If you have ever picked up the paw of your Pitbull, you may have noticed that once you spread the toes they are connected by ‘webbing’. Because of this, many people think that their pet pooch has webbed feet.
Despite the fact it looks like webbing, Pitbulls don’t actually have webbed feet. It is a type of connective tissue between their toes which isn’t actually classed as being webbing.
You will also notice that it isn’t just Pitbulls who have connective tissue between their toes. Many dog breeds have it too, which helps them to float once in water.
So, if you are still curious about the ‘webbing’ of dogs feet, then read on to find out more.
Can A Pitbull Have Webbed Feet?
To put simply, a Pitbull doesn’t have webbed feet. However, there may be very rare cases when they might, as explained below.
The reason a Pitbull might seem like they have webbed feet is because they carry the same gene as dogs who are known to like swimming in water. Whilst you might think it is webbed feet however, it is just connective tissue.
This is true of pretty much all species of dogs who need connective tissue between their toes. Even so, if you think that your dog is displaying some abnormality when it comes to their toe ‘webbing’, always seek professional advice.
What Actually Is Webbing On Dogs Feet?
Usually referred to as something a duck has, webbed feet is thin skin which acts as a membrane between the toes of a paw. This actually makes the dog look like they have the feet of a dog, too!
Dogs that have webbed feet are known to love swimming, and having this type of feet means they can swim better without any trouble. It is a little like wearing flippers to help them move their feet along through the water.
Having webbed feet isn’t a common sight when it comes to dogs compared to something like a duck, however it does exist – though not on a Pitbull.
What Dogs Have Webbed Feet?
This is a list of some of the dogs with webbed feet, though there are plenty more out there:
A popular dog breed across America, the Labrador Retriever is both athletic yet super friendly, and they love to swim. They find it easy due to their webbed feet.
When it comes to wanting a dog with webbed feet, then the Newfoundland dog is a top choice. Originally, the breed was created to help Canadian fishermen within the water.
They are great swimmers who are so strong that they can help to pull men to dry land if they get into trouble.
They also swim differently to other dogs, which makes them a unique breed, and a great family pooch.
Not only is the Dachshund super cute and recognizable with its wiener shaped body, but they also have webbed feet. They aren’t used for swimming however, but for digging instead.
They were originally used for helping to hunt the likes of squirrels and rabbits.
American Water Spaniel
The American Water Spaniel originally helped American hunters to retrieve wild animals like birds. Often they would land in water or really muddy terrain, and their webbed feet would help them with this process.
The difference between these webbed feet and others is that their webbing and tos are quite close together, rather than spread.
When Is A Dog’s Webbed Feet Not Good?
A dog having webbed feet can be an advantage whilst they swim, however, once they are on dry land, having webbed feet can cause a number of issues to them which can result in limping as they walk.
So, let’s take a look at some of the issues that have been raised when it comes to webbed feet in dogs:
The Tibia And Fibula Become Joined
Both the fibula and tibia are the bones which make up the lower back leg, and can be an area that prematurely closes up and causes limping, fractures of the bone, and other issues for a dog.
It is said that the gene that causes webbed toes also speeds up the rate at which these bones join together. However, fortunately this can be sorted out through having surgery.
Link With Scoliosis
When it comes to dogs, having scoliosis means that the spine isn’t straight, and instead has a bend that goes towards the side of their body. To notice if this is something your dog suffers with, take a look at how they walk and feel their spine.
Having the condition means that they limp too. If a dog is left with this condition, there is a high chance that they will become paralyzed.
So how does this link with webbed feet? A dog could carry the gene that causes malformations within the bones, so if they have webbed feet, it might not be a coincidence that they suffer from scoliosis too.
Having A Cleft Palate
It isn’t uncommon for a dog who has a cleft palate to also have webbed feet. Those who suffer with this are usually tested for abnormalities when it comes to their genetic makeup.
It is said that when the dog is a tiny embryo, the toes stick together instead of the roof of the mouth causing webbed feet and a cleft palate.
Even though you may have found what looks like webbing between your Pitbull’s feet, more often than not it is actually just connective tissue.
If you think there is a problem with it however, always remember to get it checked out by a veterinarian, even if it is just for peace of mind.
There are dogs who do have webbed feet though, such as the Labrador Retriever and Dachshund. They have webbed feet like a duck to help them swim easily, though having webbed feet can also cause issues such as limping as they walk.
- Best Brush For Pitbulls: Vet’s Top Picks - June 19, 2023
- Roundup Review Article: Find the Best Harness For Pitbulls | Vet-Approved Guide - June 13, 2023
- Exotic Bully Vs. American Bully: What Is The Difference? - June 13, 2023