'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Patella Luxation.

Lola has been doing her 'bunny hop' (both back legs moving simultaneously) more and more lately when we're playing fetch... or maybe I'm noticing it more (I hope it's the latter!). It could just be her preferred way of moving fast--she seems awkward/odd when she has her back legs moving at different times when she's flat-out running--but the same-moving back legs can apparently be an early sign of patella luxation.

Since PL is one of the main issues for Jack Russells, I've got her a vet appointment for Friday, so that the vet can have a feel of her legs and see if everything's fine. I'm hoping that it's just her fast-moving run, and not a sign that she's got PL. It should be fixable if she has it (and easily fixable if it's still in the early stages - later stages require surgery), and if she does have it then I do have all summer to work her through any stringent exercise programs... but I really hope she doesn't have it.

I'll know more on Friday (I'm assuming there's a test to check if she has it by simply touching her and feeling), but in the meantime it's just one more stress on top of exam anxiety.


k8nkane said...

Having a bunny hop run was one of the things that worried me about Kane, although my concern was hip dysplasia since his mother was pts for it and his father isn't too far behind (afaik he's still alive though).

I took him in for a vet appt on Thursday and he came back with normal-fair hips, yay, and his knees were fine too! My vet just rotated and massaged his knee to check for luxating patella issues, and then the xray for his hips came back and confirmed her diagnosis.

So Lola might be like Kane and just run with both of her back legs together. I noticed that he really likes to kick off with his back legs, and I imagine it would be harder to do if they moved separately.

Sophie said...

k8nkane, thanks for the reassurance (and I'm glad to hear Kane got a clean bill of health for his hips and knees - I forgot to comment your post on allthingsdog)! I'm really hoping it is just, yeah, that she prefers to run with her back legs together (I have noticed other dogs do it outside too), but now that I'm worried about it I can't *not* go and check. If she does have it, it might be easy to correct now, but not if I leave it. Hopefully we'll get good news like you and Kane did though :)

Sara said...

I hope it turns out to be nothing. good to get it checked out though.

An English Shepherd said...

Yes Chip our Patterdale Terrier can run like that as well and he is a super fit Flyball dog.

We will keep everything crossed that Lola is fine :-)

Sophie said...

Sara, it'll be good for my peace of mind too! And if she's good to go for everything (I might as well have all of her knees looked at, and a general checkup) we can carry on with our agility foundations. :)

AES, Chip really is fit - that does make me feel better! Hopefully it's just me being overly concerned (and proof I shouldn't be allowed near Google; I get worried easily). Thank you :)

Ricky the Sheltie said...

I also hope you find out the hopping is really nothing - be thinking about you and hoping to hear good news! Try not to worry - exams are enough to worry about!

Diana said...

A dog in a full out run will use both back legs at the same time. So I guess it would depend on if he is truely hopping or is he in an extension and compression run with both back legs coming together. Good luck.

Sophie said...

Ricky, I'll know either way on Friday I guess!

Diana, I do worry about things - and once the thought was in my head, I don't trust myself to make a judgement for whether she's just running normally or if she is hopping. I would hate myself if I decided it was normal, and it proved later down the line that her body was doing something weird.