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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

The epidemiology of patellar luxation in an insured Swedish dog population

Engdahl, Karolina; Bergström, Annika; Höglund, Odd; Hanson, Jeanette


Patellar luxation (PL) is a common orthopaedic condition in dogs. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence and cause-specific mortality rate, age at diagnosis, and risk factors for medial PL (MPL), lateral PL (LPL), and bidi-rectional PL (BPL). Other diagnoses in dogs with PL were also explored. The study population included just over 600,000 dogs insured by Agria Pet Insurance in Sweden (2011-2016). There were 2726 dogs with PL. Medial patellar luxation affected 90 % of the dogs with PL, followed by LPL (5.9 %), BPL (2.4 %), and unspecified PL (1.6 %). The median age at first diagnosis during the study period was 2.8 years for MPL, 2.7 years for LPL, and 1.5 years for BPL. In total, 168 (6.2 %) of the dogs with PL had cruciate ligament rupture. There were substantial breed-specific differences in the risk of PL: almost all breeds at increased risk of MPL were small-sized, while several of the breeds at increased risk of LPL were large-sized. The breeds at high risk of BPL varied in size. Females had an increased risk of MPL (RR 1.2, 95 % CI: 1.1-1.3, p < 0.001) and a decreased risk of LPL (RR 0.72, 95 % CI: 0.51-1.0, p = 0.042) compared to males. In total, 116 dogs were euthanised due to PL and the breeds with the highest risk of PL-related euthanasia were the Pyrenean mountain dog, Dogue de Bordeaux, and German pinscher. The median age for PL-related euthanasia was 2.2 years.


Epidemiology; Canine; Insurance data; Patellar luxation; Breed risks; Orthopaedic disease

Published in

Preventive Veterinary Medicine
2023, Volume: 220, article number: 106034