Cashew and her sister Blossom were born to an aged feral female (now deceased) we could never manage to trap in the nearby town of San Juan Gascón.
Cashew was born around the beginning of May, 2016, and the family caught her and her sister near the beginning of June. They were in extremely bad condition, heavily infested with fleas, internal parasites, and sarcoptic mange and a severe skin infection. They were underweight and very, very weak.
With treatment and good care, Cashew thrived. Her hair grew in thick, wavy, and glossy, and she is now a beautiful young adult. Almost from the first day we had her, Even sick and weak, Cashew was a very playful and friendly puppy with a sweet disposition and a serious cuddly streak. She kept those characteristics as she grew into a lovely adult.
As she got stronger, we noted that Cashew “bunny hops”, even on flat ground. Concerned, we took her for multiple x-rays over several months as puppies are difficult to diagnose. Our vets wavered between diagnosing hip dysplasia or knee abnormalities. Whatever it was, it certainly doesn’t slow her down at all, but she runs with a hopping gait.
Our second to last set of x-rays (taken at 8 months of age) confirmed that her hips are great. She actually has perfect hips. Our vet said we had to wait for her to mature and then reassess her knees, as if indicated, surgery was not an option until she was fully grown.
We had her fully rechecked in June of this year, and three vets have declared that her hips are perfect, and that their is no issue with her knees. They all feel that her bunny-hopping gait when running, and her lag-and drag of her hind legs when walking is due to some neuromuscular cause. Possibly she was injured before we got her during her first month of life, or possibly this is congenital.
Cashew is not limited by her gait, and runs, plays and jumps around like any dog. She goes for long hikes, romps on the beach, jumps in and out of the car easily, and in short, is a completely normal dog. She is in no pain, and her condition has not changed. The only concession we make for her is avoiding too much walking on concrete. Since she drags her hind toes a bit, extended walking on concrete wears down her toenails and they can bleed.
Here are links to see Cashew walking and running:
She has been fostered in a great family since she was one month of age. She is is clicker trained and knows a lot of different behaviors. She is great on and off leash, wonderful with other dogs and puppies, and loves to play fetch and tug. She is not a digger and although she adores her chews, bones, and squeaky toys, she is not destructive. Cashew is house trained, rides happily in the car, is not a big barker, and is friendly and outgoing to everyone she meets. Cashew lives with two dogs and a cat, as well as a rotating crew of foster dogs and puppies, and she gets along with all of them.
She is an absolutely spectacular dog, and everyone who meets her falls in love with her.