Dog Breeds Which Have Turned Out Feet
March 4, 2019
Dogs come in all different shapes and sizes, as you can expect as there are literally hundreds of different dog breeds. Some dogs have feet which appear to be turned outwards. Some dogs even have feet like cats while others have feet like snowshoes or foxes.
However, if your dog’s front feet are turned outwards, this may be a sign of elbow dysplasia, so it always pays to be up on the breed standards of all dogs before you consider bringing one into your home.
But what is elbow dysplasia?
The term is generally used to describe any case of abnormal development in the elbow joint. While there are many ways in which the placement of an elbow can be maladjusted, the primary cause behind the conditions is each of the bones being a poor fit. Signs of elbow dysplasia should be visible when a pip is a few months old, however, conditions such as arthritis can mean that elbows can be displaced as dog's age.
Elbow dysplasia is considered to be a multifactorial disease, this means that pinpointing a cause behind the condition can be tricky. Yet, genetics play a massive part for many dogs who suffer from the disease.
Owners can help to prevent their dogs from developing elbow dysplasia in later life by ensuring that they are fed with the correct nutritional diet and receive the right amount of energy for their breed. However, one thing that owners will not be able to manage in most cases is excessive growth rate!
Which breeds are prone to the condition?
Some breeds are more likely to suffer from elbow dysplasia which leaves them with outward facing feet due to their genetics. While it can be a problem for many breeds of dogs. There are a select few breeds which experience the problems more than others.
You’ll notice that a shared characteristic between the breeds is their size. Elbow dysplasia affects larger breeds the most. However, through research, it has been found that it also affects smaller breeds – it is just more noticeable with the big breeds.
It is not uncommon to find cases of elbow dysplasia with breeds such as Newfoundland Terriers, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Boxers.
What to do if your dog has limb lameness?
If you’ve noticed that your dog has a limp which has persisted or is recurring, you’ll need to consult a vet who will help you assess the severity. Dogs are incredibly hardy animals, yet, it is an owner’s responsibility to ensure that any suspected conditions are dealt with immediately.
Visible signs of elbow dysplasia include your dog’s front two feet turning outwards instead of pointing directly forward when they are stood still, or they are walking. But not all cases of the disease are visible in the beginning. Signs of the disease may also be hard to spot if both elbows are equally displaced.
Signs of the disease usually start to manifest when the dog is between five and twelve months old. Dog owners commonly report that their dog seems to be stiff after long walks or other amounts of strenuous exercise. While others will first notice the feet pointing outwards. It is a common belief amongst vets that the way the feet turn outwards may be a natural response to the pain felt in the elbow, and it’s a way of relieving the pain. Which, you have to admit, is fairly clever.
Even if the dog is adapting to life with disease, you’ll want to ensure that a vet provides a full physical examination and tests to assess what is happening with the album joint.
Your vet will be able to determine whether there is any swelling in the joint by performing X-rays or CT scans on your dog’s leg. However, getting a clear idea of what it is going on with the joint can be difficult as the bones in the elbow joint tend to overlap.
If you’ve got any concerns about your dog’s health, never hesitate to get in touch with your vet to give your best friend a once over! Dogs living with elbow dysplasia may need their diet and exercise routines adjusted. The best person to advise you on the best way to care for your pet is your vet.