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Popping Kneecap

by Sim

My four month old Snowy has just been diagnosed with luxating patella i.e. popping kneecap. The vet said that a reconstructive surgery may be needed when Snowy is older. I am so distressed and worried. Does anyone know anything about popping kneecaps? Is it common in Maltese? Snowy doesn't seem to be in pain at the moment and he likes to jump a lot. I am trying to restrict his jumping and exercise as the vet said that it may not be helping matters.


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Hi Sim. My Sophie has the same problem and one vet told me the same thing, surgery was required. She was 9 months at the time. We got a second opinion from another vet and he said to watch and see how things went, and so far no problems. She is now 7 years old. Don't be over worried, but still keep a good eye on the problem. The first signs of pain or trouble with your little one, head to the Vet! (We were told that this is common in many breeds.)

My dog has something where his knee "goes out" from time to time, not frequently, thank goodness. He's been operated on twice and it didn't work. Wish somebody would've told me not to put him through it. Now, when it goes out, it works it's way back on it's own. I don't know if this is the same thing you are talking about or not.

Hi Teri & Sharon, Thanks for your replies. I am glad to hear what Teri said ... however, the vet did mentioned that if I do not get it 'fixed up' there may be a greater possibility of suffering from arthritis and at a young age too. This is beacuse of the unusual wear & tear. Teri, does Sophie has that problem? Sharon, what about your dog? I am still trying to get a good orthopedic vet but have yet to find one (I am in Australia).

I suppose that's true about the arthritis. However, Max had 2 surgeries and it still slips out of place. He's 14 1/2 years old and does have some arthritis all over. All in all I believe he'd be the same if he'd never had surgery.

Hi Sim, I live in Sydney. I don't know if it is OK to name names, but I can thoroughly recommend Richard Malik at Sydney Uni Vet clinic. He has had a lot of experience with maltese. Our (now departed) Rastus had luxating (?sub-luxating) patellas also, and all the vets we had been to had failed to pick it up. By the time we found Richard - several years ago - he told us that Rastus was probably too old to be operated on because arthritis had already set in and done too much damage. He said that it was a common fault in the breed but could be easily corrected with surgery if detected early. Rastus had very bad arthritis in his latter years. Hope this is helpful.
-Deann (Moose & Squirrel)

Thanks for the replies again folks and thanks Deann for the recommendation. Will call up tomorrow to fix an appointment. I am actually living in Wollongong but work and study in Sydney. I am so happy that I can get a second reliable opinion.

Hi again, Sim. Sorry, just signed on and didn't see your question until now. Sophie does not have any problems other than the odd popping sound when she stretches in the morning. Since she has a few more years on her yet, I won't know more until she grews a bit older.

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