Downed pasterns questions

by Elodie

I read your article on downed pasterns because our breeder mentioned that our puppy's father has downed pasterns (or somewhere in his line).


Cléo is 8-weeks old and we've started following your advice on lowering the protein content. We're also adding a tablespoon of cottage cheese per meal to help strengthen her bones, and about to start her on Maalox.

I've noticed that she *can* walk on her toes (normal pasterns) but her posture deteriorates as the day goes on. Also, when she's sitting, her pasterns are flat down on the floor. I've raised the water bowl off of the floor, so that she has to use her front paws, get on her toes to lever herself and reach the water. She has no problem like that.

Also, when she's paying attention to us when we are standing, she's also on her toes, raised pasterns. Is this normal, and are we worried too early? Our vet may tape her pasterns to help strengthen them if she doesn't walk more consistently on her toes. What do you think?

Do you know of any health complications that may arise from down pasterns as she grows up? Thank you for your time, and thank you for your god sent article on downed pasterns.


Total German Shepherd: It's really hard to say for sure when I haven't seen your sweet little German Shepherd puppy in person for a better evaluation but from your description I think you may be worried a little too much, too early yet.

But I am glad that you're talking with your vet about this and you're discussing options. Adding the cottage cheese is a great source of calcium for your baby and certainly can't hurt either. I gave my most recent GSD puppy cottage cheese until he turned about 5 months old and he loved it.

If your German Shepherd puppy is only 8 weeks old I would watch it carefully but not be so overwhelmed by it yet because she is still so very young and has plenty of development time ahead of her. But discuss it with your vet if you do have questions all along way.

But I wouldn't start giving her the Maalox treatments unless you see her actually walking with her pasterns down for a day or so. If you get the chance, observe a GSD puppy of a similar age that doesn't have these issues walking about, and then watch your puppy for similarities or differences. Talk to your breeder too and ask for their ideas on your puppies stance as it walks.

If you do observe the pasterns down or falling don't hesitate to use the techniques I mentioned in my downed pasterns article to help get them back up - but if you have other questions don't hesitate to speak with your vet or breeder too. Good luck and keep us up on how your baby is progressing.

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