Still, given that he was born with swimmers syndrome, little Casper had the odds stacked against him from the start. And the terrifying ailment rendered the puppy unable to walk or even stand; all the Siberian husky could do, then, was lie on his belly with his legs spread out to the sides.
Worse still, in cases like Casper’s – where the circumstances of the birth, or where the puppy was born and first learns to move, are unknown – identifying the cause of swimmers syndrome is difficult. Indeed, the splayed legs can be the result of any number of reasons, from genetic to environmental. For instance, if puppies are placed on a slippery surface just after birth, they might not learn to use their legs properly.
Still, there’s a misconception that swimmers syndrome puppies can’t be fixed; there are many methods that can be used to help dogs overcome the condition. What’s more, many of them involve simple physiotherapy techniques such as having the puppy sleep in slings, massaging and manipulating their legs or having them wear “paw cuffs” to pull the legs together.