Poor Willow. We’ve just come back from the vet having been told that she has a luxating patella in her left hind leg. This is not good news, especially not for such a boisterous, affectionate dog as Willow.
We really noticed it on holiday when she started limping having been running in and out of a stream but we assumed she’d strained something and by the time we got back to the house she was walking normally again. Since then we’ve seen her limping occasionally in the house and holding her left leg out straight behind her but whenever we’ve taken her for a run she’s been absolutely fine. For a couple of weeks I was trying to see if it was getting better but if anything it was getting worse, possibly because we have smooth wooden floors and Willow’s enthusiasm is often more impressive than her body control – she can gallop wildly and manage to stay in one place on the slippery floors!
So, a little bit of internet searching brought up a luxating patella as the most likely culprit but I decided the best thing was to get it checked out. Luxating patella is a common problem in small dogs and especially in Pomeranians, basically the knee cap slides out of place and can be graded on a severity scale from 1 (mild) to 4; Willow’s is grade 3. The vet checked her kneecaps and found that the one in her left hind leg was extremely mobile, luckily her right leg is fine. She also watched the way Willow walked, which looked normal to me, and said that if you knew what you were looking for you could see the lameness in the leg.
The upshot of this is that we’ve booked Willow in for an operation on Wednesday to see if it can be put right, after which she won’t be allowed out for a walk for four weeks. Not only that, she won’t be allowed to jump up, to stand on her hind legs or to run which is going to be really tough for all of us until she’s given the all clear. I think there will have to be lots of sitting on the floor and making a fuss of her and certainly lots of chew toys for her to take her frustration out on. Note to self: move all shoes well out of Willow’s reach.