Carpal Subluxation Syndrome (CSS)
Also called down pasterns or subluxated pastern/hyper extended hock syndrome.
A condition where a dog will walk with the pasterns down almost to the wrist joint. This condition can
be seen with or without the accompanying condtion of downed (subluxated) hocks.
This condition is most common in German Shepherd puppies, but has also been seen in
Shelties, Rottweilers, Labs, Malamutes and Wolfhounds.
My experience with this condition was in a Rottweiler mixed puppy that I had rescued from the shelter.
This usually occurs in the first few months of life. Although some extreme cases can begin as early as
when the puppies first start to walk. A dog with this condition walks almost like it is wearing socks that
are too large for their feet or like they have flippers on. They tend to slap their front feet to the floor when walking.
In all my research on this condition it seems to be confusing as to whether this condition is merely a genetic
issue or cause purely by diet. I couldn’t find a single article that was clear on this. I even read articles that talked
about it being a condition cause by the flooring a puppy is housed on. When talking to a long time GSD breeder friend of mine,
she said that it was a common condition to see in certain blood lines. Some people believe it’s a condition cause by
too much growth in a puppy too quickly.
The articles were pretty clear that with care and proper diet that the condition on most dogs can be reversed,
but it will take time and work. One article did say that only about 50% of effected dogs can be reversed. Most other articles
disagreed with that percentage though.
Most articles said that bracing of the legs did little to nothing to improve the condition.
The did recommend making sure the puppies have a diet reduced in calcium, phosphorous, and protein.
This means reducing or eliminating food additives like, meat, eggs, chicken, and any and all milk and milk
products like cheese and yogurt. They even suggest taking puppies with this condition off puppy food and placing them on an
adult lamb and rice diet to reduce fat and protein intake. They suggest 23% or less protein and 14% or less fat in the diet.
I was told that many GSD breeders use a product called Sure grow (A supplement that can be found at KV Vet)
to help treat an effected puppy. Supplements of Vitamin C and E, Selenium, Glucosamine and Condriotin have also been known
It is highly suggested to keep the puppy at a good weight as being overweight will obviously, seriously increase
the problem. It is also suggested that puppies be somewhat restricted in their everyday exercise and play. Of course some
exercise is needed to help build up the muscles and tendons in the effected joints, but caution is recommended in letting
an effected puppy run and jump and play as a normal puppy does.