What Can I Do About Hip Dysplasia In My Dog?

Hip dysplasia in dogs is a genetic disorder that is not preventable if you own a dog predisposed to the disease. However, there are several things you can do, such as proper nutrition and exercise, that will reduce the early onset and intensity of hip dysplasia in your dog.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disorder occurring more often in certain breeds. It is caused by a partial dislocation of bones in the dog’s hip joints, leaving them misaligned but still in contact with each other, which causes erosion of the tissues that keep the joint moving smoothly.

What can you do about hip dysplasia if your dog is predisposed to the disease?

Proper Breeding

Some breeders are irresponsible and will breed a dog knowing it is susceptible to hip dysplasia, or will breed a dog too young to be properly tested, and the result is an increased occurrence of the disease. Every breeder who breeds dogs genetically prone to hip dysplasia should have their dogs checked before breeding.

If you intend to purchase a dog from a breeder, research the genetic diseases of the breed you want and ask the breeder if they test for those diseases. If they can’t (or won’t) give you a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian, you will be much better off looking elsewhere. You will end up saving yourself a lot of money and heartbreak in the future if you’re careful in selecting your new canine companion.

Proper Nutrition

A study done on Labrador retrievers showed that obesity increases the onset of hip dysplasia. Overweight adolescent dogs are more likely to suffer from hip dysplasia as are dogs that don’t receive sufficient amounts of calcium and other nutrients during their adolescent stage.

When your dog is young, feed it a high-quality diet. Don’t buy pet foods that have cheap fillers like corn and wheat or ones that contain meat byproducts, all of which have very little nutritional value. Choose foods for your young dog that have high-quality proteins listed as the first three ingredients and that don’t have preservatives added.

Proper Exercise

Exercise and mental stimulation are an important part of development of puppies but over-exercising at a young age can prevent the proper growth of bones, muscles and joints, leading to joint problems like as hip dysplasia and arthritis.

Running and swimming are excellent ways to exercise a young dog, but avoid activities that involve a lot of jumping, like Frisbee, until your puppy is a few years old.

One of the least expensive things you can do to ease hip dysplasia in a dog, you might want to use a ramp for getting in and out of your car or off of high furniture until it reaches 18 to 24 months of age.


If your dog already suffers from hip dysplasia or arthritis, a safe and proven supplement for treating your pet is Winston’s Joint System, a combination of three, totally-natural whole food supplements developed by a Naturopathic Doctor for his own dog. It contains no drugs and there are no side-effects because it’s just good whole food. And there are no dosage problems because your dog’s body uses only what it needs.

Winston’s provides many of the raw materials essential for the synthesis of the joint-lubricating synovial fluid as well as the repair of articular cartilage and connective tissue. It also includes a natural anti-inflammatory compound, long used to relieve the pain of arthritis.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that often can’t be prevented; but that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do about hip dysplasia in your dog. By selecting a dog from a responsible, professional breeder, feeding your puppy and adult dog a healthy diet, and reducing high-impact exercise, occurrences of the disease can be reduced. Hip dysplasia is a progressively degenerative disease, so any amount of help you can give your dog, like treating him or her with Winston’s Joint System, will improve the quality of your dog’s life for years.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

BEWARE: PAINKILLERS FOR DOGS HAVE RISKS AND SIDE-EFFECTS – Natural Alternative Offers Safer Pain-Relief for Your Dog

Does your dog suffer with joint pain?

Our first instinct when we experience pain is to make the pain stop, right now. As dog-lovers, this is our first instinct when our dog is in pain, too.

But unfortunately, drugs which immediately stop pain in dogs, especially if your dog is experiencing joint-pain or osteoarthritis. In fact, sometimes the risks associated with these pain-killing drugs are worse for your dog than the original condition.


  • Difficulty getting up from a nap
  • Stiffness lower back, hips or back legs
  • Sits down more often, to take weight off back legs
  • Stands and sits with front legs very wide-apart
  • Won’t chase ball
  • Not interested in playing
  • Pauses at stairs, avoids climbing steps
  • Not able to jump after a frisbee
  • Gets tired mid-way through a favorite run or walk
  • Lowers head
  • Whines or whimpers (or snaps) when hip or leg is touched

If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these symptoms, your dog may be in need of help to repair and improve joint health.

