Lameness Evaluation


Is my dog in pain?  Why is my dog not interested in exercising anymore? 

Lameness in dogs and cats can sometimes be very difficult to localise. This stems from the inability to ask them ‘where does it hurt?’ So instead we rely on a range of tools in our ‘tool box’ to narrow down the problem.


Radiographs (XR)

Radiographs (the act of obtaining a radiograph involves ‘shooting’ xray beams) are often the first line in trying to identify the problem. Radiographs are useful in identifying bone abnormalities but are limited in diagnosing soft tissue or cartilage issues. Radiographs usually require sedation or general anaesthesia in order to reduce patient stress and maximise information quality. We generally prefer for lameness evaluations appointments to be in the morning and for you to fast your pet (no food that morning) in case we need to keep your pet for a few hours to perform radiographs.  This is not always required but best to plan for just in case.


Advanced Imaging – Done at Referral Centres located in the Brisbane area

We will sometimes employ the use of advanced imaging tools such as:

  • Computed tomography (CT) - great for 3D assessment of joints (eg. shoulder and elbow) and limb deformities
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - superior for spinal conditions, nerve and muscle based disease
  • Ultrasound (US)
  • Contrast imaging (CT/MRI/XR)


What can I do to help?

We will ask you to numerous questions about the nature of the lameness at the initial consultation, as your dog cannot speak for themselves and we need you to help us determine the severity.  We also have a short lameness questionnaire for you to fill out preferably ahead for the appointment. This will help in understanding you and your pets concerns. It can also be very useful to obtain a VIDEO of the problem as it occurs in the home environment. Video’s are best obtained from both BEHIND and the SIDE in order to best assess for any gait concerns. Please email a short video ahead of appointment or if unable to do this bring video with you to the appointment for us to watch.

Email to, with pets first and last name as reference.

Click here to find our lameness evaluation form


Is my dog in pain?

Owners will very often ask if their pet is in pain when they are limping. If your pet is not using their leg 100% normally this often means that there is an element of pain reducing their comfort and confidence. Just because they cannot readily communicate their discomfort verbally, physical cues such as holding the leg off the ground during walking is a frequent sign of dogs in pain.