Have you noticed anything weird about your dog lately? We’re sure he’s the same old jolly doggo that you know, but maybe there’s something off with his feet? Do you find that your dog’s feet are facing opposite to each other and sprawled out? Well, then it seems that your doggo suffers from East-West feet syndrome. Don’t worry, though, because this condition can be easily fixed using a number of techniques!
So how to fix east-west feet in dogs? You can fix east-west feet by giving your dog a balanced diet. It’s as simple as that! Also, you must give your doggo ample exercise and physical activities. Keeping your doggo active and healthy is the key to a happy and healthy pet.
Let’s take a closer look at this issue to try and better understand east-west feet in dogs.
Why Do Dogs Develop East-West Feet?
The exact reason for the cause of east-west feet is unknown; however, it could be an issue of genetics. We have found that east-west feet are more common in small or medium dogs with shorter legs. It is also common in dogs with long backs and small physical stature.
Some of the breeds most commonly associated with this syndrome are Australian Terriers and Dachshunds. That’s not to say that it is limited to only these breeds. East-West feet can develop amongst any short or small dog breed with long backs. This body type is more likely to develop East-West legs than other dogs with average body size.
That being said, big dogs may also show signs of this syndrome when they are pups. However, as the dog gets older and grows bigger over time, the syndrome usually goes away. By this, we can understand that it’s a problem of posture and health. So your doggo can potentially overcome this problem with the right steps. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why a dog might develop East-West feet syndrome.
Unkempt and Long Nails
The length of a dog’s nails is very important for the posture of the paws. You should always prevent your dog’s nails from growing too long as it may directly lead to east-west feet. The reason is that long nails may hamper the balance of your beloved doggo.
Dogs with long nails find it difficult to place their paws directly on the ground. Long and protruding nails prevent the paws from being flat on any surface. This is because a dog’s nail doesn’t grow forward and outward like in humans. Instead, they grow outward and downwards, meaning that the nails are likely to curve downwards in a slope.
As you can imagine, this would make it very difficult for your dog to place his paws flat on the ground. Attempting to do so will only end up hurting your dog’s paws. So to prevent this, your dog will automatically adjust their paws sideways. Making a habit out of this can easily lead to a permanent condition of east-west feet.
We, as pet parents, can fix this by making sure that our dog’s nails do not grow too long. Simply maintaining the nail size by regularly clipping the nails can prevent any problems. Not to mention, it’s also a matter of good hygiene. After all, we pet parents should know how to take care of a dog the correct way.
The Weight Factor in Small Dogs
Most dogs, especially small ones, will develop east-west feet if they become overweight. When a small dog, for example, a Dachshund, grows too fast, it becomes difficult to maintain a balanced posture. The small legs of the Dachshund are not strong enough to support an overweight body. What’s more, the long back makes it even more difficult for a Dachshund to hold their paws together. As a result, your dog will struggle even to stand up, thus resorting to east-west feet.
This is another question of how to take care of a dog the right way. As a pet parent, it is extremely irresponsible to let your dog grow overweight. A dog’s physique is not meant to handle so much weight and will develop serious conditions if attempted. Unlike tigers or lions, dogs don’t have big and strong legs to handle the added pressure.
To prevent your dog from becoming overweight, you must make sure to include a lot of exercise. This is even more important when it comes to smaller dogs like corgis or basset hounds. Small dogs tend to come with legs alarmingly undersized than their bodies, making them more at risk. A good and healthy exercise routine can easily fix this problem.
Your dog’s diet also matters when it comes to east-west legs. No matter how much we love giving treats, it’s important not to overdo it. A dog that overeats and doesn’t get any exercise is bound to develop health issues later on. So when it comes to your dog’s diet, be sure to keep it healthy and balanced.
Underlying Health Conditions
Serious and underlying health conditions are another reason why your dog might develop east-west legs. If you see your dog developing this syndrome, always take the help of a veterinarian. The east-west legs syndrome is quite visible to the eye, but its causes are hidden. Getting a vet involved can give you more clarity as to how your approach should be. Moreover, you’ll find out if any underlying health conditions are involved.
Such underlying diseases may include canine elbow dysplasia or CED, a condition that hampers the elbows and joints. This can be a potential reason for your dog developing east-west legs. You see, your dog’s elbows are made up of three bones that fit together and ensure strong joints. CED creates abnormalities in the growth of these bones, which results in the bones not fitting anymore. This can cause east-west legs along with a bunch of deadly diseases.
Canine elbow dysplasia is a serious condition that can only be fixed through surgery. So you will definitely need a professional vet surgeon involved here. However, if the condition is detected early, it can be fixed through physical therapy. CED is primarily found in large dog breeds such as a malamute or Tibetan mastiff. Experts suggest maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet for dogs suffering from CED.
Another condition to watch out for is Medial Patellar Luxation, which affects both small and big dogs alike. This condition causes the knee caps to slip in and out of their original position. If left unchecked, MPL can cause east-west legs, along with other serious health conditions like arthritis. This disease can be common if you have a small dog, such as toy poodles or papillons.
If you think your dog is suffering from MPL, we suggest contacting a veterinarian immediately. MPL can be fixed without much risk if it is detected early on. However, if significant time has passed, then your only option will be surgery.
Carpal Valgus is another condition that can cause east-west legs amongst other health problems. It is a condition that creates a deformity in a dog’s carpus, meaning wrists. Carpal Valgus causes an imbalance in the growth of the front leg tendons and bones, resulting in deformed legs. It essentially makes the feet turn sideways towards opposite directions.
This condition primarily affects pups up to 7-8 months old and should be immediately treated after detection. We recommend you promptly take your dog to the vet in this situation.
Conclusion on How to Fix East-West Feet in Dogs
East-west feet in dogs are a condition that may develop primarily in small dogs or big dogs when they are puppies. However, most big dogs can fix this problem by themselves as they slowly grow older and bigger. That being said, it is also possible that your dog never overcomes this condition. If that is the case, we suggest doing everything you can to ensure your dog stays healthy.
The condition of east-west feet has a lot to do with genetics as well. Some dogs are born with small features, resulting in weaker and more tender bones. As mentioned earlier, the smaller ones mostly go through this condition and are more susceptible to other conditions. What’s more, small dogs are weaker and more likely to develop harmful injuries.
Small dogs are simply adorable to look at and a joy to be with, which is why they are so popular. What’s more, they are easier to handle and control when compared to big dogs. However, getting a small dog comes with many added responsibilities that we should not ignore. You might have to give more thought to your small dog’s diet or workout routine. So there’s definitely a lot of work to do here.
If the cause of east-west feet has nothing to do with underlying health problems, it should be fine. But that’s not an excuse to ignore this condition; doing so would be totally irresponsible. A good pet parent should always know how to take care of a dog. So be sure to take out the time and effort to maintain your dog’s health and weight. Doing so might prevent any unwanted diseases and conditions in the future.
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