The Weimaraner is a relatively new breed of dog that dates back only to the 19th century. They were bred by noblemen of the Weimar court who wanted a breed that embodied a good sense of smell, strong intelligence, fearlessness and especially speed, as they were used for hunting wolves and deer.
Unfortunately, as the breed developed through the generations, hip dysplasia in Weimaraners became a common disease.
Weimaraners are noted for being devoted to their family, whether that ‘family’ is a single person or one replete with several children.
Weimaraners are not the type of dogs who obey routine commands or whose habits can be predictable. They are smart dogs, but choosy about how they use their intelligence. They sometimes may seem bored while being taught rote commands, but will demonstrate that they have learned the commands to please their owner. But as soon as they’re left alone, they begin finding ways to disobey.
They have a tendency to try to control the entire family if not trained properly. They require a strong-willed owner who has the time and the ability to train and play with them. They need lots of love and attention, and vigorous daily exercise to be happy, contented and compliant pets. If neglected or treated badly, they will often resort to destructive behavior which may include excessive barking and damage to your home and property. They need plenty of exercise, and if available, a yard to run and play in.
However, Weimaraners are very good at escaping from yards. They have been known to unlatch gates and jump over tall fences. They should not be left alone in a yard for lengthy periods of time.
Weimaraners are large dogs and generally not suited to living in apartments. Their size and high level of activity can cause them to knock things about without realizing it.
Weimaraners are the personification of grace, balance and swiftness. They have strong muzzles and long, hanging ears. Their intelligent eyes may be light gray, bluish gray or light amber. They have long necks and long, muscular legs with webbed feet. Their coats are usually glossy, smooth and short, and come in shades of gray.
A healthy Weimaraner can live as long as 17 years with the average being 12 to 14 years.
Common health problems include tumors, immune system disorders, and hip dysplasia. They are also prone to bloating – so rather than one big meal a day, two smaller meals a day is better.
Hip dysplasia in Weimaraners
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 Weimaraners 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.
This is an example of 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.
This is an example of an abnormal hip joint:
Most dogs 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 Weimaraners 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.
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 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.
There are different assumptions on how to prevent the progression of hip dysplasia in Weimaraners. Poor nutrition, inadequate or improper exercise, and increased body weight may all contribute to the severity of osteoarthritis after the hip dysplasia has developed.
By 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.