For Your Rottweiler
care for a Rottweiler involves more than feeding, grooming and
housing the dog. Albiet these basic requirements certainly must be
met now and for the rest of the dog's life. Owning a Rottweiler
brings with it a greater than average amount of responsibility. An
owner must be aware of the breed's special qualities and must work
actively to shape and enhance the dog's natural abilities. This
means providing an abundance of affection, exercise, socialisation
and obedience instruction from the dog's first days in the home. A
puppy will then get a good start in life, which is the key to having
it grow to its full potential as a trusted companion in the home.
Roo, Chicken Mince, Whole Chicken Necks, Beef,
Fat (do not overfed a ration of 1 fat to 4 parts meat)
- available from most Butchers
the meat is minced small and fine for your puppy.
when you buy a dry food for your puppy it has the words
"Puppy" on it. You should not feed your puppy adult
formula until it reaches approximately 12-14 months of age. Try to
pick one that has no artificial colors, flavors or additives and
is high in Protein.
puppy reaches 12-14 months of age you may with to change over to an
adult formula. Again try and pick a natural form of dry food not one
with artificial colors etc as these could shorten the life of your
natural is better.
(with acidophilus & bifidous)
- either cut up yourself, use scraps or peels left over or you can
buy the cheap
is excellent for any stomach problems, the runs etc. I buy
Yoplait Plus 1 kg (which is available in most supermarkets) and give
my puppies 1-2 tablespoons with each meal. (They also like a bowl of
this as a special treat)
pasta, rice and vegetables I cook up together in a stainless steel
pot once a week.
Put hot water on and bring to the boil, add the vegetables, add a
spoonful of vegemite and then add the pasta and rice. I bring this
to the boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes and then put the
lid on and turn it off. Once it cools I put it in the fridge and use
it in every meal.
give them the whole egg (shell as well) - but no more than 2 a week
- I feed mine 1-2 cans a week (with a puppy break a can up into 2-3
feeds as a whole can will probably give the puppy the runs) Note
don't leave the sardines in the opened can as it will become
Oil - This keeps if the coat and pads (of paws) are dry just add 2 -
1 teaspoon to the dog's food
Sandoz Liquid Calcium
use powdered calcium as most dogs do not absorb this and require
Vitamin D as well.
3-5 ml daily in food or by mouth.
find that you need to increase this amount when the pup goes through
a growth spurt ie. between 5-9 months.
if your puppy requires more calcium look at his paws. They should be
tight and well knuckled (like cat's feet). If the toes look splayed
and his pasterns (ankles) look low to the ground increase the
calcium to 10ml twice a day until his feet look tight again and then
go back to the normal dose.
ASCORBIC ACID (Pure Vitamin C Powder)
available from most Health Shops and comes in a 500gm packet for a
cost of about $23.00
pup 2 a teaspoon once a day mixed in with his food.
It is not
essential that you give this to your pup if you are feeding Sandoz
ad Ascorbic Acid but Bone meal can be used as an additive.
Calcium and Vitamin C are essential for healthy bone growth and if
it is not given can lead to bone problems in Rottweilers such as Hip
If you do
not raise your puppy on the Calcium and Vitamin C I will not
guarantee that puppy as stated in our Contract of Sale.
DISORDERS AND FAULTS OF THE ROTTWEILER
the most common cause of rear end lameness in the Rottweiler.
problem lies in the structure of the hip joint. The head of the
femur (thigh bone) should sit solidly in the acetabulum (cup). In
hip dysplasia, loose ligaments allow the head to begin to work free.
A shallow acetabulum also predisposes to joint laxity. Finally, the
mass or tone of the muscles around the joint socket is an important
factor. Tight ligaments, a broad pelvis with a well cupped
acetabulum and a good ratio of muscle mass to size of bone,
predispose to good hips. The reverse is true of dogs who are likely
to develop hip dysplasia. Environmental factors, including weight
and nutrition of the puppy and rearing practices figure into the
dysplasia is a moderately heritable condition. It is about twice as
common among littermates having a dysplastic parent, but even dogs
with normal hips can produce dysplastic puppies. Some dogs with
x-rays showing severe hip dysplasia show no clinical signs and the
diseases goes entirely unsuspected until an x-ray is taken to check
hip dysplasia first appear during the time of rapid growth, in the
Rottweiler this is normally between 4 - 10 months of age. A puppy
might start walking with a limp or swaying gait, show pain in the
hip, it might bunny hop when it runs and experience difficulty
getting up and a desire not to move around much when it is laying
down. Pushing down on its rump often causes the puppy's pelvis to
drop. If you roll the puppy on its back the rear legs may resist
being spread into a "frog leg" position.
joint laxity, there is abnormal wear and tear on the articulating
surfaces of the joint. In time this leads to arthritic changes in
the dysplastic hip. Pain and limitation of movement frequently
parallel the degree of bone deformity (or grade of dysplasia) at the
How is it
positive means of establishing the degree of hip dysplasia is by a
hip x-ray that is then read by a specialist. Heavy sedation or
general anaesthesia is usually required. The most common x-ray
scoring method in Australia is now carried out by the AVA
(Australian Veterinary Association). This is similar to the Murdoch
Method (Professor Wyburn).
