dog shoulder pain

Dog’s anatomy helps them to become a superb hunter and tracker. However, they can still be susceptible to injury just like us. A dog’s anatomy is amazingly well built. Shoulder joints are supported by the ligaments and tendons. The shoulder joint is called a ‘ball and socket joint’. Many dogs may experience a strain injury to their muscles of the rotator cuff or a low-grade sprain injury to their shoulder ligaments. Strain injures tendons that join muscles and bones causing irritating dog shoulder pain.

Usually, athletic dogs get strained. However, that also can happen when a dog slips, falls, or jumps during play or stretches unduly. Shoulder-joints ligament and tendon make up most of the causes of faultiness in the canine shoulder joint. In this condition, a flap of cartilage is hoisted from the articular surface. Thereby causing a disturbance in endochondral ossification.

Injury Causes and Treatment:

shoulder pain dog legs injury

1. Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)


The disturbance in endochondral ossification leads to multiple areas of cartilage on the surface and within the epiphysis. That has not gone under normal maturation in the bone. Areas of abnormal articular surface become thickened and lead to necrosis.

Large-breed dogs and males are affected more frequently by this condition.


On physical examination, the shoulder should be moved through a good range of motion. Affected dogs exhibit pain if the shoulder is hyperextending. Atrophy of forelimb muscles can be observed due to loss of muscle mass.

Surgery is the preferable option in this condition. The principle of surgical treatment includes the excision of the cartilage flap and treat subchondral bed. The lesion of abnormal cartilage should be completely removed. In this case, the activity should be restricted for a few weeks follows surgery.

2. Glenoid Fragmentation:


Fragmentation of the edge of the gland can cause chronic shoulder pain and lameness in dogs. This may be asymptomatic. In fact, this syndrome may lead to secondary ossification and traumatic injury, the most common clinical sign is dog shoulder pain.


Physical therapy, moderate rest, and pain management could be started initially along with short wave therapy. Surgery is a choice of treatment. In case, conservative treatment does not respond.

Dog shoulder pain management therapy depends upon the nature or size of the lesion and behavioral changes in dogs.

3. Biceps Tendon Injury:


The healthy biceps tendon has a smooth surface origin. The most common injury to the biceps is bicipital tenosynovitis.


One of the methods to evaluate the cause of dog shoulder pain is Arthroscopy. Preferred for the evaluation of bicep tendon and the cranial joints in dogs. It is insignificantly invasive, evaluates supraglenoid tuberosity, biceps, and tendon sheaths. Abnormalities in biceps are easily evaluated due to the accessibility of the arthroscopic method. Treatment for this condition can be accomplished under arthroscopic guidance. Bicep tendon release is a preferable and convenient procedure by using radiofrequency.

4. Supraspinatus Injury:


Supraspinatus tendon tears can be acute or chronic. Most commonly chronic tears are diagnosed easily. Animals show pain on palpation on the Supraspinatus tendon of the humerus. Pain may be apparent with the shoulder flexion; persistent lameness may occur. Acute tears follow tissue swelling or bruising. While chronic tears may lead to atrophy of limb muscles.


Pain management and physical therapy initially follow. Surgical treatment is a choice if no first-line therapies affect surgical options. Including surgical removal of the damaged calcified region of the tendon or tendon transaction. There is restricted activity to leash walks for several weeks following surgery.

5. Infraspinatus Muscle Injury: 


Infraspinatus tears may be acute or chronic, forelimb lameness, and tissue necrosis can be observed as a secondary syndrome follows acute trauma, pain exhibited as direct palpation of Supraspinatus tendon, and by the flexion of the shoulder. 


The choice of treatment is a transaction of the infraspinatus to give quick intent to the abnormal gait in patients. Lameness or limping in dogs may be due to various reasons. Lameness is a response to injury or atypical anatomy of the doglegs, which can worsen at any time of the day. Or significantly after the exercise.

