MUSCLE CONTRACTURE IN DOGS - The Infraspinatous muscle

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.

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Muscle contracture can occur at any site in the body, but there is a recognised condition involving contracture of the infraspinatous muscle in dogs. Surgical treatment has been reported to result in dramatic improvement in 95% of cases immediately post-operatively.

The cause is not known, but it is seen mainly in active working dogs, and often there was an an acute episode of lameness during vigorous exercise - suggesting possible trauma
or other muscle injury as an initiating factor

Breed Occurrence
The disorder is seen primarily in working breeds of dog. 

Clinical signs inclu
de a chronic, gradual onset change in forelimb gait. No pain is present on examination, but the muscles feel atrophied and wasted. The spinous process of the scapula is very prominent when compared with the opposite limb. The effect of the contracture is to rotate the elbow inwards, but the shoulder and lower limb are rotated outwards. When the dog moves the leg swings out from the body.


Secondary biomechanical changes on other joints

Based upon physical examination.


Surgical section of the infraspinatous tendon is reported to provide a dramatic improvement in 95% of cases immediately post-op.



Long term problems

Updated October 2013