Help my dog has a patella luxation and heart murmur!

Thursday 3rd April 2014 @ 12:42 PM. (NZST)

Help my dog has a patella luxation and heart murmur!

Thursday 3rd April 2014 @ 12:42 PM. (NZST)

Dr Megan Alderson

Dr Megan Alderson

Dr Megan Alderson - Veterinarian

Q. My little Japanese chin has a first grade luxate patella and heart murmur hes only 4, anything to help him?


Hi there,
 
It would be good to explain both conditions your Japanese Chin has been diagnosed with.


Patella luxation is a common small breed orthopaedic problem of the stifle (or knee). It means the mechanics are slightly geared wrong and the knee cap (patella) slips medially (to the inside) when the leg is stretched and bent.
We grade them 1 to 4-grade, 1 meaning if a vet can push the knee cap off and then it flicks back in again when the leg is extended. The higher the grade, the worse the problem. If caught early ie around 6 months, we may recommend surgery to help correct. If diagnosed later in life we generally advise your dog may have a higher risk of cranial cruciate rupture (the ligament inside the knee tears) if the luxation is not attended to however many dogs will not be lame and will live a long life without further issues with this condition.
 
Regarding a heart murmur, the seriousness of this condition depends on many things as well. If this is a new murmur and heard for the first time at age 4years it may be an issue and we would recommend an echocardiogram to make sure the heart was functioning well and heart muscle was healthy. Many problems in the heart can cause a murmur.
We also grade hear murmurs 1-5, grade 1 being it’s hard to hear with a stethoscope to grade 5 meaning it can almost be heard on the other side of the room. Some pets have heart murmurs all their lives with no actual heart disease but those that develop murmurs should be checked out with further diagnostics.
 
Hope that helps!
Megan


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