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Companion Animal Practice
Non-traumatic causes of lameness in the hindlimb of the growing dog
  1. Harry Scott

    Harry Scott graduated from the University of Liverpool in 1977. After working in small animal practice for eight years he set up his own practice in Coventry, where he is now a partner in a first opinion and multidisciplinary referral clinic. He has gained certificates in small animal dermatology and small animal orthopaedics and, in 1992, was awarded an FRCVS by examination in canine spinal surgery. His interests include all aspects of orthopaedics and spinal surgery.


THIS is the second of two articles on lameness in the young growing dog. The first discussed the commonest causes of forelimb lameness (In Practice, November/December 1998, pp 539-553). Here, the more common conditions responsible for hindlimb lameness are considered. In the author's clinic, forelimb and hindlimb lameness are seen with equal frequency in the immature dog. In comparison with the forelimb, osteochondrosis is a less frequent cause of hindlimb lameness. Osteochondritis dissecans occurs in the talocrural joint and less commonly in the stifle joint of large- and giant-breed dogs and care should be taken to identify its presence, particularly in individuals with concurrent hip dysplasia, where it can easily be overlooked. Lameness, pain and debility associated with hip dysplasia in large-breed dogs remains common in the UK despite attempts to reduce the prevalence of the condition by the selective breeding of pedigree stock since 1965. Two important causes of hindlimb lameness that tend to affect smaller breeds of dog are patellar luxation and Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. Panosteitis and metaphyseal osteopathy have already been discussed as causes of forelimb lameness.

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