Bowed legs in dogs

Bowed legs are one of the serious problems in puppies and adult dogs. A bowed leg is an abnormality that can develop in the early days of development in which the legs are curved or bowed instead of being usually straight. This abnormality is mainly observed in dogs growing age due to malnutrition or trauma. French bulldogs, dachshunds, and corgis are the most affected dogs with a bowed leg problems.

Bowed legs can occur in many different ways. In one of the conditions, one of the front legs grows larger than the other and comprises its shape. Another possibility is the inverted growth that can also lead to bowed legs. The bowed legs can only be seen in front legs in almost all cases, but they are not limited. It can also happen in the hind legs.

What do you think?

Most experts believe that bowed legs are a genetic disorder. Well, it is linked with genetics but not directly. There are no genes in your pup's DNA that cause bowed legs. However, some genes determine the fast growth of your pup. Fast-growing pups, especially heavy breeds, have significant pressure on the legs during the growing phase in which the bones are soft. Soft bones, due to pressure, tend to curve and result in bowed leg disorder.

Early detection and prevention are the keys.

If your puppy is showing bowed legs, it means he is growing faster than he should be. There are three things that you can do to prevent this condition.

  1. Limit the diet

  2. Limit the exercise

  3. Use harness

You can wean your pup and put him on the diet you think is good for your pup. Remember, your dog should gain weight in a safe range. Diet is responsible for the increase in weight, and you should select the diet right according to your dog's needs.

Exercising your pup more than he can bear is not recommended. You should know that your pup, at growing age, possesses soft bones that can be subjected to bending if weight is put on them.

Harnesses can help alleviate bowed leg conditions. We at Quincydogs have designed harnesses to help your dog live the weight off the front legs. When used at a growing age, our harnesses can prevent the bowed leg condition. We have three different designs of harnesses; your veterinarian can help you choose the most suitable harness for your dog.

written by: 

Dr Saba Afzal, DVM, RVMP

M.phil in Microbiology.