Posts Tagged ‘luxating patellas’

Pugs and Orthopedic Issues

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Originally Written for Pug Partners of Nebraska – Please visit their website to find out how you can help Pugs!

Pugs are chondrodystrophic, meaning their bones are proportionally shorter and twistier than other breeds. This, along with other genetic predispositions, makes them more susceptible to some orthopedic problems, including luxating patellas, intervertebral disk disease and Legg–Calvé–Perthes disorder.

Luxating Patellas

These can happen traumatically, but are most often congenital, meaning Pugs are born with shallow stifle (knee) grooves and patellas (knee caps) that move out of their groove, either to the outside (laterally luxating patellas) or to the inside (medially luxating patellas). They are graded by severity.  Mild cases may not be debilitating or painful, and observation may be all that is needed. Moderate cases may be treated with joint protectants or anti-inflammatories. Severe cases may need surgical intervention for return to function, pain relief and avoidance of future arthritis. Surgery is done by qualified general practitioners or board certified veterinary surgeons.  The groove for the knee cap is made deeper, and the knee is ideally returned to optimal function and comfort.

Intervertebral Disk Disease

This disease has some genetic and conformation predisposition. The odds of having problems can be increased with excess weight or traumatic injury. In Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), one or more disks between vertabrae are compressed, putting pressure on the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves, compromising function and causing significant pain. The disease is treated medically or surgically (by a surgical or neurological specialist), and with strict rest until healing has occurred.

Possible outcomes include (hopefully) complete healing, healing with risk of reinjury, healing with chronic pain, and healing with neurological deficits. Neurological deficits can include gait changes, proprioceptive deficits (inability of a pet to gauge where he or she is positionally-this can range from almost imperceptible to severe), urination or defecation abnormality, paresis or paralysis. If pain and neurological deficits can be managed, a pet can have a great quality of life.

Legg–Calvé–Perthes disorder

This is a disease with a genetic basis in which the head of the femur (the ball of the hip socket) is disfigured.  It is diagnosed with examination and radiographs (x-rays) and treated with surgery.

Many of these problems have a genetic component, but keeping your Pug fit and at a healthy weight will minimize their risk of orthopedic problems, and possibly minimize the severity of the problem if they do have issues.

Stephanie Alford’s Typhoon