CONDITIONS affecting the shoulder are common causes of thoracic limb lameness in the dog. Some diseases such as osteochondritis dissecans have been well documented, while many tendon and ligament injuries have received relatively little attention. Diagnosis of the latter is difficult and their management remains a challenge. Many soft tissue disorders are associated with non-specific, if indeed any, abnormalities on clinical examination. The problem is compounded by the fact that many changes detected on radiography or arthroscopy are asymptomatic and not of clinical significance. This article reviews the more common conditions of the canine shoulder with particular emphasis on their diagnosis.
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