Have you ever wondered why Basset Hounds have funny, curved front legs? It is not to prevent them from stepping on their own ears. It is because they have been bred to have angular limb deformities (ALD). These are deformities in the bone that occur as an animal is still growing and cause the affected limb to appear “crooked” or twisted. The limb may bow outward or curve inward, causing the paw to strike the ground in an inappropriate way and affect the paw pads.
These changes in limb alignment can also lead to arthritis in the nearby joints, pain, and lameness. Another cause of an ALD is a previous fracture that healed without the bone being aligned and stabilized properly. Regardless of the cause, the long-term effects are similar.