Some Thoughts on Health Issues

Hip Dysplasia...Heritary or enviormental?

It can be either or both

Enviormental: If your puppy is blessed with great hips, are you home free? Absolutely not. Even the best puppy hips can deteriote from stress or injury. Newfie puppies grow very fast from 3 months to 8 months, They will get almost to adult height in those few months. The rapid growth alone stresses the joints and ligaments, add rough play, slipping, jumping, climbing while the hip sockets are still forming and dysplasia is born. The hip socket and the "ball" of the leg bone are suppose to be a nice fit If all goes well, the movement in the perfect fit will encourage good development and bone. But injury can cause the perfect fit to get "loose" or the "ball" to get missplaced. Any extra play in the still forming joint will cause improper formation, the joint to lose its smoothness, the socket becomes shallow and deteriate.(dysplasia) Because of the improper fit** this bone has lost its nice round shape. This is mild dysplasia.

This dog will have arthritis and some problems as he ages. *** improper fit can be enviormental(stress or injury) or heritary Injury can cause this !!! .

Some of the biggies that can cause your pup to be dysplastic are" (these are also the causes for elbow and stifle/patella problems) 1) slipping/sliding on slick floors (tile , linoulmn,wet grass ect.) Your puppy sliding across the floor after a toy is cute but it can also cause him to become a cripple. Access to slick floors should be avoided or at least limited to:

  1. No running or playing
  2. Stairs you know that stairs are a work out, well a newfie pup body is a stressed body add stair climbing , between the added stress and the angle it makes his hips work its a hip destroyer.!! No stairs until he is 1 year old period !!!!!
  3. Over exercise tiered muscles and ligaments are prone to injury. Never force exercise on your puppy. Do not encourage him to play when he wants to rest. Take care not to venture too far away from home when going for a walk (the walk back may be too much for him)
  4. Jumping jumping over things/on things.. the worst.... holding a toy up and having him leap up into the air to get it (its the landing if he lands on the front legs ..bad for the elbows, lands on the hind legs it bad on the hips and patellas.)
  5. Improper balance in feed always feed a high quality dog food (see my dog food page)

Heritary/developmental in the womb: Sometimes the hip sockets in a newf pup are just not right for the beginning. This can vary from:

  1. 1)sublexed (good formation but not a snug fit) which can improve or deterioate depending care
  2. 2) good formation but the "ball" is not in the socket ,in which the formation will deterioate over time
  3. 3) poor formation of either socket or ball or both
How do you know if its enviormental or heritary? if xrays are taken later in life you may not know in cases of mild to moderate dysplasia. I suggest X-rays around 4 months


Who's fault is it? Many people blame the breeder if thier dog ends up dysplastic. Ive talked to many breeders and vets who say the majority of people who's first puppy turned out to be dysplastic, thier replacement puppy turns out to be dysplastic too. bad breeder??? bad owner???

Breeders some times take the rap for every thing that goes wrong with a puppy.... This is not realy fair.... Granted there are some breeders that dont do health checks on their breeding stock and there are some that know thier dog has or throws problems and breed them any way...well they are assholes, but buyers should take some responsiblity for who they chose to buy thier puppy from....... What about the breeders that only breed dogs that have all thier health clearances Are they to be blamed and held accountable for the hidden genes that come from ancestors that they had no part of breeding? I have seen 5 generation pedigrees ALL OFA hips. produce dysplastic dogs. How is that the breeders fault? As a buyer (5 of my 6 newfs I've purchased) and as abreeder, I have struggled with this and done alot of research. Who is responsible if your puppy turns up with problems? We live in an age of 100,000 mile warranty on cars, if your toaster breaks you take it back to the store. But dogs are living breathing creatures should we expect them to come with a warranty too?

Most breeders have some sort of guarentee of a replacement pup for serious health problems. ....ok, well.. if you have thru ignorance,accident or lack of care "trashed " a perfectly good pup, should you be entitled to a free pup? If your pup has heritary problems ...its back to the breeder... if the breeder used only healthy parents for breeding What more could the breeder have done?. As A breeder the last thing I want to do is produce a pup with problems, but other than health checking the parents there is nothing I can. Someday there will be a DNA test for every hidden problem gene but untill then breeders can only do the tests available. Yes, its sad , heartbreaking and expensive if your beloved newf has a serious health issue ....But why do we feel the need to blame and hold some one accountable ? We get no guarentee's on our own health or that of our children. Health problems are a fact of life.

Breeders are not God, owners can not protect thier pups from all of life's impact . As buyers of living breathing creatures that are subject to hidden genes, development and, environmental impact we must accept the risk of life. If you cant accept this dont buy a living creature especialy not a newf.


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