Vitamin C and Hip Dysplasia
by Sylvia Hammarstrom
The following article has been provided by the above author. All copy rights
are held by the author and any reproduction of this material in whole or in part
must have the authors approval. Approval has been granted for reproduction
of this article on the Lapdog website.
As you probably know by now, I
'm a great believer in nutrition, "YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT". I feel strongly that a
good natural diet will prevent many health problems later in your dogs life, eg;
skin problems, cancer, arthritis, and most important HIP DYSPLASIA.
Hip dysplasia is actually a form
of arthritis of the hipbones, which is often discovered as loose joints shown in
I have raised dogs here at
SKANSEN KENNEL for 25 plus years. I have raised several working breeds like the
German Shepherd and Rottweilers, as well as the Schnauzers. In all of these
years, It have NEVER raised a clinically dysplastic dog . I 'm quite sure the
general public would have a difficult time believing this. Statistically, I
certainly should have ended up with at least one or two out of the hundreds of
dogs that I have raised. The fact is, I never have and have often wondered why I
was so lucky, or what factor was present for me that wasn't there for other
I have finally come to the
conclusion that HIP DYSPLASIA simply is a lack of VITAMIN C in your dogs diet.
Almost all dogs in the U. S . are raised on commercial dog food- with no NATURAL
VITAMIN C. True, the manufacturers add ascorbic acid, but this chemical form of
Vitamin C just isn't good enough. Your dog MUST get Vitamin C in his diet on a
daily basis from a natural source, like fresh vegetables or RAW MILK or Vitamin
C made from a VEGETABLE SOURCE .
Our puppies get RAW MILK daily
(not homogenized or pasteurized milk ) and raw meat, rice and cooked chicken
necks. Just that little addition of fresh raw food evidently provides enough
Vitamin C to make a difference.
For many years I have
recommended Vitamin C to my puppy buyers and they say they religiously give a
big dose of Vitamin C daily, and still some dogs get Hip dysplasia. 1 had no
explanation for this until recently. I learned from a top nutritionist in the U.
S ., Dr. Don Lawson, that 80% of the ascorbic acid ingested is flushed through
the kidneys within two hours of taking it. In other words, the body cannot
utilize chemical Vitamin C properly. However if your dog is fed a natural diet,
with fresh vegetables daily, some raw grated carrots and some cooked vegetables
like potatoes, he can utilize the Vitamin C present and build proper COLLAGEN.
What is COLLAGEN? Collagen is
the substance that keeps your body together. Without collagen you or your dog
would fall apart. COLLAGEN NEEDS VITAMIN C. A severe Vitamin C deficiency can
cause scurvy disease which has killed many sailors in the past. Typical signs of
scurvy are loss of teeth and joints becoming loose- just like in Hip dysplasia.
To prevent scurvy, which is a very painful deficiency just like SEVERE HIP
DYSPLASIA, sailors were told to eat lemons or limes daily to prevent the Vitamin
Dogs manufacture some Vitamin C
themselves, but obviously some do not manufacture enough . Like Dr. Earl D.V.M
., I strongly believe that a HIGH REQUIREMENT for Vitamin C may be inherited,
rather than the disorder itself. This should come as no surprise, as dogs are
not allowed to breed by natural selection, but rather at the whim of the
Since I am now aware that
Vitamin C is the important factor in building collagen, I also feel this
explains the many knee injuries you see in large breeds today- after all there
is a lot of collagen in your kneecap .
I have, of course, raised some
dogs that did not clear OFA on the X-ray . In every case, these dogs had some
form of virus when they were pups and were given antibiotics for an extended
period of time. I am convinced that the antibiotics interfered with the Vitamin
C absorption. Had I known what I know today, I could have doubled the Vitamin C
dose for these particular dogs .