Affected animals are frequently middle-aged, contender, large breed dogs.

Hematological Alternations:

In the veterinary literature, it has been considered that hematological alternations can be seen in muscles strain or injury. Commonly considerable markers of tissue damage are creatinine kinase (CK) and Aspartate aminotransferase. Both enzymes are present in muscle cytoplasm associated with inflammatory conditions and degenerative diseases.

Dog Legs injury: 

lameness in dogs, what lameness mean medrego stem cell therapy

Different factors contributing to limping include:

  • Trauma to legs
  • Broken bones
  • Arthritis
  • Nerve damage
  • Dysplasia
  • Genetic disorders or any congenital abnormalities

In some breeds like the Labrador retriever and German shepherd, genetic abnormalities may occur as Dysplasia. Referred to as an abnormal development in tissues or organs, causes pain and limping from a very young age. Many breeders now screened to reduce the abnormalities in inheritance.

Forelimb lameness in small to large breed dogs is often identified by the traumatic or degenerative shoulder.

A shoulder injury can be acute or chronic, and they can entail bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, articular components, with the most often reported causes of lameness being intra-articular disorders. 

Home Remedies for Pain Management:

Conventional medicines for the orthopedic abnormalities are very expensive, often involving a consultant. They use drugs like pain killer, anti-inflammatory drugs. If you observe your dog is not acting fine in his daily routine, you may get wonder whether he is sick or in pain. In case you think your dog is in pain, don’t rush directly to the medications. Instead, manage his pain by considering home remedies.

Few options for pain management of your dog you can try for yourself.

1. Exercise: 

It may sound cruel to make him exercise. However, activities like swimming have beneficial effects to relieve pain. For strains, confine your dog for a few days.

dog shoulder exercise

2. Physical therapy: 

Physical therapy can be helpful to recover injury and to reduce pain. Additionally, massage therapy is another choice to make your dog comfortable.

3. Herbs, Extracts: 

The number of herbs has very significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Like:

  • Comfrey (Symphytum official)
  • Ginger (Zhinger Officinalis)
  • Yucca (Yucca schidigera)
  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Although the treatment of these conditions depends on the diagnosis of the veterinary health care provider. He will thoroughly examine your dog and take a complete history from you. Also, he will determine the most painful area by checking for any abnormalities of bones and joints.

Alternative Dog Shoulder Pain Treatments

Although before mentioned home remedies are very important they might need help.

Your options vary from pain medicaments, supplements, surgeries, and platelet-rich plasma treatment to Stem Cell Therapy.

While others only help to suppress or temporarily prevent pain, lameness, stiffness, and other consequences. Stem Cell Therapy ensures many more benefits in the long term.

Stem cells occur naturally in the body and are organically drawn to areas that are damaged. They are able to regenerate damaged tissues. Therefore they can help to prevent pain and other issues that come along with injury or disease. Moreover, they can help to stop the progression of the problem and prevent its repeated occurrence. That all is managed just with a simple injection procedure.

Your dog may show the first recovery results after a few weeks. In fact, stem cells maintain their positive impact for up to 3 years. Additionally, thanks to its high efficiency therapy also will be more cost-effective!

Treating Dog Shoulder Injuries With Stem Cells

A lot of success is found in the transplantation of Stem Cells in the affected joint!

Medrego offers a CaniCell Therapy product for Shoulder pain, Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and soft tissue injuries from Allogenic (healthy donor-derived) Mesenchymal Tissue Cells. These Stem Cells will be added to the areas where the dog is dealing with severe pain in order to repair the damaged tissue and bones.

CaniCell Stem Cell Therapy

Dog Stem Cell Therapy is a treatment that has proven itself all around the globe with more than 10 000 dogs treated. Many experts have confirmed the safety and efficiency of dog Stem Cell treatment – experts report that the success rate is quite high (up to ~90%).

In case you want to find out more about Stem Cell Therapy and how it can help your dog contact us!

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