Rosco was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy, HOD March 29th of 2016.
We are all aware of how fast dogs can grow, especially puppies. Sometimes they seem to grow inches over night. This sometimes predisposes them to conditions such as: Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy.
What is HOD, Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy is a bone disease that occurs in fast-growing large and giant breeds. The disorder is sometimes referred to as metaphyseal osteopathy, and typically first presents between the ages of 2 and 7 months.
HOD can be very painful, usually affecting multiple limbs and causing severe joint discomfort. Other symptoms include:
- Swelling in the joints
- Painful joints
- Loss of appetite
A full examination by your veterinarian and a complete work up including: blood work and x-rays will be necessary for diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made treatment will often consist of anit-inflammatories and rest. Some more sever cases may require additional interventions such as: steroid therapy. Once the pain and swelling have been reduced than the dog can begin a rehabilitation program. In some cases there can be enough damage to the growing bones that deformities can result making rehabilitation a necessary component in the healing process.
The rehabilitation program is a very important step in the over all healing process. Returning the damaged joints back to exercises should be precise and guided. Routine visits and guided home exercises will help in developing muscles and protect the healing growth plates. Using Hydrotherapy we can continue to exercise joints and muscles, this enables us to maintain healthy mobility in the joints while developing muscles. Non-dynamic conditioning exercises are also used to engage stabilizing muscles as well as developing core strength.
The cause of HOD is not entirely known because of this prevention is pretty difficult. However, we have developed an effective, multi-modal approach to treating this condition and we are seeing many puppies making full recoveries.
Follow Rosco's progress and cheer him on as he heals and develops into a big happy boy!