hip dysplasia is graded according to the severity of joint changes
seen on x-ray. Joint laxity and minor remodelling characterise mild
dysplasia. Erosion of the joints, subluxation of the hips (moving
out of the socket) and arthritic changes, characterise moderate
dysplasia. In severe dysplasia, the acetabulum (cup) is extremely
shallow or nearly flat, the femoral head is rough and flattened,
subluxation is severe and arthritic changes are marked.
cases may become evident radiographically at an early age (for
example 6-8 months) but more than 70% of dogs who have hip dysplasia
will be missed at this age unless it is very severe. If signs of the
disease are not evident on the x-rays at 12 months however the hips
are unlikely to change significantly after this time (unless an
injury occurs). For this reason all schemes require the dog x-rayed
must be over 12 months of age.
AVA scheme, a score is given by assessing 9 different aspects of the
hip x-ray. 8 aspects are scored out of 6 and 1 out of 5, giving a
total of 53 for each hip. The two scores are then added together to
give an overall score out of 106. The lower the score the better.
That is 0 for the right hip and 0 for the left hip is a total of 0.
This means perfect hips 0:0 = 0.
time of writing this book in 1997 the average for the Rottweiler
breed in Australia is 15 (which means adding the left and right hip
score together they come out to a total of 15 eg 7:8 = 15.
directed at relieving the pain and improving function by giving
aspirin or one of the newer synthetic aspiring products used in the
treatment of degenerative joint disease (arthritis).
surgical procedures advocated in the treatment of hip dysplasia are;
of the femoral head and
of the pectineaus muscle
treatments may relieve pain and improve function in some
have been reports that high doses of Vitamin C (Absorbic Acid) can
prevent dysplasia in susceptible dogs although these reports have
not yet been fully confirmed by known scientific studies.
note that I advise you to use Absorbic Acid when raising your puppy
as I have had excellent results using this with Sandoz Liquid
been shown that repeated selection of normal dogs for breeding stock
reduces the incident of hip dysplasia in a susceptible bloodline.
DYSPLASIA (Ununited Anconeal Process)
condition is caused by a faulty union of the anconeal process (one
of the elbow bones) with the ulna. It is of developmental origin.
There is not a lot of documented evidence on this but it is thought
to be like hip dysplasia in that environment may play a part. It is
also though to be inherited.
fragment in the elbow acts as an irritant and abrasive. Arthritis is
a common sequel.
begin to sho lameness in the front leg at about 5-8 months of age.
Some are unable to bear weight; other limp only when trotting.
Characteristically, the elbow is held outward from the chest,
although this is not always the case.
x-rays taken after 5 months of age are diagnostic. The most
effective treatment is surgical removal of the loose piece of bone.
- SEPARATION OF JOINT CARTILAGE (Osteochondritis Dissecans)
Dissecans affects dogs of the large rapidly growing breeds (such as
the Rottweiler) and usually comes on between the ages of 4-12
months. It is usually found in the should joints, but rarely it can
affect the hocks and stifles.
It is due
to a defect in the cartilage overlying the head of one of the long
bones. A puppy who jumps down stairs might sustain such an injury.
The tendency for cartilage to be easily damaged may be hereditary.
Repeated stress to the joint accelerates the condition.
are gradual lameness in a young dog. Pain is present on flexing the
joint. x-rays may show fragmentation of the joint cartilage, or a
loose piece of cartilage in the joint.
condition can be treated by confinement, or by surgical removal of
the damaged cartilage. Pain pills are contradictory to the condition
as they are in most traumatic joint conditions because they
encourage the dog to exercise and what you really want is to keep
the dog quite.
LAMENESS (Eosinophilic Panosteitis)
also called "growing pains" or "wandering
lameness" is a disease of puppies between 4 - 12 months of age.
The cause is at this stage unknown but there is a tendency for the
disease to run in families.
characteristic sign is the tendency for pain and lameness to shift
from one location to another over a course of several weeks or
months. The disease often is accompanied by fever, eosinophils in
the white blood count, muscle wasting and unthriftiness. Pressure
over the shaft of the affected bone gives pain. x-rays show the
characteristic picture of increased density in a large bone.
:As the cause is unknown, treatment is directed at the relief of
bond pain. Most dogs recover spontaneously, but if severely
affected, may never regain full muscle strength and condition. It is
thought that rest and very light exercise along with time will help
LIGAMENTS (Ruptured Cruciates)
or stile joint is stabilized by two internal ligaments (the
cruciates) which cross in the middle of the joint of the knee.
