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Companion Animal Practice
Growth deformities of the long bones in dogs
  1. Malcolm McKee

    Malcolm McKee graduated from Glasgow and completed an internship at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, before undertaking a residency at the University of Melbourne in Australia. He is a partner in Willows, a multidisciplinary referral practice in Solihull, West Midlands. He holds the RCVS diploma in small animal orthopaedics and is an RCVS specialist in small animal surgery (orthopaedics). He received the BSAVA Simon award for outstanding contributions in the field of veterinary surgery in 1995, and is past chairman of the British Veterinary Orthopaedic Association.


Growth deformities are an important cause of pain and lameness in dogs. Early detection allows appropriate management strategies to be instituted that optimise clinical outcome. Many long bone growth deformities result in problems in adjacent joints, including joint incongruity, instability and osteoarthritis. The abnormalities affecting bones and joints are often complex. While some dogs can be managed conservatively, many require surgery to correct limb alignment and improve joint morphology and function. Some surgical techniques are complex and require advanced training to minimise the risk of complications. This article reviews the most common long bone growth deformities in the dog, with particular emphasis on diagnosis and management.

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