is where the knee caps pops out of place frequently. This can lead to arthritis and can become quite painful. It often seems a pain free ailment to begin with but there is discomfort and this lead to the common hop or skip we do see often in small dogs. The skip is when they are popping thier knee back into position.
Physiotherapy for these cases is quite intence and requires dedication from the owners. We aim at rebuilding muscle. Most specifically the muscle at the front of the leg. This tightens everything up.
Difficulty in the results occurs when there are further issues in the conformation of the dogs limb. The grove being too shallow to house the patella makes it harder to rehabilliate. Also, when the angles of the femur bone are not ideal, this also makes it very hard to get a good result.
Luxating patella are graded by the vet in 1 to 4. Grade 1 and 2 can often have a conservative management. This means physio will work well. Grade 3 and 4 are more difficult and require surgery to correct them.
Even if you have surgery, its ideal to start a rehab plan on recovery as increasing muscle as quickly as possible, will increase the chance of successful recovery.
Concidering this is such a common problem, its incredibly complicated.
If this is an ailment worrying you, contact your local physio or vet to discuss your options. A vet can diagnose it fairly easily and then you can make a plan.
Tipsey is doing really well and nearly finished her rehab. Well done mum and Tipsey! Keep up the good work!