How to Correct East West Feet in Dogs
East west feet, also known as splay feet, are a common conformational fault in dogs where the feet turn outward instead of being straight and aligned with the body. This condition can cause various issues, including gait abnormalities, joint problems, and even pain. While it may not be possible to completely correct east west feet, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact and improve your dog’s overall comfort and mobility. In this article, we will discuss some effective methods to address this condition.
1. Physical therapy and exercises: Engaging your dog in specific exercises and physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles in their legs and promote proper alignment. Consult a professional dog trainer or a veterinary physical therapist to learn suitable exercises for your dog’s condition.
2. Massage and stretching: Regular massage and stretching routines can improve your dog’s flexibility, relieve muscle tension, and aid in realigning the feet. Gentle massaging and stretching sessions should be done under the guidance of a professional.
3. Orthopedic shoes: Orthopedic shoes or boots specially designed for dogs can provide additional support and help align the feet properly. These shoes can be particularly beneficial during walks or when engaging in activities that put strain on the feet.
4. Paw pads: Using paw pad protectors or socks can provide extra cushioning and support to the feet, reducing the strain and discomfort caused by the east west feet condition.
5. Physical support devices: In severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend the use of physical support devices like splints or braces. These devices can help in correcting the alignment of the feet and reducing the pressure on the joints.
6. Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for dogs with east west feet. Excess weight can worsen the condition and put additional strain on the joints. Consult your veterinarian to determine an appropriate diet and exercise plan for your dog.
7. Regular veterinary check-ups: Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor your dog’s progress and make any necessary adjustments to their treatment plan. Your vet will be able to assess the severity of the east west feet and recommend suitable interventions.
8. Avoid excessive exercise: While exercise is important for your dog’s overall health, excessive exercise can worsen the condition. Avoid activities that put excessive strain on your dog’s feet, such as long-distance running or jumping.
9. Provide a comfortable resting area: Ensure that your dog has a comfortable resting area with a supportive bed or mat. This will help reduce any discomfort they may experience due to their condition.
10. Consult a veterinary orthopedic specialist: If the east west feet condition is severe or causing significant pain and mobility issues, consulting a veterinary orthopedic specialist may be beneficial. They can provide a more in-depth evaluation of your dog’s condition and recommend specialized treatment options.
11. Use non-slip surfaces: To prevent slips and falls, provide non-slip surfaces in your home, especially on slippery floors. This will help your dog maintain stability while walking and reduce the risk of injury.
12. Be patient: Correcting east west feet in dogs takes time and patience. It is important to remember that complete correction may not be possible in all cases. However, the goal is to improve your dog’s comfort and mobility as much as possible.
1. Can east west feet be completely corrected in dogs?
Complete correction may not be possible, but improvement is achievable with appropriate interventions.
2. Can I correct east west feet in my dog at home?
While you can take certain steps at home to improve the condition, consulting a professional is highly recommended.
3. What are the common causes of east west feet in dogs?
East west feet can be caused by genetics, rapid growth, muscle imbalances, or certain medical conditions.
4. Are certain dog breeds more prone to east west feet?
Some breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, are more predisposed to this condition.
5. Can I use over-the-counter orthopedic shoes for my dog?
It is best to consult with your veterinarian to ensure the proper fit and design for your dog’s specific needs.
6. Are there any exercises I should avoid for my dog with east west feet?
High-impact activities like jumping or excessive running should be avoided or minimized.
7. Will my dog need lifelong treatment for east west feet?
The treatment duration varies depending on the severity of the condition and the response to interventions.
8. Can east west feet cause pain in dogs?
Yes, east west feet can cause pain, discomfort, and gait abnormalities in dogs.
9. Can physical therapy help correct east west feet?
Yes, physical therapy can strengthen muscles and improve alignment, contributing to the correction of the condition.
10. Can east west feet be passed on to offspring?
If east west feet are caused by genetics, there is a possibility of passing it on to offspring.
11. How often should I consult my veterinarian about my dog’s east west feet?
Regular check-ups are recommended to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
12. Are there any surgical options to correct east west feet?
In severe cases, surgical intervention may be considered, but it is best to consult with a veterinary orthopedic specialist for appropriate recommendations.
In conclusion, east west feet in dogs can be managed through a combination of interventions, including exercises, physical therapy, orthopedic shoes, and weight management. While complete correction may not be possible, these methods can significantly improve your dog’s comfort and mobility. Remember to consult with professionals for a tailored treatment plan that suits your dog’s specific needs.