What Causes & Fixation of Knuckling In Great Dane Puppy (2022)

Knuckling is very common in Great Dane. It is alarming if you notice that your Great Dane has bowed legs or crooked paws. It is also known as carpal laxity syndrome, which has different cases. Some Great Dane has mild cases, but some might have severe cases. The actual cause of knuckling in Great Dane is unknown, but it might be due to improper exercise, excessive or improper nutrition, dysfunctional growth, and slippery or hard surfaces.

   It is also considered that poor breeding conditions, stressful experiences, and medical affairs such as vaccination or ear cropping can cause knuckling. So, if your Great Dane is suffering from knuckling, you have come to the right place. Read this article to discover knuckling in Great Danes.

What is the Root Cause of knuckling in Great Dane Puppies?

What is the Root Cause of knuckling in Great Dane Puppies?

    The reason behind knuckling in Great Danes is still not known and needs research, but there is a strong association to the following:

  • Feeding a poorly formulated and unbalanced wrong kibble.
  • Feeding a combination of two different diets, such as kibble and homemade food, simultaneously causes an imbalance of nutrients.
  • Switching kibbles again and again. We recommend you choose a suitable kibble and feed it for a time.
  • Feeding rice and chicken that sometimes cause loose stools and is not suitable for a quickly growing puppy.
  •  Training, travel, and veterinary visits stress.
  • Homemade cooked diets. No doubt these are healthy but still, before feeding, consult the veterinarian.
  • Hard and slick floors.
  • Improperly balanced raw food.
  • Poor nail maintenance.
  • Medical stress.
  • Incorrect balance of phosphorus and calcium.
  • Unnecessary vitamins and minerals.
  • Too many calories in diet and over-nutrition.

Great Dane Health Issues and Orthopedic Growth Disorder

    The large growth plates are regular in Great Dane puppies. But still, they should be strictly observed. Immoderate swelling of growth plates and signs of pains are dangerous so consult the veterinarian. An unhealthy Great Dane puppy may whine, limp, chew its feet, be weak or lame, have a strange gait while walking, and wobble. Also, flat or turned-out feet and a warm growth plate are not a good sign.

    Some general Great Dane puppy growth disorders are:

Injury: If the growth plate is injured, it can cause severe swelling and lifetime damage that also develops other issues.

HOD: HOD is Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy. It is a painful condition in growing Great Dane breeds that swell and abnormal the limbs and joints.

Panosteitis: It is a growing pain disease that causes pain and swelling in the pups.

What Does knuckling in Great Dane Puppies look like?

What Does knuckling in Great Dane Puppies look like

   It develops like a bow-leggedness to the side and front of the Great Dane puppy. Also, the Great Dane puppy is struggling to manage his weight. The front legs of a Great Dane puppy are scary to see if he is suffering from knuckling. It can get severe if your pooch rests on his knees completely. So, visit the veterinarian as soon as possible.

How to Treat Great Dane Puppy knuckling?

   Do not feed milk and meat to your Great Dane puppy if he is knuckling. Because both contain high protein that can worsen the knuckling, in this condition, feed your puppy a balanced diet. Also, CT scans, MRI, and Spinal radiographs are beneficial in knuckling to see the condition. Great Dane puppy must properly exercise and nail maintenance to cure the knuckling.

The Best Great Dane puppy Food to Treat knuckling

   The food you are feeding your Great Dane puppy must contain fat below 18%, phosphorus 1.3%, protein 28%, and calcium 1.4%. The calcium should be low than phosphorus in the puppy diet because their functions are close enough. The diet must contain a science-based formulation because their first ingredient is always real meat and contains no preservation in their diets.

What Does it mean when a Great Dane knuckles?

   This condition means that the front legs of the Great Dane bear the body weight and do not support the whole body weight of the Great Dane puppy. Also, the ligaments, muscles, and tendons lack integrity in them.

Can I use Vitamin C to Treat knuckling?

