What Is Hip Dysplasia In Dogs – Causes & Symptoms (Hip Dysplasia In Dogs – Part 1)

This is the first part of our 4-part series “Hip Dysplasia in Dogs”.

In this part we’ll cover what hip dysplasia is, and what the causes and symptoms of hip dysplasia are.

Hip dysplasia is a disease that seriously affects the hip joint that attaches a dog’s hind leg to its body.

What Is Hip Dysplasia In Dogs - Causes & Symptoms

How the hip joint works

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball portion is the head of the femur (the main bone in the thigh) and the socket is located on the dog’s pelvis.

In a healthy, normal joint the ball rotates freely and easily within the socket. The dog’s bones are shaped to perfectly match each other, with the socket surrounding the ball. In order to strengthen the hip joint, a strong ligament holds the two bones together. This ligament attaches the femur head directly to the socket.

The joint capsule is a very strong band of connective tissue that circles the two bones and provides stability for a dog’s rear legs. In healthy dogs, the area where the bones actually touch each other is smooth and cushioned with a layer of spongy cartilage. The hip joint also contains a thick fluid that keeps the joint lubricated.

In a dog with normal hips, all of these components work together and help the joint function smoothly which supports the dog in maintaining stability.

What is hip dysplasia in dogs?

Hip dysplasia is a result of abnormal joint structure and a slackness of the muscles, the connective tissue, and the ligaments that support the joint.

As a dog’s hip joint continues to deteriorate, the surfaces of the two hip bones begin to separate in the joint and cause structural changes in the bone surfaces. As the cartilage is progressively worn away, the pain becomes intense when the dog stands or walks.

Most dogs are born with normal hips but if their genetic background includes a tendency for hip dysplasia or arthritis, the soft tissues that surround the hip joint will develop abnormally and cause hip dysplasia. The disease can affect both the right and left hips, but more often affects only one side.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs

Hip dysplasia symptoms are nearly identical to arthritis symptoms which causes a dog to walk or run in a limping or odd way.

A dog may avoid movement that requires fully extending or flexing its rear legs. They will also experience stiffness and pain in their rear legs after exercising or when they first get up in the morning.

Climbing stairs becomes a difficult if not impossible task.

As hip dysplasia progressively worsens, affected dogs will lose most of their muscle tone and may need assistance in getting up after resting in a prone position.

Signs of hip dysplasia in dogs:
If you notice any of the signs below, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. An early diagnosis, is the key to a successful treatment.

  • Moving more slowly
  • Difficulty in getting up and/or lying down
  • Weight shift from one leg to the other
  • Reluctance to walk, jump or play
  • Refusing to use stairs or get in the car
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping

Also, as with any other illness, be in the lookout for changes in your dog’s personality, behavior and appetite.

Dogs of all ages are subject to hip dysplasia.

Usually hip dysplasia symptoms don’t begin to show up in a dog until the middle or later years of its life, although puppies as young as five or six months may begin to display pain and discomfort during and after exercise.

The condition will usually worsen until all normal activities become too painful for the dog to tolerate. You can help your dog recover its normal life through the use of Winston’s Joint System, an all-natural formula developed by a Naturopathic Doctor to heal his own beloved dog who suffered from hip dysplasia. For more than 30 years this proven formula has been giving relief from pain and stiffness to all breeds and ages of dogs.

Which dog breeds are susceptible to hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is primarily a disease of large breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Saint Bernards, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Great Danes. The disease can affect medium-sized breeds also, but rarely affects smaller breeds.

Hip dysplasia is also primarily a disease of purebred dogs but can develop in mixed breeds if their parents were breeds of dogs prone to developing hip dysplasia.

Are there specific risk factors for developing hip dysplasia?

Genes
Hip dysplasia is caused by one of the hip joint bones moving out of place. This creates abnormal wearing away of the joint tissue and cartilage. Arthritis and pain then increase as the dog ages.

It is a genetic disease, meaning if one or both of a dog’s parents has hip dysplasia, then it is at a greater risk for developing the disease. If a dog’s lineage showed no signs of hip problems, then it probably will not develop dysplasia.

Weight
It appears that the amount of calories a dog consumes, especially during its fast-growth period from three to ten months, has the biggest impact on whether or not a dog genetically prone to hip dysplasia will develop the disease.

Obesity can increase the seriousness of hip dysplasia in genetically susceptible dogs. If a dog is genetically prone to hip dysplasia and is also overweight, it has a much higher risk of developing hip dysplasia.

Intense exercise
Exercise can also be factor in developing the disease. Dogs that are genetically predisposed to the disease can have an increased incidence of hip dysplasia if over-exercised when they are young. However, dogs with large leg muscles are less likely to develop hip dysplasia than dogs with small muscles.

Moderate exercise such as running and swimming would be beneficial to a dog, but any exercise that places a lot of pressure on the joints would not be.

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.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Hip Dysplasia in Border Collies

Border Collies are a breed of dog known for their very active lifestyle. Sadly, hip dysplasia in Border Collies is not a rare occurrence, and the more you know about this disease, the better you will be prepared to watch your pet for any signs of this debilitating disease.

HIP DYSPLASIA IN BORDER COLLIES – WHAT IS IT?

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition, which can affect any dog. Although the causes may vary, the effects are always the same: loss of mobility, increasing pain, impaired gait, even behavioral and mood-changes in your dog, including snappishness and depression.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HIP DYSPLASIA?

Hip dysplasia robs your dog of its most fundamental drive as an animal: to run. Our domestic pets share common roots as hunting pack-animals, like wolves. While many breeds of dogs have developed specialties, such as the ability to burrow, dig, and swim in the pursuit of prey, all dogs are literally born to run. However, hip dysplasia makes running and even walking painful, sometimes to the point where the animal has difficulty rising from a sleep-position, and resists movement. Playtime with other dogs and humans becomes too excruciating to bear. This lack of activity may result in weight gain, which compounds the discomfort of hip dysplasia. The condition may even make the dog’s hips and lower back too sensitive to touch, during brushing, grooming, bathing—even hugging! So, your dog becomes less active, isolated, disconnected, and often low-energy.

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG MAY HAVE HIP DYSPLASIA:

  • Hobbles, or walks/trots with an irregular gait
  • Tries to keep weight off one of the rear legs
  • Starts to slow down or limp on a favorite walk or run
  • Stays in bed instead of playing outdoors
  • Whimpers or yelps when climbing stairs
  • Flinches when hip area or lower back are touched

In short, hip dysplasia can reduce your feisty, sparkling companion and playmate to a diminished creature, which barely leaves its bed.

 WHAT HAPPENS IN HIP DYSPLASIA – WHY DOES IT HURT?

Dysplasia is simply the dislocation of a bone from its proper place. “Plasia” is the Greek word for molding, so it’s easy to visualize an architectural form, like a beam or column, separating from its stabilizing molding.  Hip dysplasia or displacement is one of the best-known types of dysplasia in dogs.

The degenerative process of hip dysplasia is gradual, and so the onset of symptoms—the pain, specifically—also is somewhat gradual, taking place over the course of years. In simple terms, the two bones of the hip joint shift out of alignment. The structure of a dog’s hip bones is similar to our human hip formation, consisting of a precisely fitted ball-and-socket joint. This is called a “spheroidal” joint, referring to the spherical head of the distal or articulating bone, which fits into the cup-like cavity of the accompanying bone.

The purpose of joints is to provide movement to the body. A healthy canine spheroidal joint controls this movement with the support of muscles, ligaments and tendons. The ends of the bones are covered in tough cartilage, and lined with synovial membrane, with contains a small amount of synovial fluid as lubricant. In fact, the ball and socket joint is the most mobile in the body – in both dogs and humans.  The design allows the articulating or distal bone to rotate around three main axes with a common center, allowing the leg (or, in the case of the elbow ball and socket, the arm) an extremely versatile range of movement. The ability to swivel, pivot and rotate with speed and agility is what makes dogs great hunters.

