Animal Shelter Adoptions

There are some important questions you need to ask about the health of any dog you’re considering adopting from an animal shelter. Most dogs available for people to adopt from city or county operated animal shelters are mentally stable and physically healthy.

Unfortunately, some dogs being offered for animal shelter adoptions have been abused or neglected by their former owners. Sometimes they have suffered from an illness or disease that might create problems for someone who wants to adopt a dog that will be with them for as long as possible and also won’t require a lot of expensive medical treatments.

To be fair to both yourself and the dog you’re considering for adoption, the questions you should ask the animal shelter staff are:

(1) Has the dog been spayed or neutered? It’s important to know the answer if you don’t want to breed the dog or bear the expense of having the procedure done;

(2) Are all the dog’s vaccinations up to date? Most dogs offered by shelters have had their vaccinations brought up to date, but ask if the dog has just arrived and whether the shelter has had time to give the dog any needed vaccinations;

(3) Has the dog needed any medical treatments since it arrived at the shelter? If it has, what treatments were given and what were they for? This will help you determine whether the dog may acquire certain illnesses in the future;

(4) Does the dog currently require any medications?

(5) Is the dog’s breed or breeds known to the staff? This will help you in understanding what types of health conditions the dog is predisposed to due to its breed, or mixture of breeds;

(6) Does the dog have any behavioral issues? Was the dog given up because it was dangerous or had serious behavior issues? This could definitely become a problem for anyone with small children or who has other dogs or cats in the home;

(7) How long has the dog been at the shelter? If the dog has been there for more than six months there’s a good chance that it may be suffering from mental distress after being cooped up and abandoned for such a long length of time;

(8) What kind of personality does the dog have? If it’s boisterous or overly active, it may not be appropriate for a family or even for a single person who has many time commitments in their life;

(9) Does the dog play well with the other dogs in the shelter or is it aggressive towards them?

If you’re considering an animal shelter adoption, you need to find out the answers to these questions before committing yourself to adopting your first, or next “best friend.”

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?

 

How to Tell If Your Dog Has Arthritis

You can tell if your dog has arthritis by watching for a number of symptoms. Arthritis in dogs is a condition affecting the skeletal system causing the joints in the legs to swell up and become painful. The disease can severely limit the ability of the dog to perform certain movements.

The most noticeable symptoms of arthritis in a dog include limping; a lack of flexibility in the legs; sustained inactivity where a dog may not move from one spot all day long; fatigue to the point of not wanting to go on its usual walks; irritability if you touch its affected limbs or joints; a recognizable change in appetite; sleep patterns that have changed significantly (the dog sleeps more during the day and may be awake at night due to pain); and an intolerance to cold, causing the dog to seek out warmer areas of the house to lie down or sleep.

Arthritis occurs in dogs normally after the age of 7 or 8 and can affect dogs of any breed. Larger dog breeds have a tendency to develop arthritis at an earlier age. Arthritis is considered a disease of old age and affects approximately one in every five dogs. However, younger dogs can also develop arthritis.

If your dog has arthritis, it may experience either mild or severe pain due to swelling of the joints.

The only way to truly know if your dog has arthritis is to consult a veterinarian who will determine if the problem is arthritis or whether the pain is due to some other cause. The vet will probably take X-rays and may perform a bone density test before making a diagnosis.

Arthritis is not a reversible condition and there is no cure for it, but the pain can be controlled by placing your dog on a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, a combination of three, totally-natural whole food supplements developed by a Naturopathic Doctor for his own dog. This supplement system also includes an anti-inflammatory agent to help reduce pain.

Daily exercise of some sort is recommended for any dog that has arthritis. If your dog loves water, swimming is an excellent form of exercise for dogs with arthritis because the buoyancy of the water can help by making the dog’s joints feel pain free.

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?

 

History of Rimadyl

The history of Rimadyl dates back to January of 1997 when Pfizer Pharmaceuticals first introduced the drug to veterinarians. The generic for Rimadyl, Carprofen, was marketed much later. Many dog owners whose pets suffer from arthritis or hip dysplasia believe that Rimadyl has improved the quality of their dogs’ lives. However, as a responsible dog owner, you need to be aware that there is sufficient evidence proving that Rimadyl can have very serious side effects for an animal.

