Rottweilers are known to be very strong and sturdy animals, but unfortunately, hip dysplasia in Rottweilers is a fairly common health problem.
Meet the Rottweilers
Rottweilers are noted for being self-confident and intelligent, and when they are properly trained and socialized, they become loving, devoted companions.
Rotties are extremely energetic dogs and love to play catch, keep pace alongside you when out for a run, or go for a long hike in the woods or mountains.
They crave attention and companionship from their owners and when they don’t receive it they tend to get bored and destructive. A neglected or mistreated Rottweiler can quickly destroy your possessions.
A contented and well trained Rottweiler makes a devoted friend to children and an extremely efficient watchdog. They make good companions because they are always eager to please.
Rotties are huge dogs with challenging temperaments. They appreciate a confident owner who can show them who’s boss. They occasionally like to test authority, so you need to stay current with their training and obedience commands.
They appreciate stimulating tasks and activities and enjoy being kept busy with obedience games. Always keep them on a leash in public because they can be somewhat confrontational with other dogs.
They are believed to have descended from the sturdy and muscular Mastiff-like dogs of ancient Rome. Their name comes from the German cattle town of Rottweil, where the dogs managed herds of cattle for hundreds of years. In the early 1900’s they became popular police dogs and today they are prized as both working dogs and beloved companions.
Rottweilers have medium-sized, powerful builds and dense, straight glossy coats. They have broad heads with rounded skulls and straight, well-developed muzzles. Their dark, almond-shaped eyes have a friendly look, and their triangular ears hang forward. They have strong necks, firm backs and often have their tails docked. Their coats are usually black with rusty patches.
A healthy Rottweiler can live as long as 12 years. Common health issues include eye problems and hip dysplasia.
Hip Dysplasia in Rottweilers
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 Rottweilers 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.
A diseased hip joint:
Most Rottweilers 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 Rottweilers 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 Rotties 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.
If you’re looking to adopt a Rottie, 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 Rottweilers: 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, 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.