Understand Your Dog’s Risk Factors
Any dog—large or small, purebred or proud mutt—can experience knee problems over the course of his life. Some breeds, however, are more likely to have issues. Understanding your dog’s risk factors can lead to quicker treatment and, in turn, less pain should a problem arise.
One of the most common type of injuries, a cranial cruciate ligament tear, is more prevalent in larger dogs, explains Dr. Lauren May, a staff surgeon at Hope Veterinary Specialists in Malvern, Pennsylvania. “Breeds affected include Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Newfoundlands, Staffordshire Terriers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Mastiffs, Akitas, and Saint Bernards,” she says of the condition.
As for smaller dogs—including Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Miniature Poodles, and Boston Terriers—patellar luxations are a concern, May says. The condition, in which the kneecap moves from its natural position, is almost always congenital.