6 week old staffy pup - hernia and bowed back legs?
Our new pup has gone for her first vaccinations and general check-up.
I had noticed a small lump under where her navel is (a hernia, the vet told me) hopefully it's something that will go away as she grows up.
Also he informed me that she had bowed back legs.. He told me a good diet could aid in this correcting itself as she gets older.
He didn't give me a specific diet or any exercises that could help me try to fix this for her.. advice would be appreciated :)
A hernia like the one you describe is fairly common in puppies and sometimes they grow out of it. Basically there's a small opening in the abdominal muscle wall and a little bit of fat is pushing through, causing the lump you notice.
Usually these don't cause any problems, but occasionally a little bit of intestine will drop through the opening and if that gets trapped it needs immediate veterinary attention.
You would notice something was wrong if this happened as the little lump would become hard/rigid and you wouldn't be able to manipulate it or 'push' it back behind the muscles. Your pup would also be in pain - panting, pacing, vomiting, whining or general signs of discomfort are the symptoms to look for.
To avoid this risk factor, if the problem doesn't fix itself by the time you have her spayed, you can have your vet stitch the opening shut during the spay surgery. It's a couple of stitches and a couple of minutes, and prevents her from having to have two surgeries if you do it at the same time.
As for the back legs, it could be a dietary deficiency but it's more likely that it's a hereditary issue. Puppies inherit their conformation from their parents and it's likely that one, or both, of them have rear legs that are the same way. Exercises aren't necessary, but feeding a premium puppy food with the right balance of nutrients will make sure that she doesn't experience any other bone/joint problems due to incorrect feeding.
Check out my Best Puppy Food Choices and Puppy Kibble pages to get all the information you need on this.
In some instances, particularly in large and giant breed puppies, inadequate diets can cause severe bone/joint problems, usually seen in the front legs. This is caused 'knuckling over' and may need veterinary treatment, but it doesn't sound to me as though this is the problem, so a well-balanced diet and a normal amount of exercise should keep her happy and healthy.
Hope this helps, best of luck with your puppy.
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