The patella, or kneecap, is part of the stifle joint (knee). In patellar luxation, the kneecap luxates, or pops out of place, either in a medial or lateral position. luxation can also be caused by injury, many dogs that jump up and down on their back legs or bounce off furniture can develop luxating patella's this is not a genetic problem. it is an aquired injury.
Bilateral involvement is most common,
but unilateral is not uncommon. Animals can be affected by the time they
are 8 weeks of age. The most notable finding is a knock-knee (genu valgum)
stance. The patella is usually reducible, and laxity of the medial collateral
ligament may be evident. The medial retinacular tissues of the stifle
joint are often thickened, and the foot can be seen to twist laterally
as weight is placed on the limb.
INFORMATION AQUIRED FROM http://www.offa.org/patluxinfo.html
Portosystemic shunts are a common topic of conversation amongst
breeders and owners of small and toy breed dogs. Congenital
portosystemic shunts are being diagnosed with increasing frequency, and
many breeders and veterinarians are questioning whether heredity may
play a role in the spread of this disease.
What are Portosystemic Shunts?
A portosystemic shunt is a blood vessel that bypasses liver
tissue, carrying blood from the intestines, stomach, spleen, and
pancreas to the heart before it can be filtered and cleansed of
proteins, sugars, bacteria, and toxins. Shunts are present in all fetal
mammals and usually close down shortly before or after birth so that
the baby's liver takes over the functions of filtration, storage, and
production. In some individuals the shunt doesn't close down or
develops in an abnormal place, and the animal's liver doesn't get
enough blood supply to grow or function properly.
Types of Shunts:
Shunts may be congenital (found at birth) or acquired
(developing after birth). Dogs with acquired shunts usually have
cirrhosis, or "hardening" of the liver, secondary to severe liver
disease. These dogs develop multiple shunting blood vessels to relieve
high blood pressure in the liver. There is no effective surgical
treatment for these patients, short of a liver transplantation.
Congenital shunts are usually single blood vessels that are
present at birth. In large breed dogs, they are found inside of the
liver ("intrahepatic") and may be a result of improper or incomplete
closure of the fetal shunt. Surgical treatment of these shunts is
possible, but difficult, because of the location of the abnormal blood
Small and toy breed dogs usually have "extrahepatic" shunts:
the blood vessel is located outside of the liver. These shunts are
easier to find and treat and therefore the outcome of surgery is better.
Clinical Signs of Portosystemic Shunts
Clinical signs are often seen at a young age and may include
poor growth, behavioral changes (circling, disorientation,
unresponsiveness, staring into space, head pressing, blind staggers),
seizures, and quiet demeanor. Many of the clinical signs may be
confused with puppy hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Other less common
signs include diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive drinking or urinating.
In many animals the signs are seen 1-3 hours after eating meat
or puppy chow. Proteins in the food are broken down by intestinal
bacteria to ammonia and other toxins which are absorbed and, instead of
being filtered by the liver, are allowed to reach the brain. The
depression and signs are often temporary; once the proteins are emptied
from the colon, the signs usually abate.
Some animals may not show clinical signs until they are anesthetized to
be castrated or spayed. These animals may take days to recover from
anesthesia, depending on what drugs were used. Other animals show no
signs until they are older, when they develop bladder and kidney
problems from excreting toxins and forming urine crystals and stones.
hypoglycemia: is low blood sugar in small pups, if you read my article by Ann Seranne under the link newborn formula it will explain this occurance. http://www.showpapillons.com/beware.htm
In an pup older than 8 wks hypoglycemia is like a car running out of gas, they literally run out of blood sugar, either by playing too much or by not eating. they become lethargic, and if it is allowed to progress far enough it can result in death. Most papillon puppies do not have this problem however it would not hurt to have Kayro syrup or neutra cal handy just in case.
A dog going under anethesia is always a concern, particularly small dogs. The prefered Anesthesia for Papillons and all small breeds is Isoflurane, or Cevoflurane, these are easily controlled by the veterinarian, Papillons are especially prone to problems as they have the same bone density as a sight hound, the bones tend to soak up the anethesia. and there fore it is released slowly. the dog should be monitored closely until it is completely back to it's normal self.
They following diseases are rarely seen in Papillons, however not totally unheard of:
Legg-Calve-Perthes - very rare in papillons
Deafness - somewhat rare in papillons
Seizure somewhat rare in papillons