Some dogs have died after being prescribed Rimadyl. Most of these cases have been attributed to the unexpected and swift onset of the well-known side effects of Rimadyl.

Labrador Retrievers, as well as their cousins, the Golden Retrievers, are more prone than most breeds to developing hip dysplasia, arthritis and other debilitating joint diseases. Pfizer first reported that Labradors were particularly at risk from Rimadyl’s toxicity. Pfizer’s report on side effects that occurred during the drug’s initial post-approval phase states, “. . . approximately one fourth of all hepatic reports were in Labrador Retrievers.”

This is an alarmingly high rate of incidence and if you are the owner of a Labrador who suffers from a debilitating joint disease and your vet has prescribed Rimadyl, you need to exercise extreme caution so you are not putting your dog’s health or its life at risk. Besides Labrador Retrievers, many breeds who have been prescribed Rimadyl have experienced side effects or death from Rimadyl.

Your veterinarian should pre-screen your dog before prescribing Rimadyl. Follow-up testing and close monitoring of the dog for possible toxic reactions is equally important.

Rimadyl or its generic Carprofen are not recommended for dogs who have bleeding disorders, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or are inclined to suffer from gastrointestinal ulceration.

Rimadyl should never be given along with any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin, or any corticosteroids such as prednisone, prednisolone, or dexamethasone. It is also not advisable to give the drug to pregnant or nursing female dogs because it has not been tested as being safe for the mother or the unborn puppies.

Before agreeing with your vet that Rimadyl is the best solution for your dog’s joint problems, discuss the benefits of the drug against the risks. It has been widely reported that many veterinarians are not completely informed about the serious side-effects of Rimadyl.

If you decide your dog might benefit from Rimadyl and you believe that it’s worth the risks involved, ask your veterinarian to start by prescribing the lowest possible dosage that can be used to obtain relief, and then increase the dosage if necessary. The recommended dosage is one mg per pound of a dog’s weight, given twice a day. It’s possible that your dog may obtain relief at a lower dosage which might possibly help in avoiding toxicity. Some vets recommend that Rimadyl be used only for a period of several weeks, followed by several weeks off the drug to give the dog’s liver time to recover from the toxic effects of the drug.

As soon as your dog begins taking Rimadyl you need to carefully watch for the following symptoms which are signs of potential life-threatening reactions to the drug:

• loss of appetite
• refusal to drink water or an increased thirst
• vomiting – occasionally with flecks of blood in the vomit
• diarrhea
• black, tarry stools
• lethargy or unusual drowsiness
• hyperactivity or constant restlessness
• sudden aggressiveness when none was evident before
• weakness or partial paralysis
• seizures or loss of balance

If any of these symptoms occur, IMMEDIATELY STOP giving your pet the drug and take it to the vet. The earlier you discover the problem, the better the chances your dog will have a complete recovery.

Is Rimadyl a “miracle drug” for dogs or are the potential side effects too dangerous? The history of Rimadyl has been plagued with several serious problems; (1) a lack of adequate warnings about the potential serious and deadly side effects of the drug, (2) the large and unacceptable number of veterinarians who are unaware of Rimadyl’s serious side effects, and (3) the severity and sometimes sudden onset of the side effects which can result in the death of the dog being given Rimadyl.

A safer and more effective treatment for arthritis and hip dysplasia is Winston’s Joint System, an all-natural formula developed by a Naturopathic Doctor to heal his own beloved dog. For over 20 years, this long-proven formula has been providing relief from the pain and stiffness of arthritis and hip dysplasia to all breeds and ages of dogs.

If your pet suffers from any of the following joint problems, you should place it on a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System to give welcome relief from its pain:

* Hip Dysplasia
* Arthritis
* Osteochondritis (OCD)
* Stiffness/Inflammation
* Ligament Tears
* Growing Pains
* Mobility Problems
* Joint Pains

With the information presented here, and a consultation with your vet, you should be able to decide whether the risks of administering Rimadyl are worth the possible benefits. For myself, I’d rather be safe using Winston’s Joint System than be sorry and endanger my loving dog’s health or even worse, contribute to its death.