In the case of the hip, the articulating or distal bone is called the femur. The cup-shaped socket bone is called the acetabulum, located on the pelvis.

Perhaps because they are such hand-working structures, the ball and socket joints are prone to disease, and to simple mechanical wear and damage over time. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula, two products for dogs developed by a naturopathic doctor, offer support and relief for many conditions affecting the joints, including hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory diseases which also are common in dogs, attacking the cartilage, muscles and membrane linings of cartilage and joints.


 

HERE’S THE BREAKDOWN:

  • Hip dysplasia results in several symptoms which reduce mobility and cause pain:
  • The muscles and joints become lax, and the joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue which circled the bones for added stability, loses its elastic strength.
  • As this happens, the articular (working) surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. The bones slowly separate as the soft tissues around the joint degenerate. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left.

With the loss of protective scaffolding between the bone surfaces, the nerves in the bone-endings themselves are exposed. When bone touches bone, there is acute pain. In addition, the loss of tensile strength of the supporting tendons, muscle and cartilage mean that other structures in the hip and leg must compensate in terms of weight-bearing and movement. This unnatural compensation may cause fatigue, pain, and may even cause the dog to injure itself—running to catch a Frisbee, or climbing stairs, for instance.

WHAT CAUSES HIP DYSPLASIA?

Experts disagree as to the source of hip dysplasia in dogs.

  • TOO MUCH FOOD? One theory is that feeding a young, growing dog too many calories early in its development contributes to the disorder.
  • TOO MUCH EXERCISE? Another theory is that too much exercise, or the wrong kind of exercise, or simply too much high-impact exercise, such as fetching, jumping and catching a ball or Frisbee on concrete, contributes to hip dysplasia.

These theories are not conclusive, though of course appropriate nutrition and training are essential to the health and well-being of any pet.

A factual observation about this condition is that hip dysplasia tends to affect large breeds more so than smaller dogs. This, too, is relative—it is possible for small dogs to become affected by hip dysplasia, too.  However, we correctly associate the condition most frequently with big breeds.

These breeds do carry a genetic predisposition toward the condition. It is also true that purebreds, especially in these large dogs, are most likely to become vulnerable to hip dysplasia, therefore calling upon informed and responsible breeding practices.

But here’s the thing: many of us fall in love at the animal shelter. We may generously rescue a dog whose history is entirely unknown. A darling “Shepherd mix” from the pound may represent a complex genetic history, a history to which we have no access. Medical problems may indeed manifest down the line, and hip dysplasia could be one of these. This condition is common, and is not a death-sentence. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula offer a holistic, gentle and effective way to manage your dog’s hip dysplasia, from the first signs of stiffness, discomfort or loss of mobility.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Our first instinct as dog-lovers is to stop the pain. Sometimes our decision-making process is clouded by emotion—guilt, fear, even panic when we see our beloved canine companion suffering. Many conventional treatments for hip dysplasia in dogs have side-effects, or simply don’t work.

  • If your dog is clearly in pain, schedule a visit with your veterinarian. An X-ray examination will be recommended as a first step.
  • Monitor your dog’s weight. Obesity makes hip dysplasia worse. If your dog becomes less active, weight-gain may become a challenge. Eliminate treats, and if possible, offer your dog low-impact exercise like stretching and swimming.
  • Remove unnecessary physical stressors from your dog’s life.
  • Replace stairs with a ramp while your dog is recovering, to prevent further damage to the damaged hip.
  • Provide a padded dog-bed—sleeping on hard surface may increase the inflammation associated with hip dysplasia. A gel-bed, which actually contains a soft jelly that conforms to your dog’s body, relieves pressure from sore joints.
  • Experiment with low-heat heating pads or fleece-covered hot water bottle, as well as gentle massage, as ways to relax your dog and provide comfort during the healing process.

Bringing a dog into your life requires a leap of faith, and a demands commitment to that dog’s health and well-being. It is virtually impossible verify the genetic “blueprint” of any animal, even if the animal is pedigreed and purchased through a breeder. Recessive genetic tendencies are difficult to identify, and may take us by surprise. Because we are unable to identify the sources of this condition, realistically it is not possible to truly prevent it. Avoiding large breeds and purebreds may be one precaution, but many dogs who are not in either of these categories do experience  hip dysplasia as well.  With this in mind, advanced formulas and ongoing research continue to offer non-invasive, non-intrusive, gently effective treatments for the common canine condition known as hip dysplasia.

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.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

Hip Dysplasia in Basset Hounds

People usually never think about the problem of hip dysplasia in Basset Hounds because a common misconception is that smaller dogs never suffer from hip dysplasia. Unfortunately, this is not true.

HIP DYSPLASIA IN BASSET HOUNDS – WHAT IS IT?

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition, which can affect any dog. Although the causes may vary, the effects are always the same: loss of mobility, increasing pain, impaired gait, even behavioral and mood-changes in your dog, including snappishness and depression.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HIP DYSPLASIA?

Hip dysplasia robs your dog of its most fundamental drive as an animal: to run. Our domestic pets share common roots as hunting pack-animals, like wolves. While many breeds of dogs have developed specialties, such as the ability to burrow, dig, and swim in the pursuit of prey, all dogs are literally born to run. However, hip dysplasia makes running and even walking painful, sometimes to the point where the animal has difficulty rising from a sleep-position, and resists movement. Playtime with other dogs and humans becomes too excruciating to bear. This lack of activity may result in weight gain, which compounds the discomfort of hip dysplasia. The condition may even make the dog’s hips and lower back too sensitive to touch, during brushing, grooming, bathing—even hugging! So, your dog becomes less active, isolated, disconnected, and often low-energy.

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG MAY HAVE HIP DYSPLASIA:

  • Hobbles, or walks/trots with an irregular gait
  • Tries to keep weight off one of the rear legs
  • Starts to slow down or limp on a favorite walk or run
  • Stays in bed instead of playing outdoors
  • Whimpers or yelps when climbing stairs
  • Flinches when hip area or lower back are touched

In short, hip dysplasia can reduce your feisty, sparkling companion and playmate to a diminished creature, which barely leaves its bed.

 WHAT HAPPENS IN HIP DYSPLASIA – WHY DOES IT HURT?

Dysplasia is simply the dislocation of a bone from its proper place. “Plasia” is the Greek word for molding, so it’s easy to visualize an architectural form, like a beam or column, separating from its stabilizing molding.  Hip dysplasia or displacement is one of the best-known types of dysplasia in dogs.

The degenerative process of hip dysplasia is gradual, and so the onset of symptoms—the pain, specifically—also is somewhat gradual, taking place over the course of years. In simple terms, the two bones of the hip joint shift out of alignment. The structure of a dog’s hip bones is similar to our human hip formation, consisting of a precisely fitted ball-and-socket joint. This is called a “spheroidal” joint, referring to the spherical head of the distal or articulating bone, which fits into the cup-like cavity of the accompanying bone.

The purpose of joints is to provide movement to the body. A healthy canine spheroidal joint controls this movement with the support of muscles, ligaments and tendons. The ends of the bones are covered in tough cartilage, and lined with synovial membrane, with contains a small amount of synovial fluid as lubricant. In fact, the ball and socket joint is the most mobile in the body – in both dogs and humans.  The design allows the articulating or distal bone to rotate around three main axes with a common center, allowing the leg (or, in the case of the elbow ball and socket, the arm) an extremely versatile range of movement. The ability to swivel, pivot and rotate with speed and agility is what makes dogs great hunters.

In the case of the hip, the articulating or distal bone is called the femur. The cup-shaped socket bone is called the acetabulum, located on the pelvis.

Perhaps because they are such hand-working structures, the ball and socket joints are prone to disease, and to simple mechanical wear and damage over time. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula, two products for dogs developed by a naturopathic doctor, offer support and relief for many conditions affecting the joints, including hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory diseases which also are common in dogs, attacking the cartilage, muscles and membrane linings of cartilage and joints.


