|This is Pes Varus...
|Pes Varus is a deformity of the rear leg (unilateral) or both legs (bilateral) that gives a dog the appearance of being
bowlegged. The distal (outside) growth plates of the tibia grow at a faster rate than the media (inside) side which
causes the deformity. Typically growth plates close between 8 and 12 months of age in a pup that is growing
properly. In a pup that has Pes Varus one side will begin to close at 4 to 6 months of age. This condition can range
from mild to severe depending on how early the first growth plate closes and how late the second one closes. The
earlier the first one closes the more severe the condition will be. Pes Varus did not have an official name until
somewhat recently. It has been referred to as Angular Hock Deformity and Bow Legged Syndrome. I hope the
information and photos on this page will help breeders recognize the condition should it occur in puppies they breed
so that they are able to remove such dogs from their breeding programs. As breeders we need to follow the progress
of our puppies at least until they are past the age that this could happen to them. The average pet owner may not
recognize that something is wrong and because of that we could continue to breed affected dogs. Only by eliminating
affected dogs from the gene pool will we be able to eliminate the condition. There is no genetic test available as of yet
to determine whether a dog carries the gene for Pes Varus. It is believed that both sire and dam must be carriers for it
to be produced. While a dog that is a carrier can be bred to a bitch that is not a carrier (or vice versa) 50% of their
offspring can be carriers. This is why it is so important to remove dogs that are proven to be tied to this condition from
a breeding program. The condition is sometimes compared to "Club Foot" in humans. This condition is not diet related
but is a genetic issue. This is not the same thing as Patellar Luxation. Sometimes Pes Varus is so severe that it will
require surgery and other times it's a mild form. Arthritis can happen later in life to both mild and severe cases of Pes
Varus but that's not always the case.
If you have a dog with confirmed Pes Varus and would like your dogs photo added to this website please email me at
email@example.com The more examples we have the better! I do not need to know who the breeder of the dog is
just that it does have a confirmed case of Pes Varus. All information will be kept confidential and you only need to
share what you feel comfortable sharing. Please don't feel ashamed if you have produced a dog with Pes Varus. The
only shame is it not sharing the information so that we can try to better our chosen breed!
|Banking DNA for future Dachshund breeders and owners is encouraged. You can submit blood samples from affected
and normal dogs to support future research to identify the causative mutation for Pes Varus. Samples should be sent to
CHIC. For information on sending samples go to: www.caninehealthinfo.org
While CHIC asks for AKC information for each dog they collect on, that is for pedigree research ONLY, if needed. NO
ONE has access to that information! It is kept strictly confidential
|Here is a link to another breeders website with information provided about Pes Varus.
|Here is a link to an article about Pes Varus by the Dachshund Club Of America.
|The three photos below were taken at 8 months old as Scribbles was walking. You can see in the photo on the left
that her right foot is toeing in and her hock is to far out. In the photo on the right it's clear that both feet are toeing in
and both hocks are out. The photo on the bottom is painful to look at. While she does not appear to be in any pain
and she gets around very well I wonder how she will be affected by this as she matures.
|Scribbles is the puppy that I kept from my litter in 2012. I had plans to show her and if she turned out well I would later
breed her. At about 5 months old I started noticing that her rear feet were toeing in and her gait was off. I had heard of
Pes Varus but had never seen it so I started posting questions in Dachshund groups on Facebook and in other places
with the hope that someone could help me. I took her to my vet for xrays and those were sent on to an orthopedic
surgeon in Columbus Ohio at Med Vet. A couple of weeks later I had a consultation with that specialist and he
examined Scribbles. It was determined based on exam, xrays, and movement that she does have Pes Varus. It does
appear to be a minor case and long term prognosis is good as far as it doesn't look like we will need to do surgery. She
is almost 10 months old now (d.o.b. 2-07-12) and at this point her gait is very noticeably off. She toes in when she
walks and for lack of better terms her rear just looks broken. Once she is done growing I will have her spayed.
In the photos below you can see the changes in how she toes in. The first photo was taken at 9 weeks old. At this point
her rear was fine as neither growth plates had started to close yet. The second photo was taken at 5 months old.
Notice how now her rear toes are pointing toward the center. The last photo was taken at 8.5 months old and appears
just slightly worse. As someone who shows Dachshunds I can say that I have seen this in the ring but owners,
breeders, and apparently judges are unaware and just assume that something is off. While Scribbles may not look bad
stacked on a table you can see from the video at the top of the page that when she moves it is not correct.
|Video of Scribbles a pure bred, standard, smooth Dachshund taken
at 8 months old.
|My experiences with Pes Varus:
In my first litter of miniature smooths in 1970, there were
three very lovely males, even though they weighed over the
9 -pound weight limit that existed in those days.
One of the three pups had what I now believe to have been
Pes Varus. The dog was x-rayed and our GP Vet had no
idea what it was or why it had occurred. We took the x-rays
and the dog to several Board Certified Orthopedic
Specialists and none of them could name the condition or
even guess at the cause.
I reached out to an old-time successful
dachshund/breeder/veterinarian. When I described the
condition his comment was "Oh, the old miniature wirehair
bowed-leg syndrome! We have no idea what it is, or what
causes it." As my other 5 cases appeared between 1970
and 2007, all I could do was to keep the affected dogs out of
my breeding program. I did breed the parents again with no
other cases occurring from them.
At one time I thought perhaps the problem was so prevalent
in miniature dachshunds because, so to speak, we were
dwarfing a dwarf breed. But now we know that not to be the
case since we are seeing standards with the condition as
All six of my cases, in all three varieties, were mild and
unilateral. The only problem I ever encountered with one of
these dogs was when one of them developed IVDD. She
was treated conservatively and when she began trying to
stand and walk, the affected leg would not support her and
she gave up trying. She became a paraplegic, but lived out
a normal life span enjoying every day of her life.
|Below is information that has been shared with me by various other breeders and Dachshund
|Scribbles feet photographed at 15 months old. Notice the wearing on her pads on the inside of her
|This is Ellie. She is an 11 month old Dachshund with confirmed Pes Varus. Ellie had surgery to correct her
right rear leg. Her owner was very generous and shared copies of the xrays with me as well as photos of
Ellie's progress so I could share it here. Above photo on the left was prior to surgery and photo on the right
is about 8 weeks post surgery.
|The photos below were sent to me from a Dachshund owner who wished to try to educate others on Pes Varus. Their
puppy Mable is a miniature longhair and was confirmed to have Pes Varus. The xrays were taken at 6 months old. At 8
months old she had surgery and was fitted with the Ilizarov fixture. In the photos with it on she is 3 weeks into an 8-10
week period of wearing it. Her owner reports that she is doing very well. I can't thank them enough for these photos!