A luxating patella is a slipped kneecap. The kneecap (patella) tends to pop out of the joint because the groove in the thighbone (femur) in which it sits is too shallow. When the patella becomes dislocated, there may be pain and difficulty straightening the knee. The luxation may be permanent or it may be intermittent, with the kneecap popping in and out of position. The dog may move in a normal manner one minute and be lame the next.
This condition can lead to the premature development of arthritis and restricted, painful movement. This is the last thing you want an eager, active dog like the Jack Russell to go through. If the condition becomes painful, corrective surgery is the preferred treatment, and patients usually recover fully.
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