Patella Luxation (PL) or ‘slipping kneecap’ is a condition which the Club has been aware of in some European Lagotto for some time, but which has only relatively recently been observed in UK dogs. Laxity of the ligament controlling the movement of the patella is implicated.
As with Elbow Dysplasia, there has been some discussion of the condition in social media but little reported to the Health Sub-Committee of the Club.
The Club are currently recommending that all new sires are assessed for Patella Luxation. The potential influence of a dog on a breed is greater than that of bitches. However, all breeding stock should be assessed wherever possible.
Currently there is no formal scheme collating the incidence of PL in pedigree dogs; there is however a recognised system of assessing patella integrity. A veterinarian can manipulate the dog’s knee and grade it I-IV:
The Patella can be moved but remains in place in most circumstances
The Patella is dislocated and needs to be replaced
The condition is considered highly heritable. Surgical corrections are available but arthritis of the joint may still occur.
An assessment is made by an individual, not a panel as with HD or ED. Ideally the assessment should be made by a veterinarian with further qualifications to ensure uniformity of evaluation.