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Boxer puppy with crooked paw - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden

October 5th, 2007, 09:58 PM
I just got my new Boxer pup a week ago. I did not notice this problem when I picked her out at the breeders home but today some co-workers noticed her front right paw points out. She has had no trauma to the paw/leg and has no limping. I did recently introduce her to her collar and she constantly is scratching at it with her back much that when she walks I see her back leg creeping up to scratch her collar(she is sort of hoping). Could this be a cause of her crooked paw? I am concerned and want to seek a local vet but am afraid of the cost this might cost if a serious problem. Can anyone give me advice? Is this normal? or should I just make an appointment SOON?


October 5th, 2007, 10:12 PM
Just to set your mind at ease, talk to your vet about xraying your pup's elbows and sending the films to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Sometimes, things like elbow dysplasia can cause the toes to turn out. The OFA is a great resource--it'll cost you the vet visit, the cost of the xrays and the fee for OFA (less than $35 as I recall).

Elbow dysplasia can be very subtle, especially in such a young pup. We've found that our local vets can't usually see the signs on xrays, but the experienced staff at the OFA can. If you find out there's a problem, best to find it out early and take steps before things get worse. And if nothing is found, what a load off your mind! :thumbs up

Good luck :fingerscr I hope everything checks out okay! :thumbs up

October 6th, 2007, 01:00 PM
I agree that it could be an elbow issue, but you should contact the breeder about this for sure. If this is elbow dysplasia, it should fall under the health guarantee you got from your breeder (assuming the breeder is ethical).

October 18th, 2007, 11:24 AM
You are describing "valgus", and this may be a problem if there is premature bone closure of the growth plate. I see a fair bit of odd conformation in puppies that ultimately doesn't affect gait or activity.

The back leg scratching is not a cause. Certainly consult with a veterinarian, and consider slowing down the rate of growth in your puppy with appropriate diet (I advise a good quality adult ration) at the three to four month age, and also avoiding orthopedic stressors such as excessive torque on the limbs.

An example would be young boys who attempt to pitch baseball like their big-league heroes; puppies likewise should avoid extremes in training until more developed.

X-ray films can quickly tell if premature growth plate closure is the cause of this presentation. If not, then time and common sense will take its course. You may not have a show dog with excellent conformation, but certainly an affectionate companion.

Dr. Van Lienden

Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124

May 26th, 2009, 06:26 PM
If in any case the vet did diagnose it as Valgus, would this be something permanent? Is there like a cure for it? Would it hamper a dog's normal activities?

May 27th, 2009, 03:59 PM
"Valgus" actually refers to which direction the paw points to. This thread is more than 2 years old, but if the dog did suffer from a bone malformation due to the growth plate closing, it would be a permanent condition. If the deformity causes problems, it can be corrected through surgery - procedures that correct this kind of condition actually cut the bone and place it into correct position and then a plate is used to fix the bone into this position while the bone heals.

May 27th, 2009, 04:05 PM
I did a bit of research on forelimb deformities...I know this is an oldish thread but since the topic's up...

May 27th, 2009, 04:12 PM
And just for fun, here's Jaida's xrays...

That's some big ol' "valgus"!!:laughing:

May 27th, 2009, 04:22 PM
Hazel also has bone deformities, she is severely pigeon toed, front and back. Her deformity caused her ACL to rupture and I'm sure she'll have arthritis in her elbows when she is older.

Thanks for the link bendyfoot - I'll have to go through and read Jaida's whole story!

April 28th, 2013, 07:16 PM
Did your puppy grow out of the right paw pointing to the right? I just got an Aussie who is 8 weeks and we were curious if he'd grow out of it. We are going to the first vet checkup this week.

April 30th, 2013, 04:19 PM
I find chiropractic care very helpful for these things. When my dog's elbow is misaligned, her paaw points out.

There are some of these things that are just congenital though.