Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Veterinary Questions
Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I do have a couple of questions to see if I can better assess your situation?
Is it just the front limbs that are affected?
Is he able to walk at all?
Any vomiting or diarrhea?
How is his appetite?
Is there anything he could have gotten into or ingested?
Does he have any tremors or spasms?
Does he seem painful anywhere?
Thanks for the information. Knuckling is usually a sign of a neurologic problem. It is possible it could be a toxic reaction from something he had eaten, I would be concerned about a problem in the neck, that is compressing on the spinal cord. With his breed, I would be concerned about some instability between two of the vertebrae in the neck. This can cause some compression on the spinal cord. It is a condition called Wobbler's Syndrome. My best advice is to get him into your vet to get evaluated as soon as possible. I would run some blood work to try to rule out a toxin ingestion, but I would see about getting some x-rays done on his neck. The website below will have some more information on this disease. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.
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While there is a suspect link between nutrition and this disease (perhaps too much calcium), there is nothing to show that diet alone will get rid of the problem. In mild cases, it can be managed with medical therapy. In younger puppies, using a neck brace with strict inactivity for 4-6 weeks may help to strengthen the area. Some pets can live with mild symptoms and be managed on pain medications when necessary. In severe cases, surgical treatment is necessary. That is not something that would be considered in a Great Dane puppy because there is still a lot of growing to do. A large breed puppy food is the best one to have them on. Hope this helps.