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 Pointers

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that primarily affects large, purebred breeds of dogs such as Pointers.

HIP DYSPLASIA IN POINTERS – 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 Weimaraners

HIP DYSPLASIA IN WEIMARANERS – 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?

Degenerative Joint Disease – What Is It, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

The terms arthritis, osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, OCD, and degenerative joint disease are often used to describe the same joint problems in dogs.

But no matter what it is called, the result is pain and inflammation in a dog’s joints. The term “arthritis” is the most common one used to describe this joint disease that can easily -and usually does at some point- incapacitate a dog.

What is Degenerative Joint Disease?

Degenerative joint disease is characterized by the loss of the smooth cartilage that covers and protects the end of the bones in the dog’s movable joints.

There are no nerves in the cartilage, so when it touches the cartilage of another bone, the dog feels no pain.

But when the cartilage wears away due to aging or joint disease, the bone becomes exposed. The bone does have nerves, so when the two bone ends in a joint touch each other, it results in pain and inflammation – sure signs that some form of degenerative joint disease is present.

In degenerative joint disease, small bony projections form on the bone that is close to the joint. This adds considerably to a dog’s pain. This type of degenerative joint disease is progressive, meaning it continues to get worse until the poor dog has considerable difficulty getting up and down by itself. The pain is so severe in some dogs that they are unable to stand or walk.

What causes degenerative joint disease?

Degenerative joint disease can occur simply as a result of wear and tear on an otherwise normal joint and occurs as the dog ages. Veterinarians refer to this stage of the disease as “primary degenerative joint disease”.

Osteoarthritis may also occur as a result of another condition that affects a dog’s joints. This is what is known as “secondary degenerative joint disease” and is identified either as hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia.

Which dogs are at risk of developing degenerative joint disease?

Certainly any dog with a congenital joint problem, like hip dysplasia, is going to be more prone to developing degenerative joint disease.

Dogs who have had injury to a joint such as a fracture involving the joint, or a ruptured ligament in the knee will be more likely to develop arthritis.

What are the symptoms of degenerative joint disease?

The symptoms of arthritis will vary as to which joints are involved, the age of the dog, and the severity of the disease.

The first symptoms an owner usually notices is a change in the way a dog walks since the dog will try to put more of its weight on the unaffected limbs. There may be muscle atrophy (reduction in the size of the muscle) in the affected limb because the dog is using it less, or at least putting less weight on it.

For a dog with hip dysplasia in both hind legs, the muscles of those legs may be thin, where the muscles of the chest and shoulders may increase in size because the dog is putting more weight on the front legs.

Many times the dog may find it difficult to get up after lying down and appears to be stiff. The dog also may be unable to jump up into the car. Many dogs with degenerative joint disease find it difficult to go up or down stairs.

Depending upon the amount of pain the dog is experiencing, its appetite may change and it may also choose to be alone more often.

The dog’s joints are generally not swollen and the pain it experiences is a dull aching type, so a dog usually will not cry out in pain. Some dogs will lick or bite at the area that is painful, while others will seek out warm or soft places to sleep.

How is degenerative joint disease diagnosed?

Your veterinarian will take a history of your dog’s symptoms and perform a complete physical exam. X-rays will be taken. Other lab tests or more detailed exams of the affected joints may be undertaken.

How is degenerative joint disease treated?

Some forms of degenerative joint disease can be treated without surgery. Winston’s Joint System is an all-natural formula developed by a Naturopathic Doctor to heal his own beloved dog. For over 20 years, this proven formula has been giving relief from the pain and stiffness of degenerative joint diseases to all breeds and ages of dogs. Owners who have discovered and used Winston’s report that their pets have a new-found vitality and alertness now that they are free of pain.

Degenerative joint disease does not heal itself. It is a progressive, debilitating disease that will continue to worsen without treatment. This is all the more reason to start your dog on Winston’s Joint System as soon as your vet gives you a diagnosis of hip dysplasia, arthritis, OCD, or any degenerative joint disease. Winston’s is a tried and proven formula that will slow down the progression of your dog’s joint disease and many dogs will respond well and can live comfortably for years. Your dog will love you for the gift of years of pain-free living.

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?

 

Side Effects of Rimadyl in Dogs

 

In the past you may have seen television commercials showing previously lame dogs jumping and running about like young puppies. These commercials were promoting Rimadyl, a drug introduced in 1997 by Pfizer Chemical for the treatment of hip dysplasia and arthritis in dogs. What the commercials carefully avoided was any mention of the side effects of Rimadyl in dogs.

Today it’s no longer possible to see those commercials because the advertising was halted by Pfizer for good reasons.

As a dog owner, we are indebted to dogs like Montana, a six-year-old Siberian husky who had stiff legs. Montana was prescribed Rimadyl by his veterinarian and at first the drug appeared to work well.

But then Montana lost his appetite, wobbled when he walked, and finally was unable to walk at all. He began vomiting and had seizures; eventually his owner was forced to put him to sleep. An autopsy was performed which showed the presence of liver damage that could only be associated with a harmful drug reaction.

Drugs for pets are big business in the United States, as well as in many other countries where pet animals are valued. It is estimated that world-wide, the sale of these drugs total more than 3-1/2 Billion dollars annually. Rimadyl is one of the bestselling drugs included in this estimate.

Rimadyl has been prescribed for more than four million dogs in the United States alone, and has earned Pfizer tens of millions of dollars.

After introducing the drug, the company ran full-page magazine ads and a public-relations campaign that resulted in 1,785 print stories, 856 radio reports and more than 200 television news reports of the benefits of Rimadyl.

What dog owner whose beloved pet was suffering from arthritis or hip dysplasia wouldn’t want such a “miracle drug” for their pet?

But Rimadyl has also resulted in many debates and intense arguments between veterinarians and pet owners who were furious that they were not warned of the risks of giving their pets Rimadyl.

After Montana’s owner contacted Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration to complain about the early and untimely death of her dog, Pfizer offered to pay her $440 in what they called “a gesture of good will.”

Today we can be thankful that Montana’s owner was insulted by Pfizer’s offer and their lawyers’ stipulation that she tell no one about the payment (or bribe as some would call it).

She refused to sign any of Pfizer’s proffered documents and would not accept any money. She felt it was an affront both to her and to the memory of Montana to absolve Pfizer of any blame.

As additional reports of serious reactions and the deaths of many dogs started pouring into the FDA, the agency recommended that Pfizer list “death” as a possible side effect in a warning letter to veterinarians and also place a warning on the drug labels.

Pfizer indicated this “would be devastating to the product” and after much stalling, eventually was forced to put the word “death” on Rimadyl’s labels and notify all veterinarians in writing.

The strongest blow to Pfizer’s inappropriate labeling and advertising was the FDA’s requirement that they mention the same warning on their television ads. When given an ultimatum about their commercials mentioning “death” or else pulling the ads, Pfizer chose to stop all television ads for Rimadyl.

Although this came too late to save the life of Montana, he and his owner should be credited with bringing pressure to bear on the FDA and Pfizer and forcing them to begin warning of the possible serious side effects of Rimadyl.

Since the introduction of Rimadyl in 1997, the FDA has received reports of more than 1,000 dogs that died or had to be put to sleep, and 7,000 more that had serious adverse reactions after taking the drug.

Despite these serious side effects, the FDA has not ordered the removal of Rimadyl from the marketplace. The FDA requires safety and efficacy testing for animal drugs just as it does for human drugs. However, animal drug tests are conducted with a much smaller number of test subjects. Pfizer used about 500 dogs in their trials of Rimadyl, which is less than one fifth the number of subjects used in most human-drug trials.

During Pfizer’s Rimadyl trials, some dogs developed unusual liver-function readings and one young beagle tested on a high dose of the drug died.

Neither the FDA or Pfizer found these effects alarming, and the drug was subsequently approved. A consumer group has mounted a campaign against Pfizer called BARKS, which stands for “Be Aware of Rimadyl’s Known Side-effects.”

