Why do Jack Russell dogs sometimes run on three legs with a hind leg lifted?

14 October 2007

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Question

Why do Jack Russell dogs sometimes run on three legs with a hind leg lifted?

Answer

This one has stumped the Naked Scientists team - we really don't know! Do you have any idea why this may be? If so, let us know!

Comments

How random, I came across this answered question when doing some background reading into dog gait pathology! Answer - small breed dogs are predisposed to luxating patallae (kneecaps). When the kneecap gets caught out of it's normal position, the dog can't bend the knee, so has to do a funny hop for one stride before the kneecap clicks back into place. In some dogs this is a mild problem, but in others it can go on to cause arthritis in that knee joint. Luckily for the unlucky ones, the problem can be fixed with surgery. 10 year-old mystery solved :)

When running she a bullet and I swear seems not to touch the ground. Walking she lifts rear back leg

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