Stance analysis – the new gold standard in competitively priced canine and feline lameness assessments
Chordata Veterinary Chiropractic is the only Animal Chiropractic clinic in Essex that can provide stance analysis data on your pets. It is quick, easy and non-invasive and can help prevent future issues by targeting problem areas, accurately assessing lameness, and monitoring improvement and progress over time.
60% of a canine’s weight should be over the front limbs, with balance distributed evenly between sides. The stance analysis unit has been specifically designed to determine this weight distribution and therefore diagnose potential issues early.
This unique tool helps us to work preventatively with animals that are predisposed to back or limb issues, either through genetics or for those that put high levels of strain on their joints, for example working dogs or those competing in high impact sports such as agility.
The unit is easily portable and can record the data in a multitude of ways.
The system provides an easy to understand visual representation of weight bearing, stability and centre of gravity with printable reports to monitor improvement and track progress over time.
What dogs would benefit from stance analysis?
Early assessment is key to many orthopaedic issues to help determine if either surgical intervention is required or the issue can be either temporarily managed by non-invasive means such as chiropractic and rehabilitation.
Conditions that have shown benefit from stance analysis:
- Hock issues
- Cruciate ligament injuries
- Stifle issues
- General stiffness and overuse injuries
- Pre-clinical hip and elbow dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition where the hip is improperly formed. It generally becomes worse as the dog ages, or puts on weight or following localised trauma. As the hip dysplasia worsens, so the movement around the affected joint worsens and advanced degenerative arthritis sets in. This is one of those conditions where prevention is the key to everything!
Equally trying to keep exercise to minimum whilst the dog is under a year to 18 months will also significantly increase the chance of the dog having healthier hips as they age.
Breeds that are susceptible to dysplasia include:
- German Shepherds
- Golden retrievers
- St Bernhards
- Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
- French bulldogs
Elbow dysplasia (ED) is a disease caused by growth disturbances in the elbow joint.
Elbow dysplasia is most often seen in large to giant breed dogs, in particular:
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
But this can occur in most breeds of dog.
Ultimately this can cause progressive arthritis of the elbow joint leading to pain and loss of function.
Elbow dysplasia is another common cause of lameness that has also clinically shown to respond favourably to chiropractic care, (it is also one of the more common conditions referred to the clinic from vets).
Again, we must stress that, chiropractic is not a cure, but, it has been shown to help alleviate the symptoms and improve walking in young dogs and in older dogs that have undergone surgery.
Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a relatively common and can in some cases be a comparatively easy to treat cause of back pain. If left untreated however, it can lead to hind end weakness and paralysis in dogs.
Common breeds for IVDD include:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- Cocker Spaniels
- French bulldogs
- Lhaza Apsos
- Shih Tzus
Signs and symptoms
- Arching or hunching of the back
- Back pain
- Cries/yelp/shies away when touched (generally over the spine)
- Difficulty getting up from the floor (note this can be due to other orthopaedic issues such as dysplasia or hips or elbows or localised injuries)
- Dragging a leg (again this can be caused by other issues but is generally seen as a good indicator)
- Knuckling a paw (usually caused by severe neurologic dysfunction)
- Lack of coordination (as above)
- Lowered head
- Neck pain and the hesitancy to move
- Pain when moving
- Paralysis in one or more legs (again this is a sign of sever neurologic dysfunction)
- Trembling or shaking