Causes and Concerns of Carpal Hyperextension in Dogs and Cats

balto splint on dog for hyperextension

The Best Ways to Support Dog or Cat with Carpal Hyperextension

The carpus (also referred to as the ‘wrist’) is made up of seven bones and includes three joints: the radiocarpal joint, the intercarpal joint, and the carpometacarpal joint. These bones and joints are held together with several ligaments that are also responsible for the angle of the dog or cat’s carpus and allow motion to occur in the paw.

What Is Carpal Hyperextension?

Hyperextension (or bending more than usual) typically occurs when there is too much force applied to the joints upon landing. This can cause tearing of the ligaments that stabilize the joints.  Due to the high impact of this joint, carpal hyperextension is common and can be debilitating to your dog or cat. Carpal hyperextension most commonly occurs for the following reasons:

  • Trauma
  • Degenerative
  • Inflammatory Polyarthropathy

Some common signs that might occur and indicate that your dog has carpal hyperextension include:

  • Inflammation
  • Lameness
  • Abnormal, Hyperextended Stance and Gait

How Can Carpal Hyperextension Be Treated?

When surgery is not an option, bracing devices such as the Balto Splint – Carpal/Tarsal Laxity Splint are designed to help provide that lost stability from hyperextension or similar injuries. The brace includes a tough, but slightly moldable splint and can also be used for minor ligament distortions. This brace can also be worn for tarsal hyperextension as well. Pair this brace with the Balto Joint – Carpal Compression Band for contralateral support to protect healthy joints. Protecting the healthy joints and ligaments that are compensating for the affected limb is necessary to prevent injury or wear to the other side.