Skip to content
Next Day Delivery Available // 14 Day Returns Policy
Next Day Delivery Available
What is Shoulder Injuries and Dislocation in Dogs?

What is Shoulder Injuries and Dislocation in Dogs?

Dog shoulder injuries can range from mild dislocations or strains to severe tendon injuries. The shoulder joint in dogs is more mobile than any other main limb joint. They are vulnerable to becoming dislocated, sustaining injury through trauma or more degenerative and often age-related joint issues, such as arthritis.

Dog shoulder braces here

Shoulder Injuries or shoulder dislocations in Dogs

Shoulder injuries in dogs can occur due to various reasons, including trauma, overuse, repetitive strain or an underlying health condition. Common shoulder injuries in dogs include strains, sprains, dislocations, fractures and tendon or ligament tears. These injuries can cause pain, lameness and limited range of motion in the affected shoulder.

Dog shoulder dislocation (luxation of the shoulder) happens when the upper bone in a dog’s front leg (just above the elbow) is knocked out of its normal position in relation to their shoulder blade. The shoulder joint can be partially out of place (subluxated) or completely out of place (luxated).

Signs and symptoms of a shoulder injury or shoulder dislocation

The symptoms to watch out for if you think your dog has hurt their shoulders are; lameness and limping. Depending on the severity and cause of your dog’s shoulder injury, symptoms may manifest suddenly or slowly over time.

If you suspect your dog has a shoulder injury or shows the symptoms of a shoulder injury or dislocation, it's important to consult a vet for a proper diagnosis and to discuss appropriate treatment options.

Treatment for dog shoulder injuries or shoulder dislocations

There is no generic treatment option for shoulder injuries, as it depends on the specific injury and its severity. However often it involves a combination of rest, controlled exercise, pain relief and/or anti-inflammatories. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair torn ligaments, tendons or fractures. Surgery usually aims to stabilise the joint and restore proper function.

In shoulder luxation or dislocation, the joint must first be put back into place and then held in place, so that the surrounding muscles and tendons are able to heal. The amount of management then needed depends on how much damage was done when your dog’s shoulder was dislocated. Generally, as mentioned above, it involves rest, controlled exercise and anti-inflammatory painkillers.

A shoulder brace applied either post-injury or post-surgery, can provide the much-needed stability and support to the shoulder joint and its associated muscles and tendons, so that less strain is put through the joint and it is able to heal better.

What Age does a dog get a shoulder injury or shoulder dislocation?

Any age of dog can suffer a shoulder injury through trauma or dislocation. In the case of genetic shoulder instability however, this usually develops in middle age.

How to help your dog around the house

Try to limit to amount of jumping and/or climbing your dog does. For example, going up or down stairs, jumping up onto furniture. If they have a raised bed that your dog has to climb into, it might be an idea to change this. Putting non-slip socks or boots on your dog if you have wooden or slippery floors can be helpful. When your dog slips with their front legs, this can be put extra strain on their shoulder joint and delay or prevent healing. Wearing a shoulder brace can also be beneficial, giving support and providing stability to the joint. A shoulder brace can often be worn for long periods of time, as it is made from a soft material.

What causes shoulder injuries or shoulder dislocations?

As mentioned above, shoulder injuries and shoulder dislocations can be caused due to a variety of reasons, most commonly it is through either trauma or strains and sprains or less commonly, shoulder instability from a genetic predisposition. When your dog sustains a trauma to their shoulder such as a fall or being in an accident, their joint becomes damaged, affecting the muscles and tendons that support and stabilise the joints.
The two most common dog shoulder injuries are shoulder luxation and shoulder instability.

  • Shoulder Luxation

Luxation (or dislocation) of the shoulder occurs when the upper bone of your dog’s front leg leaves its normal position and moves towards its shoulder blade. Depending on the individual case, your dog’s dislocation could be subluxated (partially) or luxated (entirely).

  • Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability in dogs describes a wide range of soft tissue injuries to the shoulder’s ligaments, tendons and muscles. If your dog suffers from this, you will generally notice a change in its gait. This condition affects all sizes and breeds of dogs, but it’s especially prevalent in miniature breeds.
It is still unknown whether the cause of shoulder instability is purely traumatic or is a result of the degeneration of the tissues. However, the condition is observed chiefly among middle-aged dogs. While shoulder instability typically affects one shoulder, a small percentage of dogs may experience this in both shoulders.

Dog Shoulder Dislocation and Shoulder Injuries

  • Balto® Lux - Dog Shoulder Brace
    Original price £149.99 - Original price £164.99
    Original price
    £149.99 - £164.99
    £149.99 - £164.99
    Current price £149.99

    🟢 In stock, ready to ship The Balto Shoulder Dog Brace Lux is excellent at offering strong support to the shoulder area while reducing strain on yo...

    View full details
  • Walkin Wheels Quad Dog Wheelchair (blue)
    Original price £414.00 - Original price £785.00
    Original price
    £414.00 - £785.00
    £414.00 - £785.00
    Current price £414.00

    🟢 In stock, ready to ship The Walkin' Wheels Quad Dog Wheelchair is excellent for dogs who are older, had a serious accident/injury or have an ampu...

    View full details

Looking for help with your dog and shoulder dysplasia?

Give us a call, email or chat to us online

Give us a Call on - 01730 622544