Many dogs are susceptible to joint issues, particular hip and knee problems. Pomeranians are in this category, so every Pomeranian owner should be aware of the possibilities, risks, options, and potential outcomes, especially the luxating patella surgery success rate. One of the most common questions that Pomeranian owners have has to do with whether surgery is the only option and what the chances are that joint surgery will truly remedy the problem.
For Pomeranians, the knee is somewhat prone to slippage and rotation. This medical condition is called a luxating patella as the patella (kneecap) moves out its normal location and this results in pain. Pomeranians who have a luxating patella will typically struggle to walk, run, or jump and may need assistance with normal daily activities.
This also means that they cannot play with their owners or other dogs like they normally do without risking further injury or having pain, so it really isn’t something that can go without some kind of treatment. This is why knowing the luxating patella surgery success rate is important.
What You and Your Pomeranian Need to Know
All small breed dogs are considered at-risk dogs when it comes to kneecap and other knee joint problems. It is a condition that often sneaks up since your young Pomeranian may show no signs at all of pain or stiffness until the day the condition manifests itself. With Pomeranians, the best thing to do is to take a balanced view of the risk without becoming so worried that you limit your Pomeranian.
Keep an eye out for any symptoms and have the veterinarian examine the knees as a part of the normal checkup routines. If there are no signs of pain or movement issues, allow your Pomeranian to live a normal life. As all Pomeranian owners know, these dogs are little bundles of joy who love to run and play, so there is no reason to put limitations on the dog if there aren’t signs of trouble yet. At the same time, during walks and playtimes, pay attention if you see a problem that seems to appear momentarily and then go away.
Some of the signs can be very basic. Your Pomeranian is walking or running normally and then you see a little skip or hop that seems off. Your pup may seem hesitant for a few moments but then resume normal activities.
If this happens just once and then totally resolves itself, it may be enough just to watch even closer and then have your vet do a checkup. If your Pomeranian does have a luxating patella, chances are the change in the movement will happen again and it will become more obvious that they’re in temporary pain. This can affect the luxating patella surgery success rate of your Pomeranian.
Often this first little hop is a sign that the Pomeranian has a kneecap that has slipped out of place and they hold their leg up for a moment to relieve the discomfort. The patella may slip right back into place and your happy Pomeranian wants to get going, so he or she does. A more serious sign may happen right away or it may take a while, but if you see a pause and your Pomeranian gives a yelp or cry, it’s definitely time for a checkup.
Diagnosis of a Luxating Patella
Your vet will examine your Pomeranian and watch them move. The kneecap sits on your Pomeranian’s leg just like your kneecap sits on yours. The kneecap helps keep the muscles of the thigh moving smoothly and the patellar ridges keep the kneecap sliding so that this all works correctly in a mechanically sound knee joint. Small dogs like Pomeranians often have a very flat patella ridge.
The kneecap can easily pop to the inside or outside. In many dogs, it will slip back into place by itself the first time this happens. If your Pomeranian is diagnosed with a luxating patella, you will probably be told how severe the issue is. Usually, a doctor can assign a grade which ranges from Grade 1 for a mild condition that continually self-resolves and goes up to Grade 4 for a patella that stays out at all times. This grade can help determine the luxating patella surgery success rate for your Pomeranian.
The other two grades are in the middle. Grade 2 usually means that the kneecap usually pops back in on its own but may sometimes get “stuck” and require manual repositioning and will hold itself in place fairly well for a while. Grade 3 means that when the kneecap pops out of place it can be repositioned, but won’t stay very long.
Young Pomeranians may demonstrate a great deal of pain even at Grade 1 but many won’t show such obvious signs even with more severe problems. Pomeranians are very tough little dogs and young ones are so resilient that they are less likely to reveal their pain.
As owners, we mustn’t assume that they aren’t in pain just because they show few signs. Rely on your gut and your veterinarian to determine what treatment is needed. It is wise to get a second opinion as well since surgery is always another risk and, if you do, you’ll definitely want to know about the luxating patella surgery success rate for your Pomeranian.
Luxating Patella Surgery Success Rate
Many veterinarians will suggest surgery at all grades. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice which is another reason to get a second opinion, especially if your dog is at Grade 1 and may be candidates for other options. If your Pomeranian is overweight and/or hasn’t been considered for alternative therapies, look into weight loss and physical therapy options. If your Pomeranian is considered a strong candidate for surgical intervention, you will want to know what the chances are for success and how much improvement is considered a success.
There are essentially two surgical solutions that are the most common. One involves a deepening of what is called the trochlear wedge which means that a good surgeon can carve out a deeper “container” for the kneecap and allow it to stay in place. The other part of the surgery involves tightening what is called the joint capsule and can be a key point in setting up the luxating patella surgery success rate of your Pomeranian.
About 10% of Pomeranians do not show much improvement after surgery, so knowing the luxating patella surgery success rate is important. This is why you want to be aware that the chances are small but plausible and give thought to your decision. All surgeries have risks, especially ones associated with anesthesia and post-surgical infections. The good news is that if surgery is done early when the condition hasn’t progressed very far and your Pomeranian is still reasonably young and healthy, the success rate improves drastically.
When surgery is done early and the surgeon is very skilled, the vast majority of these surgeries do result in major improvement for Pomeranians and will provide a good chance for a high luxating patella surgery success rate. Some Pomeranians will remain essentially pain-free for most of their lives. Some dogs will need additional surgeries to improve further.
Increase Your Chances of a High Success Rate
Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions and get as many different opinions as you wish. Do check out the surgeon’s background. You’ll also want to find out the luxating patella surgery success rate. You can make sure you are using a board-certified orthopedic surgeon or a veterinarian who can show records of many successful surgeries. If your Pomeranian is at a more advanced stage and there are other health conditions present, ask even more questions.
The doctor should be able to tell you whether or not your Pomeranian’s luxating patella surgery success rate could be affected by your Pomeranian’s age and conditions such as arthritis or hip problems. If your veterinarian seems uncomfortable or is confused by your questions, check out your other options. Your chances of a successful long-term result are much higher with an experienced and confident surgeon.