Veterinary Handbook Disease Finder

Gastrocnemius Muscle Rupture


Cattle are the main species of interest.

Other Names

  • Kangaroo Leg
  • Tendon Rupture



This injury usually follows attempts to rise on a slippery floor in an animal already weakened by other disease.

Clinical Signs and Diagnosis

It presents as a markedly dropped (flexed) hock joint, sometimes reaching the ground, and a markedly flexed fetlock. It is particularly obvious in the standing animal. It is usually unilateral, and may become bilateral if the animal continues to struggle.


These animals cannot walk and have major difficulty rising therefore prompt euthanasia is recommended once the diagnosis is confirmed.


Low stress animal handling and non-slip flooring may reduce incidence of this and other traumatic injuries.