The Forelimb

When we take our dogs out for a walk or maybe to a training situation, have you ever though about which muscles are working to complete these tasks? There are a lot of muscles which work together to provide stability and smooth movement of the limbs. A task as simple as throwing a ball means these that the dog has to engage a series of muscles to complete the task of fetching it back, each one flexing and extending to allow the movement required.
I felt it would be a great topic to think about and maybe discuss. So, let’s look at what muscles are the mechanics of the forelimb.
In the forelimb, there are seven major muscles: –
• Supraspinatus
• Infraspinatus
• Pectorals
• Trapezius
• Biceps Brachii
• Brachialis
• Triceps Brachii
The supraspinatus and the infraspinatus muscles are situated either side of the scapula and their function is to stabilise the shoulder joint. The supraspinatus helps the shoulder extend when in motion. The infraspinatus helps the shoulder flex when in motion.
The pectoral and trapezius muscles are the ones which control the movement of the forelimbs. The pectoral muscles, controls the inward movement of the forelimb where it draws back and towards the midline of the body. The trapezius controls the outward movement of the forelimb, and they also assist with elevating the limbs.
The Biceps Brachii and the Triceps Brachii power the flexion of the elbow and help the extension of the shoulder.
These muscles provide two important functions. To provide movement of the forelimbs, head, neck, and joints and they also provide stability to the joints which enables them to function when moving under pressure, like running in a field or competing in a sport such as agility.

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