How Do I Pop a Yorkshire Terrier Knee Back In?

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Compared to other dog breeds, Yorkshire terriers have very high chances of their knees popping out. As a dog owner, you may find yourself in this situation and you will ask yourself, how do I pop a Yorkshire terrier knee back in?

How Do I Pop a Yorkshire Terrier Knee Back In?

To pop your Yorkshire terrier’s knee back in, start by massaging the knee. As you massage, ensure that the leg is as straight as possible and then gently pop it back in place. Be as gentle as you can and make the process fast. Alleviate the pain as soon as possible.

The medical term for this condition is called Patellar Luxation and it is common in small dogs. When you recognize it early and your dog gets help fast, it prevents the knees from becoming further damaged. The condition can range from mild to serious and it can be treated in different ways.

Diagnosing Patellar Luxation

If you notice your dog’s knee popping out, the best option is to see a vet. There are other signs that you will observe that are an indication of Patellar Luxation. They include:

Black and brown colored Yorkshire Terrier
  • Refusing to jump or run
  • Limping
  • Unable to bend the knee
  • Refusing to exercise
  • Abnormal looking leg  
  • Cries when using their legs because of the pain

During your visit, your vet will be able to diagnose your Yorkshire Terrier with Patellar Luxation and classify it into a grade. There are four grades of Patellar Luxation.

Grade I

In grade I, your Yorkie does not experience pain. If you are able to give it a massage to pop the knee back, you do not need to take it to the vet every time the knee pops out. In some cases, the knee can pop back on its own.

Here, the dog does not need surgery, however, you still need to keep monitoring your Yorkie in case the situation does not get better.

Grade II

The dog has more problems with its affected knee in grade II than in grade I. The kneecap shifts from its normal position and you can still massage it back into position. However, you are likely to see it hold the affected knee at a specific angle.

If you are able to get it the correct treatment, it will be able to live without experiencing pain. There are dogs that end up developing arthritis and end up needing surgery. Repeated damage to the cartilage may end up causing pain.

Grade III

In grade III, your Yorkshire terrier is in pain and has most likely developed arthritis. Some dogs are already putting the leg at an awkward angle all the time and not occasionally. The knee is out more times than it is inside.

Two Yorkshire Terrier resting on floor

Your dog may not have to undergo surgery at this point if the pressure is removed manually.

Grade IV

In grade IV, the groove is practically non-existent and you cannot pop the knee back in. It is also not practical to remove the pressure manually. You will notice your dog holding its leg up, experiencing intense pain and it has developed arthritis.

The solution is for your dog to get surgery.

Treating Patellar Luxation

If your dog is diagnosed with Patellar Luxation, there are several interventions available. The interventions depend on the grade that your dog is in. 


For grade III or IV, the best solution is surgery. There are different procedures that the vet may opt for. At some point, they may take a wait-and-see approach. In some rare cases, your dog may need an amputation.

Some common procedures that may have to be performed include:

  • Recession sulcoplasty
  • Femoral varus osteotomy
  • Soft tissue reconstruction
  • Tibial tuberosity transposition

Medical Treatment

This treatment is given to those dogs whose situation has not gotten worse. They are mostly in grades I and II. Treatment involves:

  • Temporary exercise restriction
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Acupuncture
  • Dietary supplements
A smiling Yorkshire Terrier

Related Questions

Similar questions you may have are answered below

How Do I Know if My Dog’s Knee Is Dislocated?

When your dog’s knee is dislocated, you are likely to notice things like extending and kicking its knee in an attempt to snap it back in place and your dog will avoid putting weight on the specific leg. When going up the stairs, it will be in a skipping motion.

How Long Does a Yorkshire Terrier’s Dislocated Knee Take To Recover?

Your dog’s dislocated knee does not have a specific recovery time as it all depends on the extent of dislocation.  If it had dislocated to a point where it had surgery, it is going to take about 10-12 weeks to recover. It will be unable to put weight on the affected leg for the first few days.


Patellar Luxation is a common condition in dogs. If caught early, you may be able to prevent it from progressing any further. Relaxation, therapy, and rest can be all it takes to ensure they continue living healthy lives.