Hi there, it's hero's koko (means elder brother in chinese) here... for this post, I would like to talk a little about canine health, or rather canine health problem to be precise. As family members, it's always heartbreaking to see your loved ones having to endure suffering due to sickness or other conditions, and pet dogs are no exceptions. As with life, there are ups and there are downs, in between every exciting adventure hero had, there would be periods of anguishing moment too.
Patella luxation, I wish the name refers to some kind of yummy gourmet Spanish dish but it's not. It is a medical term for dislocation of the kneecap in canine. Every now and then, hero would have difficulty walking as he does suffer from luxating patella, a condition that is known to affect certain breed of dogs and sharpei is one of them. In patella luxation, the kneecap luxates, or pops out of place, either in a medial or lateral position. The latter is more common in large breeds. During such period, hero would be bunny hopping around with three legs. Other than this, there is no further symptoms. Luxating patella is considered hereditary but can be corrected by surgery in severe cases. In hero's case, a therapeutic massage on the leg would normally do the trick.
Normal canine knee diagram.
Dislocation of the knee cap (patella) in canine's hind leg.
However, the above condition should not be mistaken with swollen hock syndrome (also known as familial sharpei fever) which is a inherited, congenital disorder in sharpei caused by an autosomal recessive gene that results in its inability to break down and get rid of amyloidal protein, which may lead to systemic amyloidosis (kidney failure) in some cases. Symptoms include swelling of the muzzle and eyes, temperature increases and sensitivity of the hind legs to movement or touch. During the onset of such episodic fever, hero would stand with a "roached" back and will not eat or drink as a result of the pain in his muzzle area. Treatment is by prescriptive drugs such as aspirin and colchicine but there is no known cure for such a condition.
It is really frustrating when a disorder cannot be accurately diagnosed and good veterinary care is not readily available. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I can't emphasis enough the importance of responsible breeding in order to eradicate heredity conditions in animals. They may not be in a position to change their fate, but we can, and it's only right that we do.
As for hero, whether he likes it or not... ouchie is a friend.