Luxating Knee: Patellar Luxation In Bulldogs

Is Patellar Luxation Inherited In English Bulldogs?
Patellar Luxation In English Bulldogs

Patellar luxation is a condition in which the kneecap (patella) dislocates (luxates). Although it is considered to be an inherited disease, it can also be caused by trauma and/or strenuous activity. This is especially true with English Bulldogs, as their weight, in comparison to their size, can create stress on their bones and joints (See Exercising Your English Bulldog).

In the case of an inherited condition, puppies are born with the deformities that cause luxation and can be affected by the time they are 8 weeks of age. A thorough examination should be completed by a Veterinarian at 6-8 weeks to detect any signs of these deformities.

If the condition is found, the Veterinarian will ‘grade’ the condition based on the severity. There are four grades of luxation, with Grade 1 being the least severe; and Grade 4 being the most severe.

Symptoms can range from a mild limp (Grade 1); to a bowlegged stance, with the feet turning inward; and even the inability to stand (Grade 4).

According to the OFFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) statistics, created from studies recorded from January 1974 through December 2014, Bulldogs ranked number 34 for affected breeds. With one of the higher number of exams completed, over 1050, only 4.6% were found to be affected by the condition.