When someone is hurting, whether it’s ourselves or a loved one, including a beloved family pet, our initial impulse is to dull the pain. For a dog with joint pain, steroids, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) or aspirin all may be prescribed by your vet.

But these are powerful drugs with potential side-effects. They may offer benefits in the short-term, if your pet is in severe pain. But as a long-term solution, the risks of taking these drugs often outweigh the benefits.

Winston’s Joint System offers a safe, effective, healthy long-term solution to canine joint pain and arthritis. This unique formula has helped literally thousands of dogs boost their immune system for more robust health, and regain their mobility and strength to walk, run, and play longer and happier. And this makes their human happy, too.

Winston’s is a food-grade joint supplement developed to do more for your pet than simply treat painful symptoms. It actually helps rebuild joint strength and health, and keeps tails wagging without putting your dog on a lifetime regimen of potentially dangerous drugs.


If you’re just treating symptoms, then the answer is yes. This means that your pet will never experience complete healing, and that the pain-symptoms will persist.

Conventional Western medicine for both humans and dogs tends to address symptoms rather than root-causes. Some of this has to do with our modern insistence on instant gratification. We want the quick-fix, and we want it now!

No one wants to see a pet suffer. But there is more to effectively treating canine hip dysplasia, joint degeneration, osteoarthritis and related conditions than just making the painful symptoms go away.


Winston’s Joint System repairs and rebuilds healthy joints, at the same time it relieves pain. The formula reduces swelling and inflammation, which immediately makes your dog feel better.

What’s even more important is that Winston’s Joint System gets to the root-cause of the pain. The formula helps rebuild cartilage and sinew, for greater strength and flexibility. And the system also replaces synovial fluid, which is essential to full movement and mobility in a damaged joint. Helping the joint-structures to repair themselves naturally, without toxic drugs, is the key to reducing inflammation and pain in the short term, and keeping your dog mobile and active in the long term.


Rimadyl is the most commonly prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) drug intended for the relief of pain and inflammation in dogs. The generic name for this compound is carprofen. Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Medican and aspirin are often prescribed for dogs with osteoarthritis, or other forms of degenerative joint disease and the resulting pain. These drugs often prescribed for older dogs, as well as for big breeds which may be more prone to hip dysplasia and other joint-related pain.

Rimadyl in particular was identified as a “miracle drug” and a godsend when it was introduced by the drug-maker Pfizer in 1997. But as with so many allopathic or palliative drugs, the “miracle” of the miracle drug now is known to have a dark side. One of the primary reasons is that painkillers like Rimadyl, or even aspirin, mask pain without addressing the deeper sources of what causes the pain. So the originating cause is never addressed, and the pain persists, diminishing the quality of life for your pet.


Rimadyl acts by inhibiting prostaglandins that cause inflammation in injured or aging joints. Prostaglandins are also necessary for normal body functions, however. When their production is stopped, normal body functions (digestion, liver and kidney function, for example), also cease. This obviously poses a tremendous risk to the overall system.

Rimadyl may erode the stomach lining and cause ulcers, resulting in internal bleeding. The action of the drug may reduce circulation to the liver, which may cause toxins to build up in the body. The resulting hemorraghing and/or toxicity may be fatal to your dog. It’s important to know that the drug residue remains in your dog’s body even after your stop giving your dog the drug. Just how long this residue lasts has not been conclusively proven.

  • Numerous deaths have been attributed to the use of Rimadyl. Some veterinarians prescribe this powerful drug over the phone, without ever examining your dog. Why? This drug has been aggressively and successfully marketed, with multi-million dollar ad campaigns backed by the huge Pfizer corporation (which also manufactures Viagra, along with many other highly profitable drugs for humans).
  • Before agreeing to give your dog any pain-killing drugs, have the veterinarian test your dog’s kidney and liver function, and discuss other blood panels which may be recommended. After a preliminary period determined by you and your vet, have these tests run again. Any changes in these results, indicating organ-function distress or damage, are indicators to stop the drug program.
  • Veterinarians sometimes mistake Rimadyl toxicity reactions for simply “old age” in your dog. If you do choose to begin a regimen of Rimadyl or other pain-killing drugs for your dog, keep a daily journal – like a diary—of your dog’s eating and drinking habits, bowel and bladder habits, breathing, energy, activity and overall behavior. BE SURE TO NOTE ANY CHANGES IN YOUR DOG, and bring your dog back to the veterinarian if you have any concerns. Closely observing and immediately noting changes immediately will help you and your vet identify symptoms of toxicity—not to be confused with healthy aging.


