Skip to content
Next Day Delivery Available // 14 Day Returns Policy
Next Day Delivery Available
What is Carpal Hyperextension?

What is Carpal Hyperextension?

Dog Carpal Hyperextension is when your dogs front wrist joint or carpal pad collapses or hyperextends, becoming low to the floor. Carpal hyperextension occurs due to the carpal ligament being pulled, torn or ruptured. We strongly recommend fully supporting your dogs carpal to reduce pain, provide support, allow increased exercise and to reduce risk of re-injury.

Carpal Hyperextension Braces

Carpal Hyperextension Signs & Symptoms

You might have noticed your dogs wrists or carpal joint getting closer to the ground. It is possible they have carpal hyperextension. The most common signs of carpal hyperextension are:

  • The carpal or wrist area gets closer to the ground
  • Carpal collapse can happen in one or both front carpal pads
  • The wrist or carpal area can feel floppy
  • In severe cases of carpal hyperextension your dogs whole carpal or wrist can be flat on the ground
  • When your dog walks, they can look in pain or discomfort
  • Your dog does not like going on long walks like normal, they may even struggle with short walks or exercise
  • You might notice swelling in the carpal wrist area or that the joint is warmer than normal to touch
"Harvey has hyper-extension of the carpal ligament in his left fore and while it's not completely collapsed yet, it's come on quickly and due to his arthritis"

"Harvey has hyper-extension of the carpal ligament in his left fore and while it's not completely collapsed yet, it's come on quickly and due to his arthritis"

"I think he's putting too much pressure on the paw and if I don't support it I'm sure it will go at some point."

Carpal Hyperextension braces

Harris, hyperextension in front left carpal / wrist

By supporting Harris's carpal joint he is able to go on longer walks as he has the support he needs to feel confident when walking and will also reduce risk of further injury. Here he is on a Northumberland beach.

Harris uses Therapaw Carpo X

What causes Dog Carpal Hyperextension

Carpal Hyperextension is caused by the carpal or wrist area bending more than normal, often due to an accident, tearing the carpal ligaments. Once these ligaments are torn or pulled, stability is lost in the carpal joint and wrist area. As a result your dogs carpal area will start to walk closer to the ground.

  • An accident e.g. your dog falls or is exercising resulting in them placing too much force on their carpal pad ligament and they rupture the carpal ligament
  • Degenerative conditions
  • Larger breed dogs are more likely to experience carpal hyperextension as they are heavier and their carpal ligament longer, meaning they have an increased chance of carpal injury

How to help around the house

It is a good idea to make sure your dog has as much grip on the bottom of their paw, this will reduce the chance of further injury due to slipping on wooden or smooth floor surfaces. Look at socks with a rubber base, such as the Traction socks here. It is also a good idea to wear a carpal support wrap nearly constantly in the house so your dog does not injure themselves further with activities such as jumping off the sofa. You can take the support wrap off at night.

What age does a dog have Carpal Hyperextension

Dogs of all ages can be diagnosed with Carpal Hyperextension.

For younger dogs - puppies around 4 months old - it can be linked to a deformity.

For all other dogs, accidents are most likely to be the underlying cause.

For older dogs, degenerative conditions are more likely than other age ranges.

Penny, double carpal hyperextension

Penny, double carpal hyperextension

Penny has double carpal hyperextension. It is common to have double hyperextension and in these cases it is best to give both carpal pads support with two wraps. By supporting her wrist area, she can go on longer walks with more confidence while also reducing the chance of further injury to her carpal hyperextension.

Penny uses Therapaw Carpo X

Treatment for Carpal Hyperextension

Depending on the level of carpal hyperextension your dog has, the following treatment options can help:

Mild Carpal Hyperextension:

  • Use a light Carpal Support Wrap while in the house, to give them support while doing normal activities. See the Therapaw Carpo Sports Wrap
  • Use a moderate Carpal Support Wrap while out on walks, to give them maximum support when exercising and turning corners / pivoting etc. See the Therapaw Carpo X Warp here

Moderate Carpal Hyperextension:

  • Use a Moderate Carpal Support Wrap like the Therapaw Carpo X in the house and while your dog is exercising
  • Consider the rigid Carpal Splint if you are worried the carpal hyperextension is progressing rapidly

Severe Carpal Hyperextension:

  • We recommend speaking to your vet. They will assess your dog and provide the best information going forward. Surgery might be the option they recommend
  • Rigid Carpal Splint - this splint is the strongest we provide in terms of rigid support. It is likely your dog would use this splint on their road to recovery. Once they have started to recover, consider using a Therapaw Carpo X Wrap inside and outside the house

What is Carpal Hyperextension surgery

If your dog has severe ligament rupture, surgery might be recommended by your vet.

The middle and carpometacarpal joints are fused together to reduce movement without the antebrachial joint.

In cases of severe injuries and degenerative hyperextension a procedure called pan-carpal arthrodesis may be required. This immobilises the carpal joint by fusing all three of these joints together using internal fixation.

Zoomadog Questions on Carpal Hyperextension

“My Labrador has carpal hyperextension and arthritis. He is finding it hard to walk long distances without a support. Can you help me find the best product for him?”

The products we recommend for carpal hyperextension are the Therapaw Carpo Flex X Wrap which offers firm support and is also supportive for chronic arthritis - the Therapaw Carpo Flex Sports dog wrap is also an idea but it's lighter support). There's also the Balto Joint Carpal compression band - which again offers support for both the carpal hyperextension and the arthritis.

"My German Shepherd I think has Carpal Hyperextension. Can you recommend a suitable carpal splint please?"

Thank you for your enquiry with the information about your German Shepherd dog. We have several different options for carpal support, depending on the level of support required, which may help your dog to encourage correct weight bearing.

The Therapaw Carpo Flex X Wrap is a moderate to firm support tendon or ligament damage and carpal hyper-extension. Your dog can carry on with all normal activities whilst wearing this wrap.

Alternatively, for slightly more rigid support, we have the Balto Joint or the slightly longer Balto Bone. Both of these have rigid splints which can be removed. With these I would recommend that you build up the amount of time that they are worn for. We also recommend that wraps/splints are removed when your dog is resting or sleeping at night.

Dog Carpal Hyperextension

Looking for help with your dog and carpal hyperextension?

Give us a call, email or chat to us online

Give us a Call on - 01730 622544