Hopefully this organization will be able to influence more dog owners to carefully consider very seriously whether or not to have Rimadyl prescribed for their pet 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 or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

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

Does your dog suffer with joint pain?

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

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

DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOUR DOG?

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARE YOU OVERLOOKING THE SOURCE OF YOUR DOG’S PAIN?

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

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

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

WOULDN’T YOU LOVE TO SEE YOUR DOG PAIN-FREE AND BACK IN TOP FORM—NATURALLY?

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

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

DO YOU REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR VET IS PRESCRIBING?

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

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

HOW RIMADYL WORKS, AND WHY IT MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR DOG

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

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

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

SYMPTOMS OF DRUG TOXICITY

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

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

BE SURE THAT YOU READ THE FINE PRINT!

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

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

IF YOU’D RATHER NOT TAKE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH PAIN-KILLING DRUGS FOR YOUR DOG, READ MORE ABOUT THE ALTERNATIVE: Winston’s Joint System

Rimadyl For Arthritis in Dogs

What is Rimadyl? Rimadyl (generic name: carprofen), is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat the pain and inflammation of hip dysplasia and arthritis in dogs. Rimadyl provides 24-hour relief from these debilitating diseases by reducing a dog’s hormones that cause the pain and inflammation.

Rimadyl is available in three forms for easy administration of the drug: caplet, chewable or injection. Rimadyl chewable tablets taste like liver, which is tasty to most dogs, so the medication needs to be kept where the dog cannot gain access to it.

Cautions & overdose

Rimadyl overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache, drowsiness, stomach pain, seizures, or difficulty urinating.

Veterinarians prescribing Rimadyl warn that the drug should not be administered along with aspirin or any other NSAID. It also should not be used when a dog is taking steroids or corticosteroids like prednisone, prednisolone, or dexamethasone.

Rimadyl is not safe for a dog who has kidney or liver disease, or inflammatory bowel disease. A dog should be prescreened by a veterinarian for these diseases before the drug is prescribed.

A dog who is on Rimadyl for a prolonged time should also have its liver and kidney enzymes monitored on a regular basis.

Rimadyl Side-effects

There are side effects associated with Rimadyl. Some are common, and some are rare. Rimadyl has also been traced to the death of some dogs that have taken the medicine.

A dog owner whose pet is being given Rimadyl is advised to watch closely for any of the following symptoms:

  • loss of normal appetite
  • vomiting (sometime stained with blood)
  • diarrhea
  • black, tarry stool
  • unusual lethargy or drowsiness for extended times
  • hyperactivity
  • loss of balance, dizziness or weakness in legs
  • drastic or very unusual changes in eating habits
  • increased aggressive behavior
  • partial paralysis
  • seizures
  • jaundice

Any of these symptoms, especially several at the same time, can be an indication of a very serious problem. If these symptoms occur, stop administering Rimadyl and immediately contact your veterinarian.

Rimadyl Alternatives

If your dog is suffering from arthritis or hip dysplasia, there are safer alternatives to Rimadyl.

Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin will work for some dogs, some of the time.

A much more effective treatment for arthritis and hip dysplasia is Winston’s Joint System, an all-natural formula developed by a Naturopathic Doctor to heal his own beloved dog. For over 20 years, this long-proven formula has been providing relief from the pain and stiffness of arthritis and hip dysplasia to all breeds and ages of dogs.

If your pet suffers from any of the following joint problems, I recommend that you try Winston’s Joint System to give your dog welcome relief from its pain:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Osteochondritis (OCD)
  • Stiffness/Inflammation
  • Ligament Tears
  • Growing Pains
  • Mobility Problems
  • Joint Pains
  • Back/Spinal Problems
  • Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)

Rimadyl for arthritis in dogs can be dangerous to an animal’s health. It is much safer for your pet to be placed on a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System.

Within the first 30 days of treatment, dogs show noticeable and often remarkable improvement. And, unlike drugs such as Rimadyl, Winston’s is safe for any dog.

⇒ Read more about painkillers and the risks of giving Rimadyl for arthritis in dogs

 

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.