  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody diarrhea or stool
  • Lack of appetite
  • Extreme changes in water-dish habits (refusal to drink, or gulping water)
  • Excessive urination, or “marking” new spots
  • Incontinence
  • Listlessness or lethargy
  • Hyperactivity or restlessness
  • Aggressiveness
  • Panting
  • Pacing
  • Collapse
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Sudden or excessive shedding
  • “Hot spots” forming on skin
  • Facial swelling
  • Jaundice (yellowing) of eyes
  • White gums (may indicate internal bleeding)

Please be aware that all of these symptoms have been reported in dogs on a prescribed program of Rimadyl, Metacam and Deramaxx, and may occur with other pain-killing drugs. In particular, ulcers, gastro-intestinal bleeding and hemorrhaging are common side-effects. If your dog exhibits any of these conditions, take your pet immediately to a veterinarian.


By law, ads for drugs, like ads for cigarettes, are required to identify health hazards and established risks. These warnings are present in the ads for the pain-killing drugs commonly prescribed for dogs—but you have to really look for them. Read the fine print before making your decision to use any drug.

  • Likewise, veterinarians have a lot of confidence in major brand and product, but may not share the full story with you. Rimadyl is packaged with a “PIL” or “Patient Information Leaflet”. The product also is accompanied by a “Client Information Sheet”, but when vets repackage the drugs into smaller vials, they may not pass along this vital consumer information to you. Be sure to obtain both of these documents, and read them carefully, before giving your dog any drug.
  • Never accept a phone-diagnosis or prescription for these powerful drugs. In fact, it might be wise to take your “Patient Information Leaflet” and “Client Information Sheet” documents home and read them in a relaxed, private setting before making the decision to give any drugs to your dog.
  • Be sure to discuss and fully understand dosage requirements. When treating pain with powerful drugs, lower dosage may lower risk of toxicity. Also, be informed that many veterinary authorities consider mixing NSAIDS with aspirin a high-risk practice.


Hip Dysplasia in Pit Bulls

Canine hip dysplasia is a common orthopedic problem in Pit Bulls. The disease is caused by a loose hipbone to thighbone connection leading to hind joint pain and lameness ranging from mild to severely crippling.

What causes it?Hip dysplasia is genetically transmitted but because multiple genes are involved, scientists have not been able to determine the pattern of inheritance.

Adding to the problem of causation is the complicated interplay between heredity and the environment. Environmental factors can have an influence on whether or not a particular dog or breed of dog will eventually develop hip dysplasia. Scientists who study canines still do not understand the interaction of heredity and environmental factors.

Hip dysplasia in Pit Bulls?

Although the disease disproportionately affects larger breed dogs, veterinarians have documented hip dysplasia in Pit Bulls and just about every other type of dog, including mixed breeds.

There are some preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the odds of a dog developing hip dysplasia. Early detection and treatment can help a dog live a long and relatively comfortable life.

Remember the adage “The hipbone’s connected to the thighbone?”. Try to picture a dog’s hip joint as a ball fitting into a socket. The ball is the top of the thighbone which is coated with a smooth surface of cartilage. The femoral head fits into the hip’s socket and the entire ball-and-socket joint is surrounded and supported by muscles, ligaments, and lubricating synovial fluid.

During the growth spurt from birth to 60 days, the muscles and connective tissue of a puppy prone to hip dysplasia – unlike a normal puppy – cannot keep the same growth pace as the faster growing bones. The resulting looseness of the joint causes abnormal wear on the cartilage that lines the femoral head. As the cartilage deteriorates, hip dysplasia or arthritis often sets in, sometimes both simultaneously. Arthritis is basically an abortive attempt by the body to stabilize the joint by adding bone.


Although pain and restricted range of motion are symptoms of hip dysplasia, other signs may depend on the age of the dog and the degree of arthritis present.

Young dysplastic dogs often move both back legs simultaneously in a “bunny hop” gait. On the other hand, some younger dogs whose X-rays show evidence of hip dysplasia are able to maintain normal mobility and will show signs of hip dysplasia only after they grow older and develop arthritis.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia include moving more slowly, difficulty in getting up or lying down, reluctance to walk, jump or play, refusing to use stairs or get into the car, muscle atrophy, limping, yelping when touched, changes in appetite, and personality changes. Both older and younger dogs suffering from the disease feel the most discomfort in cold, damp weather.

Pit Bulls who develop hip dysplasia or arthritis suffer from pain and stiffness in their joints which greatly diminishes their ability to live a quality life and remain active.


When a Pit Bull is diagnosed with hip dysplasia and the choices for treatment seem limited to expensive surgery or questionable drugs, I recommend you begin treating your dog with Winston’s Joint System, an all-natural formula developed by a Naturopathic Doctor to heal his own beloved dog. This proven formula has been giving relief from pain and stiffness to all breeds and ages of dogs for more than 20 years. There are no side-effects because it’s just good whole food and no dosage problems because the dog’s body uses only what it needs.

Winston’s provides many of the raw materials essential for the synthesis of the joint-lubricating synovial fluid, as well as the repair of articular cartilage and connective tissue. Within the first 30 days of treatment, dogs on Winston’s Joint System show noticeable and often remarkable improvement.

How to diagnose hip dysplasia in your Pit Bull

Although canine hip dysplasia (CHD) may remain unseen in some dogs, early detection is critical.

The first step to determining whether a Pit Bull has hip dysplasia is through a careful physical examination by a veterinarian who will observe the dog as it sits, stands, and walks. This is the first measure to check for characteristic signs of hip problems such as a side-to-side swinging gait, lameness, and arched back which is caused by shifting weight forward, or the presence of overdeveloped front-leg and shoulder muscles.

The veterinarian will move the dog’s hip joint to assess its range of motion and check for pain with the joint extended. The vet will also listen for the “click” of the hip popping out of joint and for any grating sound of bone on bone that indicates cartilage loss.

Caring for a Pit Bull with hip dysplasia

Weight loss and moderate exercise, can also help alleviate pain and inflammation in and around the joint. The heavier the dog, the greater the forces acting on the joints.

When choosing which activities are appropriate for a Pit Bull suffering from hip dysplasia, take into account the dog’s physical condition and pain threshold, and compromise between complete exercise restriction and unlimited physical activity. Complete restriction is inadvisable because it adds to a dog’s pain and stiffness. Determine an appropriate activity level and help the dog stick to it.

A dog’s stomach is not quite as robust as a human’s, so avoid long-term use of aspirin which can cause vomiting and internal bleeding. Mega-doses of vitamin C are also not effective at preventing or even helping hip dysplasia, and supplementing a dog’s diet with calcium can actually exacerbate the disease. Because of potential toxicity and side-effects, veterinarians rarely prescribe medications containing acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or corticosteroids for hip dysplasia.


Although genes play a big role in the development of canine hip dysplasia, not everything about the disease is hereditary. Evidence suggests that even dogs genetically predisposed to the disease can escape its worst effects if breeders and owners control rapid growth and weight gain during puppy hood, thereby increasing the chance that muscles, connective tissues, and hip joint bones will develop at the same rate.

Studies show that puppies fed a high-calorie diet grow faster than their litter mates on a low-calorie diet. Research also shows that puppies with constant access to food have more hip-joint laxity at 30 weeks and a higher incidence of hip dysplasia at 2 years than their counterparts who eat 25 percent less food on a restricted feeding schedule. Feeding a puppy a controlled, balanced diet is probably the best way to manage its growth.

Although veterinary science is still searching for definitive answers about how canine hip dysplasia develops, a diagnosis of the disease in a dog is not the end of the world. Loving owners, working with their veterinarians, can usually help dogs with unstable hipbone-thighbone connections cope in relative comfort. And in the process, owners can enhance their relationship with their loving companion.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.