This information is not meant to scare you but to inform you

and make you a better puppy owner. 

Hip Dysplasia

(How to avoid it in a healthy puppy)

If your puppy is blessed with great hips, are you home free? Absolutely not.

Although hip dysplasia can be hereditary even the best puppy hips/elbows can deteriorate from stress or injury. Newfie puppies grow very fast from birth to 8 months. They will get close to their adult height in those few months. The rapid growth alone stresses the joints and ligaments; add rough play, slipping, jumping, and climbing while the hip sockets are still forming and dysplasia is born. The hip socket and the "ball" of the leg bone are supposed to be a nice fit if all goes well. The movement in the perfect fitting joint will encourage good development and bone. Injury can cause the perfect fit to become "loose" or the "ball" to be misplaced.

Any extra play in the still forming joint will cause improper formation, the joint to lose its smoothness, the socket to become shallow, and thus deteriorate.(dysplasia)

Because of the improper fit, this bone has lost its nice round shape. This is mild dysplasia. This dog will probably have arthritis and some problems as he ages.

Improper fit can be hereditary or environmental (stress or injury)!!! It can also be associated with poor nutrition.

Some of the main issues that can cause your healthy pup to become dysplastic are (these can also be causes for elbow and stifle/patella problems)

1. Slipping/sliding on slick surfaces. (tile, linoleum, wet grass, etc.) 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 extremely limited.

2. Climbing stairs.

3. Too much exercise at a young age.

4. Jumping.

5. Allowing your puppy to become overweight.

Please try to avoid the following:

1. No running or playing on slick/wet surfaces.

2. Stairs - you know that stairs are a work out, well a newfie pup body is a stressed body, add stair climbing and between the added stress and the angle it makes his hips work extremely hard and it’s a hip destroyer!! No stairs until he/she is 1 year old, period !!!!!

3. Over exercising – overly tired 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 is not a good idea. (It’s the landing that hurts. If he lands on the front legs...bad for the elbows, lands on the hind legs...bad on the hips and patellas.)

5. Improper nutrition. Always feed a very high quality dog food. Never let your puppy/adult Newf become overweight.

ALWAYS use a ramp to load/unload your Newf from any type of SUV or truck. Train the pup early and it will be a piece of cake.

A conscientious breeder will do all that he/she can do to eliminate health issues in their breeding program by using the health testing available today on their breeding adults. However, even the most healthy, "perfect" parents can sometimes produce a puppy with a health issue.