Note for Pet Owners:

This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Topics on this Page:

Lameness is a common occurrence in animals of all species. Essentially the animal is unable to walk or run properly because it cannot use a leg normally, and one or more limbs may be affected at the same time.


Lameness can be due to a wide variety of causes including:

Pain - e.g. trauma, infection, foreign body penetrations (e.g. glass), cancer

Restricted movement in joints - e.g. joint swelling, arthritis (degenerative joint disease)

Excessive movement in joints - e.g. torn ligaments, hip dysplasia

Biomechanical problems due to abnormal limb conformation eg angular limb deformity due to nutritional error, joint dislocations

Muscular disease - e.g. myositis (rare)

Nervous system disorders - e.g. disc protrusion compressing the spinal cord, peripheral nerve paralysis

Provet Links

Key features that help with the diagnosis of lameness

Performing an examination of a lame animal

Diagnostic aids in lameness

Treatment of lameness


To be Completed November 2013