Determination of reference values and frequency of occurrence of patella alta in German shepherd dogs: a retrospective study

Łojszczyk-Szczepaniak A, Silmanowicz P, Komsta R, Osiński Z. Acta Vet Scand. 2017 May 31; 59 (1): 36.

BACKGROUND: Patella alta and patella baja are important conditions underlying a predisposition to many joint diseases, including patellar luxation and patellar chondromalacia of the articular cartilage. The frequencies of patella alta and patella baja have not yet been determined. The objectives of this study were to determine the frequency of patella alta and to determine reference values to the position of the vertical patella according to two modified techniques of the Insall-Salvati method in a group of 65 German shepherd dogs (115 stifle joints).

RESULTS: The upper limits of reference values for the normal vertical position of the patella were 1.79 and 2.13, depending on the method of measurement. A high prevalence of patella alta was observed in the group of German shepherd dogs. A correlation was demonstrated between the classification of dogs' joints in the patella alta group and the multiplied risk of canine hip dysplasia (CHD) through the estimation of odds ratios.

CONCLUSIONS: Dogs with patella alta were healthy dogs that did not exhibit orthopaedic problems in the stifle joints. The results revealed that the risk of CHD is twice as high in dogs with higher patellar ligament length to patella length ratio.

Small animal: