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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Knuckling Over Advice Please

I just got my puppy, Monte on Thursday (16 weeks old)! The breeder kept him for an extra month because he was knuckling over. Eventually, I said, "if you are, for any reason, worried that is legs won't straighten out, keep him longer. If you are confident that they will straighten out, I'll go ahead and take him." At that point, she said, his legs are 95% better and I can have him. He looked a little bowed when I got him but I wouldn't call it severe. So, now about two days later, I just got back from the vet.

So, I've been researching this EXTENSIVELY. I've read this: Knuckling Over and HOD - Developmental Orthopedic Disease | GREATDANELADY.COM and probably every post on here about it. From what I've read, puppies do usually get better. I believe the breeder had switched his food a couple times because of the knuckling over but the last one she had him on was Bil Jac Adult. I now have him on Iams Sensitive Naturals (23% protein, 13% fat, .85% calcium). I also have him on fish oil, 1000mg vitamin C and 1500mg Glucosamine/MSM per day. I have seen no improvement so far. In the morning, he looks slightly better but by the afternoon, he's standing on just the outsides of his front feet. He doesn't look like he is in pain and he bounces around just fine.

The vet thinks that he has a severe orthopedic condition that will most likely need surgery. He took x-rays, which I will try to post. He said the good news is, the bones are straight. One of the bones appears to be growing faster than the other and if he doesn't get surgery soon, it will become worse and he will essentially be lame. This is the only vet I have seen so far. The vet said he had seen this before but puppies don't usually outgrow it, which made me a little skeptical. I'm not sure whether to believe this vet or not. On one hand, he is looking at my puppy specifically, in person and he is trained in this topic. On the other hand, he seems to be telling me exactly the opposite of what I have read online.

I was wondering if anyone has any advice. I was hoping the vet would put wraps of splints on his legs but he said that wouldn't help. Will it? Can someone explain how I should wrap them? I'm emailing the breeder the pictures right after I post this. I also thought I would email the x-rays to another vet or a specialist to see what they say.

I really hope his legs will straighten out. I love his personality and he's so beautiful. I 'm confident that the breeder will take him back if I decide that is best but I think he is just wonderful and I worry about what will happen to him if I give him back Any advice at all would be appreciated.

P.S. I know his ears have pockets. He's already been posted back up.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 08:47 AM
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It can happen on puppies especially when feeding high protein or if u r feeding puppy chow. U need to switch his food to less than 24 percent protein. When puppies grow too fast it is possible and usually corrects. Having said that I am making no guarantees. Talk to your breeder and give it time n see a vet that has experience with large breed puppies that correct after knuckling over.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 08:56 AM
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There are a few threads from members having dealt with this severely, which might be helpful to you!

Leg Bone/Growth concerns...

Knuckling....I think...

In this one, though some of the pictures are gone, the OP did use braces for the dog, Axel.

Capral Flexural Deformity

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 09:04 AM
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I have had 2 that knuckled over as pups. The first some years ago was corrected almost immediately by following the advice on the Great Dane Lady's website, which I see you have referenced. The second was a bit more recent and also corrected immediately by switching to a raw diet.

Do note that both of my puppy's diets were changed at the first sign so that they did not get anywhere near as severe as your pup seems to be.

I would try following the Great Dane Lady's recommendations to the letter. Generally you will start to see the condition correct itself within a few days.

Good luck and hugs to your pup.


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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 09:22 AM
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Actually, the protein thing has been debunked--the CA : Ph ratio in the food you use is much more important.

I question, from your pics, if that is true "knuckling over," or if it's rather a condition known as Angular Limb Deformity.

If the latter, I'd be extremely concerned. I think one of those linked threads above, documents some of Tyson's story, in which he battled that diagnosis, thru many surgeries and interventions, ending up in rescue despite his owner's best loving efforts to meet his needs.


Do you have more pics of your pup from the front?




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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 09:36 AM
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Have you read this sticky? https://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-co...dangerous.html

I wouldn't feed the adult bil jack unless its approved for all life stages...and really not if it is either.

How much are you feeding and how many meals a day? Overfeeding promotes fast growth. You want slow controlled growth.

It's definitely not good that he still has this problem at his age. I would get a referral to a veterinary university near you or an orthopedic vet.

