DIAGNOSING the cause of lameness or weakness in dogs is not always straightforward. Although orthopaedic conditions are the most common cause of thoracic and pelvic limb lameness and neurological disorders the most common cause of weakness, occasionally neurological cases may be presented due to lameness and orthopaedic cases due to weakness. Diagnosing orthopaedic and neurological disorders as causes of weakness and lameness, respectively, can be challenging. A detailed history and thorough clinical examination, with emphasis on the orthopaedic and neurological components, is essential. This article describes the orthopaedic and neurological causes of lameness, and weakness and incoordination, and highlights the specific investigations that can be carried out to differentiate between the two.
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