Holistic Alternatives for Canine Skeletal Disease
Skeletal Disorders




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These are suggested treatments for canine disease. All Things Canid is not responsible for the success or failure of these alternative treatments. Each animal and each disease presentation is unique. Research each alternative treatment and consult with a certified Naturopath. If you would like an individual holistic counseling session, Please contact Dr. Debra Venable-Ball.





Dog with dandelion

This is an ongoing process. Check back for added information and more ailments.

Hypertrophic osteopathy



Hypertrophic osteopathy refers to an abnormal enlargement of bone due to new bone formation. There is a lot of controversial information out there about what to do or not to do when supporting a puppy with this disorder. It is agreed, however, that limiting exercise is a must.

1. Avoid Over Vaccinating

1. School of Veterinary Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem., 2. Israel Institute for Biological Research, Ness Ziona. The effect of two different vaccination protocols on the development of hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) and immunization in a litter of 10 Weimaraner puppies was investigated. Five puppies (group 1) were vaccinated with a modified live canine parvovirus vaccine and two weeks later with a trivalent vaccine containing modified live canine distemper virus and advenovirus type 2 combined with a Leptospira bacterin. This vaccination cycle was repeated twice, at two week intervals. Group 2 was vaccinated with 3 consecutive multivalent vaccines containing modified live canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, parainfluenza and adenovirus type 2 combined with a Leptospira bacterin at 4 week intervals. All puppies were first vaccinated at the age of 8 weeks. Three dogs in group 1 developed HOD, while all five dogs in group 2 developed HOD during the study period. Dogs in group 1 developed higher antibody titers to canine distemper virus and parvovirus compared to the dogs in group 2.
The results of this study futher strengthens the previously reported observation of a direct link between vaccination and clinical HOD in Weimaraners, and indicate that the 2 different vaccination protocols affected the pattern of appearance of HOD and immunization in the Weimaraner puppies." www.thensome.com

Modified-live viruses in CDV vaccines have the ability to continue to reproduce themselves thus continuing to stimulate the immune system. This occurs until the immune system can produce sufficient antibody titer to eradicate the viral component. How long does this take? This depends on the mother's circulating antibodies. The mother's antibodies delivered through breast milk neutralizes the components of the vaccine. As the maternal antibodies decrease the incidence of vaccine-induced HOD increases.

2. Avoid Calcium supplementation in excess of 3% per dry basis. Avoid Vitamin D as it can increase the absorption of calcium in the canine body.

3. Avoid processed diets with over 25% protein content.

4. Avoid excessive weight gain or rapid growth which results from foods with high caloric intake. This places too much stress on growing bones.

5. Feed a balanced homemade diet.

6. Avoid supplements.

7. Proteolytic enzymes for pain and inflamation.

8. Homeopathic remedies: alcarea carbonica and arnica

9. Avoid excessive exercise and jumping.


This advise is given by Marti Linfert who breeds mastiffs.

"For one we never feed any type of puppy food. This includes the ones formulated for large breed puppies, we wean our puppies unto a large breed adult food. Which we look at the calcium and phosphorus level first, and then try to get those levels numbers as close as possible to each other. Also, "we" don't feed our large Mastiffs and Saints a raw diet, until they are over a year old. We do allow raw bones once a while, with meat on it. But just not a daily raw diet for them, until older. It causes them to grow at rapid speed and their bones and joints can't support them. In young pups of the giant breeds the higher the protein, the more damage it causes. Starts off with Knuckling, Pano, to puppies that can't walk, and high fevers. Some giant dog breeders, feed their puppies a raw diet. They swear buy it, but I see over weight, over done puppies, that can't move because the joints are over loaded. They don't play because they can't....
A lot of the Giant breeds suffer, because their owners lets their Egos get them. What I mean is... "It's a race who has the biggest and heaviest" and this is where a lot of the dogs problems begins."




