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Lucy is 10 months old, came from great lineage and has fantastic genetic history with her parents and grandparents. For probably the last 7 months at least we've seen that when she walks, her rear legs cant outwards noticeably (i.e. elbows point inward and toes point more outward). She has no problems walking, running, or being generally active and absolutely loves walks. I don't know if this directly attributed to her rear legs' gait or not, but she drags her claws when she walks. With our laminate flooring in our home it's very pronounced and it's impossible for her to sneak up on anyone.

Regardless, due to the way she walks and drags her rear claws, we saw for the first time today after a 1-2 mile walk on a local paved trail that she basically ground down 2 of her nails on each rear foot, causing them to bleed slightly. She didn't display any discomfort at all, but this is the first time we've seen this.

This would strike me as abnormal, but being our first GSD I'm not sure if many of you experience this. I can't think of anything to do to help with it as it's connected with the way she walks, but wonder if some dog booties might help protect her rear feet or even help force her to walk differently?

Thoughts?
 

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Degenerative myelopathy comes to mind but isn't she way too young for that? I don't know much about it, only that dragging feet and filing nails down is a symptom

If you curl her back foot under, like put it down nails first, will she uncurl it?

ETA if she doesn't then it can be DM or some spine neurological stuff. Just to point you somewhere.
 

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It could be MANY things...as simple as too much rear angulation..etc.
Before you make yourself crazy with the thought of a terminal illness or handicap....post a picture or mini video, and perhaps there might be a more obvious reason..... JMO
 

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yeah it does from her description of the legs meeting in the middle so to say but I never knew that can cause bloody nails
 

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quote OP
"Lucy is 10 months old," and
"probably the last 7 months at least"

so the dog has been walking this particular way since she was 10 to 12 weeks of age . That has to be a conformational problem. Too young for a degenerative disease .

quote OP "she drags her claws when she walks" and "today after a 1-2 mile walk on a local paved trail that she basically ground down 2 of her nails on each rear foot"

Again most likely a conformational problem .
No period of suspension. Excessive angulation , lack of connective tissue strength, loose dog , poor foot construction? poor nails as in being shelly?

need that picture. post a pedigree , the ancestors may give you insight as to what to expect as an adult
 

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yeah it does from her description of the legs meeting in the middle so to say but I never knew that can cause bloody nails
The ground-down nails come from her dragging her rear feet a bit as she walks. I'm assuming it's connected/related to her stance while she walks. I don't see it when she runs, but just walks.
 

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Sorry to hear about your dog. Until you figure out what to do for her you can put soft claws on. I use them for one of my dogs. When she was going for longer walks I found plastic tubing at the hardware store they got over them, unfortunately they wear down fast.
https://www.softclaws.com/soft_claws_dogs/home.html
 

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The ground-down nails come from her dragging her rear feet a bit as she walks. I'm assuming it's connected/related to her stance while she walks. I don't see it when she runs, but just walks.
yeah and the walk can be caused by many things. I was thinking neurological but it seems like it can be something simple.

can you curl her foot and see if she uncurls it? and see how long it takes
 

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sirlance i suggest you do go ahead and get a vid
in another post you mention her back toes point inward?
if so that is not cow hocked

a video could help us see better what you mean by how shes walking
get one of her walking and one of her running or combine walk/run into one vid

is she a german show line pup?

i have some ideas of what could be going on but it could be she is just showing typical laxity that many larger breed puppies tend to have longer than small breed pups

that said the nail dragging is not quite what i would consider normal

have you asked your vet? if they brush it off you might consider having a neuro eval although in this case i doubt it is brain neuro but more like spine neuro
 

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yeah spine neuro is what I was thinking or DM. but she's so young and supposedly from good genetics so I'm hoping this means no DM

I thought she said toes were outward and elbows were inward.

in any case, yeah a pic or video. and also try to curl the back feet under
 

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What is DM?

I have a almost 9 yr old German Shepherd. I recently noticed that after long walks, I can hear him drag his nails on his left hind foot on the ground. He has been diagnosed at having arthritis in his back legs, nothing too serious, but he does take medication for it.
 
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