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Premature Closure of the Distal Ulna (PCDU)

PCDU is a complex heritable condition, a type of angular limb deformity where the distal growth plate of the ulna closes prematurely, thereby preventing the ulna from growing further. However, the adjacent bone – the radius – continues to grow; and it is this uneven growth that forces the radius to bow and therefore the wrist to turn out.

PCDU can be a painful condition that can affect one or both forelegs. The deformity at the wrist (carpus) leads to elbow incongruity (poor alignment of the joint surfaces in the elbow) and subsequent osteoarthritis.

indications of PCDU include lameness in your puppy i.e. persistent limping, which may be intermittent over a period of time, that does not respond to rest, reluctance to go for a walk as it could be painful and excessive turnout of one or both front feet (carpus valgus).

It is important for any young Glen presenting with a history of persistent limping and/or excessive turnout of one or both front feet to be checked over by a veterinary surgeon.

Not all cases of lameness are because of PCDU.  Injury, soft tissue damage and foreign bodies in the paw can also cause lameness therefore it is important not to allow a puppy to jump on or off things or to over exercise but if any symptoms present it is advisable to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.



Surgical treatment for PCDU aims to correct the deformity and so reduce the associated pain. There are different surgical options depending on age and severity of symptoms at diagnosis. Owners may wish to consider referral to a specialist for imaging and surgical management of this complex condition.

Conservative, or non-surgical, management of PCDU aims to treat pain and maintain mobility.

Early interventions will generally result in better long-term outcomes.

Glens with a diagnosis of PCDU will have a degree of osteoarthritis (OA) in the respective elbow joint, even if they have corrective surgery and therefore may require pain management.

Glens that are treated conservatively will need regular review for pain management. Weight management and avoiding long walks will reduce stress on the affected joints


it would be inadvisable to breed from a dog affected with PCDU or has persistent unexplained limping as a puppy or adult or has excessive turnout of front feet.

If your vet suspects PCDU, you may wish to request referral to a vet who specializes in the imaging, treatment and management of this complex condition.

Please report a diagnosis of PCDU or any other foreleg diagnosis, to the Breed Health Coordinator Wendy Tobijanski.

Also notify your breeder, so that any further investigations can be made if required.

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