   Yes, vitamin C is beneficial for the treatment of knuckling. Also, it can cause loose stools and diarrhea in Great Dane puppies but don’t worry, take it easy. We recommend you feed a low dose to the puppy. Ester C is the best form of vitamin C.

   Vitamin C reduces the stress in Great Dane puppies, including ear cropping, harsh training methods, fast growth, veterinary visits, and poor breeding conditions. So, in Great Dane puppies, vitamin C is better for recovering from diseases and stress, including knuckling.

How Do you Fix knuckling in Great Dane Puppies?

   We recommend you to switch the diet of Great Dane puppy and also, these other things you can do:

  • Avoid physical force and pressure training methods.
  • Add Vitamin C.
  • Avoid hard and leashed walks that pressure on joints.
  • Keep the Great Dane puppy nails trimmed. Also, trim the nails every five to ten days.
  • Don’t let the puppy jump more.
  • Change the diet ASAP.
  • Put runners down everywhere, and the surface should not slick.
  • Select orthopedic beds for your Great Dane puppy.
  • Don’t run with your puppy until he is two years old.
  • Limit the crate time of your puppy.
  • Allow your Great Dane puppy to walk freely and let him varied terrain.
  • Talk to your breeder.

Anti-knuckling device works for Great Dane

What are the Signs of Neurological Problems in Great Dane Puppies?

   Suppose your puppy has these signs: balance issues, Disorientation, mobility problems in the hind legs, Seizures, Neck or back pain, Abnormal eye movements, Confusion, and Phantom scratching. In that case, he might have neurological issues.

How to Strengthen Weak Great Dane Puppy Feet?

   Here are some exercise ideas that strengthen the Great Dane puppy feet:

  • Walking gently on rolling hills up and down.
  • Use a cushion or balance disk. Also, motivate your Great Dane puppy to stand on the disk with your front feet.
  • Lessen the walking of the puppy in heel position.
  • Let the puppy play a lot on pea gravel, grass, or sand.
  • Encourage the puppy to stand on the bed and touch his feet with a flat palm for balance.
  • Keep the Great Dane puppy on soft surfaces indoors.
  • Create a playground for the puppy and motivate him safely explore things.

What is HOD in a Great Dane?

   The abbreviation of HOD is Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy. It is a bone disease that develops in the fast-growing Great Dane. It decreases blood flow in the part of the bone joint and leads to bone formation failure that causes inflammation of the bone.


Why Does knuckling Happen in Dogs?

   The neurological issues cause knuckling such as degenerative myelopathy, nerve damage, cancer of the spinal, intervertebral disc disease, cervical spondylomyelopthy, fibrocartilaginous embolism, and equine cauda syndrome. The intervertebral disc disease is bulging of the disc in spinal bones, and cervical spondylomyelopthy is wobblers.

Is knuckling over Genetic?

   No, this disease is not genetic. It is caused by the uneven growth of the bones and muscles of the puppy. Also, the imbalanced diet and minerals are the cause of knuckling.

What Causes a Puppy to be Bow-Legged?

   Fast-growing Great Dane puppies have pressure on the legs while growing. It happens due to the laying down of protein on growth plates, and the frame of the leg gets soft, which pressures the leg to bow.

Does knuckling in Dogs go Away?

   Some knuckling might cure with care and time, while others might need surgery. Also, some do not never go away. Some knuckling cannot be cured; the only option is to manage a lifetime with precautions.

What Does it mean when your Dog’s Front Legs give out?

   It is common in dogs. This disease is known as brachial plexus avulsion, caused by detaching the spinal cord in nerve tissue and the front leg pulled away from the dog’s body.


   The information in this blog about knuckling in Great Dane puppy is informational. We do our best to do research. And the data provided here is up-to-date. However, it depends on you to decide on the health of your Great Dane puppy. So, also consult the veterinarian if your Great Dane puppy is knuckling.

   If you find this article helpful, then share it with your friends. For any questions or tips, kindly comment below. I will help as soon as I can. Thanks for reading!

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Marian Haaz
Marian is a cat adoption expert. She has rescued and adopted several cats herself and helped find homes for dozens of stray cats and dogs.
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