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Dog paw loops

Pfotenschleifen beim Hund - ein Symptom, das man immer ernst nehmen sollte, da es auf neurologische Erkrankungen hindeutet.

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Paw dragging in dogs – a serious symptom

In the snow, you can see it particularly well: paw loops on the dog. But even without snow, this conspicuousness in the gait pattern is easily perceived by a dragging sound. In most cases with the hind paws. Sometimes only one paw is affected at first. Basically, all four paws can be affected. In conversations with dog owners, the first thing they often say is: “He’s just lazy and just doesn’t lift his paws up properly”. Or “it’s been running funny for a long time, but I didn’t think anything of it. I don’t even know when it started”. So in many cases, paw dragging is dismissed as a quirk or bad habit. It is an alarming abnormality in the gait pattern, which can indicate various diseases.

There is always a cause

The dragging of the paws has a cause and is never simply comfort of the dog. And this possible cause should not be underestimated. It is a clear symptom that something is wrong in your dog’s musculoskeletal system. Causes may include neurological conditions such as a herniated disc, Wobbler syndrome, or cauda equina compression syndrome (CECS). They can cause compression of the nerves. However, nerves can also be compressed in the bone brace formation of spondylosis. Their forwarding is then disturbed. Likewise, paw dragging is one of the many symptoms of Degenerative Myelopathy, a neurological disease of the spinal cord that has a genetic origin. Depending on the clinical picture, the dog drags with all four paws, as it is possible in the Wobbler syndrome or a herniated disc in the cervical spine. In cauda equina compression syndrome, dogs drag their hind feet.

What to do?

To get to the bottom of the cause, I strongly recommend that you have your dog examined by a veterinarian. Then you can take action afterwards to stop the progression of neurological disorders. In many cases, significant improvement of the condition is possible with intensive training.

Basically, I urge you to always keep an eye on your dog’s movement patterns. A stumble now and then is perfectly normal. It happens to us humans, too. But if you notice more and more that your dog does not lift his paws properly and with the claws, then become active. Also regularly check the condition of his claws. In dogs that no longer lift their paws, the claws are often clearly worn down and, if necessary. also splintered.

Early action also always allows a faster diagnosis and one can avert worse in many cases.

All the love, your Tina



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