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My German Shepherd Has Started To Drag and Knuckle Their Back Paws. What Should I Do?

My German Shepherd Has Started To Drag and Knuckle Their Back Paws. What Should I Do?

Your German Shepherd might have started dragging one or both back paws in the house or on walks. It could have started suddenly or slowly, and you might have noticed it getting worse with time. It will make your dog wobble or become unbalanced when they walk or try to get up off the floor.

When your German Shepherd drags their paws, it can make their skin bleed. The nails can get shorter as they no longer walk on their paw pad. It doesn’t look nice and it can be painful for your dog. Importantly, it can increase the risk of infection in their paw as they can get dirt inside their cuts or scratches, so you must keep the paw clean and protected! Read more about Paw Knuckling here: 

If you are looking for boot protection, read more here:

If your German Shepherd's paws are curling, it might be a sign of an underlying medical condition called Degenerative Myelopathy. This is a neurological condition, which means it affects the nerves. The nerves change and make the paw curl.  It is more common in German Shepherds than in other breeds. You can read more about Degenerative Myelopathy here: 

It is important to get a confirmed vet diagnosis. If your dog does have Degenerative Myelopathy, read how other German Shepherd owners have used a dog wheelchair to help their dog exercise like before. Dog wheelchairs can seem overwhelming, but they have a transformational effect on dogs. As German Shepherds are heavy, the wheelchairs will carry their weight and allow them to exercise like normal again. Keeping fit and healthy, while being independent. You can read more about German Shepherd wheelchairs here:

If it is not Degenerative Myelopathy, you might want to read about other medical conditions which make the rear paws start to drag here: 

Previous article Cara is a 14 year old German Shepherd. She regularly sees the vet and has rear knuckling linked to the typical GSD weak hips / neuropathy and some osteoarthritis. What would you recommend?
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