Most cases of HOD are self-limiting which means that they will resolve on their own. Dogs with mild signs can improve in days while others may take months for recovery, and HOD can also reoccur as puppies continue to grow. Mild pain can be mitigated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but severe pain may require multi-modal pain management in order for your pup to feel comfortable again.
For some HOD patients, severe bony overgrowth can contribute to angular limb deformities once they are fully grown. This can lead to the early onset of arthritis, and sometimes surgical intervention is necessary to correct the deformity.
To help prevent HOD, make sure that your puppy is on a large breed or giant breed diet that is formulated for puppies. Avoid giving any supplements unless directed to do so by your veterinarian since most commercially available diets are balanced for complete nutrition.
Hypertrophic osteodystrophy primarily affects young large and giant breed puppies, and while there is no definitive cause, infections and high-protein diets and supplements may be part of the problem. If you feel that your puppy is lethargic or painful, it is important to contact your veterinarian as soon as you can. Most cases will improve after a few months, but early intervention is vital so that you can mitigate your pup’s pain!