 

HERE’S THE BREAKDOWN:

  • Hip dysplasia results in several symptoms which reduce mobility and cause pain:
  • The muscles and joints become lax, and the joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue which circled the bones for added stability, loses its elastic strength.
  • As this happens, the articular (working) surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. The bones slowly separate as the soft tissues around the joint degenerate. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left.

With the loss of protective scaffolding between the bone surfaces, the nerves in the bone-endings themselves are exposed. When bone touches bone, there is acute pain. In addition, the loss of tensile strength of the supporting tendons, muscle and cartilage mean that other structures in the hip and leg must compensate in terms of weight-bearing and movement. This unnatural compensation may cause fatigue, pain, and may even cause the dog to injure itself—running to catch a Frisbee, or climbing stairs, for instance.

WHAT CAUSES HIP DYSPLASIA?

Experts disagree as to the source of hip dysplasia in dogs.

  • TOO MUCH FOOD? One theory is that feeding a young, growing dog too many calories early in its development contributes to the disorder.
  • TOO MUCH EXERCISE? Another theory is that too much exercise, or the wrong kind of exercise, or simply too much high-impact exercise, such as fetching, jumping and catching a ball or Frisbee on concrete, contributes to hip dysplasia.

These theories are not conclusive, though of course appropriate nutrition and training are essential to the health and well-being of any pet.

A factual observation about this condition is that hip dysplasia tends to affect large breeds more so than smaller dogs. This, too, is relative—it is possible for small dogs to become affected by hip dysplasia, too.  However, we correctly associate the condition most frequently with big breeds.

These breeds do carry a genetic predisposition toward the condition. It is also true that purebreds, especially in these large dogs, are most likely to become vulnerable to hip dysplasia, therefore calling upon informed and responsible breeding practices.

But here’s the thing: many of us fall in love at the animal shelter. We may generously rescue a dog whose history is entirely unknown. A darling “Shepherd mix” from the pound may represent a complex genetic history, a history to which we have no access. Medical problems may indeed manifest down the line, and hip dysplasia could be one of these. This condition is common, and is not a death-sentence. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula (www.dogshealth.com) offer a holistic, gentle and effective way to manage your dog’s hip dysplasia, from the first signs of stiffness, discomfort or loss of mobility.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Our first instinct as dog-lovers is to stop the pain. Sometimes our decision-making process is clouded by emotion—guilt, fear, even panic when we see our beloved canine companion suffering. Many conventional treatments for hip dysplasia in dogs have side-effects, or simply don’t work.

  • If your dog is clearly in pain, schedule a visit with your veterinarian. An X-ray examination will be recommended as a first step.
  • Monitor your dog’s weight. Obesity makes hip dysplasia worse. If your dog becomes less active, weight-gain may become a challenge. Eliminate treats, and if possible, offer your dog low-impact exercise like stretching and swimming.
  • Remove unnecessary physical stressors from your dog’s life.
  • Replace stairs with a ramp while your dog is recovering, to prevent further damage to the damaged hip.
  • Provide a padded dog-bed—sleeping on hard surface may increase the inflammation associated with hip dysplasia. A gel-bed, which actually contains a soft jelly that conforms to your dog’s body, relieves pressure from sore joints.
  • Experiment with low-heat heating pads or fleece-covered hot water bottle, as well as gentle massage, as ways to relax your dog and provide comfort during the healing process.

Bringing a dog into your life requires a leap of faith, and a demands commitment to that dog’s health and well-being. It is virtually impossible verify the genetic “blueprint” of any animal, even if the animal is pedigreed and purchased through a breeder. Recessive genetic tendencies are difficult to identify, and may take us by surprise. Because we are unable to identify the sources of this condition, realistically it is not possible to truly prevent it. Avoiding large breeds and purebreds may be one precaution, but many dogs who are not in either of these categories do experience hip dysplasia as well.  With this in mind, advanced formulas and ongoing research continue to offer non-invasive, non-intrusive, gently effective treatments for this disease.

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.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

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.

Supplements

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, will begin to stop things from getting worse.

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.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Dogs Who Develop Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that primarily affects large and giant breeds of dogs but can also affect medium-sized breeds, and some small breeds. It is primarily a disease of purebreds, although it can also occur in mixed breeds.

Dogs who develop hip dysplasia suffer from an abnormal joint structure and a laxity of the muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments that would normally support the dog’s hip joints.

As the disease progresses, the articular surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. This separation of the two bones within the joint causes a drastic change in the size and shape of the articular surfaces.

Most dogs who develop hip dysplasia are born with normal hips, but due to their genetic make-up the soft tissues surrounding the joint develop abnormally. This leads to the symptoms associated with hip dysplasia. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left hip.

The symptoms of hip dysplasia cause afflicted dogs to walk or run with an altered gait, similar to a bunny-hop. They begin to resist any movement that requires full extension or flexion of the rear legs. They will experience stiffness and pain in their rear legs after exercising and on first rising in the morning. Climbing stairs becomes difficult if not impossible. Some dogs will limp and are less willing to participate in normal daily activities, including walks they formerly enjoyed.

Because hip dysplasia is primarily an inherited condition, there are no products that can prevent its development.

Through proper diet, exercise, and a supplement such as Winston’s Joint System, you can slow, and sometimes halt, the progression of these degenerative joint diseases while providing your dog with relief from its pain. 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.

Dogs who develop hip dysplasia

Dogs who are prone to develop hip dysplasia include the following (alphabetical order):

  • Afghan Hound
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • American Eskimo Dog
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Water Spaniel
  • Anatolian Shepherd
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Basset Hound
  • Beagle
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Belgian Sheepdog
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Bichon Frise
  • Black and Tan Coonhound
  • Black Russian Terrier
  • Bloodhound
  • Border Collie
  • Border Terrier
  • Bouvier des Flandres
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Chow-Chow
  • Collie
  • Curly-Coated Retriever
  • Dalmatian
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • English Cocker Spaniel
  • English Foxhound
  • English Setter
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • French Bulldog
  • German Shepherd
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • German Wirehaired Pointer
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Golden Retriever
  • Great Dane
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  • Irish Setter
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Keeshond
  • Labrador
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff (and American Mastiff)
  • Newfoundland
  • Norwegian Elkhound
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Pointer
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Pug
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Rottweiler
  • Saint Bernard
  • Samoyed
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Shiba Inu
  • Shih Tzu
  • Siberian Husky
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Standard Schnauzer
  • Weimaraner
  • Welsh Springer Spaniel

** This is by no means a complete list of dogs who can develop hip dysplasia.

It is also important to understand that just because your dog’s breed is on this list, it does NOT mean that it will develop hip dysplasia at some point in its life.

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 or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Hip Dysplasia in Great Danes

Hip dysplasia is a debilitating disease that affects the hip joints in dogs. It is commonly found among large breed dogs but also can occur in medium and small size breeds. Certain breeds like Great Danes are more susceptible to hip dysplasia, and the disease is more common in pure-bred dogs than in mixed breeds.

HIP DYSPLASIA IN GREAT DANES – WHAT IS IT?

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition, which can affect any dog. Although the causes may vary, the effects are always the same: loss of mobility, increasing pain, impaired gait, even behavioral and mood-changes in your dog, including snappishness and depression.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HIP DYSPLASIA?

Hip dysplasia robs your dog of its most fundamental drive as an animal: to run. Our domestic pets share common roots as hunting pack-animals, like wolves. While many breeds of dogs have developed specialties, such as the ability to burrow, dig, and swim in the pursuit of prey, all dogs are literally born to run. However, hip dysplasia makes running and even walking painful, sometimes to the point where the animal has difficulty rising from a sleep-position, and resists movement. Playtime with other dogs and humans becomes too excruciating to bear. This lack of activity may result in weight gain, which compounds the discomfort of hip dysplasia. The condition may even make the dog’s hips and lower back too sensitive to touch, during brushing, grooming, bathing—even hugging! So, your dog becomes less active, isolated, disconnected, and often low-energy.

