Dogs’ and cats’ front paws bear about 60% of their body weight. For this reason, they are often exposed to stress and overloading. One of the most common reasons for using a disability aid to support a dog’s carpal joint is:
Carpal joint collapse: A typical symptom is the so called plantigrade position of the animal paw and walking or running flat on their carpal pad. It is often detected after long immobilization of the carpal joint, for example after forearm bone fracture treatment by a splint or a plaster cast. In these cases, when the tonicity of the retracting ligaments is restored, the problem resolves itself. It may sometimes happen that at the growth stage of large- or giant breed puppies carpal joint collapse occurs as a result of the growing weight of the dog and its still weak tendons. This type of medical condition is referred to as Carpal Laxity Syndrome and it often disappears by itself. However, in some severe cases it is more suitable for a carpal brace to be used in order to control the carpal joint hyperextension.
The most common reason for carpal joint collapse is a trauma caused by falling from a height or repeatedly occurring extension traumas of the carpal joint. The latter can lead to a chronic ligament injury of the back of the carpal joint often accompanied by a trauma of tendons attached to the lower part of the humerus. With adult animals carpal joint collapse is commonly accompanied by degenerative changes in the carpal joints or immune-mediated arthritis. Normally, both joints are affected.