Oh, and I agree that doesn't really look like knuckling over. Need better frontal pictures.

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies! Bil Jac is what the breeder was feeding him, not what I have him on. I'm about to switch him to Precise Holistic, which is what the Great Dane Lady suggests. I had to order it because I couldn't find it around here. He is currently on Iams Sensitive Naturals, which is 23% protein but I actually emailed the Great Dane Lady and she said the calcium is too low in that one. I'm also giving him vitamin C and glucosamine because I read that could help.

It's really hard to get front pictures of him but hopefully these are helpful. If he doesn't have weight on his feet, his legs are straight. The x-rays also showed that the bones are straight but one is longer than the other. I'm thinking about trying to wrap them just for today and seeing if it makes any difference.

The breeder responded saying that she has seen this many times in her 50 years of breeding and she has never seen them not grow out of it. She is confident that his legs will straighten out. If it turns out to be something he can't outgrow, I'm sure she will do something to help.

I'll look into angular limb deformity and see if I think that could be a possibility. Compared to the photos of other puppies I've seen, I wouldn't call Monte's condition "severe" but the vet thought it was really bad.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Also, he's 17 weeks old and only 32 lbs. He's certainly not underweight but he's pretty bony. I don't think it's an overfeeding or overgrowing problem. I've been giving him three cups of food per day.

Edited to add: I just looked up angular limb deformities. The vet mentioned that the growth plates in his legs are still open. Would this make it less likely to be an angular limb deformity? Also, in the thread about Tyson, his legs looks like they are always curved, even lying down. Monte's legs are straight when he's lying down.

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 11:42 AM
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Did your breeder take him to a vet? I would hope so and what did that vet say? First thing I'd do is contact breeder and let them know what this vet said.

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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 12:57 PM
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Thanks for the pictures.

Doesn't look like knuckling over to me.

I'd be very concerned--not trying to freak you, but I'm not sure "wait and see" stacks the deck for the best outcome for this pup, if some type of intervention is needed.

If he looks straight when non-weight-bearing, does your vet feel there is a soft tissue/connective tissue disorder?

I mean, obviously, there is also an issue with uneven bone growth, but his joints look unstable in those last pics.




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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adara View Post
Did your breeder take him to a vet? I would hope so and what did that vet say? First thing I'd do is contact breeder and let them know what this vet said.
Yes, she took him to the vet several times. I'm not sure exactly what her vet said but they don't seem worried about it. I told her what my vet said and she was very reassuring, saying that she is confident he will outgrow it. She said keep the protein low and suggested fish oil.

I also wanted to clarify the xrays. One of the bones is longer than the other and my vet, for some reason, doesn't think the other will catch up. Both bones are straight. Also, this is the first time I've ever been to this vet so I don't know how knowledgeable he really is on this.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the pictures.

Doesn't look like knuckling over to me.

I'd be very concerned--not trying to freak you, but I'm not sure "wait and see" stacks the deck for the best outcome for this pup, if some type of intervention is needed.

If he looks straight when non-weight-bearing, does your vet feel there is a soft tissue/connective tissue disorder?

I mean, obviously, there is also an issue with uneven bone growth, but his joints look unstable in those last pics.

:-( that's disappointing. My vet seemed to think the bones are the issue. I'm not sure why he thought the shorter bone wouldn't grow to meet the longer one. He mentioned a surgery to cut one of the bones and make it shorter or a surgery to staple one of the bones.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 01:04 PM
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Have any of the vets that have seen him been an ortho specialist?


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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laureen View Post
:-( that's disappointing. My vet seemed to think the bones are the issue. I'm not sure why he thought the shorter bone wouldn't grow to meet the longer one. He mentioned a surgery to cut one of the bones and make it shorter or a surgery to staple one of the bones.
I really think if this were my pup, I wouldn't feel comfortable with less than an ortho specialist evaluation.

Knuckling over is one thing, and I understand many have a fairly casual attitude about it, feeling it can be corrected thru diet changes alone--and certainly in many cases it can be, if that's the actual diagnosis.

Your pup's appearance seems more worrisome than that to me, but not a vet, don't play one on the internet--I'd want a specialist to see him.




