Radha here. This is Fox: an energetic Pomeranian, he’s been my best friend for over 5 years now. A big fan of raw meaty bones and long walks, he has been the very picture of health with one exception – a few years ago he was diagnosed with a luxating patella.
For the uninitiated, a luxating patella is a developmental congenital defect – also known as a ‘floating kneecap’, luxating patellas present as the chronic displacement or complete dislocation of the kneecap, often causing pain and lameness. Commonly seen in small breed dogs, cases of luxating patellas vary in terms of severity and are defined in terms of 'grades’ (the most severe cases requiring surgery of the knee joint).
That night, after receiving Fox’s unfortunate diagnosis, I found myself scouring the internet for ways I could naturally reduce the stress on his joints and hopefully prevent any further degeneration of the knee joint and avoid surgery. Luckily, depending on the grade and severity of the luxating patella, there are a few things you can do to maintain mobility and slow down future joint degeneration.
The most important thing to consider when it comes to joint issues is weight. Overweight and obese dogs are naturally predisposed to joint stress, which only exacerbates a luxating patella. The slimmer the dog, the healthier the joints. Feeding a species appropriate diet of high quality animal protein (muscle meat, organ, bone), with minimal amounts of carbohydrates is the easiest way to achieve and maintain an ideal weight and will ensure a healthier immune system, stronger muscles and bones. Fox has been eating a balanced raw diet for years now and I have never had any weight issues!
And then there are the supplements: I’ve tried various oral joint support supplements over the years and have found them to be helpful in maintaining general mobility, allowing him to continue his normal exercise routine. But it hasn’t been foolproof. There have been times, especially after having overexerted himself, when I’ve noticed him pulling up his leg and limping, signaling that his kneecap had popped out of place. There’s not much you can do about a popped kneecap, so it’s just a matter of waiting until it pops back in place, and sure enough, it always does.
I recently came across an article in DogsNaturally magazine discussing arthritic supplements and joint care - much to my surprise, I discovered a whole list of herbal remedies I had never tried with Fox! Lucky for me, later that week we received a new arthritis supplement by NaturPet that seemed to contain a lot of the same herbs that I had just read about. And while Fox doesn’t suffer from arthritis, he does have mobility issues, so it was well worth a try!
I have been consistently using it for well over a month now and this is (by far) the best product I’ve ever used. I noticed a small increase in endurance after the first week but chalked it up to wishful thinking, but by week 3, his endurance continued to steadily increase and I knew it wasn’t just in my head! Very exciting! Since using NaturPet Arthritis Relief, Fox has not lifted his leg once! Not after an energetic romp in the park, and not after a long walk. His kneecap has stayed put!
Other than being a fantastic supplement that works, it’s also easy to administer. The bottle comes with a dropper and you just have to squirt the recommended dose directly in the dog’s mouth, or mixed in with their food, twice a day. And as a bonus, he actually enjoys the taste.
While NaturPet Arthritis Relief is now part of Fox’s daily health regime, along with his balanced raw diet, I also make sure he gets regular exercise – it is important to keep those leg muscles strong, because the stronger the muscles around the knee joint, the less likely it is that the kneecap will dislocate. From what I’ve read, it is also worth looking into chiropractic and acupuncture therapy, both of which have been shown to help maintain alignment and prevent further degeneration of the knee.
For more information on luxating patellas check out Dr.Karen Becker’s video: