Pes varus is a Latin term that combines pes (foot) and varus (inward). It is a bone deformity where the distal tibia is turned inward toward the body. It occurs when the shinbone growth plate closes prematurely, causing asymmetrical growth of the tibia. It results in a bow-legged appearance and lameness. It is also known as Angular Limb Deformity. A similar problem can occur in the front legs and is known as Short Ulna Syndrome.
The Dachshund Club of America published an excellent article on this condition and you can download it here.
This YouTube video shows an 8 month Smooth Dachshund with Pes Varus. This was first published on Marilyn Pence's Pendachs website.
This is a condition that judges should be aware of when assessing Dachshunds in the show ring.
We are grateful to Joanna Cody for sharing this video of her 11-month old Mini Long. Surgery is planned for both hind legs.
Prevalence of Pes Varus:
In our 2015 UK Breed Health Survey, we had one case of PV reported from a sample of 2000 dogs.
The condition is reported to have a prevalence of less than 1% in Dachshunds but is probably under-reported as it may simply be mistaken for "poor hind movement". It has been reported in all three coat varieties and both Standard and Miniature Dachshunds but UK cases have mostly been in Miniatures.
Severity and treatment:
The younger the age at which the growth plate closes, the move severe the deformity. Dogs that are mildly affected may experience few problems and are unlikely to need surgical treatment. In more severe cases, the dog may be lame, in pain and may develop osteoarthritis in older age. In these cases, surgery may be required to correct the deformity. In general, surgical treatment will require referral to a specialist, although your own vet should be able to confirm a diagnosis from X-rays. Thank you to Georgia Wallin for these "before" and "after" X-rays of her 1 year old Miniature Smooth, Reggie.
Purina have published a useful summary here.
There is also a Pes Varus Facebook Group.
If anyone reading this page has pictures or videos they can share with us and give us permission to use, we would be grateful. Please email us.
If your Dachshund has been diagnosed with Pes Varus, please complete a Health Report.
Further reading on Short Ulna Syndrome:
SUS is also diagnosed by X-rays or CT and, depending on the severity, may be treated conservatively or surgically. Surgical treatment is usually carried out in young dogs before the growth plates have finally closed.