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Dr.Beth, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 631
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Graduate of the University of Minnesota
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I am thinking of adopting a puppy. He has been diagnosed with

Customer Question

I am thinking of adopting a puppy. He has been diagnosed with Idiopathic Carpal Hyperflexion Syndrome. Vet says she cannot say whether this would likely reoccur or not. I would like a healthy active dog. Is this generally a one time thing or will he have problems his whole life? Thanks for any info or advice.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr.Beth replied 8 years ago.
I would like to help you with your question, but first I need a bit more information.

Is the puppy still showing symptoms of the condition, or does he appear normal at this time?

What breed is he?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks Dr Beth. The puppy was limping so he went to the vet for Xray and the vet put him in a splint for a week. It got taken off today and he appears fine at this time, but the vet said she does not have enough experience with the condition to tell me if she thinks it will reoccur or not. She says he could be fine but that he could have problems too. I am confused. I definitely want to have a very active dog and am concerned this could happen again? Or get worse and need surgery? He is a Thai Ridgeback. Thanks!
Expert:  Dr.Beth replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for the information.

Most puppies with this condition recover from it within one month when placed on well balanced diets (do not supplement with vitamins or minerals) and allowed normal amounts of exercise. It is much more common in large breed dogs and does not typically re-occur as the dog ages. Usually once this condition corrects itself, it is very rare for it to return. I would not expect any long term limits to his leading a normally active life.

For your information, here are the results of a 2007 study done on the condition:

Forty-three dogs with carpal laxity syndrome were included in the study. The cases were assessed with clinical and radiographical examinations. The case histories were obtained from patient owners. We recommended exercise and commercially available balanced diets for the treatment. In all cases, the clinical recovery period varied between one to four weeks. Healing occurred by the second week in the majority of cases (65.11%). The deformity was observed more frequently in male dogs (n = 30) than in female dogs (n = 13), and in six- to eight-week-old dogs. Carpal Laxity Syndrome is a more general term, used for both hyperextension and hyperflexion deformity. Malnutrition or over-nutrition of rapidly growing large breed puppies causes weakness and irregular tension between extensor and flexor muscle groups, which leads to laxity of the carpal joint. Exercise and commercially available balanced diets without any other treatment is usually enough to achieve physical and functional recovery.

Companion Notes

Report on carpal laxity syndrome in 43 puppies
Overview on carpal laxity syndrome in the dog
- often self-limiting disease involving either carpal hyperextension or hyperflexion
- prognosis is good
- persistence to maturity is rare
- synonyms include: carpal hyperextension, carpal hyperflexion, carpal flexural
deformity, carpal instability and carpal flexion syndrome
- disorder in puppies
- usually affects rapid-growing, larger pups
- medium, large and giant breeds
- possibly predisposed breeds include:
- Doberman pincher (possibly hereditary)
- shar pei
History & Signalment of the pups presenting to Ankara Turkey from 09/02-04/06
- represented breeds included:
- Anatolian shepherd dog, 9 of the 43 pups
- boxer, 4
- pointer, 3
- Doberman pinscher, 2
- Siberian husky, 2
- Rottweiler, 2
- shar pei, 2
- young animals, most were 6-8 weeks of age
- acute onset, according to owners
- males, 30 of the 43 pups
- history of poor diet
- over-supplementation with proteins, vitamins or minerals
- unbalanced diets
- low nutrition diet
Clinical signs
- carpal laxity (41 of the pups were comfortable with carpal palpation/manipulation)
- carpal hyperextension
- bilateral, 14
- unilateral, 9
- carpal hyperflexion
- unilateral, 10
- bilateral, 6
- carpal hyperextension-hyperflexion, 4
- commercial, balanced, puppy diet
- surfaces with good traction
- splint, 1 pup with flexor tendon contractures
- clinical recovery in 1-4 weeks, al 43 pups
- 65% (especially younger pups) had healed by week 2
- disorder developed in contralateral limb, 3 cases
- recurrence, 2 cases from the same litter

Please let me know if I can be of further help.

Dr. Beth