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG MAY HAVE HIP DYSPLASIA:

  • Hobbles, or walks/trots with an irregular gait
  • Tries to keep weight off one of the rear legs
  • Starts to slow down or limp on a favorite walk or run
  • Stays in bed instead of playing outdoors
  • Whimpers or yelps when climbing stairs
  • Flinches when hip area or lower back are touched

In short, hip dysplasia can reduce your feisty, sparkling companion and playmate to a diminished creature, which barely leaves its bed.

 WHAT HAPPENS IN HIP DYSPLASIA – WHY DOES IT HURT?

Dysplasia is simply the dislocation of a bone from its proper place. “Plasia” is the Greek word for molding, so it’s easy to visualize an architectural form, like a beam or column, separating from its stabilizing molding.  Hip dysplasia or displacement is one of the best-known types of dysplasia in dogs.

The degenerative process of hip dysplasia is gradual, and so the onset of symptoms—the pain, specifically—also is somewhat gradual, taking place over the course of years. In simple terms, the two bones of the hip joint shift out of alignment. The structure of a dog’s hip bones is similar to our human hip formation, consisting of a precisely fitted ball-and-socket joint. This is called a “spheroidal” joint, referring to the spherical head of the distal or articulating bone, which fits into the cup-like cavity of the accompanying bone.

The purpose of joints is to provide movement to the body. A healthy canine spheroidal joint controls this movement with the support of muscles, ligaments and tendons. The ends of the bones are covered in tough cartilage, and lined with synovial membrane, with contains a small amount of synovial fluid as lubricant. In fact, the ball and socket joint is the most mobile in the body – in both dogs and humans.  The design allows the articulating or distal bone to rotate around three main axes with a common center, allowing the leg (or, in the case of the elbow ball and socket, the arm) an extremely versatile range of movement. The ability to swivel, pivot and rotate with speed and agility is what makes dogs great hunters.

In the case of the hip, the articulating or distal bone is called the femur. The cup-shaped socket bone is called the acetabulum, located on the pelvis.

Perhaps because they are such hand-working structures, the ball and socket joints are prone to disease, and to simple mechanical wear and damage over time. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula, two products for dogs developed by a naturopathic doctor, offer support and relief for many conditions affecting the joints, including hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory diseases which also are common in dogs, attacking the cartilage, muscles and membrane linings of cartilage and joints.


 

HERE’S THE BREAKDOWN:

  • Hip dysplasia results in several symptoms which reduce mobility and cause pain:
  • The muscles and joints become lax, and the joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue which circled the bones for added stability, loses its elastic strength.
  • As this happens, the articular (working) surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. The bones slowly separate as the soft tissues around the joint degenerate. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left.

With the loss of protective scaffolding between the bone surfaces, the nerves in the bone-endings themselves are exposed. When bone touches bone, there is acute pain. In addition, the loss of tensile strength of the supporting tendons, muscle and cartilage mean that other structures in the hip and leg must compensate in terms of weight-bearing and movement. This unnatural compensation may cause fatigue, pain, and may even cause the dog to injure itself—running to catch a Frisbee, or climbing stairs, for instance.

WHAT CAUSES HIP DYSPLASIA?

Experts disagree as to the source of hip dysplasia in dogs.

  • TOO MUCH FOOD? One theory is that feeding a young, growing dog too many calories early in its development contributes to the disorder.
  • TOO MUCH EXERCISE? Another theory is that too much exercise, or the wrong kind of exercise, or simply too much high-impact exercise, such as fetching, jumping and catching a ball or Frisbee on concrete, contributes to hip dysplasia.

These theories are not conclusive, though of course appropriate nutrition and training are essential to the health and well-being of any pet.

A factual observation about this condition is that hip dysplasia tends to affect large breeds more so than smaller dogs. This, too, is relative—it is possible for small dogs to become affected by hip dysplasia, too.  However, we correctly associate the condition most frequently with big breeds.

These breeds do carry a genetic predisposition toward the condition. It is also true that purebreds, especially in these large dogs, are most likely to become vulnerable to hip dysplasia, therefore calling upon informed and responsible breeding practices.

But here’s the thing: many of us fall in love at the animal shelter. We may generously rescue a dog whose history is entirely unknown. A darling “Shepherd mix” from the pound may represent a complex genetic history, a history to which we have no access. Medical problems may indeed manifest down the line, and hip dysplasia could be one of these. This condition is common, and is not a death-sentence. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula (www.dogshealth.com) offer a holistic, gentle and effective way to manage your dog’s hip dysplasia, from the first signs of stiffness, discomfort or loss of mobility.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Our first instinct as dog-lovers is to stop the pain. Sometimes our decision-making process is clouded by emotion—guilt, fear, even panic when we see our beloved canine companion suffering. Many conventional treatments for hip dysplasia in dogs have side-effects, or simply don’t work.

  • If your dog is clearly in pain, schedule a visit with your veterinarian. An X-ray examination will be recommended as a first step.
  • Monitor your dog’s weight. Obesity makes hip dysplasia worse. If your dog becomes less active, weight-gain may become a challenge. Eliminate treats, and if possible, offer your dog low-impact exercise like stretching and swimming.
  • Remove unnecessary physical stressors from your dog’s life.
  • Replace stairs with a ramp while your dog is recovering, to prevent further damage to the damaged hip.
  • Provide a padded dog-bed—sleeping on hard surface may increase the inflammation associated with hip dysplasia. A gel-bed, which actually contains a soft jelly that conforms to your dog’s body, relieves pressure from sore joints.
  • Experiment with low-heat heating pads or fleece-covered hot water bottle, as well as gentle massage, as ways to relax your dog and provide comfort during the healing process.

Bringing a dog into your life requires a leap of faith, and a demands commitment to that dog’s health and well-being. It is virtually impossible verify the genetic “blueprint” of any animal, even if the animal is pedigreed and purchased through a breeder. Recessive genetic tendencies are difficult to identify, and may take us by surprise. Because we are unable to identify the sources of this condition, realistically it is not possible to truly prevent it. Avoiding large breeds and purebreds may be one precaution, but many dogs who are not in either of these categories do experience hip dysplasia as well.  With this in mind, advanced formulas and ongoing research continue to offer non-invasive, non-intrusive, gently effective treatments for the common canine condition known as hip dysplasia.

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.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Hip Dysplasia in Giant Schnauzers

Giant Schnauzers were bred for tasks such as herding and cattle driving. The breed was created by crossing Standard Schnauzers with bigger dogs like Great Danes. This interbreeding with Great Danes who were susceptible to hip problems was responsible for introducing hip dysplasia in Giant Schnauzers.

HIP DYSPLASIA IN GIANT SCHNAUZERS – WHAT IS IT?

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition, which can affect any dog. Although the causes may vary, the effects are always the same: loss of mobility, increasing pain, impaired gait, even behavioral and mood-changes in your dog, including snappishness and depression.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HIP DYSPLASIA?

Hip dysplasia robs your dog of its most fundamental drive as an animal: to run. Our domestic pets share common roots as hunting pack-animals, like wolves. While many breeds of dogs have developed specialties, such as the ability to burrow, dig, and swim in the pursuit of prey, all dogs are literally born to run. However, hip dysplasia makes running and even walking painful, sometimes to the point where the animal has difficulty rising from a sleep-position, and resists movement. Playtime with other dogs and humans becomes too excruciating to bear. This lack of activity may result in weight gain, which compounds the discomfort of hip dysplasia. The condition may even make the dog’s hips and lower back too sensitive to touch, during brushing, grooming, bathing—even hugging! So, your dog becomes less active, isolated, disconnected, and often low-energy.

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG MAY HAVE HIP DYSPLASIA:

  • Hobbles, or walks/trots with an irregular gait
  • Tries to keep weight off one of the rear legs
  • Starts to slow down or limp on a favorite walk or run
  • Stays in bed instead of playing outdoors
  • Whimpers or yelps when climbing stairs
  • Flinches when hip area or lower back are touched

In short, hip dysplasia can reduce your feisty, sparkling companion and playmate to a diminished creature, which barely leaves its bed.

