How Angular Limb Deformities Affect Dogs
Angular limb deformities typically become noticeable about 3 to 4 weeks after some sort of trauma to the affected leg. Owners usually bring their dog to the veterinarian not because of the traumatic event, but instead when they begin to notice deformity of the affected limb.
Symptoms of Angular Limb Deformities
Clinical signs of angular limb deformities include one or more of the following:
- Bowing of the affected leg (usually bows in a cranial, or frontward, direction, towards the dog’s head)
- Outward rotation of the affected leg (angular deviation)
- Shortening of the affected leg
- Pain on palpation of the elbow and/or carpal (wrist) joints (due to malalignment/incongruity of the joint)
- Reduced range of motion in the elbow and/or carpal joints
These signs become increasingly obvious over time.
Dogs at Increased Risk
Angular limb deformities – especially those caused by premature closure of one or more growth plates – are usually first seen in young dogs under 9 months of age. However, older dogs who did not have appropriate treatment when they were puppies can present with angular limb deformities. Mature dogs will require a different surgical treatment than will puppies.