CANINE lameness, as a result of non-traumatic causes, has assumed greater importance in recent years as the number of dogs presenting with injuries resulting from road traffic accidents has declined. Coupled with an apparent increase in the prevalence of osteochondrosis, a significant proportion of young dogs now present with lameness with a non-traumatic aetiology. It is not known whether this is because of an increased awareness of these disorders by the practitioner or a genuine increase in prevalence due, for example, to changes in genetic or environmental influences. Owing to difficulties with diagnosis and controversy surrounding treatment regimens, appropriate management of the young dog presented with forelimb lameness can be problematic. This article discusses the salient points of the diagnosis and treatment of the more common conditions responsible for forelimb lameness in the skeletally immature dog. A second article, to be published at a later date, will discuss hindlimb lameness.
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