SO I have had my puppy for about a week now and in that week we have noticed his leg is crooked. It’s awkward looking. It’s not painful to him but it’s like he can’t support his weight on it. He stumbles over it occasionally and favors it. You really noticed it when he stands up straight. When he’s drinking or eating at his bowl it shakes like crazy.
I emailed the breeder first off and she replied telling me that “Yes I’ve seen that in puppies, what kind of puppy food are you feeding? It’s too high in protein and he is outgrowing his joints/ligaments or vice versa. Get him some calcium treat tablets too just one a day or the directions on the container, and that will help too, try to get him started on them tomorrow. They grow so fast sometimes that happens. But do have your vet look at him when you go. With in a few days to a week you will be able to tell the difference, you may need to cut back on the high protein in puppy food or mix with a lower protein for awhile.”
I thought we were trying to keep the calcium to a low on these large breeds but she wants me to feed him calcium?
Ok picture didn’t work. How about a link.
Hi DieselJunki –
It looks to me like your pup is knuckling over. You breeder gave you horrible advice, supplementing with calcium and reducing the protein will not help and could potentially make the issue worse. Calcium needs to be in balance with phosphorus – the ratio needs to be between 1:1 and 2:1 calcium to phosphorus. Commercial foods have a balanced ratio, so by supplementing with addition calcium you will likely throw the ratio off. You never ever want to supplement a balanced diet with calcium (unless advised by a veterinarian) and especially not for a growing puppy. Too much calcium in the diet actually contributes to developmental orthopedic diseases, such as knuckling over. Knuckling over, along with excess calcium, can be caused by overfeeding, having your pup walk around on inappropriate flooring (slippery floors) or by feeding low quality foods containing nutrients that have a low bio-availability. The good news is, if this is knuckling over (which I suspect it is) it can easily be reversed with no permanent damage. Get your dog on a balanced quality food with appropriate calcium levels and monitor intake (DO NOT overfeed). Also, get your pup to a vet asap! The vet should check to see if the dog has any parasites or underlying issues that could be causing nutrient deficiencies and the legs may need to be splinted for awhile. The following is some info on knuckling over:
You may also want to check out the articles posted on large breed puppy nutrition (if you haven’t already):
I am feeding Nature’s Variety: Chicken. I feed the dog what it says on the back of the package but during the day he is with his daddy at work so it is out of my hands then. I have stressed to him that it is important not to overfeed. We currently feed 3 times a day but will drop to two if the vet thinks it’s a good idea. A vet appointment has already been set for this Saturday.
We have mostly carpet but a bit of tile, however his kennel was not lined with anything and I am sure he was in that most of the day while his daddy worked and let out occasionally to run (I know this because Moose comes home muddy constantly). I went out and bought a liner for the kennel because I knew he wouldn’t… men. It’s really ‘his’ dog in the first place but I seem to be doing ALL of the research.
I have actually read through that article. It was very helpful and that’s how I learned to be wary of calcium levels.
We will see what the vet says tomorrow.
I’m sure there are several issues at play here all playing a part in this condition but NV Chicken (assuming you’re talking about the Instinct variety) is extremely high in calcium – the AAFCO max. calcium level allowed in food is 2.5% and this food is 2.49%, the level of calcium recommended for large breed puppy growth is generally 1.2% or below (so this food has over twice as much calcium as veterinary nutritionists recommend for large breed growth). The NV Instinct Rabbit formula and the Limited Ingredient Turkey formula are within the recommended calcium levels.
He has only eaten 1 meal of the chicken and that was today as I just switched flavors from his last bag which was the Turkey and Duck meal. My store does not carry the rabbit as I wanted that one in the first place. They do carry the salmon.
Edit: Oh look I found the edit button!!!! I was not completely understanding what you were saying but I am now. None of them except the rabbit or limited ingredient. I called around and found a mom and pop store that sold good dog food and they said that since Natures Variety had been bought out that they retired them from their in store foods because they were doing some strange things. I guess I am going to have to find a different food entirely that someone carries because I cannot seem to find the rabbit or limited ingredient turkey anywhere.
Yes it is the instinct.
I am not sure if I remember seeing the limited ingredient there or not.
(I wish there was a delete button so I can delete my multiple posts :P)
Ok, so looking at the list I found of acceptable dog foods with correct calcium levels I have found that Wyson Epigen is ok in all the formulas. However there was only one I really liked and it was the Wysong Epigen 90. (I feed my ferrets wysong). There’s a store here that claims to sell it, I pray it is the kind I want. I will have to call.