 WHAT HAPPENS IN HIP DYSPLASIA – WHY DOES IT HURT?

Dysplasia is simply the dislocation of a bone from its proper place. “Plasia” is the Greek word for molding, so it’s easy to visualize an architectural form, like a beam or column, separating from its stabilizing molding.  Hip dysplasia or displacement is one of the best-known types of dysplasia in dogs.

The degenerative process of hip dysplasia is gradual, and so the onset of symptoms—the pain, specifically—also is somewhat gradual, taking place over the course of years. In simple terms, the two bones of the hip joint shift out of alignment. The structure of a dog’s hip bones is similar to our human hip formation, consisting of a precisely fitted ball-and-socket joint. This is called a “spheroidal” joint, referring to the spherical head of the distal or articulating bone, which fits into the cup-like cavity of the accompanying bone.

The purpose of joints is to provide movement to the body. A healthy canine spheroidal joint controls this movement with the support of muscles, ligaments and tendons. The ends of the bones are covered in tough cartilage, and lined with synovial membrane, with contains a small amount of synovial fluid as lubricant. In fact, the ball and socket joint is the most mobile in the body – in both dogs and humans.  The design allows the articulating or distal bone to rotate around three main axes with a common center, allowing the leg (or, in the case of the elbow ball and socket, the arm) an extremely versatile range of movement. The ability to swivel, pivot and rotate with speed and agility is what makes dogs great hunters.

In the case of the hip, the articulating or distal bone is called the femur. The cup-shaped socket bone is called the acetabulum, located on the pelvis.

Perhaps because they are such hand-working structures, the ball and socket joints are prone to disease, and to simple mechanical wear and damage over time. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula, two products for dogs developed by a naturopathic doctor, offer support and relief for many conditions affecting the joints, including hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory diseases which also are common in dogs, attacking the cartilage, muscles and membrane linings of cartilage and joints.


 

HERE’S THE BREAKDOWN:

  • Hip dysplasia results in several symptoms which reduce mobility and cause pain:
  • The muscles and joints become lax, and the joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue which circled the bones for added stability, loses its elastic strength.
  • As this happens, the articular (working) surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. The bones slowly separate as the soft tissues around the joint degenerate. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left.

With the loss of protective scaffolding between the bone surfaces, the nerves in the bone-endings themselves are exposed. When bone touches bone, there is acute pain. In addition, the loss of tensile strength of the supporting tendons, muscle and cartilage mean that other structures in the hip and leg must compensate in terms of weight-bearing and movement. This unnatural compensation may cause fatigue, pain, and may even cause the dog to injure itself—running to catch a Frisbee, or climbing stairs, for instance.

 

WHAT CAUSES HIP DYSPLASIA?

Experts disagree as to the source of hip dysplasia in dogs.

  • TOO MUCH FOOD? One theory is that feeding a young, growing dog too many calories early in its development contributes to the disorder.
  • TOO MUCH EXERCISE? Another theory is that too much exercise, or the wrong kind of exercise, or simply too much high-impact exercise, such as fetching, jumping and catching a ball or Frisbee on concrete, contributes to hip dysplasia.

These theories are not conclusive, though of course appropriate nutrition and training are essential to the health and well-being of any pet.

A factual observation about this condition is that hip dysplasia tends to affect large breeds more so than smaller dogs. This, too, is relative—it is possible for small dogs to become affected by hip dysplasia, too.  However, we correctly associate the condition most frequently with big breeds.

These breeds do carry a genetic predisposition toward the condition. It is also true that purebreds, especially in these large dogs, are most likely to become vulnerable to hip dysplasia, therefore calling upon informed and responsible breeding practices.

But here’s the thing: many of us fall in love at the animal shelter. We may generously rescue a dog whose history is entirely unknown. A darling “Shepherd mix” from the pound may represent a complex genetic history, a history to which we have no access. Medical problems may indeed manifest down the line, and hip dysplasia could be one of these. This condition is common, and is not a death-sentence. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula  offer a holistic, gentle and effective way to manage your dog’s hip dysplasia, from the first signs of stiffness, discomfort or loss of mobility.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Our first instinct as dog-lovers is to stop the pain. Sometimes our decision-making process is clouded by emotion—guilt, fear, even panic when we see our beloved canine companion suffering. Many conventional treatments for hip dysplasia in dogs have side-effects, or simply don’t work.

  • If your dog is clearly in pain, schedule a visit with your veterinarian. An X-ray examination will be recommended as a first step.
  • Monitor your dog’s weight. Obesity makes hip dysplasia worse. If your dog becomes less active, weight-gain may become a challenge. Eliminate treats, and if possible, offer your dog low-impact exercise like stretching and swimming.
  • Remove unnecessary physical stressors from your dog’s life.
  • Replace stairs with a ramp while your dog is recovering, to prevent further damage to the damaged hip.
  • Provide a padded dog-bed—sleeping on hard surface may increase the inflammation associated with hip dysplasia. A gel-bed, which actually contains a soft jelly that conforms to your dog’s body, relieves pressure from sore joints.
  • Experiment with low-heat heating pads or fleece-covered hot water bottle, as well as gentle massage, as ways to relax your dog and provide comfort during the healing process.

Bringing a dog into your life requires a leap of faith, and a demands commitment to that dog’s health and well-being. It is virtually impossible verify the genetic “blueprint” of any animal, even if the animal is pedigreed and purchased through a breeder. Recessive genetic tendencies are difficult to identify, and may take us by surprise. Because we are unable to identify the sources of this condition, realistically it is not possible to truly prevent it. Avoiding large breeds and purebreds may be one precaution, but many dogs who are not in either of these categories do experience hip dysplasia as well.  With this in mind, advanced formulas and ongoing research continue to offer non-invasive, non-intrusive, gently effective treatments for the common canine condition known as hip dysplasia.

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.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Your Dog And Pain

YOUR PET AND PAIN: THE DOG LOVER’S CREED

Dog pain is part of loving and caring for a dog. While of course we never wish pain or suffering on ourselves or our loved ones, it is an inevitable part of living. As a human being lucky enough to have one or more dogs in your life, you must be willing to be responsible and accountable for your dog’s health, happiness and well-being at all times.

This means that you are the steward of your animal, and must always pay close attention to your dog’s habits and behavior. Close contact and regular observation will allow you to perceive health problems which may cause your dog painbefore they escalate into potentially life-threatening conditions.

In the process of paying attention, you will also learn who your dog is. This knowledge, of course, is the basis of any friendship, and no creature on earth reciprocates friendship as generously and unconditionally as your dog!

So the investment of time, attention, energy, and, yes, money, to keep your canine companion feeling great is well worth it. Effectively dealing with to dog pain in an informed, mature, loving way is a major part of your responsibility as a dog’s friend and dog-owner. Luckily, breakthrough treatments like Winston’s Pain Formula and Winston’s Joint Formula (www.dogshealth) now make it possible to treat many aspects of dog pain, from the source to the symptoms, without injections, potentially toxic drugs or side effects.

COMMON CAUSES OF DOG PAIN

Dogs are mammals with highly evolved skeletal and neuro-muscular systems, much like ourselves. They are vulnerable to injury, infection and parasites. And, many breeds have inherited, genetic predispositions to serious conditions which can dramatically affect their quality of life.

SKELETAL AND MUSCULAR PAIN: HIP DYSPLASIA AND ARTHRITIS

Hip dysplasia and dog arthritis affect many dogs, and are especially common in large breeds including German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Spaniels and Retrievers. Purebred dogs in these groups are particularly prone, but even mixed-breeds may encounter these common sources of dog pain.

 Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the ball-and-socket joint of the hip becomes deformed, preventing full rotation of the ball in the socket. This condition is usually inherited, and become worse with age. The symptoms include chronic dog pain, cartilage-loss, loss of mobility, and atrophying of the hips and back legs.

