Paw Knuckling – we have the solution for your pet.

Paw knuckling (the resting or walking on top of the paw) in pets, mainly digs, is a cause of concern for their owners and can be caused by a number of reasons – the most common being neurological problems such as Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), nerve damage, wobblers, fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE) or cancer on the spinal cord. (1)

Dogs with primary brain problems, such as seizure activity, structural abnormalities, tumours or exposure to a neurological toxin may also develop paw knuckling. Alternatively, to neurological difficulties attributing to knuckling, musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis and carpal flexural deformities may also cause paw knuckling.

Pets with neurological and musculoskeletal conditions often experience weakened limbs and struggle with paw placement, and this can occur in the front or rear paws, one or both,

Common for front paw knuckling:

Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI) or Wobbler’s Syndrome

Cervical Disc Disease


Neurological disorders, causing knuckling of the front paw

Common reasons for rear paw knuckling:

Intervertebral Disc Disease


CVI/Wobbler’s Syndrome


Cervical Disc Disease

Neurological disorders, causing knuckling of the rear paw

To check if your dog knuckles over: Place your dog is in a standing position, turn their paw, so that they are standing on the top of their foot:

If Your Dog Corrects His Paw Positioning – they are not knuckling.

Dog Keeps Foot in Place and Makes No Attempt to Correct – they are knuckling.

Assistive devices such as the Walkin’ Pets No Knuckling Training Socks (also known as Toe-ups) are available to engage proprioception (Proprioception, or kinesthesia, is the sense that lets us perceive the location, movement, and action of parts of the body) and encourage the pet to lift their paw and place the paw back on the ground without dragging their feet.

Walkin’ Pets Front No Knuckle Training Sock

This training tool is perfect for helping dogs that struggle with correct paw placement in their front legs!

Help retrain your dog and correct proprioception in their front feet with the Front No-Knuckling Training Sock. Like the popular training sock for the rear, this is perfect for in-home rehabilitative sessions. Enhance your pet’s rehab training sessions and underwater therapy with either the front or rear No-Knuckling Training Sock.

Walkin’ Pets Rear No-Knuckling Training Sock

Dogs that are dragging or scuffing their back paws benefit from the Rear No-Knuckling Training Sock. This training sock is ideal for in-clinic use by canine rehabilitation professionals. It can also be used by pet owners for at-home exercise in between therapy sessions. The training sock is intended for short-term, multiple use. It is an excellent tool to help correct gait and improve hind paw placement.

For those patients that need a little more support on the rear paw, HandicappedPets Australia is also stocking WalkAbout Harnesses The Toe’sUP Walkaboot that help with ligament injuries, giving assistive tarsal flexion and compensates for sciatic nerve injury. Two advantages of the boot toe-up over the training sock, is it helps protect against digit or inter-digital trauma and it can be worn for a much longer period. Contact us direct for more information on this product


  • blog – “Knuckling Under In Dogs” – “According to Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM., CVJ. “Knuckling in dogs has a variety of causes. The most common causes of knuckling are neurological problems, such as intervertebral disc disease (bulging or herniated discs in between the spinal bones), degenerative myelopathy, cervical spondylomyelopathy (Wobblers), nerve damage, fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE), cauda equina syndrome, and cancer of the spinal cord.””

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