Usually, you wouldn’t expect a small and lightweight dog like the Havanese to have high potential of joint problems. It is almost common sense that we expect heavy people to have a higher chance of joint, especially knees, issues. The concept is that the heavily the person or the dog is, the more burden and pressure is applies to the knees, hips and other joints. However, for some reason, Havanese do have a relative high potential of having joint problems, especially for a small dog. In this blog post, I am going to share with some of important information about their joint problems and some possible ways to relieve the joint pains.
Havanese Have High Potential for Having Joint Problems
Havanese have high potential of having joint issue at the hip, elbow, and knees. Not only that they will feel pain at these joints, they can also cause the Havanese to not be able to walk properly. Very often, surgeries are needed in order to fix the problems. When the problem is not severe yet, there are some ways to relieve the pain. That’s why it is a good habit to observe your Havanese carefully everyday. It is always a good thing to be able to spot a potential health issue early. Although it is human nature that we want to convince ourselves that there is nothing serious, it is always a good idea to be a little too careful and take your Havanese to the vet when you can feel something isn’t right.
Some Science Behind Why Havanese Tend to Have Joint Problems
If you are curious about why Havanese has a high tendency of having joint problems even if they are so small, there is actually some scientific reasons behind it. The joint problems are usually caused by the overly long back and overly short legs which is something that is inherited. This bone structure created excessive pressure to the joint, causing the joint issues. You can say that the tendency of having joint problems is simply a product of evolution. No single specie is evolved perfectly. Just look at human. As lucky as we are as species, I am betting that many people over 40 have joint problems too, especially at the knees and the back.
Better to Prevent than to Heel
It is always wiser to look for ways to prevent or at least reduce the chance of having these joint problems. Having said that, even if we have done our part right, probably may still not play out right and your Havanese may still end up having joint issues. In the following paragraphs, let’s take a look at both ways to prevent your Havanese from having joint problems and ways to help them heel or relieve their pain.
Make Sure Your Havanese Has a Heathy Weight
Although Havanese are small, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be overweight. When it comes to joint problem, weight is the still the one factor that can make a difference that we can help control. There is no question that some Havanese are inherited a bone structure that can easily cause them joint issues. But if we can keep our Havanese within a healthy weight range, there is a lower chance that the issue would be triggered. Therefore, as owners of Havanese, we simply have to put some effort into the diet and exercise we provide to them. It’s really not a lot of effort but it is the consistency of the effort that many people fail to achieve. When it comes to helping your Havanese to keep in shape, we are probably just talking about spending 30 minutes to walk with them and home-cooking some simple food for them. It’s certainly not too much to ask. Remember, you are everything to your Havanese.
Adjust Amount & Intensity of Exercise
If your vet told you that your Havanese has joint issues, ask him or her for advice on how you should adjust the level of intensity of exercise. Usually, the vet will tell you to make it a 15 minute walk instead of a 30 minute walk or something like that. The big idea behind it is that you don’t want your Havanese to stop all exercise. Sometimes, making the exercise time shorter but more frequent will work well. Ask your vet for advice and you should also observe how your Havanese is doing with the walk to further adjust.
Adjust Your Havanese’s Diet
There are some food that has the nutrient that helps with those joint issues. Food like turmeric, ginger, papaya and celery are food that can help to reduce the chance of joint problems. Of course, if you are not sure if your Havanese can eat these food, it is also good to seek advice from your vet or start with very small portion and observe their reaction.
Needle Inserting (Canine Acupuncture)
If you are familiar with Chinese ways to dealing with body pain and other health issues, you wouldn’t be surprised with the fact that the doctor insert needles into different parts of our body to achieve heeling effect. I am surprised to be very honest. And it seems the wisdom from the east has become a trend that seems promising in the world of dogs. How it works is that the vet will insert needles at and near the joints of your Havanese. Those are some really really thin needles that shouldn’t cause pain to your Havanese for your information.
Massage Can Help Relieve the Pain
When we have bad joints, massage does help relieve the pain and usually the effects will last for hours. That’s the same for your Havanese. Instead of letting professionals help you message your Havanese, you should learn to do that yourself. That both allows you to relieve your Havanese’s pain consistently and it’s a great way to build your relationship with your Hav.
In conclusion, Havanese is a breed that has high potential for having joint problems. These problems include painful knees, elbows and hips. While there are many ways to relieve pain, it is always better to reduce the chance of happening. The most effective way to reduce the chance of joint problems is to control the weight of your Havanese.