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Great Dane health issues

Jan 25, 2013

Many Great Dane health issues result from their purebred status and great size (such as heart and musculoskeletal problems). Awareness and regular screening for these conditions can help your Great Dane live a long, happy, healthy life. The following are descriptions of four of the most common Great Dane health issues and how they can benefit from treatment with the Assisi Loop.

great dane issuesThe Assisi Loop uses low-level pulses of energy (tPEMF) to decrease inflammation and speed up the body's natural healing process. For clinical and research information, click here.

DCM: Dilated CARDIOMYOPATHY


This is the version of “dog heart disease” that is most prevalent in Great Danes. In DCM, the chambers of the left ventricle become enlarged, infringing on the heart’s ability to pump, causing the heart to beat in overtime and leading to fluid buildup in the lungs and other abdominal areas. Preliminary research suggests cardiomyopathy is inherited and also may be sex-linked. Regular exams and echocardiogram of the heart can confirm the disease.

PEMF has been shown to have cardioprotective effects in animal models and symptomatic effects in animal and human cohorts.  While not directly studied, PEMF may improve cardiac function, as it has in animal models of acute cardiac injury. There is some evidence that PEMF is cardioprotective and may improve energy production in the heart cells, a significant problem in DCM.

K9HD: HIP DYSPLASIA


This inherited disease may manifest as poor rear end conformation or lessened athleticism, or present such malformation of the hip joint that the dog becomes crippled.

Since this condition is genetic, it cannot be prevented except through careful breeding. At the same time, you can delay and lessen symptoms by keeping your Dane at a healthy weight and discouraging behavior such as rough play and running for long distances or on hard surfaces. Swimming is the ideal exercise for a dog with hip dysplasia.

PEMF has been used clinically with a number of orthopedic joint disorders in animals and humans.  While likely not able to address the pathology underlying K9HD, PEMF may be and effective method for managing the associated inflammatory symptoms. The Assisi Loop is also ideal for helping a dog recover from surgical treatment of the disorder.

WOBBLERS


One of the most distinctive Great Dane health issues is “wobblers syndrome” where malformed vertebrae compress the spinal cord in the neck and result in a drunken gait, increasing instability and potential paralysis. The congenital form of Wobblers in Great Danes normally manifests in adolescent dogs and is the result of a malformation of the cervical vertebrae, likely caused by nutritional effects and inherited traits; it is considered a form of DOD (Developmental Osteodystrophy) and is referred to as cervical vertebral malformation or CVM. Adult long-necked dogs such as Danes can suffer similar symptoms after whiplash trauma that are also referred to as “wobblers” or cervical vertebral instability (CVI).

There are few options for treatment. Happily, dogs treated with the Assisi loop for wobblers have shown a near-miraculous improvement in their condition. Dr. Tim Crowe has documented several of these cases and videos can be seen here: wobblers syndrome. PEMF may not stabilize chronic vertebral instability, but is likely to be effective against associated inflammation that can affect nerves and nerve roots.  Animals may benefit from significant symptomatic relief.

HOD and Pano


These are painful bone conditions brought on by the rapid growth phase of puppyhood and cause lameness and general malaise. HOD (Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy) is the more serious condition. Occurring in puppies between four and seven months old, it causes severe joint pain (usually in the front joints) and is accompanied by fever. It can lead to severe secondary infections like pneumonia, but as long as it is treated properly it is not life threatening.

Pano (Panosteitis) is usually self-limiting and may not need treatment. Pano occurs when the bones develop faster than the soft tissue around them, causing inflammation. A lump will appear on one or more of the dog's legs and disappears once the dog is a year old. To guard against Pano, feed your puppy a diet designed for large breeds that is low in calcium, as calcium promotes more rapid bone growth.

HOD and PANO are both associated with dysfunction in long bone development.  There is significant inflammation, edema and bone pain that can progress to deformity and bone necrosis.  PEMF is known to have significant anti-inflammatory effects, on pain reduction and in particular reductions in edema, one of the components of these disorders associated with pain.  Any reduction in inflammation around the bones can reduce the potential progression to a necrotic state.

great dane problems



Category: Dogs, Pet Care

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