The shoulder joint is a “ball-and-socket” joint. In four legged animals it is made up of the scapula/shoulder blade bones, and the humerus/upper bone of the front leg. These bones are supported by ligaments and tendons. A ligament is a band of connective or fibrous tissue that connects two bones or cartilage at a joint, and a tendon is a band of connective or fibrous tissue that connects a muscle to a bone.
Shoulder-joint ligament and tendon conditions make up the majority of causes for lameness in the canine shoulder joint, excluding osteochondritis dissecans (a condition characterized by abnormal development of bone and cartilage, leading to a flap of cartilage within the joint). It is a disease that occurs in medium to large-breed dogs when they become skeletally mature, around one year of age or older. The average age for development of this condition is between 3 to 7 years of age.
Long-term (chronic) lameness that worsens with activity
X-rays will be needed to determine what is wrong with the shoulder. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may help identify muscle injuries, bicipital tenosynovitis, and rupture of the biceps tendon. It is also useful for determining the location of calcium densities near the intertubercular groove, where the long head of the biceps meets the upper part of the humerus. A joint tap and analysis of fluid from the joint will help identify intra-articular (within the joint) disease. An arthroscopic exploration of the shoulder joint will help diagnose bicipital tenosynovitis, rupture of the biceps tendon, and will confirm or rule out intra-articular disease. This method of diagnostics is performed using an arthroscope, a specially equipped endoscope, which is a tubular device that can be inserted into the joint in order to remove fluid, tissue, or other material for analysis. It includes a camera for visual inspection, and can be outfitted with tools for removal of samples, and for treating the cavity or internal structure.
The term used to describe the movement of an animal
Any type of pain or tenderness or lack of soundness in the feet or legs of animals
The bone in the pectoral that moves with the humerus; the shoulder blade
A type of instrument that is used to look inside the body
The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance
Any muscle that has two heads.
A medical instrument used to look at the inside of a joint.
The wasting away of certain tissues; a medical condition that occurs when tissues fail to grow.
The tearing or breaking away of a part.
Term used to imply that a situation or condition is more severe than usual; also used to refer to a disease having run a short course or come on suddenly.