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Companion animal practice
Orthopaedic conditions of the metacarpus, metatarsus and digits in dogs
  1. Simon Roch

    Simon Roch graduated from Edinburgh in 1997 and worked in mixed practice before undertaking a residency in small animal orthopaedics and spinal surgery at Willows Referral Service. He has since established a private orthopaedic and spinal referral practice near Kendal. He holds the RCVS certificate in small animal surgery and is studying for the RCVS diploma in small animal surgery (orthopaedics).

  2. Toby Gemmill

    Toby Gemmill graduated from Bristol in 1996. He holds the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS) diploma in small animal surgery and the RCVS diploma in small animal surgery (orthopaedics), and was awarded an MVM from the University of Glasgow in 2006. He is an RCVS and ECVS recognised specialist in small animal surgery.


Lameness affecting distal limbs is commonly encountered in small animal practice and may be associated with soft tissue, bone or joint conditions. Clinical signs commonly seen with these problems include lameness, which may be more severe on hard or rough surfaces, and persistent licking of the affected limb. A systematic approach to the lame dog, starting with a detailed history and careful clinical examination, greatly improves the accuracy of diagnosis and permits specific treatment to be properly employed to optimise a patient's recovery. This article reviews the common orthopaedic conditions affecting the metacarpus, metatarsus and paw, and discusses some approaches to treatment.

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