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Although dogs and cats walk on four legs, their anatomy is very similar to people. The musculoskeletal system allows your pet to move around in their environment. Abnormalities of this system are often associated with injury.
- Cranial cruciate ligament rupture and fractures represent the majority of musculoskeletal problems.
- Congenital defects commonly affect bone and/or cartilage development, such as elbow and hip dysplasias and patella luxation.
- Infectious diseases of the skeletal system include tick borne diseases such as: Borreliosis (Lyme’s disease), other Rickettsial infections, and systemic fungal infections (e.g.: Blastomycosis).
- Osteoarthritis develops in unstable joints over time.
- Metabolic and nutritional disorders, such as kidney failure, can weaken bones.
- Cancers commonly affecting the bone include: osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, and metastatic disease (spread of cancer).
Musculoskeletal abnormalities are more common in dogs than cats. Surgical intervention may be needed in some cases of musculoskeletal disease. Recovery from musculoskeletal disease or injury often requires a combination of pain management, exercise restriction, rehabilitatitive care, weight management, and nutritional supplements.