Hip Dysplasia in Irish Setters would seem to be an anomaly given their boisterous and energetic demeanor.
They want to be involved in everything you do and everywhere you go, whether indoors or out. They are known for being good-natured and friendly with children.
Irish Setters will form a strong bond with their owners but they are also gentle and accepting of just about everyone, including other pets.
They do have a loud bark, but they cannot be considered watchdogs or guard dogs. Strangers who come to your house will most likely be looked upon as new playmates by your companion.
Irish Setters were originally bred for hunting in the fields and are full of energy, swiftness and endurance.
If you like to jog, run, or bicycle, your Irish Setter will be happy to accompany you for as long as you wish. Your energy is likely to give out before theirs.
They have a rambunctious personality that’s almost puppy-like, so they will benefit greatly from strong, positive training. They love having a big back yard to play in and need healthy doses of exercise and attention; but they don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time.
Irish Setters were bred by mixing Irish Terriers, Irish Water Spaniels and English Setters to be the ideal birding dog. In the early 1800s, the solid-red Irish setter became the commonly accepted type for the breed.
With the instincts of a great hunter, the magnificence of a show dog and a charming personality, the Irish Setter is one of the world’s favorite dogs.
Irish Setters have balanced and graceful bodies and silky red coats that grow long on the ears, tails and chests. Their lean heads have long muzzles, almond shaped eyes, dark noses and long, thin ears. They have elegant necks that slope down to deep chests and flat backs. Their red coats range in color from chestnut to mahogany.
Irish Setters can live as long as 15 years. Common health issues can include skin allergies, eye problems epilepsy, bloating, and hip dysplasia.
Hip Dysplasia in Irish Setters
Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that primarily affects large and giant breeds of dogs but can also affect medium-sized breeds and occasionally small breeds. It is primarily a disease of purebreds, although it can also occur in mixed breeds.
To understand hip dysplasia in Irish Setters and the resulting arthritis, you need a basic understanding of how the dog’s hip joint is affected.
The hip joint is comprised of a ball and socket that forms the attachment of the hind leg to the body. The ball portion is the head of the femur and the socket is located on the pelvis.
In a normal hip joint the ball rotates freely within the socket. The bones are shaped to perfectly match each other with the socket surrounding the ball.
To strengthen the joint, the two bones are held together by a strong ligament. The joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue, circles the two bones to provide added stability.
A normal hip joint:
Hip dysplasia is linked to 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.
An abnormal hip joint:
Most Setters who eventually 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 in Irish Setters 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.
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 severity of the disease in dogs that are genetically susceptible and the extra weight will intensify the degeneration of a dog’s joints and hips. Dogs who are genetically prone to hip dysplasia and also are overweight, are at a much higher risk of developing hip dysplasia and eventually osteoarthritis.
Exercise can be another risk factor. Dogs genetically susceptible to hip dysplasia may have an increased incidence of the disease if they are over-exercised at a young age. Moderate exercise like running and swimming is best for exercising young dogs.
Because hip dysplasia in Irish Setters is primarily an inherited condition, there are no products that can prevent its development.
Through proper diet, exercise, and a daily regimen of 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.
You might also want to consider providing your dog with an orthopedic bed which distributes the dog’s weight evenly and reduces pressure on its joints. It’s perfect for dogs with hip dysplasia or arthritis.
If owners insisted on only purchasing an animal whose parents and grandparents were certified to have good or excellent hips, and if breeders only bred these first-rate animals, then the majority of the problems caused by hip dysplasia would be eliminated.
If you are looking to purchase an Irish Setter now or in the future, the best way to lessen the possibility of getting a dog that will develop hip dysplasia is to examine the incidence of the disease in the dog’s lineage. If at all possible, try to examine the parents and grandparents as far back as three or four generations.
There are different assumptions on how to prevent the progression of hip dysplasia in Irish Setters.
Poor nutrition, inadequate or improper exercise, and increased body weight may all contribute to the severity of osteoarthritis after the hip dysplasia has developed. Watching the calories your puppy or young dog consumes and preventing obesity in your dog, allowing only non-stressful types of exercise, and a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, are the best things you can do for your dog.
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.