So, to be on the safe side, I
recommend that every puppy buyer give natural food with some kind of vegetables
daily. Also I recommend that you give your pup at least one Vitamin C tablet in
the morning and one tablet in the evening daily for the first two years of his
life- and of course only Vitamin C made from a VEGETABLE SOURCE. IF IT DOES NOT
SAY this on the bottle, don ' t buy it . The only company that we know of that
makes natural Vitamin C is ROCHE COMPANY in SWITZERLAND, a world renowned
company. In the U. S ., NEO-LIFE (Neo-Life) imports their Vitamin C from Roche .
That is the company I buy my Vitamin C from exclusively.
To get Neo-Life VITAMIN C TABLETS or
a powdered Vitamin C, all made from vegetable sources, you have to order it from
a Neo-Life DISTRIBUTOR- it is NOT available in stores.
Every time some one calls me and
tells me about a dog they had for 17 years and more, I ask them what they fed
their dog . It is always table scraps, apples, carrots, broccoli stems-all
convincing me they got a diet rich in NATURAL VITAMIN C. Also ranch and farm
dogs are seldom known to get hipdysplasia. As you know, dogs will eat horse and
cow manure with gusto, I'm convinced they know they need the digested grass or
alfalfa, probably a very high source of natural C. Every day, when I take my
dogs for a walk on the ranch, they seem to find it .
I know of an older gentleman
that used to be the kennel manager for one of the largest German Shepherd
kennels in the U. S ., in the 30 ' s and 40 ' s . He told me that back then no
one had ever heard about dysplasia . He never knew of any shepherd that was
crippled. Then, in 1950, a few cases were recorded and it was said it was
typical for German Shepherds, because of their long body and extreme angulation.
In the 1960 's - 1970 's it became so common in Shepherds that almost everyone
worried about it. Even worse, it started cropping up in many other breeds. So
now, one was told, it was typical for all large breeds because they grew so
fast! Then I remember hearing that almost any breed could get it, except
Greyhounds. A case had never been recorded in this breed . It was impossible for
them to get it! Well, I now know, Greyhounds that are afflicted as well as
Pomeranians, Cockers and little Schnauzers . Almost every single breed!
It has been documented, by going
back into the early 1900's that no dogs had hip dysplasia during this time, a
quote I read in the book "HOW TO KEEP YOUR DOG HEALTHY THE NATURAL WAY", by Pat
Lazarus . Yet today it is rampant . I ask myself, What have all these breeds in
common except hip dysplasia?
Commercial dog food is
definitely one answer . Most every breeder and dog owner in countries like the
U.S. and Europe feed almost exclusively commercial dog food, as it is so
convenient. Commercial dog food, by it's very nature, has no natural live
VITAMIN C available . Food has to be fresh to provide natural Vitamin C, like
raw carrots and apples .
This theory of VITAMIN C being
at the heart of the HIP DYSPLASIA epidemic is not new. Many veterinarians have
written articles about their great success with natural foods and how they have
completely eliminated hip dysplasia in their clients' dogs. Yet, few dog owners
are aware of how easily they could prevent this unnecessary painful problem.
I see a great increase in knee
cap injuries in all large breeds, and I strongly feel this is also a weak
collagen problem stemming from a lack of natural Vitamin C.
My personal opinion, after 40
years of breeding large breeds of dog, is that hip dysplasia is not a genetic
factor . In fact, the well known Wendell O. Bellfield D.V.M. says, "canine hip
dysplasia is a NUTRITIONAL and BIOCHEMICAL imbalance". He continues to say "the
concept that the key to the disease lies in genetics has failed miserably. The
"experts" have failed to prove the existence of a gene that causes hip
dysplasia; they have also failed to determine the action of the alleged gene . "
Due to my personal experience of
the last 40 years as an active breeder and all of the information available
about Vitamin C and how it stabilizes collagen, I have included it in the
guarantee on the pups I sell. I will not only guarantee against this disorder if
the new owner feeds his dog natural food with lots of vegetables and some
natural Vitamin C from a vegetable source daily. However, for those of you who
did not know how to prevent it and now your dog has developed lameness which
your veterinarian diagnoses as hip dysplasia, I have very good news.
