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.”

Joint Disease in Dogs

It’s evitable that many dogs will develop some form of joint disease during their lives. It may be mild and unnoticeable, or it could be debilitating, severely affecting a dog’s quality of life by causing complete lameness and the inability to get up and down without help.

Some dogs will develop joint disease in the first few years of their lives but not display any visible signs until much later in life. This is often dependent on the dog’s breed. Dogs are also very susceptible to arthritis, and larger dog breeds are more vulnerable than smaller breeds.

The most common signs of joint disease in dogs include stiffness, limping, or favoring one limb over another. After awakening from sleep a dog with joint disease may find it difficult to get up or be reluctant to climb stairs.

Diseases that can affect a dog’s joints fall into ten major classifications. These joint diseases occur as a result of
(1) ligament, tendon, or muscle disease,
(2) bone fractures involving the joint,
(3) dietary and hormonal diseases such as hyperparathyroidism and obesity,
(4) developmental disorders like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia or OCD,
(5) congenital disorders,
(6) metabolic disorders,
(7) cancer,
(8) inflammatory joint diseases like Lyme disease or rheumatoid arthritis,
(9) degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis), and
(10) degenerative spinal joint disease.

Treatment of joint disease in dogs

The treatment of hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis has vastly improved with the introduction of supplements like Winston’s Joint System.

Because hip dysplasia is primarily an inherited condition, there is no product on the market that can prevent its development, only treat it.

Dogs with hip dysplasia will need to be fed a proper diet and be put on a limited exercise routine.

There are anti-inflammatories like Rimadyl that are used to relieve a dog’s pain. Since Rimadyl and other drugs are controlled substances, they are available only through veterinarians.

Unfortunately, drugs like Rimadyl cannot decrease the progression of degenerative joint disease and often have serious side effects. You should consult with your vet and learn about all the possible side effects before agreeing to treat your dog with prescription medications such as Rimadyl.

Surgery is sometimes performed on dogs with serious cases of hip dysplasia. These surgeries are not always able to stop the progression of the disease and some dogs benefit only by having their lives made a little more comfortable.

Because of the high cost of this type of surgery and the questionable value of performing the procedure on older dogs, the management of pain and inflammation remains the only realistic option for many pet owners.

Weight management is very important for all dogs suffering from hip dysplasia. If surgery or other medical procedure is deemed necessary, the results will be more beneficial if the dog is not overweight.

Up to half of the dogs in the U.S. are overweight, so chances are very good that dogs with hip dysplasia or osteoarthritis are also overweight. Helping a dog lose pounds and get back to its recommended weight is one of the most important things a dog owner can do to help their pet who is suffering from hip dysplasia or arthritis.

Dogs who are overweight and are diagnosed with hip dysplasia or arthritis need to be exercised in ways that provide a good range of motion and muscle building, while limiting wear and tear on the dog’s joints.

Walking, swimming, slow jogging, and going up and down stairs are excellent low-impact exercises. An exercise program should be tailored to a dog based on the severity of the hip dysplasia or osteoarthritis.

The dog’s weight and physical condition must be factored into planning the types of exercise it should be subjected to. The wrong type of exercise can cause harm to the dog. A veterinarian will be able to recommend the best exercise program that’s appropriate for the dog’s condition.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two supplements commonly used to treat animals for osteoarthritis. They are effective on some dogs but not on all dogs.

Glucosamine is the major sugar found in the important building blocks necessary for the synthesis and maintenance of joint cartilage.

Chondroitin enhances this synthesis and prevents damage of enzymes in the joint. These products are not painkillers.

Glucosamine and chondroitin work on the dog’s cartilage-forming cells in an attempt to repair the damaged cartilage. These products take at least six weeks to begin their healing, and if successful, a dog will need to continue taking the products for the rest of their lives to prevent further cartilage breakdown.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been developed for dogs with osteoarthritis. Carprofen, marketed as Rimadyl is the best known of these medications. It is a strong painkiller and anti-inflammatory agent, and is available only by prescription because of its potential for serious side effects.

A much safer treatment for dogs suffering with joint diseases such as arthritis, bursitis, osteochondrosis (OCD), hip dysplasia and other degenerative joint disease is Winston’s Joint System, a combination of three, totally-natural whole food supplements developed by a Naturopathic Doctor for his own dog. Winston’s contains no potentially dangerous drugs.

Joint disease is a condition that affects a large number of dogs and there is no known cure. Surgery works for some dogs but is almost prohibitively expensive. If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, bursitis, osteochondrosis (OCD), hip dysplasia or other degenerative joint disease, you owe it to your pet to help make its life better by treating it with Winston’s proven formula.

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.