01186-A: Evaluation of the Soft Tissue Compartments of the Canine Manus

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $11,815
Jeryl C. Jones, DVM, PhD; Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
August 1, 2008 - March 31, 2010

Sponsor(s): Akita Club of America, Inc., Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America, Newfoundland Club of America Charitable Trust, Samoyed Club of America Education & Research Foundation

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Musculoskeletal Conditions and Disease
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Project Summary

Injuries of the paw represent significant occupational hazards in working and sporting dogs. Surgery in the paw is often unsuccessful due to the poorly understood migration routes for foreign objects and infectious agents. Mapping of human hands and feet has demonstrated the presence of multiple soft-tissue spaces that create specific pathways for extension of disease. Surgical planning in humans is greatly aided by accounting for these boundaries. The researchers identified multiple discrete soft-tissue spaces in the front paw of dogs. These spaces are similar to those described in the human hand and foot. They also found that injection of contrast medium into the web of tissue between the toes resulted in a predictable pattern of extension of the material into the surrounding soft tissues. This is important because the interdigital web spaces are among the most common locations for paw foreign bodies in dogs. Knowledge of the likely paths of foreign body migration or spread of infection is important information for surgical planning. With a better understanding of canine paw compartments and spaces, surgical treatment can be more specifically directed, thus reducing patient pain and loss of function.


Ober, C. P., Jones, J. C., Larson, M. M., & Lanz, O. I. (2010). Computed tomographic and cross-sectional anatomic characterization of myofascial compartments and soft tissue spaces in the manus in cadavers of dogs without forelimb disease. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 71(2), 138–149. https://doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.71.2.138
Ober, C. P., Jones, J. C., Larson, M. M., Lanz, O. I., & Werre, S. R. (2010). Modeling of the spread of infection in the interdigital spaces of the manus in limbs from clinically normal dogs. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 71(3), 268–274. https://doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.71.3.268

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