Swimmer Puppy Syndrome
Faith gave birth to two beautiful female black pups on 6 January 2018.
They thrived, especially as there were only two competing for milk from Mom. When they started becoming mobile (around two and a half weeks of age) we noticed they slept with their hind legs splayed backwards. This is not unusual for a pup of this age, however, they displayed slight reluctance / inability to pull in their hind legs and when they did, their gait was wobbly. Their daily progress has been monitored. Their forelegs are strong, and they manage an upright stance and forward motion; they move around playing and love exploring but occasionally their hind legs splay outward.
We had Alison from Doggy Paddle assess them and advise on further management:
• They require support using a therapy band at every feeding
• They cannot be allowed to move on tiles or concrete; no slippery surfaces, all
surfacing needs to have traction
• They will have hydro therapy sessions with Liz Falconer or ourselves
• They will be reassessed every four weeks by Alison who will liaise with Liz and Leigh
regarding their daily progress
• Alison will include extra exercises as they become more mobile
At this stage we are working on a 12 week therapy program which could change. Should we reach the happy stage of homing them to start on the Puppy Raising Scheme, they may need to wear “non-slip booties” for a period as most homes are tiled or laminated.
Swimming puppy syndrome:
This is a musculoskeletal disorder in puppies. In the initial weeks of life, the new-borns appear normal – they gain weight quickly, suckle well and appear completely healthy. Signs begin to appear when the puppy learns to walk (two to three weeks) with spread-out legs like a swimmer.
Laxity of the limbs.
Little is known about the prevalence of swimming puppy syndrome other than from observational experience and a limited amount of information available on the internet.
The treatment success rate is dependent on the time of diagnosis and treatment. Usually puppies with this syndrome recover well after early diagnosis and treatment such as limb realignment, bandages and physical rehabilitation.