Hip dysplasia is often accompanied by dog arthritis, which is an inflammation of the cartilage and its membranes, resulting in damage to surrounding tendons, nerves, muscle and bone. As with hip dysplasia, dog arthritis is a common cause of dog pain. While there is no cure, Winston’s Pain Formula and Winston’s Joint Formula (www.dogshealth) offer safe, gentle effective treatment.

A FEW WORDS ABOUT COMPASSION:

The experience of pain is universal. And we now know that animals experience pain in much the same way that we do, as humans.  In his brilliant book, “The Exultant Ark”, author and naturalist Jonathan Peter Balcome studies and explores the capacity of animals to experience joy, as well as pain. A generation or two ago, many people actually believed that the “lower animals” as they were called literally did not have this ability. Science now tells us something quite different, that even invertebrates — even shrimp! — avoid pain and seek pleasure.

So, it goes without saying that your dog experiences the gamut of sensations from misery and agony to pure joy. One of the reasons that human beings love dogs is because their joy-threshold is so low.  It doesn’t take much to make them ecstatically happy, and they love us so easily. They are always happy to see us, always happy to catch the ball, always happy to see the leash, always happy to run themselves silly in the dog-park….unless they are in pain.

Whenever you encounter your dog, another animal, another person, or any other living being, consider these words:

  • Compassion
  • Sympathy
  • Empathy
  • Pathology
  • Pathetic

These words arise from the same source. “Passion” is a Latin word which comes from the Greek word, “pathos”. The original root-words refer to the experience of suffering. When we realize that all beings may experience pain, our view of the world changes.

HOW TO TELL WHEN YOUR DOG IS IN PAIN

Because you are in tune with your dog, the first signal that something may be wrong may simply be a change in how your canine friend looks, moves, and relates to you and the rest of your family.

WARNING: Even a subtle change in behavior, appearance, or both may be your first clue that your dog’s health needs to be checked out by a veterinarian.

As the dog’s best friend, dog pain will be more immediately obvious to you than it will be in many cases. Of course, a visible injury (broken bone, bleeding cut or laceration) is unmistakable, but often dog pain comes from a source which cannot be seen by the naked eye, such as dog arthritis and hip dysplasia. Winston’s Pain Formula and Winston’s Joint Formula (www.dogshealth) offer safe, gentle effective treatment for these common sources of dog pain. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 dogs will experience dog arthritis, and this condition often is accompanied by hip dysplasia. Early, accurate diagnosis and treatment with these natural formulas, which were developed by a naturopathic doctor for his own dog, are key steps to effectively intercepting and managing dog pain so that your pet’s suffering is kept to a minimum.

Some breeds are literally genetically engineered not to show pain. For instance, Pit Bulls are more likely to suppress their feelings of pain. It is part of their inherited makeup as a breed! Other large breeds also often display this Stoic tendency. This can make the identification and diagnosis process more difficult.

HINT:  LOOK FOR SIGNS OF SUBMISSION.

Many large, aggressive breeds will not easily show pain because they have been bred to assume a dominant pack-attitude. If your dog, regardless of the breed, shows signs of submission—passive behavior– at inappropriate times, these may be signals of dog pain:

  • Lowered head – this is where we get our expression, “Hang-dog”
  • Slumped posture
  • Flattened ears
  • Lying down instead of standing or sitting in the alert position
  • Avoids interaction with you, other humans, other dogs
  • Soft whining
  • Refusal to compete, even in a “safe”, play environment
  • Avoids eye-contact
  • Allowing other dogs to consume its food
  • Allowing other dogs to “move to the front of the line” at meal-times

And don’t be fooled by tail-wagging. We want to believe that only happy dogs wag their tails. In fact, tail-wagging may be a sign of submission. The dog may be trying to comfort YOU and assure you that everything is fine, and does so by generously wagging its tail.

If your dog just seems different – “off”—keep checking. Loss of appetite and loss of energy are obvious first clues.

A dog who’s suffering may be sluggish and lethargic, with no interest in the usual joys of dog-dom like daily walks, rides in the car, trips to the dog park, catching the Frisbee and fetching the ball.

And, a dog in pain may also turn aggressive. Undiagnosed pain is often the underlying cause of a sudden “snap” in dog personality, including biting.

DO A NOSE-TO-TAIL QUICK-CHECK

If you sense that your dog is experiencing pain, give your pet a nose-to-tail check yourself. In fact, doing this on a daily basis, even when your dog seems to be a perfect shape, keeps you and your dog closely connected. A daily analysis of the “whole” dog may help you keep your dog’s quality of life at its peak.

Begin by bathing your dog if this is part of your usual routine. Or, start with a gentle brushing, or even just a light fur-ruffling and head-to tail stroking with your hands. If the dog jumps, snaps, winces or flinches when you touch it, take note of where your hands are when this happens. Arthritis and hip dysplasia, very common sources of dog pain, may make your dog hypersensitive to even the gentlest touch on its joints, legs and hips.

  • COAT AND FUR  – Pay attention to the dog’s coat. If the hair seems unusually dull, clumped, or matted, this may indicate that your dog is not grooming—a common sign of dog pain, and possible illness.

TIP: Also, look for areas around the joints where the fur seems to have changed color. Dog pain in a leg or hip often causes the dog to lick that area obsessively, and the constant saturation with the enzymes in the dog’s saliva actually bleaches the hair to a lighter tone.

  • START AT THE NOSE –  The nose-“leather” should be clean, shiny, cool and moist. A dry, cracked or swollen nose may indicate inflammation, dehydration or even fever and infection in your dog’s system. Be aware of unusual discharge (dark, green, yellow, and traces of blood).
  • EYES – Should be bright. Gently pull the lower lid down with your fingertip to get a look at the mucus membrane. All mammalian eyes and noses produce some discharge. Normal discharge is thin and clear, and will wipe off easily with a warm washcloth. Look for signs of inflammation or infection. Dilated pupils may indicate fever.
  • MOUTH – Dogs are infamous for their “doggy-breath”, so don’t expect a bouquet of roses. But do make your dog’s dental health a concern. Canine toothpastes are available for home use, and every veterinarian offers professional teeth cleaning for pets. This helps prevent painful abscesses which can make your dog ill and lead to tooth loss. Dogs also drool—many breeds in particular. However, if your dog is drooling or panting in an unusual way, you may be facing dog pain.
  • HEAD AND THROAT – Press through the fur gently to feel for any lesions, such as a wound from a fight, lumps, bumps, or any cysts or other thickening under the hair and skin. A bite-wound from another dog, or any kind of wound, may go undetected in long-haired dogs especially. Untreated wounds may lead to infection.
  • CHEST AND SHOULDERS– When you feel your dog’s chest, shoulders, feel for its heartbeat. A rapid pulse often indicates that the animal is suffering and trying to cope with pain. Overdeveloped chest and shoulders may indicate weakness in the rear legs, often accompanied by dog pain.

TIP: Pay careful attention to how your dog stands and walks. Dogs who are experiencing hip dysplasia or arthritis in their hips and back legs will often slump or lower their hindquarters. They do this in order to take weight from the painful areas, and tend to place more weight on their front legs. This will often result in the dog standing with its rear legs unusually close together, and its front legs wide apart.

Also watch for changes in your dog’s walk-pattern or run-pattern. When a dog has pain in its back legs, it often will “bunny hop”, using both of its rear legs like a pogo-stick since normal weight-distribution may be painful. If your dog limps or displays a gait-pattern like a bunny-hop, it is a clear sign of dog pain, so seek medical attention immediately.

