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I recently inherited a 1 yr old german shorthair. he favors his left rear leg while standing still but it does not while running playing jumping or just plain frolicking. I looked at the underside of his rear paws and it looks to me like his nails are packed with dirt. i would almost bet they have never been trimmed.Could this be why he is favoring it? I also heard that this may be a sign of allergies in dogs, is this fact or fiction? I was asked if i had changed his food and i had. when i got him he came with diamonds lamb and rice formula and i changed him to iams lamb and rice.does this make any sense. Are hip problems coomon with these breeds ?

Congratulations on inheriting such a great dog!
First of all, if he has lived with you for a while, his nails shouldn't be packed with dirt. I don't know how that could even be as there isn't much room for any "dirt" under there.

If his nails need to be trimmed, then take him in and get them trimmed. Most of the time when a dog is favoring a leg while standing it's more in the hip than the foot. If you can send me a clear photo of them I can tell you whether or not they are too long.

They normally lift their foot and set it down tentatively when it's sore. But with a hip or knee problem it might manifest itself while standing then after he is warmed up a bit (frolicking) it might not hurt any more.

It is NOT a sign of allergies, unless the nails are deformed or twisted etc. There are many foot conditions that dogs can get but it doesn't sound like he has any of those.
That is one wives tale I haven't heard yet in almost 40 yrs of being in the business. :-)

Allergies in dogs manifest themselves most often as skin conditions; dermatitis, hot spots, itching, hair loss, redness, flakiness, thickening skin, etc.That's the normal presentation for allergies in dogs and cats, even inhalant allergens.

Lamb and rice is lamb and rice. Feeding one brand or the other means nothing as far as quality goes. None of the other foods on the market any more keep their formulations closed so that means they still add whatever is the cheapest when they buy food off of the docks. Hills is the only food so far that I know of that has closed formulations and doesn't buy ANYTHING from China or anywhere else except the USA.

So I really doubt if the food will make any difference. He needs his leg looked over by a vet- the hip, the knee and the foot.

Hip problems are not common in German Shorthairs, but they can always injure themselves and he might have been injured before you inherited him.

We had one for 15 yrs. a long time ago. They are one of the most wonderful breeds!!  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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