May 28, 2018

Technique Tips for Performing Orthopedic Exams

Brian Beale, DVM, DACVS, orthopedic surgeon and head of education, training, and research at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston, Texas, gives a few tips for performing orthopedic exams and evaluating gait in dogs.

Brian Beale, DVM, DACVS, orthopedic surgeon and head of education, training, and research at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston, Texas, gives a few tips for performing orthopedic exams and evaluating gait in dogs.

First, check how the dog postures, sits, and stands, Dr. Beale says. If it's not normal, something is wrong. One example he mentions is the sit posture. Dogs should sit square, but if they have an early cruciate tear they will sit out to the side. 

Next, look for range of motion in the joints and compare to legs to each other to see if motion is decreased on one side, Dr. Beale advises. You also want to look for swelling and pain by taking their joints to full extension or full flexion to see if they show pain. 

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