Main > Puppy down on pasterns (17 replies)

by fm2410 on 03 May 2007 - 16:05

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Any one have experience with a pup down on his pasterns. This guy is 14 weeks old, 36 pounds and just returned from a 2 week boot camp. They were feeding him Eukanewba (SP) Greman Shepherd while he was in boot camp. The owners are feeding him the Pro Plan large breed puppy. My experience with this, is too much protein in the diet and/or to much exercise. I told the owners to put him on an Adult food and limit his exercise for a few weeks. Does any one have any other sugestions? Thanks! http://www.angelfire.com/falcon/norbengsd/100_0840.jpg

by Sunsilver on 03 May 2007 - 17:05

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Boot camp for a 14 week old pup??? Is this common? Well, I think whoever did this to the pup ought to be shot! This MAY correct itself, but I think the chances are against it. The ligaments that hold joints together are NOT elastic. Once stretched, they stay stretched. I'm speaking here from my knowledge as a nurse, personal experience with bad ankles, one of which required two operations, and many years of working with horses. YOU DO NOT JUMP horses until they are fully mature at age 3 or 4, not unless you want to ruin them. Yes, they do race horses before that, but that is not as high-impact a sport, and the rate of injuries is very high. We would see fewer horses break down if they weren't raced until 3, but usually the almighty dollar prevents that from happening. The pup may have been genetically predisposed to this. It's unfortunate, but I think the owner would be better off to start again with another pup. I also had a friend with a dog that had one dropped pastern, the result of jumping off the porch after a squirrel. It never corrected itself, but the dog was full grown when it happened.

by Kalibeck on 03 May 2007 - 17:05

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My vet said my puppy was down in his pasterns as well, but my breeder reassured me that he looked normal, that with his disproportionately large feet, he did look floppy, but that he would grow out of it, & he did. Right about the same time as his ears came up, his pasterns seemed to gain some strength. I was careful about the amount of excersize he was given, however. Just offering my experience. JO

by Sunsilver on 03 May 2007 - 17:05

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I forgot to add that dogs are not allowed to compete in agility before 18 months of age, or in Flyball before 12 months. So, WHY would anyone be jumping a GS pup at 14 weeks?? That's just asking for trouble! Growth plates on the bones can be damaged and ligaments and tendons overstretched.

by Shelley Strohl on 03 May 2007 - 18:05

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This is usually only noted in large boned pups, like pano. They generally grow out of this phase. Watch the pup's weight. SS

by SchHBabe on 03 May 2007 - 18:05

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Did the puppy have weak pasterns before he went to "boot camp"? Some dogs naturally have such weak pasterns, unfortunately. What happened at "boot camp" anyway? I have a big boned DDR/Czech male and he never went through a stage with weak pasterns. I find it hard to imagine that a dog with that structure could recover to a normal leg.

by fm2410 on 03 May 2007 - 18:05

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Sunsilver? Where did you get the idea that some one has been jumping this puppy. He was in training for the basic's. Sit down, don't eat the couch type of thing.............

by Sunsilver on 03 May 2007 - 18:05

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I guess I jumped to that conclusion [ouch!] I really don't see how just basic obedience exercises could have caused this, though. SOMETHING must have been overdone, or the pup was just naturally weak in the pasterns. Sometimes even jumping out of a vehicle, e.g., an SUV or truck that stands higher than normal off the ground can damage joints. Like SchHBabe says, WHAT HAPPENED AT BOOT CAMP??

by fm2410 on 03 May 2007 - 18:05

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I don't have a clue what happened at "boot camp". But we are trying to find out. I can't see any one allowing a pup to jump even out of a veichle at that age. But that's me. I never would have sent the pup off to school in the first place.

by Laramie on 03 May 2007 - 23:05

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This looks like a condition called carpal subluxation.. Google that..Common in a number of American lines. I think very unusual in these lines...

by Laramie on 04 May 2007 - 00:05

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This is a web site with some good info and pics of the condition... http://www.geocities.com/voy56514/index4.htm

by crhuerta on 04 May 2007 - 03:05

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Some puppies are down in their pasturns during a "growing" stage....not all stay that way. I have never taken a puppy off of puppy food and placed them on adult food before the proper time. Some blood lines have a "longer" pasturn...not a great trait, but it is there....that will also give the "down or weak look". Proper excercise does help...they should have good "grounding" also to walk on... It is also improper to have a "straight" pasturn. The pasturn should "bend" ever so slightly. The "flat" pasturn is horrible....that is where they look like they are walking on their wrists. ALL these types of pasturns exist.

by VonIsengard on 04 May 2007 - 05:05

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I usually recommend feeding and watering from a raised dish, no long walks on pavement, lift the puppy down from vehicles- but honestly only time will tell. These things may not help, but they sure wont hurt.

by crhuerta on 04 May 2007 - 06:05

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I misspelled PASTERNS......DUH!!!!!! Spell check...spell check...where are you..spell check?!

by cledford on 04 May 2007 - 16:05

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Do a search there are several good puppy pastern threads here at the DB. Here are links to 2, one I started. My puppies pasterns have improved much since I posted. Here is what I think helped. Started walking at least a mile or more a day, with lots of pace changes (walk, trot, run), started supplimenting with raw chicken legs and did the "sand box" thing for her kennel run. Be careful with the sandbox - my puppy injested a lot of sand and also took a few pees & poos which I wasn't crazy about since I didn't want to teach her to soil her kennel. The key was to get her out frequently, but there were still a few accidents, that didn't happen prior to the sand. I phased the sand out after 3 weeks - but I think it helped when I needed it. Read the threads and what I'm talking about will make sense. http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/bulletins_read/76587.html http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/bulletins_read/36437.html -Calvin

by Silbersee on 04 May 2007 - 18:05

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Puppies are very often temporary down on their pasterns. This can occur anytime during the active growing phase. The length of the pasterns should be about a third of the leg and is supposed to have an angle of 20 to 22 degrees. Less than 20 degrees would be way too steep and more than 22 degrees is considered weak. But this is for an adult dog, not a puppy. Chris

by SchHBabe on 04 May 2007 - 19:05

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Please keep us posted on the progress of your puppy's pasterns. I personally have never had this problem with any of my puppies, and I find it hard to imagine how weak pasterns could fix themselves over time, so naturally I'm curious to learn if this is possible. Every day is a learning experience with dogs! Yvette

by Preston on 05 May 2007 - 04:05

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It is genetic. But it often goes away if one decreases the amount of protein in the diet. (a high protein diet often brings this on and increases it substantially. I suggest you feed your dog a quality premier dg food for overweight or adult dogs (very low protein and low fat) and limit the dog's exercise until it goes away. Don't supplement with calcium.

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