Pet Health Concerns: Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy - The Trupanion Blog
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Pet Health Concerns: Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy

Great Dane
The Great Dane is one dog breed prone to HOD.

Hypertrophic osteodystrophy, or HOD, is a bone disease that occurs in larger breed dogs. First symptoms are normally seen between the ages of two and seven months. This condition occurs when there is a decrease of blood flow to the joints, which leads to the inabilty of the bones to fully form.

The breeds most prone to this condition are the Weimaraner, Irish Setter, Boxer, German Shepherd, and Great Dane. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of evidence to support what causes this condition, but it has been thought that excessive calcium and complications with vaccines may be to blame.

Symptoms of HOD include:

  • Mild limping
  • A reluctance or inability to stand
  • The shaking of limbs
  • A reluctance to put full body weight on the front legs
  • An arching of the spine when standing
  • Pain when affected bones are touched
  • Warmth in the limbs
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite

Treatment of this condition depends on the severity of the case. Mild cases are often simply treated with pain medication. Dogs with severe symptoms require more intensive treatment, including IV fluids, electrolytes, and nutritional support

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