Joint problems are one of the most common health problems facing the American Pit Bull Terrier. Highly active by nature they tend to end up twisting, spraining, pulling, dislocating, bruising, or otherwise injuring their joints. Sadly the trend of over breeding and not paying attention to health testing is also adding to this problem.
By not health testing the breeding pair for possible joint defects such as Dysplasia the chances of the pups having joint problems increases. I’m not an expert or a licensed vet but I do have first hand experience with Pit Bulls and weak joints.
My dog Honey is a little tubby 60 lbs super hyper active psycho who loves to spring pole and run up and down the fence line in a manner I can only describe as “insanely fast.” Problem is, she has bone and joint horrible structure. Her front paws are what some people call, “East and west” which means they point out to the sides quite a bit.
Her rear hips are not any better and she recently tore her ACL by slipping and falling down some stairs. Not that she seemed bothered by it as she still tried to play like nothing had happened. I’m telling you this because I have spoken with my vet and the specialist who operated on her ACL (which is a tendon not a joint) and they both have given me some helpful advice.
Not to mention the hours upon hours I have researched the problems of Dysplasia, treatment, and prevention here on the web. In short, I feel qualified to give you some basic tips on how to prevent future problems from occuring. I highly recommend every Pit Bull owner start using these tips as soon as possible.
5 Tips for Pit Bull Joint Problem Prevention
1. Warm your dogs up before exercising them.
This will also help prevent strains, sprains and tears of the muscles. Warming them up by walking them briskly for 10-15 minutes before play time will help keep their joints flexible and their muscles ready for action.
2. Avoid Concrete and Asphalt when possible.
Avoid hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt. Doctors advise people to do the same. Run on dirt, grass, or some other softer surface to lighten the impact on the joints.
3. Stretch them out.
This helps keep the muscles flexible which helps the joint as well. If the muscles are flexible and not stiff they will be able to support the joint better during exercise.
4. Avoid over exercising
While exercise is important. To much can be damaging to the joints. Keep exercise/play sessions light and remember to warm your dog up and cool them down afterwards to avoid any muscle cramps or sprains as well.
5. Watch their weight
Obesity in dogs is a major cause of joint problems. All that extra weight bearing down on your dogs joints puts a lot of strain on them and an otherwise healthy joint becomes a candidate for future problems.
Put your dog on a strict diet. And when I say “diet” I’m not talking about weight watchers for dogs. I’m talking about a regular meal plan that will maintain a healthy weight. Even if your dog is currently at their perfect weight, consulting your vet and building a diet maintenance program to maintain that healthy wet is always a good idea. In the end a lot of love, a little common sense, and using preventive measures like stretching and supplements will help your dogs joints stay stronger.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Again I have to say this. Please consult your vet or an expert and get their opinions as well. I am not an expert or a licensed vet.