Dislocations – inclulding the patella (knee)
Dislocations occur at a joint when the angle of the connection is displaced causing the usual function of the joint to be disrupted. You may see a lump or bump where the bones are incorrectly aligned, notice that the dog is unable to use the limb or maybe it just looks plane wrong!
As in humans, it is important not to just plough in and try to relocate the joint yourself. This is something that does need an experienced hand and it is often preferable to x-ray the joint after the relocation to ensure no vessles or nerves have been trapped within the joint.
Luxating (dislocating) patella
This condition is fairly common as far as dislocations go and owners of dogs affected with a dislocating patella can often learn to replace the kneecap themselves with veterinary instruction.
The limb is straightened at the stifle (knee) joint, and the patella slid or pushed back from its position on the inside of the joint.
Sometimes, if the patella is particularly loose, simply rubbing the extended joint is all that is needed. In affected dogs the condition is, of course, liable to recur.