I’m not sure if you do any online shopping but most brands can be found somewhere online and now there are a lot of online site that offer free shipping so it’s not cost prohibitive to have heavy bags of food shipped. I’m in the middle of nowhere and do a lot of my shopping on sites like Pet Flow, Wag, Natural K9 Supplies, Chewy and K9 Cuisine.
I do a whole lot of online shopping and would definitely considering doing it (I do it for the ferrets already) if I wasn’t going to be moving within the next 2 weeks. The Wysong will have to hold him over until I can get to my new address. Then any food is fair game. Hopefully I’ll have a freezer as well and can find someplace that sells the Answers pre-made raw.
So I went to the vet today. She took 2 X-Rays and determined that he had slipped his growth plate. So in the X-Ray it looked like his growth plate was slipped upward instead of sitting flush like his other foot (they took one of his good leg to compare). They sent me a number and a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. I have an appointment on Monday for that so we will see how that goes. This little guy cost me a fortune to get and now a second fortune after the fact. That’s what I get for lovin animals so much. They did put his leg in a splint so as not to further damage the growth plate.
I really hope my little man doesn’t have to have surgery but if it comes to it then I want to get it fixed.
I still don’t see how he could have done it. I mean we’ve only had him a week.
I know these posts are like a year old, and I also know it has to do with large breeds like Great Danes, but I need some advice. I have a 2 month old doberman puppy mix and she has been knuckling over. It started when she was smaller, we noticed her front leg would shake while she was sitting, we thought she was just getting used to her weight so we ignored it. 2 weeks later which is around now, she looked a lot worse while she was running outside. She started to run with three legs. This is when I realized something was actually wrong. I looked it up and realized she goes back and forth from normal to stage 1 and 2. The more active she is, the more it looks like stage 2, the less active it looks like stage 1, and when she is asleep most of the time then starts walking it looks normal. This led me to believe it is just knuckling over and nothing worse that would need immediate surgery. I have concluded many reasons to why this happened to her. For one, all we have is tile/hardwood floor throughout the house, for two, we switched foods many times, and lastly, the food she was on had like 27% protein. After reading many posts I’ve concluded she needed lower protein so I went and got her 21% protein with no by-products or corn. It seems to have been helping because her paws look normal right now, but she hasn’t been as active since we don’t let her play anymore with her litter mates. We had a litter of 8 puppies, which the other 7 are all normal and they’re still on the 27% protein. All seemed great until I read that when they have knuckling joints their supposed to be on low fat too. I read the label and the food she’s on is 21% protein and 16% fat. I’ve concluded this is too much fat so now I am wondering if we should once again switch foods on her. What do you guys recommend I should do? Buy a high quality adult food that is 21/12? Or keep her on what she’s on? I feel if we did that she would get too heavy for her paw. But I feel if we switched foods again which will be like the 3rd or 4th time it will make problems worse. What should I do? if I had to make a diagnosis id say she’s looking pretty normal at this point. But I think that’s just due to more sleep and walking and less running and playing. Also I read that vitamin C is good, but she won’t eat her food with the crushed up pill in it. If anyone still comes on here please help us out because we don’t want her to get worse
Have you had the vet look at your pup? This can be because you are feeding a diet too high in calcium or too low in vit D or because of an injury or even overfeeding. No matter which it is, it needs to be looked at by a vet and properly diagnosed.
Well they were closed today so we plan on taking her in on Monday. The reason we haven’t taken her anytime sooner is because my dad is out of the country a lot. All though, the vet is experienced with animals, I don’t expect them to be much help, assuming that this is a nutritional problem. This is why I sorta diagnosed her myself. I don’t believe it is caused by an injury or genetic problem because she showed no signs of pain and because it gets better and worse the less or more active she is. And her leg/paw looked exactly like other pictures of dogs with knuckled over legs/paws. I appreciate your advice so I will definitely have my dad take her into the vet due to the fact that I’m no expert, I just didn’t want her to suffer in the meantime until she gets to the vet. Once again, thank you I appreciate your help.
So I’ve skimmed through all the replies on this thread – a slipped growth plate? I’m just curious – is that something genetic and having to do with the breeding? If so, I’d definitely avoid that breeder EVER again :/
(Ahh I just now noticed it’s a year old, also. LOL that’s okay, I’m still curious about the question)
I wouldn’t know the answer to that question so I’ll let someone else answer it
Slipped growth plates are usually caused by trauma, but can be exacerbated by poor nutrition and/or poor breeding. Knuckling over has several different causes with very different treatments. Many of them need to be splinted, most need caged rest, and most need dietary changes. Here’s a list of foods with controlled calcium. Choose one of them and cut back the amount you feed until your pup is lean, thin even. Growing too fast is a major contributor to these types of problems.
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