Potential Causes of Problem Areas in Dogs

Dogs have relatively flexible spines and the joints between each pair of vertebra allow a reasonable range of movement. While this allows them to run, jump and curl up tightly in their baskets, it also makes their spine susceptible to injury. As with horses (and humans!), a canine injury can be the result of a one-off event or a longstanding compensation.

A fall, a bad slip or skidding on a wooden floor can suddenly take a joint to the extreme range of its movement. Equally, long term trauma such as always landing on the same leg when jumping (including on and off furniture), repetitive twisting movements such as chasing a ball or taking part in agility, obesity or persistent lead pulling can cause joints to become restricted in their range of motion. Below are some further causes of back problems.

Acute causes

• Falling over/down stairs/out of car/off furniture
• A collision with another dog/object/person
• Twisting/slipping over/under an obstacle

Chronic causes

• Constant lead pulling
• Conformational weaknesses
• Repetitive/demanding work
• Secondary compensatory issues from previous illness/injury
• Carrying excess weight