Lameness is a clinical sign of a more severe disorder that results in a disturbance in the gait and the ability to move the body about, typically in response to pain, injury, or abnormal anatomy.
The ‘Spero’ harness is designed in such a way that you take some of the weight off your dog. By taking around 20 to 30% of the weight off the back or front legs, you allow your dog to walk further. This in turn helps to start the process of rebuilding muscles. You should start seeing Improvements within just 2 weeks!
With lameness, it may involve one or more limbs and varies in severity from subtle pain or tenderness to an inability to place any weight on the limb (i.e., carrying the leg). If only one forelimb is involved, the head and neck move upward when the affected limb is placed on the ground and drops when the unaffected limb bears weight. Meanwhile, if only one hind limb is involved, the pelvis drops when affected leg bears weight, rises when weight is lifted. And if both hind limbs are involved, forelimbs are carried lower to shift weight forward. In addition, lameness may become worse after strenuous activity or alleviate with rest.
Other signs and symptoms associated with lameness include:
- Decreased range of motion
- Loss of muscle mass (muscle atrophy)
- Abnormal posture when standing, getting up, lying down, or sitting
- Abnormal gait when walking, trotting, climbing stairs, or doing figure-eights
- Nervous system signs — confusion, trembling, etc.
- Bones and/or joints may be abnormal in size, shape
- Grating sound with joint movement
The causes could vary from dog to dog. Here’s a few possibilities:
- Forelimb lameness in growing dogs that are less than 12 months old
- Forelimb lameness in mature dogs that are older than 12 months of age
- Hindlimb lameness in growing dogs that are less than 12 months of age
- Hindlimb lameness in mature dogs that are greater than 12 months of age
Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your pet, taking into account the background history of symptoms and possible incidents that might have led to this condition. Standard tests could include a complete blood profile, a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis.
Because there are so many possible causes for lameness, your veterinarian will most likely use differential diagnosis. This process is guided by deeper inspection of the apparent outward symptoms, ruling out each of the more common causes until the correct disorder is settled upon and can be treated appropriately.
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