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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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I really appreciate the advice. The vet he saw says he is an orthopedic specialist but said he doesn't do things like this. I'm not sure what his specialty actually is. I emailed photos and the xrays to a specialist that the first vet recommended and asked for their advice but haven't heard back yet. I'll call them on Monday too. I also have some vet friends that I would like to ask and I was going to try to find a contact at the vet school a couple hours away to ask.
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 02:31 PM
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never seen a pup 'bow' out at the pasterns like that.

even the toes are affected.

hugz and hope for your pup.

edit to add.. you say his pasterns straighten out when he lays down? can you get a photo of him laying down showing this?

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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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never seen a pup 'bow' out at the pasterns like that.

even the toes are affected.

hugz and hope for your pup.

edit to add.. you say his pasterns straighten out when he lays down? can you get a photo of him laying down showing this?


Here he is lying down. Also, one more standing up. I think it's at least promising that the bones themselves are straight. I don't know whether to be reassured that the breeder isn't worried about this or angry

The Great Dane Lady just emailed back and said he is "bowing out," not "knuckling over." I'm not sure what that means for him though. It sounds worse.





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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 05:58 PM
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that is so weird.

and your breeder says they have seen this many times in 50 of years of breeding? and they all 'grow out of it'............

that is so weird, I say again.

do you know if your breeder adds anything to their diet that may contribute to this issue?
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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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that is so weird.

and your breeder says they have seen this many times in 50 of years of breeding? and they all 'grow out of it'............

that is so weird, I say again.

do you know if your breeder adds anything to their diet that may contribute to this issue?
I don't think they get any supplements or anything like that. She did say he was getting fish oil to try to help correct the bowing. From what I understand, knuckling over happens when one bone grows faster than the other, is that right? However, Monte has one bone longer than the other but he is bowing out. I think it's kind of weird too. He seems to have a mix of conditions and symptoms.

A month ago the breeder also said his female littermate was bowing/knuckling over too. I never got an update on her so I'm not sure how she is doing.

Right now, my plan is to get him on this food that the Great Dane Lady recommends, wait a couple days to see if anything changes and then contact the breeder again. I'm even more concerned because he has been bowing out like this for over a month. I'll post a couple pictures of him while the breeder still had him.

These are about a month ago (12 weeks old):



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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 06:38 PM
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in that last photo it looks like he was 'going over' on his back feet/toes.

and that first pic with the almost collapsed looking pastern on the right leg......weird.
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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 06:45 PM
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I would ask for a copy of vet records so you can forward them to the specialist also.

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post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 09:55 PM
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How long has he been being supplemented with fish oil?

Has he also been on Vitamin E?

If not, there is evidence that the body becomes depleted of Vitamin E (with varying consequences) when processing fish oil.




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post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 05:49 AM
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To me this looks like a mild case of carpal flexural deformity causing him to roll over on his toes and not the knuckling over that you are thinking of. If you do a quick search you will find several good threads here on this.

However I agree with the others and you should be consulting an orthopedic specialist or two and go off of their recomendations. The longer you use the wait and see approach the harder it will be to correct it to some degree.

Good luck! I hope everything works out for you.
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post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 12:31 PM
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I have no idea what would cause this but I hope the best for your baby and I will be following the progress.

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post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 02:17 PM
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This is why I don't breed.

I was going to stay out of this but, sorry, I can't.

Why would a breeder send a puppy like that into someone's home before the problem is resolved? What a heartbreaker. Thank you for all you are doing for this poor guy but it is a situation you should never have been placed in. As other have said, get multiple opinions and don't get stampeded into surgery before you are sure it's the right thing to do.

What should breeders do with these. Not this. Twenty years ago I was shipped a dobie puppy that was vwd positive with a roaring case of cystitis. We were at the vets every week for months. Died before the age of four with a hemorrhage in the lung. Yes, guys, she came from a highly reputable show breeder you all would know.

Back when I was breeding, 35-40 years ago I had a pup with cystitis. Kept her until is was resolved at six months before she was placed in a great home housebroken and with basic obedience training. Another pup once had a problem the vet couldn't seem to figure out and I had two homes that wanted her so much they would take her with the problem. Fortunately I held her back and the problem got worse and was finally determined to be a serious congenital defect and she had to be euthanized. Responsible breeding is tough and sometimes heartbreaking but you have no right to dump it on a loving family.
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