Arthritis of the Lapphund dog: Strategies for Prevention and Treatment

Dog owner question

"Hi, my Finnish Lapphund dog, named Aino, has been limping a bit lately and lying down more than before. Is this normal for the breed or should I be worried?"

Answer from the vet

"Hi, thank you for your question. Based on Aino's symptoms, it is possible that she has arthritis due to the commonly known patellar luxation, or knee dislocation. This is a common condition in Finnish Lapphund breeds and is usually a genetic predisposition.

Patellar luxation

Patellar luxation is a condition where the dog's kneecap (patella) is displaced from its normal position, causing pain and limping. Animals with this condition often limp suddenly on one hind leg and then jump as if they do not want to use the affected leg.

When the patella dislocates, it causes damage to the cartilage in the knee joint and the development of long-term arthritis.

In severe cases, this condition can restrict your dog's movement and cause permanent pain!

If Aino is limping and is less active than before, we recommend taking her to the vet to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment.

Treatment of patellar luxation usually requires surgery, especially if the dog's pain is significant or if his movement is severely restricted.

After surgery, your vet will prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatories for Aino, as well as physiotherapy to restore strength and mobility to the leg.

You can work with your vet to help Aino heal and reduce pain at home, for example by limiting excessive activity, eating a proper diet and having regular vet checks!

Remember that patellar luxation is a genetic condition, so if you plan to breed Aino, it is important to discuss this with your vet.

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If Aino is susceptible to this disease, it is possible that her puppies will be susceptible too!

The most important thing is to look after Aino and make sure she gets the veterinary care she needs.

Patellar luxation is treatable and with the right treatment your dog can live a pain-free and fulfilling life."