Dogs with Hypertrophic Osteopathy

Old Dog

Hypertrophic osteopathy is a confusing illness in which new bone production sprouts from old bones, resulting in bloated, painful limbs. While hypertrophic osteopathy can be completely cured, it can only be treated by finding and treating a bigger, underlying condition.

What Is Hypertrophic Osteopathy?

Hypertrophic osteopathy is a disorder in which a dog's limbs develop additional bone growth. Periosteal proliferation, or fast new bone formation, occurs on bones beginning in the paw and progressing up the dog's leg. Surprisingly, the aberrant bone development is a reaction to an underlying condition. The main sickness might be anything, but it's usually cancerous. The basic illness disrupts nerve signals, altering blood flow and encouraging new bone development on top of old bone surfaces. Large breed dogs above the age of eight and a half years, such as the Labrador retriever, Rottweiler, and Doberman pinscher, are more commonly impacted.

Signs of Hypertrophic Osteopathy in Dogs

Signs of Hypertrophic Osteopathy in Dogs

  • Lethargy and reluctance to move
  • Swollen paws or limbs which are painful when examined
  • Lameness 
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Coughing
  • Blood in urine
  • Weight loss

Causes of Hypertrophic Osteopathy

Unfortunately, depending on the severity of the main ailment, these indications may appear gradually or suddenly. The basic condition in dogs might vary, although it usually involves a malignant lung tumor. This cascade of new bone formation can also be triggered by bacterial or viral infections, bone malignancies, or other masses affecting internal organs.

Diagnosing Hypertrophic Osteopathy

If you are concerned your dog may have hypertrophic osteopathy, or if you notice any limb swelling, it’s important to see a veterinarian.

Your veterinarian will begin by taking a detailed medical history of your dog. Being able to provide your veterinarian with as much information as possible about the onset of symptoms, activity levels, travel history, and any drugs or supplements your pet is taking. Include whether you have given your pet any drugs at home in an attempt to reduce discomfort while providing an accurate history of your pet. When used with freshly prescription drugs, some medications, even those previously given by your veterinarian for pain, might have side effects.

Your dog will get a full physical checkup. While it may be difficult to observe your pet in discomfort, the veterinarian must palpate, or apply pressure to, all swollen limbs. This first step assists the veterinarian in determining any other actions that may be required as well as determining your pet's level of suffering. When examining swollen limbs, pain medicines are understandably essential.

To diagnose hypertrophic osteopathy, your veterinarian will need to take x-rays of the limbs. Your veterinarian will examine the injured bones as well as take X-rays of the chest and belly to look for any lumps or cancer indications. When analyzing organ anatomy, an ultrasound may be advised since it is more precise and sensitive in visualizing particular organ and soft tissue detail.

Depending on the initial lab work and diagnostic results, your vet may need to collect additional samples for more specialized testing and evaluation at a larger laboratory.

Treatment of Hypertrophic Osteopathy 

Your veterinarian's ability to make a diagnosis of the primary condition will be aided by the findings of your pet's history, physical examination, x-ray pictures, and lab testing. Hypertrophic osteopathy can only be resolved if the main condition is successfully treated. Surgically removing a tumor with no indication of cancer spreading or finding and treating an underlying identified bacterial or fungal infection are examples of excellent results. Unfortunately, many diseases have progressed to the point where therapy is no longer feasible or a happy outcome is impossible to achieve.

The key to addressing hypertrophic osteopathy in dogs is early discovery and assessment. Any changes in a pet's movement, limb size, swelling, or pain in any limbs should be handled as soon as possible. While it is unrealistic to expect you to be able to prevent this condition, there are activities you can do to improve your disease detection overall.

Even if no immunizations are needed, you should schedule a wellness appointment for your dog at least once a year. Make sure you offer a full history at every vet appointment, and tell your doctor if you've seen any new changes in your pet's personality, behaviors, eating, drinking, or potty habits. Make sure to tell your vet about any drugs or supplements you're giving your dog, including alternative therapies. All of these information, no matter how trivial they may seem to you, help your veterinarian construct a health care plan tailored specifically for your dog.

For dogs over the age of seven, bi-annual vet visits and routine screening test work can be beneficial. Basic organ function, red blood and white blood cell counts are checked in screening lab testing, which is a useful predictor of internal health. Annual lab work is beneficial since it creates a timeline of your pet's health and well-being. If your pet becomes ill unexpectedly, it might serve as a useful comparison of their health as they get older. This history can frequently reveal improvements you and your veterinarian can make to keep your loved one happy and healthy. With their senior pet inspections, several veterinary facilities include screening X-rays. X-rays of middle-aged and elderly pets help the veterinarian to detect any interior abnormalities, ensuring that heart and lung health, bone alterations, and internal organs all seem normal or that any changes may be handled quickly.

Taking your dog to the vet at least once a year and bringing them in sooner if a problem emerges maintains even the most senior dogs in good health. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the adage goes.