 

  • BELLY– Your dog’s mid-section are where many major organs are located. A bloated or tender tummy indicates an internal issue and requires immediate attention. Constipation is a common cause, so monitor your dog’s bowel and bladder elimination patterns closely. Pay attention to weight-loss and gain. A dog experiencing pain often will stop eating.
  • JOINTS AND LIMBS– In healthy mammals, light, evenly applied tactile pressure feels good. This is the appeal of a massage. If your dog reacts—pulls its paw away, snaps, whines—when you touch one of its joints, it is likely that dog arthritis, hip dysplasia or both are present. Winston’s Pain Formula and Winston’s Joint Formula (www.dogshealth) offer safe, gentle effective treatment for these common sources of dog pain.
  • TAIL—Your dog will probably wag its tail just to make you feel better, even if it is in pain. Do take note of changes in mood and personality. Look under the tail for unusual discharge from the anus or female uro-genital structure. These tissues should be smooth, clean and moist, like healthy gum-tissue. Seek immediate veterinary assistance at any sign of swelling, bleeding or inflammation in these areas, since these are indicators of health issues and accompanying dog pain.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

 

 

Hip Dysplasia in Dalmatians

Do you remember when a Dalmatian dog could be seen riding on a fire truck? Or how about the Disney film “101 Dalmatians”? I doubt that as you were watching these magnificent creatures you ever thought that there could be such a thing as hip dysplasia in Dalmatians.

Unfortunately, there is.

HIP DYSPLASIA IN DALMATIONS – WHAT IS IT?

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition, which can affect any dog. Although the causes may vary, the effects are always the same: loss of mobility, increasing pain, impaired gait, even behavioral and mood-changes in your dog, including snappishness and depression.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HIP DYSPLASIA?

Hip dysplasia robs your dog of its most fundamental drive as an animal: to run. Our domestic pets share common roots as hunting pack-animals, like wolves. While many breeds of dogs have developed specialties, such as the ability to burrow, dig, and swim in the pursuit of prey, all dogs are literally born to run. However, hip dysplasia makes running and even walking painful, sometimes to the point where the animal has difficulty rising from a sleep-position, and resists movement. Playtime with other dogs and humans becomes too excruciating to bear. This lack of activity may result in weight gain, which compounds the discomfort of hip dysplasia. The condition may even make the dog’s hips and lower back too sensitive to touch, during brushing, grooming, bathing—even hugging! So, your dog becomes less active, isolated, disconnected, and often low-energy.

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG MAY HAVE HIP DYSPLASIA:

  • Hobbles, or walks/trots with an irregular gait
  • Tries to keep weight off one of the rear legs
  • Starts to slow down or limp on a favorite walk or run
  • Stays in bed instead of playing outdoors
  • Whimpers or yelps when climbing stairs
  • Flinches when hip area or lower back are touched

In short, hip dysplasia can reduce your feisty, sparkling companion and playmate to a diminished creature, which barely leaves its bed.

 WHAT HAPPENS IN HIP DYSPLASIA – WHY DOES IT HURT?

Dysplasia is simply the dislocation of a bone from its proper place. “Plasia” is the Greek word for molding, so it’s easy to visualize an architectural form, like a beam or column, separating from its stabilizing molding.  Hip dysplasia or displacement is one of the best-known types of dysplasia in dogs.

The degenerative process of hip dysplasia is gradual, and so the onset of symptoms—the pain, specifically—also is somewhat gradual, taking place over the course of years. In simple terms, the two bones of the hip joint shift out of alignment. The structure of a dog’s hip bones is similar to our human hip formation, consisting of a precisely fitted ball-and-socket joint. This is called a “spheroidal” joint, referring to the spherical head of the distal or articulating bone, which fits into the cup-like cavity of the accompanying bone.

The purpose of joints is to provide movement to the body. A healthy canine spheroidal joint controls this movement with the support of muscles, ligaments and tendons. The ends of the bones are covered in tough cartilage, and lined with synovial membrane, with contains a small amount of synovial fluid as lubricant. In fact, the ball and socket joint is the most mobile in the body – in both dogs and humans.  The design allows the articulating or distal bone to rotate around three main axes with a common center, allowing the leg (or, in the case of the elbow ball and socket, the arm) an extremely versatile range of movement. The ability to swivel, pivot and rotate with speed and agility is what makes dogs great hunters.

In the case of the hip, the articulating or distal bone is called the femur. The cup-shaped socket bone is called the acetabulum, located on the pelvis.

Perhaps because they are such hand-working structures, the ball and socket joints are prone to disease, and to simple mechanical wear and damage over time. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula, two products for dogs developed by a naturopathic doctor, offer support and relief for many conditions affecting the joints, including hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory diseases which also are common in dogs, attacking the cartilage, muscles and membrane linings of cartilage and joints.


 

HERE’S THE BREAKDOWN:

  • Hip dysplasia results in several symptoms which reduce mobility and cause pain:
  • The muscles and joints become lax, and the joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue which circled the bones for added stability, loses its elastic strength.
  • As this happens, the articular (working) surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. The bones slowly separate as the soft tissues around the joint degenerate. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left.

With the loss of protective scaffolding between the bone surfaces, the nerves in the bone-endings themselves are exposed. When bone touches bone, there is acute pain. In addition, the loss of tensile strength of the supporting tendons, muscle and cartilage mean that other structures in the hip and leg must compensate in terms of weight-bearing and movement. This unnatural compensation may cause fatigue, pain, and may even cause the dog to injure itself—running to catch a Frisbee, or climbing stairs, for instance.

WHAT CAUSES HIP DYSPLASIA?

Experts disagree as to the source of hip dysplasia in dogs.

  • TOO MUCH FOOD? One theory is that feeding a young, growing dog too many calories early in its development contributes to the disorder.
  • TOO MUCH EXERCISE? Another theory is that too much exercise, or the wrong kind of exercise, or simply too much high-impact exercise, such as fetching, jumping and catching a ball or Frisbee on concrete, contributes to hip dysplasia.

These theories are not conclusive, though of course appropriate nutrition and training are essential to the health and well-being of any pet.

A factual observation about this condition is that hip dysplasia tends to affect large breeds more so than smaller dogs. This, too, is relative—it is possible for small dogs to become affected by hip dysplasia, too.  However, we correctly associate the condition most frequently with big breeds.

These breeds do carry a genetic predisposition toward the condition. It is also true that purebreds, especially in these large dogs, are most likely to become vulnerable to hip dysplasia, therefore calling upon informed and responsible breeding practices.

But here’s the thing: many of us fall in love at the animal shelter. We may generously rescue a dog whose history is entirely unknown. A darling “Shepherd mix” from the pound may represent a complex genetic history, a history to which we have no access. Medical problems may indeed manifest down the line, and hip dysplasia could be one of these. This condition is common, and is not a death-sentence. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula (www.dogshealth.com) offer a holistic, gentle and effective way to manage your dog’s hip dysplasia, from the first signs of stiffness, discomfort or loss of mobility.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Our first instinct as dog-lovers is to stop the pain. Sometimes our decision-making process is clouded by emotion—guilt, fear, even panic when we see our beloved canine companion suffering. Many conventional treatments for hip dysplasia in dogs have side-effects, or simply don’t work.

  • If your dog is clearly in pain, schedule a visit with your veterinarian. An X-ray examination will be recommended as a first step.
  • Monitor your dog’s weight. Obesity makes hip dysplasia worse. If your dog becomes less active, weight-gain may become a challenge. Eliminate treats, and if possible, offer your dog low-impact exercise like stretching and swimming.
  • Remove unnecessary physical stressors from your dog’s life.
  • Replace stairs with a ramp while your dog is recovering, to prevent further damage to the damaged hip.
  • Provide a padded dog-bed—sleeping on hard surface may increase the inflammation associated with hip dysplasia. A gel-bed, which actually contains a soft jelly that conforms to your dog’s body, relieves pressure from sore joints.
  • Experiment with low-heat heating pads or fleece-covered hot water bottle, as well as gentle massage, as ways to relax your dog and provide comfort during the healing process.

