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:
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
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
Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue.