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Golden puppy with hip or leg problem

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

When I walk my puppy dog (a little over a year old) he yelps and lifts up his back leg and then starts limping and then is fine within a few seconds. What do I do with that?

Kristin Schwake


Hi – thanks for your email. Your email indicated that your puppy is having intermittent lameness on one rear leg. It happens when walking then he is fine.

In my experience, the most common reason for that to occur is with a condition called patellar luxation. The luxation can occur either medially or laterally. These links should help you learn more about the condition and see if it fits your dog's symptoms. As indicated in the article:

Medial patella luxation (MPL) is a condition in which the patella (knee-cap) no longer glides within its natural groove (sulcus) in the femur, the upper bone of the knee joint. It becomes displaced to the inside of the joint and can be partial or complete, intermittent or permanent.

MPL can occur as a result of trauma or develop during the first year of an animal's life. Congenital or developmental MPL is more common. It is most commonly found in a wide variety of small dogs such as poodles, Yorkshire terriers, Maltese and bichon frise, but it also occurs in larger breeds.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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