Stance Analyzer

Utilizing A Stance Analyzer as a Regular Part of the Senior and Lameness Evaluation

  • September 17 2023
  • Andrew J Rosenfeld, DVM, ABVP

By Andrew J Rosenfeld, DVM, ABVP

How often do veterinarians evaluate a patient for an acute or chronic lameness? The exam includes light and deep palpation of the patient, examination of the animal’s gait walking, and circling and evaluation for abnormal joint movement (cranial drawer, Ortolani’s Sign, etc.).  Full diagnostic workups include blood work and radiographs. However, in subtle lameness or with nervous patients with high levels of adrenaline, it is often hard to localize an affected limb or joint. Many times, patients with subtle lameness are placed on pain medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and prescribed rest to help them recover from a potential soft tissue issue.

These medications can cause drowsiness and lethargy in the patient, as well as producing concerning side effects of diarrhea, vomiting, and/or organ complications.  Response to treatment is based on subjective input from the owner and recheck examination.  If patients do not respond they are often sent to surgical specialists for an in-depth evaluation, leading to further diagnostics and protracted care. Although some patients require advanced care and imaging through an orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine specialist, a more objective analysis of weight bearing could aid the general practitioner in diagnostic workup and aid in communicating findings to pet owners. Collecting a standing weight bearing assessment removes subjectivity and gives a simple report with graphic representation that makes it easy to discuss the status of the patient with your client.