Several techniques have been described for canine pancarpal arthrodesis (PCA) with dorsal plating becoming the most accepted method for ease of placement despite the proposed biomechanical disadvantages. The aim of this study was to compare the biomechanical effects of the addition of crossed K-wires to a standard 2.7/3.5 mm hybrid PCA plate. A 2.7/3.5 mm hybrid PCA plate, alone and combined with crossed K-wires were tested. Six pairs of cadaver forelimbs were collected from medium-sized dogs with an average weight of 24 kg by elbow disarticulation. The limbs were potted and fixed in an Instron load cell (Instron, High Wycombe, UK) and axially loaded to failure. Load displacement data and mode of failure were recorded and stiffness, yield load and ultimate load at failure were calculated. The yield load (kN) of the plate and K-wire construct (1.278 +/- 0.11) was significantly higher than for the plate construct alone (1.002 +/- 0.07) (p = 0.00056). However, the differences between the two constructs in stiffness and failure loads were not significant.