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Floppy pasterns and cow hocks?

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by caterpiller, Jun 28, 2020.


  1. caterpiller

    caterpiller No thoughts, head empty.

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    Hello everyone!
    Nyx has always seemed to have floppy pasterns and cow hocks...
    Is this anything to be concerned about?
    Are they meant to look like that at this age? (12 weeks)
    We have wooden floors so maybe too much walking on those? (He spends a lot of time outside on the lawn though)
    He was always the last one to stand up and was always more wobbly than his litter mates...
    Am i over worrying?
    20200628_183451.jpg 20200628_183445.jpg
     
  2. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    He is very cow hocked.

    He also looks down on his hocks and pasterns. This may improve some with the right exercise but, I doubt you will see any improvement in his cow hocked appearance.
     
  3. 2Hounds

    2Hounds PetForums VIP

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    I'd get check up with a veterinary physiotherapist as they can advise with some exercises & possibly with underwater treadmill as that can help tighten up the ligaments & strengthen the muscles so support properly even if can't alter dogs basic conformation.
     
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  4. 2Hounds

    2Hounds PetForums VIP

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    I would get some rugs or other grippy floor covering too as can easily injure themselves
     
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  5. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    What did his parents look like? A lot of show line GSDs have pretty atrocious rear ends....
     
  6. caterpiller

    caterpiller No thoughts, head empty.

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    His sire had lovely structure and temperament and the dam also was nicely built (with slightly low pasterns but not noticeably so). All of his bloodlines are the typical show gsd. (Think Willy vom kuckucksland and others from that kennel) they all had quite a few titles and "recommended for breeding".
    Will it affect his health or is it purely cosmetic?
     
  7. caterpiller

    caterpiller No thoughts, head empty.

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    Also, as we are going to the vet soon, would it be worth bringing this up?
     
  8. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    Just trying to learn how dog people talk about confo and get better at spotting dog things (I'm great with rodents and horses, but dogs are hard). By looking down on hocks and pasterns are you talking about limb angles? Or something else? Thanks you.

    p.s. is this NyxtheGSD with a new username and avatar?
     
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  9. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Yep :) His hocks sit very low and both his front and rear pasterns look 'floppy' and weak. Down as in it doesn't look like they hold him up.
    Angles are fine - different breeds have different angles depending on the job they're bred to do, but they have to be (or should be) balanced with the rest of the dog's conformation.

    OP, I would bring it up with the vet and maybe get a referral to a physio. There are both exercises you can do and dietary changes you can make to mitigate some structural issues, and it's possible that he's going through a puppy ugly stage, though I think he's a bit young for that. At the end of the day, the genetics you have is the genetics you have.
     
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  10. caterpiller

    caterpiller No thoughts, head empty.

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  11. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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  12. caterpiller

    caterpiller No thoughts, head empty.

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    Mmhm. I'll bring it up to the vet when we go in to see his tummy issue
     
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  13. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    His pasterns look long.

    Sometimes, a dog can be down on it's pasterns through lack of exercise, but you wouldn't normally see it in a pup.

    How does he move? Do his hocks move around when he's mobile?
     
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  14. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    Bring it up with the vet. He does look down on his pasterns in those pictures, but you may be able to correct that. Holly is a little cow-hocked and always has been. It hasn't caused any real issues as of yet, but she is only 4 so only time will tell. I don't know if this helps, but this is a photo of her from around 4 months for comparison.

    FB_IMG_1593523114202.jpg
     
  15. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    From what I've read on cow hocks, which is admittedly not much outside anecdotal stuff (most of the scientific articles relate to horses or, unsurprisingly, cows, rather than dogs), it depends on the severity of the cow hockedness, & whether it's present with, or without, other conformational defects like sickle hocks (& considering the difference between conformation & functionality) as to whether there will be potential issues.

    I used to worry about Rogue's mild cow hocks, but I did some reading at the time & discovered that wolves are slightly cow hocked, & I can't argue that wolves aren't the best example of functionality over form so it must work for them, she's now 8 & had no issues so far.

    It's very interesting seeing the difference between Rogue's wolfish lope & Vanya's merry high stepping spitz gait, but when you start seeing faults in gait or posture you never unsee them!
     
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  16. caterpiller

    caterpiller No thoughts, head empty.

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    Oh what a cute pup she was! She's so majestic and floofier now!
    Yup, I'll definitely bring it up at the vets.
    I'll also see if they reccomend any supplements or a change of food/activity
     
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  17. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    Interesting, thanks. I pay quite a lot of attention to gait anyway. Holly's movement is nice and free and I've never noticed her cow hocks causing issue.
     
  18. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    There was a big difference between our 2 old girls, Gem had quite nice fluid movement but Trix was a lot more jerky. Bob's movement was awful but I think that was partly being neutered too young which affected his growth plates & partly because he was a mix of 2 structurally different breeds.
     
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  19. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    I don't know if it's an old wive's tale or I may be totally making it up, but I seem to remember something about cow hocks (mild, not knocking together) in herding breeds being desirable as it made them more maneuverable.
    Kind of like mild pigeon toes in horses is supposed to make them more sure footed on difficult trails. I wonder if there is a kernel of truth to that?

    Not gonna lie, I'm a bit of a conformation snob and I don't like cow hocks myself. But I'm not one to talk as my own dog has lovely hocks but terrible stifles and the blown-out knees to show for it.
    Just goes to show, over and under angulation - neither are good.
     
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  20. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    I would like to learn more about conformation in general. If you have any good links that'd be awesome.
     
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