Updated: Jul 31, 2020
Recently Dr Michelle met ultra-cute and gorgeous little Koda. But there was a problem, because this little guy has Carpal Laxity Syndrome (CLS).
CLS results in the wrist joints bending in ways that they generally wouldn’t when the puppy puts their weight on their paws.
The causes of Carpal Laxity Syndrome are not very well understood, it’s not always painful, but looks discomforting as it causes an imbalance in the muscles and tendons around the joint during the puppy or kitten’s early development. Some clinical studies have demonstrated that there is a probable link between diet and CLS, but more research is required in this area for more definitive answers as to how diet may contribute to this imbalance.
CLS, it seems, is one of those unfortunate complications that can arise, no matter how well you look after your puppy or kitten.
The problem with CLS is that it causes either hyperextension – where the joint extends beyond its normal limits, or hyperflexion - where the flexor muscle surrounding the joint is moved beyond its normal limit.
And it can lead to complications later in life, who begins to walk in a way that compensates for the weakness and creates more issues as pressure is put on different bones and muscles that were never intended to bear their bodyweight or the impact of walking.
As an owner noticing an issue with your puppy or kitten in the first instance you’re going to be worried whether they are in pain and what you can do to fix it. After that it's probably going to be thoughts about how much will this cost?
And that is a justifiable worry. Veterinary medicine, because of modern equipment and a lack of Medicare rebates, isn’t always factored into the family budget, and we can be forgiven for worrying about how we are going to pay for the treatment they will require.
But here is where there is good news.
You see the best treatments for Carpal Laxity Syndrome involve dietary supplements, massage, and rehabilitation exercises – not surgery.
The most extreme cases may require some treatment with splints to keep the bones in place and allow the muscles and tendons to resume a better alignment.
It’s quite remarkable how many conditions or health issues can be treated through non-surgical means. Often the best treatments are also the least invasive, and the easiest for you – the pet owner – to participate in.
Koda will now be looking forward to his weeks of rehabilitation, which will include lots of massage and flexing of his joints by the owner, lots of play and exercise (and associated fun) and a few slight changes to his diet.
Many times we might think to second guess our initial thought that there is something wrong with our brand new puppy or kitten, and even when we think there is a problem the perceived cost of dealing with it may also cause us to hesitate.
At Gawler Veterinary Services we’re dedicated to working with you and your pet to achieve the best outcome for your furry, feathered, tailed or scaled family members, and we’re looking forward to seeing Koda back so we can witness the progress a loving family can make in helping their cute little puppy get the best start in life.
Exercise and rehabilitation is the best way to rid your puppy of Carpal Laxity Syndrome