Dr. Terry Durkes D . V. M . from
Marion Indiana, and other veterinarians around the country, have developed a
technique using a form of acupuncture, actually a gold bead implant, with which
they can eliminate the dogs pain 100% in one visit for less than $200. It also
stops the progress of the arthritis! It 's an incredible technique which takes
one veterinarian visit and no surgery. If you'd like to find out more about this
technique, you can contact DR. DURKES at 1-317-664-0734 or even better, buy a
video from AMERICAN DOG- the video magazine, where DR. DURKES is interviewed by
RICK ROUTLEDGE. It's fascinating to see severely crippled dogs get well
literally in front of your eyes. The video cost is $22.45 shipping included and
all you do is write to: AMERICAN DOG PO BOX 127, 7215 E. STATE RD. 18
MONTPELIER, IN 47359 or call 1-317-728-2144 ASK FOR AMERICAN DOG VIDEO VOLUME
ONE, NUMBER THREE .
Anyone who has ever considered
surgery for hip dysplasia should look at this procedure first. It 's quite
incredible. Something one has to see to believe.
By the way, I know of several
severely crippled dogs who became completely well when switched to natural diet
with natural supplements.
Meanwhile, I myself continue to
monitor the hips of my dogs, as well as educating my puppy buyers on how to
prevent dysplasia . I predict that in 20 years these theories will be commonly
accepted worldwide. For now, there are still many people who believe genetics is
at the heart of the problem only because that 's what they been told for so
long. I pray these people will give VITAMIN C in a natural form a chance to work
for their dog .
For my puppy buyers, in case
your dog injures himself, here is a list of veterinarians who are skilled with
acupuncture. Contact anyone of them for help with any lameness, whether knee
injury, hipdysplasia, or other pain your dog might have. Give him a chance to
recover quickly, easily and cheaply instead of getting involved with expensive
surgery . These veterinarians are specially trained, I.V.A.S. certified members.
If one is not directly in your area, it might be well worth the trouble to
travel to the nearest one.
THE FOLLOWING VETERINARIANS ALL
DO GOLD BEAD IMPLANTS .
DURKES, TERRY D.V.M.
WESTERN ANIMAL HOSPITAL
909 NORTH WESTERN AVENUE
MARION, IN, 46952, U.S.A.
ALLISON, CHARLES C., D.V.M.
AUSTIN ANIMAL ACUPUNCTURE CLINIC
1005 EAST 30th ST.
AUSTIN, TX 78705, U.S.A.
ANDERSON, ROBERT H., D.V.M.
POLK VETERINARY CLINIC,
1590 EAST ELLENDALE ST.
DALLAS, OR 97338, U. S .A.
CAIN, MARVIN J., D.V.M.
7474 GREENFARMS DR.
CINCINNATI, OH 45224-1210, U.S.A.
CARREN, DON J., D.V.M.
12200 ROCKVILLE PIKE
ROCKVILLE, MD 20852, U.S.A.
CLEMENS, PAULE., D.V.M.
17701 MUNN RD.
CHAGRIN FALLS, OH 44022, U.S.A.
LIMEHOUSE, JOHN B., D.V.M.
L ' HOUSE VET. CLINIC OF HOLISTIC MEDICINE
10742 RIVERSIDE DR
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA 91602, U.S.A.
MARTIN, WILLIAM., D.V.M.
BREVARD ANIMAL HOSPITAL
ROUTE 3 BOX 1402 ASHVILLE HWY
BREVARD, NC 28712, U.S.A.
NELSON, YVONNE, D.V.M.
PO BOX 759, HIGHWAY 98
DAPHNE, AL 36524, U.S.A.
SAFFEN, EUGENE E ., D.V.M. 1-2 0
5- 457 -1247
2940 HWY 45
EIGHT MILE, AL 36612, U.S.A.
STAJICH, MICHAEL H ., D.V.M.
ANN ARB0R, MI 48104, U.S.A.