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Companion animal practice
Investigation of lameness in dogs
  1. Philip Witte and
  2. Harry Scott

2. Hindlimb

Abstract

Hindlimb lameness is seen significantly more frequently than forelimb lameness at the authors' clinic. Lameness in the hindlimb is commonly associated with the stifle (cranial cruciate ligament disease) and the hip (hip dysplasia). Due to the predominance of certain conditions, it is easy to become complacent when diagnosing hindlimb lameness. A thorough investigation must be performed to avoid incorrect diagnosis, even in cases where radiographic signs are suggestive of a specific condition. For example, radiographic signs indicative of osteoarthritis of the hip correlate poorly with clinical signs and should be treated as an incidental finding in the absence of other signs of hip joint pain. This article describes an approach to investigating hindlimb lameness in dogs. An article in the January issue of In Practice (volume 33, pp 20–27) discussed how to investigate lameness in the forelimb.

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