Canine Hip Dysplasia



In dogs, hip dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints.

Diet: "The time of appearance and the rate of progression of hip dysplasia are influenced by the growth rate of individual dogs. Studies at the Baker Institute and elsewhere have shown that slowing growth during the early months of life can lessen the severity of hip dysplasia and even prevent it. One study followed two groups of susceptible pups from the time they were eight weeks old until their death. One group of pups was fed nearly 25 percent less food than the second, which were permitted to eat all they wanted of the same diet. Over the course of the 14 year study, data was collected regarding general longevity and the development of hip dysplasia. Not only did the dogs eating a restricted diet live significantly longer than their well-fed counterparts, they developed hip dysplasia at a much lower rate than did the second group. Further, for those dogs on a restricted diet who did develop hip dysplasia, the risk of developing osteoarthritis decreased by 57 percent." Baker Institute

A nutritional homemade diet consisting of lean raw meat (which supples Omega 3 fatty acids rather than Omega 6, which can contribute to inflamation and pain,) whole grain rice, lintels, vegetables and fruit and whole cooked eggs is an excellent place to start. Since rapid growth of young dogs and obesity in older dogs worsen hip dysplasy, attention must be given to the level of fats in the diet.


1. Colloidal silver assists in the regeneration of bone and muscle and is very benefical for bacterial infections.

2. Hyaluronic Acid increases mobility and relieves pain.

3. Glucosamine and chondroitin is used for joint repair.

4. Omega 3 fatty acid for joint inflamation.

5. Colostrum combined with chondroitin and glucosamine help in the body's healing process.

6. Chondroitin combates and neutralizes destructive enzymes in the joint and glucosamine provides the building blocks to synthesize new cartilage.

7. MSM works well for pain and joint swelling due to inflamation.

8. Vitamin C- If HD positive breeding stock are supplemented with 1500 – 2000 mg of Vit C daily before breeding and the pregnant bitch kept on the supplementation until whelping, the majority of puppies will be HD negative.

9. Chondroitin Sulfate stimulates joint repair.


1. Ginkgo, Hawthorne, Rosemary, Cayenne, and Ginger assists in blood circulation.

2. Dandelion and Nettle assist in joint repair and help eliminate metabolic wastes.

3. Alfalfa relieves pain.

4. Licorice and Yucca are anti-inflammatory.

Homeopathy: Vermiclilitum 6X, three times a day, was given in three courses of 20 days



Canine Osteochondritis Dissecans




Osteochondritis dissecans consists of a flaw on the smooth cartilage surface within one or more joints. The cartilage on the end of a bone in the joint develops abnormally and separates from the underlying bone. This problem is found most often in the shoulder joints but can also occur in the elbow, hip and stifle joints.

The vaccination connection

“Beyond the immediate hypersensitivity (vaccine) reactions, other acute events tend to occur 24 to 72 hours afterward, or 7 to 45 days later in a delayed type immunological response. Even more delayed adverse effects include…canine distemper antibodies in joint diseases of dogs.” Dr. Jean Dodd

Limit exercise.

A nutritional homemade diet consisting of lean raw meat (which supples Omega 3 fatty acids rather than Omega 6, which can contribute to inflamation and pain,) whole grain rice, lintels, vegetables and fruit and whole cooked eggs is an excellent place to start. Since rapid growth of young dogs and obesity in older dogs worsen Osteochondritis dissecans, attention must be given to the level of fats in the diet.


1. Glucosamine and chondroitin is used for joint repair.

2. Omega 3 fatty acid for joint inflamation.

3. Vitamin E to boost antioxidants levels in the body.

4. Selenium to help control free radicals.

5. Zinc and manganese levels are involved in the creation of cartilage. Ensure the diet provides adequate amounts of these while joints are developing.

Homeopathy: Calcarea phosphorica, Symphytum, Silicea, Syphilinum


Skeletal Disorders, click here for page 2