Ask the Veterinarian/Patella


Hi Jana, I have a 12 week old maltipoo who has a loose patella. The vet
says to have it checked out again in 3 months to see if it tightened.  Is there
any suggestion you have to help it "tighten"?
I saw you recommend giving calcium to dogs. At what age can I start? And
what is a safe amount to give? (my dog is 3 lbs)
I use balsam fir essential oil on my knee ( it's supposed to support joints and
bones) you think this oil will be supportive & safe for my pooch?
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
All the best...Jennifer.

HI Jennifer,
I don't know where you saw that, but I NEVER recommend calcium for dogs. Just the opposite!
Calcium can cause all kinds of bone and growth issues in dogs. Dog breeders even found that out the hard way by feeding dogs prone to hip displaysia calcium and then having dogs with worse hip issues than before. I have never recommended it and never will.

I believe that all pets should be on high quality food. That will take care of many growth problems in itself. Just as we are what we eat, so are our pets.

I would not use any kind of oil on your dog that is for humans. Too many of these oils are toxic to dogs.

You should ask your vet about maybe starting her on some Cosequin which is a natural supplement for joint health. They have it in all sizes now. It's rich in glucosomine and chondrotin. Both of these have shown to help with all types of joint issues.

Many little dogs do have these patellas that go in and out, causing the dogs leg to lock up. Hopefully she will out grow it. They often can.

Get her on some high quality food such as Science Diet Puppy Growth and that will give her the the precise nutritional support that she needs at this age.

It could possibly help her outgrow this condition since it will make her as healthy as she can be. If you do switch her over, make sure you do it slowly over seven days.

Hills Science Diet has over 50 years of Veterinary Research behind it. Give it a try for a month and see how she does. She will eat less and have a beautiful coat.

I hope this helps some. Please let me know how it goes with her little kneecap later on.

Ask the Veterinarian

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

©2017 All rights reserved.