Sampson, a 2 year old Dachshund, presented for evaluation and treatment of a severe angular limb deformity of the right distal tibia. This lucky dog has also had two surgeries for intervertebral disc extrusions here at North Coast Veterinary Specialist & Referral Centre (NCVS) previously. The hind limb deformity was centered on the distal tibial growth plate creating a marked varus deformity. A diagnosis of Pes Varus was made.
Surgical correction was advised due to severe persistent lameness and risk of progressive OA. Radiography was performed to evaluate the limb and determine the CORA (centre of rotation and angulation), an essential component of any angular limb deformity. Based on radiographic measurements, an opening wedge osteotomy was performed with correction of the deformity achieved under fluoroscopic guidance to ensure the stifle and talocrural joints were spatially aligned. The osteotomy was stabilised with a linear external fixator to allow full weightbearing during bone healing. A cancellous bone graft was introduced into the osteotomy site to encourage osseous consolidation.
Samsons external fixator was removed after four months, once bony healing was confirmed, with an expected return to full function. Pes Varus is a deformity of the distal tibia, which is seen almost exclusively in Dachshunds.
Angulation can be severe as in Samsons case with a 35 degree deviation. Surgery is almost always recommended as prognosis for return to normal function is excellent. Pes Varus is not seen very often but is one to watch out for.