I just recently adopted a mixed breed dog whom I named Louie. He is 3 years old, fully grown, and extremely sweet and laid back! However, Lou Dog is half Basset Hound and half Pembroke Welsh Corgi / Australian Shepherd mix, so, he has bowed legs like a basset, the body of a corgi, the markings of a shepherd, and all sort of other weird combos. I'm worried about how bowed his legs are though. Bassets usually have pretty bowed legs, but poor Louie's legs are at probably a 45 to 50 degree angle. His left leg is obviously more curved than his right. He also has a little bit of trouble walking up and down stairs. Is this a medical problem that I need to worry about? Or are Lou Dog's legs just a little abnormal?
Thanks for your help!
~ Mariah and Louie
***Edited By: demidemocratik on 10/20/2008 12:31:47 PM*** Reason: misspelling
I would have Lou's patellas and hips x-rayed, just to see how his joints are. He may have one leg slightly longer than the other as well. That's a good place to start. If those x-rays show normal joints, then I would say, just limit his stair climbing,and jumping off anything, or help him up or down. Ask the vet if there is no problem now, could there be a development of one in the future, and how to prevent it.
Can you post a picture? I know there's a medical condition that can to insanely bowed legs in the front in dogs, it's hereditary and is called chondrodysplasia. I know a friend who got an akita that had it, as did 4 of the 8 other puppies in that litter.
Am I seeing things, or are Louie's nails very long? It's hard to see, but they do look quite long to me. This can actually be a huge problem, and change the way the dog walks. Let me know if I'm blind.
I have seen bassets with worse legs then that. I dont know if it is a big deal, but the vet visit will help. One thing that could drasticly help are cutting his nails. I saw them in the pic, and they are way to long. Keeping his nails cut will help with his walking.
So I'm not blind after all, that's a relief! A great deal of the problem in which your doggy is walking is due to his nails being so long, and it's very painful. I would strongly advise purchasing a dremel, which will help with the quick receding. I would venture to say there is nothing wrong with his legs, it's the fact that he is having to walk on the sides of his feet, causing him too much pain to climb stairs.
I cut his nails a little bit shorter last night.. and also I've been walking him on concrete and asphalt surfaces which has made his nails much shorter than the photo. The only reason that his nails were so long is because he has lived in the middle of the country for his entire life (a little less than three years) and no one had cut his nails for his entire life.
As for the chrondodysplasia, I researched the disorder and it seems as if it happens much more frequently in pure breed dogs. However, he does have a lot of the symptoms: unusually short legs with severe bowing (his body is almost three times "taller" than his legs - which are shorter than his corgi grandfather's, his mixed mother's, or his basset father's legs). A couple of his siblings has similar features. His eyes are also very small. He also had puppies when he was a year old with a lab mix, and they all had short, bowed legs.
Would a vet recognize the disorder if it were present or would I have to bring it up and tell him/her about it?
I would say you would have to mention it to your vet, as sometimes vets are hesitant to mention rare disorders in dogs. As far as it being more common in purebred dogs, I think it's likely because purebred dog owners know that it's abnormal because it clearly doesn't look like something that'd appear in a normal specimen of that particular dog breed. With a mixed breed dog, especially one of unknown origin, I think it'd probably just be assumed that somewhere in the dog's breeding, there was a basset, dachshund or other stunted-legged breed, regardless of whether or not there actually had been one.
Even among reputable and informed purebred dog breeders, this condition is very rare and almost unknown. I actually didnt' know that it existed in Havanese until I looked it up trying to find information on it for you, I've only seen pictures of it in Akitas, and it's extremely rare even in that breed.
Either way I definitely think that as soon as you can get them, some x-ray on his front legs might be in order, so the vet (and you) know exactly what you are dealing with and you can be more prepared for healthy treatment/exercise options for little Louie :)
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.