Rupture of a cruciate is a common serious derangement of the stifle
joint. Some people believe that Rottweilers that lack angulations in
their stifle joints are more prone to this complaint.
might be a history of trauma, but in many cases the presenting sign
is just moderate to severe lameness in one or both hind legs. The
diagnosis is confirmed by palpating the stifle joint and finding
instability (this is usually done under anesthetic).
repair of the torn ligaments is the treatment of choice. When
allowed to heal spontaneously the leg develops scar tissue around
the joint capsule which lessens the degree of mobility. Arthritis
occurs later in life.
bite is a common problem and causes dog breeders more concern than
any other mouth abnormality. The ideal bit for a Rottweiler is a
scissor bite in which the upper incisors just overlap and touch the
lower incisors. A Rottweiler should also have 42 teeth.
Incorrect Bite include:
Level: The incisors meet edge to edge. If your dog has an even or
level bit this is still acceptable to show and breed with.
Overshot: In this condition the upper jaw is longer than the lower
jaw so that the teeth overlap without touching. It is also called
parrot mouth. This problem, which occurs in young puppies may
correct itself if the gap is not too great. Most bites are
"set" by the time a puppy is 14 months old. (Although I
have known a dog who was overshot at 14 months whose bite corrected
by the age of 2 years).
Undershot: This is the reverse of an overshot jaw, with the lower
jaw projecting beyond the upper. It is considered correct in some
breeds such as the Bulldog, Boxer and Boston Terrier but is
incorrect in the Rottweiler.
never known this condition to correct itself.
Mouth: This is the worst of mouth problems. In this situation one
side of the jaw grows faster than the other side, twisting the mouth
so as it gives it a wry look. This condition can be quite a handicap
and can lead to difficulties with grasping and chewing food and in
the extreme can cause problems breathing.
* Any of
these mouth conditions in a Rottweiler means that dog is not
suitable for breeding or showing.
ROLLED INWARD (Entropion)
the most common congenital defect of the eyelids and is when the
eyelids turn inward. It is usually found in dogs with deep set dyes
and with too much loose skin around the head.
found Entropion to be a moderately heritable condition and by
breeding with stock that does not have this disease limits the
possibility of children getting this disease.
can also be caused by outside intervention such as an injury to the
eye, allergies or a long standing disease of the lids. I have also
found that if a dog has an irritation to part of its eyes or face
and is allowed to continually rub at it this can also lead to
Entropion. I refer to this as secondary entropion because it was
caused through outside factors.
commonly entropion affects the lower eyelid although it may be found
in the upper lid as well.
experience I have found that hereditary entropion normally appears
in both eyes and develops in a Rottweiler under the age of 12
is usually called for and a triangular wedge is normally taken from
under the outer corners of each eye and then is stitched back up. If
this is done in a younger dog sometimes when the dog becomes older
the surgery is required to be done again.
ROLLED OUTWARD (Ectropion)
condition the lower eyelid rolls out from the face exposing the eye
to irritation. (This looks like bloodhound eyes or a dog that's
spent to much time on the booze). This condition is usually seen in
dogs with loose facial skin. It can be seen in older dogs in whom
the facial skin has lost its tone and sags. You may notice this
temporarily in dogs that have been working for many hours in the
heat or that have been severely ill.
Surgery may be necessary to tighten the lid and protect the eye.
A limp is
the most common sign of bone or joint disease. However, muscle,
ligament or nerve damage can produce lameness. It indicates pain or
weakness in the involved leg.
which leg is affected can be difficult. A dog often will take weight
off a painful leg when standing. When he is moving, usually he will
take a shorter step on a painful or weak leg and you may notice that
his head "bobs" or drops as weight comes down on the
identified which leg is involved you should attempt to identify the
site and possible cause. First flex and extend all joints to their
maximum to ascertain if joint or tendons are involved. Next
carefully feel the leg from the toes up Attempt to locate a point of
tenderness by applying pressure. Having located an area of pain, see
if it is produced by movement of a joint, or by local tenderness in
a muscle (such as might be caused by a puncture wound or a bruise)
check for swelling, heat and discolouration of the area. With this
information consider the following:
areas are tender, reddened, warm to touch, often are associated with
a break in the skin and progress gradually, lameness becomes
steadily worse. Fever usually is present.
and stains (of joints, tendons and muscles) are of sudden onset,
frequently they show local swelling and discoloration, they
gradually improve. Ordinarily the dog has limited use of his leg.
Pain is normally mild. There is no fever.
and dislocations are associated with severe pain and inability to
put weight on the leg. Deformity often is present. Movement of the
involved part produces a gritty sound. Tissues are swollen and discolored
congenital and metabolic bone and joint diseases come on gradually.
There is no local discoloration and pain is usually mild and
swelling slight. The more exercise the dog is given the lamer it
a number of other conditions seen in the Rottweiler that have an
inherited nature these include:
Deficiency (This is like AIDS in people)
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (initially causes a lack of night
Loss in the Eye - unsure if this is inherited
- Canine Inco-ordination (like Wobblers)
Prolonged Soft Palate
Malformations (such as murmurs)