Canine Bowed legs--Arthritis?

by Claudia
(Daphne, AL)

Reader Question: Can arthritis cause bowed legs?

My dog has been diagnosed with cancer. She is on prednisolone and has gained a lot of weight. Her front legs have recently been kind of bowed at times between her "Wrist" and "elbow". It isn't obvious at all times, and she does still play, although not as often as before. She does have most of the symptoms of arthritis, but I haven't seen that it can cause bowed legs. I have been unemployed for seven months and don't have money for the vet. But I did call him, and he thinks it is arthritis.



Vet Gives Input On Possible Causes For Arthritis In Dogs

Hi Claudia,

Arthritis, or any disease causing leg pain, can change the way that dogs bear weight sometimes resulting in a bow-legged appearance. I wonder whether your dog’s weight gain could be playing a role too, stressing her joints more than in the past. Also, prednisolone can weaken a dog’s muscles and tendons, which could have a similar effect.

As long as your dog isn’t in any pain and the “bowing” isn’t getting worse, it probably won’t become a big issue for her, particularly since she is already battling cancer. If her condition deteriorates, talk to your veterinarian.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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