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Causes of Paw Dragging?
I have a ten-month-old puppy who sweeps the tops of his front paws against the ground when he moves, regardless of gait. Sometimes he will sweep the tips as the paw moves forward, other times he will sweep the entire top. Less frequently, the tips of his back feet will do the same. There does not seem to be any pattern to this - that is, it happens regardless of the amount of exercise he has had, and is independent of the surface on which he walks. He has no aversion to exercise (initiates activity and is high energy), does not present like he is in pain, does not avoid stairs or jumping on the couch/bed, does not fall, does not limp, and does not have balance issues insofar as I have observed thus far. While I only caught him doing this a few weeks ago, I am certain that he has been doing it since I brought him home, as I can go back to pictures and see the wear pattern on his front feet. His nails are *very* short, as I dremel them weekly, and do not touch the floor. I never have to dremel the front two nails on his front paws, as he wears them down, and all four paws reflect the dragging in that the hair that should grow over the front two nails never does. I have been trying, to no avail, to determine if the problem is getting worse or staying the same. However, if I had to guess, I would say that the dragging of the back paws is more recent.
Having said all of that, to my eye, his front assembly is very upright and his neck is on the short side. Additionally, I think he has more angulation in the back than the front. He also elbows out/toes in when he moves, despite his paws appearing east/west when he is sitting. Otherwise, he is fit and muscular. I only bring that up in case structure can be a reason for paw dragging. Both parents were OFA normal on hips and elbows, though I realize that is not a 100% assurance that he will be normal, as well.
He has been checked out by our regular vet, and she was stumped, as he did not fit the pattern for any neurological disorders that she knew of. She also manipulated all of his joints. She did not elicit a pain response at any point. She did refer us to a neurologist, however, for further testing. That appointment is next month.
Has anyone ever seen this, or had a dog that does this? I have been trying to research this for weeks, but cannot find anything that seems to fit his symptoms. The majority of disorders begin in the hind end, or are more common in older dogs/other breeds. I can't find anything that speaks specifically to a problem that is more front-end related, with the exception of spinal issues, but those seem to typically have some level of associated pain and more symptoms than he is having. He seems completely asymptomatic, at this point, except for the paw dragging. Though, perhaps there are other things I should be looking for?
Any thoughts/insight/ideas or links to pertinent information, including scholarly articles, would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!