Bringing a dog into your life requires a leap of faith, and a demands commitment to that dog’s health and well-being. It is virtually impossible verify the genetic “blueprint” of any animal, even if the animal is pedigreed and purchased through a breeder. Recessive genetic tendencies are difficult to identify, and may take us by surprise. Because we are unable to identify the sources of this condition, realistically it is not possible to truly prevent it. Avoiding large breeds and purebreds may be one precaution, but many dogs who are not in either of these categories do experience hip dysplasia as well.  With this in mind, advanced formulas and ongoing research continue to offer non-invasive, non-intrusive, gently effective treatments for the common canine condition known as hip dysplasia.

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.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Hip Dysplasia in Airedale Terriers

If you are considering the adoption of a pet dog and are leaning toward an Airedale Terrier, you need to know the facts on hip dysplasia.

HIP DYSPLASIA IN AIREDALE TERRIERS – WHAT IS IT?

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition, which can affect any dog. Although the causes may vary, the effects are always the same: loss of mobility, increasing pain, impaired gait, even behavioral and mood-changes in your dog, including snappishness and depression.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HIP DYSPLASIA?

Hip dysplasia robs your dog of its most fundamental drive as an animal: to run. Our domestic pets share common roots as hunting pack-animals, like wolves. While many breeds of dogs have developed specialties, such as the ability to burrow, dig, and swim in the pursuit of prey, all dogs are literally born to run. However, hip dysplasia makes running and even walking painful, sometimes to the point where the animal has difficulty rising from a sleep-position, and resists movement. Playtime with other dogs and humans becomes too excruciating to bear. This lack of activity may result in weight gain, which compounds the discomfort of hip dysplasia. The condition may even make the dog’s hips and lower back too sensitive to touch, during brushing, grooming, bathing—even hugging! So, your dog becomes less active, isolated, disconnected, and often low-energy.

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG MAY HAVE HIP DYSPLASIA:

  • Hobbles, or walks/trots with an irregular gait
  • Tries to keep weight off one of the rear legs
  • Starts to slow down or limp on a favorite walk or run
  • Stays in bed instead of playing outdoors
  • Whimpers or yelps when climbing stairs
  • Flinches when hip area or lower back are touched

In short, hip dysplasia can reduce your feisty, sparkling companion and playmate to a diminished creature, which barely leaves its bed.

 WHAT HAPPENS IN HIP DYSPLASIA – WHY DOES IT HURT?

Dysplasia is simply the dislocation of a bone from its proper place. “Plasia” is the Greek word for molding, so it’s easy to visualize an architectural form, like a beam or column, separating from its stabilizing molding.  Hip dysplasia or displacement is one of the best-known types of dysplasia in dogs.

The degenerative process of hip dysplasia is gradual, and so the onset of symptoms—the pain, specifically—also is somewhat gradual, taking place over the course of years. In simple terms, the two bones of the hip joint shift out of alignment. The structure of a dog’s hip bones is similar to our human hip formation, consisting of a precisely fitted ball-and-socket joint. This is called a “spheroidal” joint, referring to the spherical head of the distal or articulating bone, which fits into the cup-like cavity of the accompanying bone.

The purpose of joints is to provide movement to the body. A healthy canine spheroidal joint controls this movement with the support of muscles, ligaments and tendons. The ends of the bones are covered in tough cartilage, and lined with synovial membrane, with contains a small amount of synovial fluid as lubricant. In fact, the ball and socket joint is the most mobile in the body – in both dogs and humans.  The design allows the articulating or distal bone to rotate around three main axes with a common center, allowing the leg (or, in the case of the elbow ball and socket, the arm) an extremely versatile range of movement. The ability to swivel, pivot and rotate with speed and agility is what makes dogs great hunters.

In the case of the hip, the articulating or distal bone is called the femur. The cup-shaped socket bone is called the acetabulum, located on the pelvis.

Perhaps because they are such hand-working structures, the ball and socket joints are prone to disease, and to simple mechanical wear and damage over time. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula, two products for dogs developed by a naturopathic doctor, offer support and relief for many conditions affecting the joints, including hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory diseases which also are common in dogs, attacking the cartilage, muscles and membrane linings of cartilage and joints.


 

HERE’S THE BREAKDOWN:

  • Hip dysplasia results in several symptoms which reduce mobility and cause pain:
  • The muscles and joints become lax, and the joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue which circled the bones for added stability, loses its elastic strength.
  • As this happens, the articular (working) surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. The bones slowly separate as the soft tissues around the joint degenerate. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left.

With the loss of protective scaffolding between the bone surfaces, the nerves in the bone-endings themselves are exposed. When bone touches bone, there is acute pain. In addition, the loss of tensile strength of the supporting tendons, muscle and cartilage mean that other structures in the hip and leg must compensate in terms of weight-bearing and movement. This unnatural compensation may cause fatigue, pain, and may even cause the dog to injure itself—running to catch a Frisbee, or climbing stairs, for instance.

WHAT CAUSES HIP DYSPLASIA?

Experts disagree as to the source of hip dysplasia in dogs.

  • TOO MUCH FOOD? One theory is that feeding a young, growing dog too many calories early in its development contributes to the disorder.
  • TOO MUCH EXERCISE? Another theory is that too much exercise, or the wrong kind of exercise, or simply too much high-impact exercise, such as fetching, jumping and catching a ball or Frisbee on concrete, contributes to hip dysplasia.

These theories are not conclusive, though of course appropriate nutrition and training are essential to the health and well-being of any pet.

A factual observation about this condition is that hip dysplasia tends to affect large breeds more so than smaller dogs. This, too, is relative—it is possible for small dogs to become affected by hip dysplasia, too.  However, we correctly associate the condition most frequently with big breeds.

These breeds do carry a genetic predisposition toward the condition. It is also true that purebreds, especially in these large dogs, are most likely to become vulnerable to hip dysplasia, therefore calling upon informed and responsible breeding practices.

But here’s the thing: many of us fall in love at the animal shelter. We may generously rescue a dog whose history is entirely unknown. A darling “Shepherd mix” from the pound may represent a complex genetic history, a history to which we have no access. Medical problems may indeed manifest down the line, and hip dysplasia could be one of these. This condition is common, and is not a death-sentence. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula offer a holistic, gentle and effective way to manage your dog’s hip dysplasia, from the first signs of stiffness, discomfort or loss of mobility.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Our first instinct as dog-lovers is to stop the pain. Sometimes our decision-making process is clouded by emotion—guilt, fear, even panic when we see our beloved canine companion suffering. Many conventional treatments for hip dysplasia in dogs have side-effects, or simply don’t work.

  • If your dog is clearly in pain, schedule a visit with your veterinarian. An X-ray examination will be recommended as a first step.
  • Monitor your dog’s weight. Obesity makes hip dysplasia worse. If your dog becomes less active, weight-gain may become a challenge. Eliminate treats, and if possible, offer your dog low-impact exercise like stretching and swimming.
  • Remove unnecessary physical stressors from your dog’s life.
  • Replace stairs with a ramp while your dog is recovering, to prevent further damage to the damaged hip.
  • Provide a padded dog-bed—sleeping on hard surface may increase the inflammation associated with hip dysplasia. A gel-bed, which actually contains a soft jelly that conforms to your dog’s body, relieves pressure from sore joints.
  • Experiment with low-heat heating pads or fleece-covered hot water bottle, as well as gentle massage, as ways to relax your dog and provide comfort during the healing process.

Bringing a dog into your life requires a leap of faith, and a demands commitment to that dog’s health and well-being. It is virtually impossible verify the genetic “blueprint” of any animal, even if the animal is pedigreed and purchased through a breeder. Recessive genetic tendencies are difficult to identify, and may take us by surprise. Because we are unable to identify the sources of this condition, realistically it is not possible to truly prevent it. Avoiding large breeds and purebreds may be one precaution, but many dogs who are not in either of these categories do experience hip dysplasia as well.  With this in mind, advanced formulas and ongoing research continue to offer non-invasive, non-intrusive, gently effective treatments for the common canine condition known as hip dysplasia.

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.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?