Bone healing and bone maturity in dogs - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

The structural system of a dog is made of bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. A dog's skeleton has an average of 319 bones - a tiny dog has the same amount of bones as a very large dog! Depending on the breed, a puppy's bones will continue to grow until they are around two years old.

stock puppies SMLL

Growing puppies dogs and large breeds can be more prone to bone disorders and osteoarthritis, and care should be taken. Dogs that are over-exercised, or puppies pushed too hard too early, can also develop problems with their bones and joints. An obese dog can often have bone and joint issues.

Even doing something simple like too many stairs mutliple times throughout the day can be an issue for these large breeds.

I also like to see them kept super lean for the first 2 years to minimise the chances of developing orthopaedic issues.

I see a lot of people who love to see their large breeds grow rapidly so that they look big and impressive and this is usually to the dog's detriment.

It is also essential to discuss the importance of calcium: phosphorus balance...

Meat is very high in phosphorus but it's low in calcium. The main function of phosphorus is in forming bones and teeth (though most people assume it's the job of calcium!). Too much calcium when developing can be as much of an issue as too little calcium, especially in large and giant breeds. But do not let this put you off!

Bone is high in calcium and in phosphorus.

In Dr Ian Billinghurst's book, Give your Dog a Bone, he states “Calcium is essential for neuromuscular, cardiovascular, immune and endocrine function. It’s vital for blood clotting. Calcium forms the skeletal structure or cytoskeleton within each cell. And every cell in the body depends on calcium to support enzyme functions, bodily signalling and to maintain cell membrane stability.”

Strategies for building strong, healthy bones

  • Feed a raw diet and bones
  • Do not overfeed your dog or allow him to be overweight
  • Regular walking and short runs are best
  • Do not over-exercise puppies while their bones are still forming
  • Prevent dogs from jumping from down from high places, such as off the back of a car, as this can really cause shock and damage to the developing bones and joints
  • Feeding foods with quality collagen (like Forever Young) can help to support strong healthy joints and development.

McDowells recommedations

Bone repair mix

This herbal formulation is recommended for injuries from broken bones as well as tendon or ligament tears. It is also used to facilitate healthy growth in the bones of growing puppies. Bone Repair Mix contains herbs high in silica which is the essential metabolic partner with calcium for strong bone growth. Other herbs support the bone marrow,circulation and the production of healthy and elastic bone tissue in dogs.

To assist the big breeds susceptible to degenerative & congenital joint problems by strengthening & stimulating cartilage repair and inhibiting soft tissue damage by increasing the production of normal compounds within the joint which act as lubricants and protectants/strengtheners for bones muscles & the cartilage surface as in Hip Dysplasia & Osteoarthritis.

For all cases of injury or breaks so that swelling & pain are reduced & healing is accelerated and also for the recovery following surgery or bone cancer treatments.

Millet and Linseed

Millet contains especially high levels of organic silica compounds as well as carbohydrate and many other minerals. Silica is the key to balancing the calcium scaring that occurs in conditions like ringbone.

Linseed - is specific nourishment for strength and elasticity of ligaments and attachment points and is a whole feed source of Omega 3 and 6 and Linoleic acids.

Forever Young

Forever Young Supplement contains a blend of Grass Fed Beef Collagen Hydrolysate and Glucosamine HCL. The combination of these two ingredients  is a preventive health formula as it may help regenerate collagen that stops being produced with age, or helps after injury or surgery.



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McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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