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Keeping your Pom Healthy Pom Health Issues

Pomeranian Puppy Limping (Juvenile Patella Luxation)

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Why is your Pomeranian Puppy Limping ?

Young animals and children can experience growth spurts that may cause lameness and temporary unsoundness. When it comes to Pomeranians, the general age for them to experience this is between 5-18 months. This won’t happen to all Poms, but it’s far from being a strange occurrence.

Pomeranian or Zwergspitz (Dwarf-Spitz or Toy Spitz) Puppy
Pomeranian or Zwergspitz (Dwarf-Spitz or Toy Spitz) Puppy

The time period in which this spontaneous limp may appear often coincides with teething and is usually an indication of being fed an incorrect diet for many months. If the puppy is lacking calcium, please don’t start giving calcium supplements. Instead, look at immediately improving your Pomeranian’s diet by increasing his intake of dairy foods such as puppy milk, cheese and yoghurt. 

For correct bone development, Pomeranian puppies should be fed a quality wet PUPPY food and PUPPY kibble until 12 months of age.

As a breeder, I know lots of dog owners ask their vet for advice, but it’s often the case that vets don’t always provide sound advice. This is why I’m now going to talk about patella luxation. Like the scapula, the patella has some freedom of movement, with a degree of mobility. The reason why young dogs have so much movement within their bones is because they’re soft.

Many people believe the growth plates shut when the dog turns 12 months old, but the reality is that it may not happen until they’re 18 months old. Juvenile patella luxation often appears spontaneously. One day your puppy suddenly starts limping.

Cream Pomeranian Dog
Cream Pomeranian Dog

Prior to remedially treating juvenile patella luxation, I’ll cover what a vet should do. To diagnose this problem, he will do an orthopedic examination. However, in some cases, he’ll also have x-rays done.

Patella luxation can be environmental, caused by an earlier injury or your Pom may have a genetic predispostion to developing luxating patellas. Before your vet even mentions a surgical option, he should definitely have x-rays carried out and also discuss with you other options to either prevent or fix this problem. He should tell you that it’s possible your dog may grow out of it on his own. Please do not rush into having patella surgery on a Pomeranian under 12 months of age.

If your pet suffers from unsoundness that’s only intermittent, you have various options to try. The first step is to use cold therapy such as baths and/or ice packs to decrease the aggravation and inflammation in the affected area. Avoid him becoming overweight because that will put additional strain on his joints.

Immediately check your Pomeranian’s diet. Is he being fed an appropriate diet for his age? Increase the amount of dairy food in the diet. Feed him fish (such as sardines) to guarantee he’s receiving enough of the good fats and Omegas as they help with the health of his joints. Ask your vet to recommend a good joint health supplement as well.

Champion Pomeranian
Champion Pomeranian

Exercise. Use common sense with the amount of exercise. Confine your Pomeranian to a playpen if he’s limping. Stop him jumping up and down on his hind legs or on couches, etc., and restrict his access to stairs.

Swimming is a great exercise because it’s low impact and can increase the strength in your dog’s ligaments, tendons and muscles. These all provide joint support without creating pain or straining them. This is an ideal type of cold therapy so it’s perfect if he’s in a period of unsoundness. Finally…be objective! 

We know how much love you have for your dog but never let this stop you from seeking a second opinion and always explore all possible choices before seriously considering surgical intervention. I sincerely hope this information has given you a degree of insight and advice into this complicated health condition. 

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References and Further Reading:
[1] Denise Leo “The Pomeranian Handbook”.
[2] Denise Leo “Training Your Pomeranian ”.

Training a Pomeranian

Learn More About Pomeranian Dogs in My Book The Pomeranian Handbook

Train your Pomeranian. Top Training Tips and Secrets is available here on THE Pomeranian Information Site as an eBook in PDF format. Download and store on your computer, tablet, phone and print a hardcopy if required. Training your Pomeranian is also available at Amazon.Com in Kindle format an other outlets including iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Copia, Gardner Books, etc.

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