Laurie's Blogs.


Nov 2012

An upcoming puppy assessment

Hey Laurie,

I have a puppy assessment booked for this Wednesday. The referral said ’a potential limb angulation’. I have reviewed my puppy assessment notes - but otherwise am not really feeling confident for this one and not sure where to potentially go with a limb angulation?!

Any helpful hints? 

Thank you! -J


Hey J- 

So you will be looking for the following:

1) Gross anomalies...

2) Straight in the shoulders (look at angle of scapula)

3) Straight in rear (imaginary line drawn up from the hock when perpendicular to floor - and distance between the imaginary line and the ischial tuberosity)

4) Overly angulated in rear - same as above...but in reverse, i.e. more German shepherd-like... and the dog is not a shepherd and/or this exaggerated angulation is not in balance with the front-end structure.

5) Overly angulated in the front... scapula is in a 45 (or more) degree of ’layback’… and the dog is not a dachshund!  This tends to make the point of the shoulder(s) protrude way past the chest.

6) ‘Easty-Westy’ in the front legs (valgus at the carpus or elbows)... This conformation could be because the chest has not dropped (eg. in a large dog... they often look like this between 9 - 10 months of age up to 2 years).  if it’s HUGELY pronounced and/or a little dog, it could be a premature closure of the ulnar growth plate...but the vet should have been savvy to that!  (Maybe he/she is...  You could always suggest bracing the legs... but with knowledge that it could be growth plate related vs ligamentous laxity.)

7) The problem might be hyperextension of the carpus... I’ve got one on treatment now... The vet surgeon said keep him exercised, it’ll fix as he grows & ‘no splints’.  I wanted splints + exercise.  Owner went with no splints... and dog still hyperextends (6 mo later).  I’d lean towards soft support to be honest - if that’s the case.

7) Rear legs are ’easty-westy’:  This puppy would likely needs to do standing practice:  i.e. on two cinderblocks or 4 separate blocks of wood (with good footing) and the owner placing the legs properly while rewarding the dog and maintaining the proper position. 

And, as usual, look at all the things that regular vets wouldn’t check, such as spine, ribs, or pelvis (joint) dysfunctions.  You may need to advise on conditioning exercises (i.e. hill walking, cavalettis, digging exercises, etc.).

It’s rather a guess until you see the dog, unfortunately.  I hope this gives you enough ideas to get your head spinning… until you actually see the dog! 

All the best!

Cheers!  -  Laurie