Dr. W. v. Kerkhoven about “knuckling over” in young dogs

Problems during the growth period in puppies – what to do ?

Did you see examples of knuckling over (bowed limbs) or other bone deformations on young growing dogs in your kennel or at home ? Of course, but what are the reasons ? Can we solve the problem or not ?
Following conditions are the most common seen in young growing puppies and can be categorized as ‘Developmental Orthopedic Diseases’:

  1. Carpel Flexural Deformity or “Knuckling Over or Bowed Legs”,
  2. HOD – Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy,
  3. OCD – Osteochondritis Dissecans,
  4. Panosteoitis.

Knuckling over (bowed limbs) is the main problem normally seen and is not genetic, it happens to all breeds, large or small and it is due to how you are managing your dogs dietary needs and the flooring you are keeping them on to develop. Poor quality diet or too much of a good food, poor footing/slick floors with no rugs, and missing trace minerals. All things that contribute to this problem. If caught early enough it can be reversed with no problem. If left, it causes permanent damage. Knuckling over is first noticed in the area of front leg on a puppy, or the growth plate (wrist or carpal but also shoulder; the dog can be lame) area due to a lack of integrity in the muscle, tendon and ligaments. It is due to uneven growth pattern between the bone and tissue/muscle of the puppy. A diet can cause uneven growth patterns between muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. They are all developing at different rates – the end results are severe knuckling over and this grotesque deformation can be permanent if not taken care of a proper diet in the early stages. Under 8 weeks of age, it is not a problem and very common because the large and giant breeds grow quickly during the early stages of development.

Inappropriate feeding as a cause of bone deformations – Don’ts !:

  1. a combination of two different types or brands of dog foods – feeding (50/50)
  2. change the brand or type of food several times (3-4) times
  3. the addition of poor quality vitamins/minerals to a diet (not from whole foods)
  4. feed human foods in amounts enough to disrupt the calcium/phosphorus balance
  5. feed too many calories vs. the amount of free exercise the dog et on a daily bases
  6. feeding a pet food that has minerals that are not very available to the body – crude forms
  7. feeding diets lacking in vital micro minerals or trace minerals
  8. feeding too much of a well-balanced, high quality-food


Most of the growth problems in puppies are linked to a too high calorie intake (over nutrition) or not adapted calcium level of the diet to the breed size.

Supplementation for puppies is still a need in avoiding other problems as for example skin or gastro-intestinal disorders. But please make sure those supplements are adapted to puppies in their growth period : calcium level must be adapted to the breed size (1.2% for small & medium breed dogs, 0.8% for large & giant breed dogs) and may not provide too much calories to the puppy.

Viyo Elite, a high palatable nutritional drink, is safe to feed to growing puppies. Beside the positive effects on skin & coat health, gastro-intestinal health, muscle tone and joint health, it is also adapted to growing puppies due to the low calorie content and adapted level of calcium to the breed size.

Dr. Wim Van Kerkhoven – Viyo International


About acdisla

Mit 20 Jahren war ich verheiratet und mit 28 Jahren hatte ich drei Töchter. Ih war eine gute Hausfrau und Mutter. Kochen, Waschen, Hausaufgaben mit den Kindern, kutschierte alle zu den Freizeitaktivitäten und, und und. Abends dann Befriedigung des Ehemanns. Mit 37 Jahren war ich am Ende. Drei Selbstmordversuche zeigten meine Verzweiflung. Geändert haben sie an meiner ehelichen Einöde nichts. Ich rettete mich durch Scheidung, lernte mit Feuereifer und fand einen interessanten, mich fordernden Beruf.Unterstuetzung gab mir eine neue Freundin. Die Rechnung fuer 17 Jahre ehelicher Vergewaltigung kam in Form eines Koma in dem eine meiner drei Töchter neben meinem Bett sass. Das folgende Jahr verbrachte ich im Krankenhaus und erholte mich langsam von einer fast ganzseitigen Lähmung, Verlust meiner Muttersprache und meiner Erinnerung. Halbwegs wieder intakt, bekam ich Multiple Sklerose. Nach einem langjährigen Versuch Kindern in einem Kuenstlerdorf Sport beizubringen, habe ich einen idyllischen Restbauernhof gekauft und ein Hotel fuer Hunde aufgemacht. Das wurde der grösste und erfolgreichste Spass in meinem Leben. Inzwischen fand ich in Finnland ein traumhaftes Zuhause. Auf 50 000 qm konnen wir und unsere Hunde so frei leben, wie wir es uns erträumt hatten. Mir hat die MS inzwischen einen elektrischen Rollstuhl beschert, was der Mobilität ganz neue Dimensionen gibt. Meine Gedanken habe ich hier teils in Reimen, teils in Prosa aufgeschrieben. Viel Spass beim Lesen.
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10 Responses to Dr. W. v. Kerkhoven about “knuckling over” in young dogs

  1. Pingback: Tyson Update: 13 months - Page 2 - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums

  2. Lynn Scholtz says:

    Hi Dr Wim.
    I have a 14 week old Australian Shepherd puppy, who is very ‘lumpy’ at the fetlock joing. His feet tend to be ‘eastie westie”. What can I do to try and ensure that his front develops quickly.
    We feed Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy, are keeping his weight down, keeping him in a grassed area during the day, and he has minimal, controlled access indoors when moving around our tiled and wooden floors.
    What would be the correct supplement to use to ensure the optimal development of this young boy.
    I would appreciate any assistance you could give me.
    Kind regards
    Lynn Scholtz
    Port Elizabeth

  3. martinez19d says:

    I have 2 month old doberman that is knuckling over, thank for thr posting, this helps a lot.
    Thank You.

  4. Pingback: New puppy 8 weeks right paw looks slightly crooked - Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums

  5. Jose says:

    How can I cure knuckling ony 3 1/2 month old pup. Only on right front leg.

  6. Nicole says:

    Hi , I have a 9 week old Pit bully . I noticed that yesterday her 2 FRONT LEGS WERE SHAKING BAD. I have done research and I believe its called Knuckling over. I have been feeding her nothing but Diamond food since I got her when she was 6 weeks old. I have read it can be because i am feeding her to much of the rich nutrient food. I need to know what to do should I feed her a more cheaper food like pedigree for awhile I just ant this fixed asap. I have been thinking of taking her to the vet but I want to make sure I know what the problem is myself before I take her I want to try and fix it myself before I take her to the vet. Please Help…. u can email me opinions and solutions at Nicoleramirez300@gmail.com thanks in advance

  7. Jennifer says:

    My 8 yr old Yorkie just started out of now where ,knuckling on his front 2 paws,,I’m very worried!

  8. tanya says:

    I have a 3 week cross bOerbull huskey who is the runt of 5 puppies and is being rejected by the mother. We started supplement with 3 bottles per day 30 ml each of milk pup. As it was very week, thin and lithargic. We have noticed his front legs buckling. How can we correct this. We live in Africa so choice of puppy food is minimal.

  9. Deon says:

    I have 5 weeks pitboel his frond legs seems it can not hold his body wight his legs looks funny what must i do

  10. karina carmona says:

    i have 9 month old boxer she started knuckling she drags her back paws and it even cause her injury cause of the dragging. I been feeding her puppy Purina since I got her at 2 months I don’t know what to do and vet are very pricy. I just order the no knuckling training lets see how that goes can anybody help me

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