A guide to recognizing bones diseases
A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING BONE DISEASES
by Linda Arndt
This is a copy of the guide I offer my puppy buyers as part of my educational packet. I have been asked to share this to other owners and breeders as support information to be used in conjunction with veterinarian care. Feel free to copy and share with others if you find it useful.
Raising a large/giant breed that first year can be a somewhat difficult. One of the major stumbling blocks are 3 common bone diseases HOD,OCD and Pano. I would like to discuss the facts and myths surrounding these diseases as I have found much misinformation out there in the Internet. This information will give you a way to determine which disease you may be dealing with and the best course of treatment. This information is not meant to take the place of seeing a veterinarian. If you suspect your puppy is not well, use this as support information for you and your veterinarian, in diagnosing the problem with your puppy.
Distinguishing Fact from Fiction
Fact: These diseases, HOD (Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy, OCD(Osteochondritis Dissecans) Pano (Panosteitis) are not genetic in origin.
Fact:Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, by Mark Morris 1998 states these diseases HOD, OCD and Panosteitis (Pano) are Nutritional Diseases and are not listed in the index under Genetic Diseases.
Fact:Animals that are inbred/line bred are more sensitive to vaccines, medications, foods, worming and flea preparations.
Fact: Most research on bone diseases has been done in the equine field. For many answers we must go to equine research.
Fact:Euthanasia does not have to be an option . These 3 diseases are treatable and not life threatening. Proper diagnosis and treatment are necessary to correct the situation.
Fact: As a matter of interest, chickens and hogs have HOD before they are shipped to market because they are fed high calorie foods to make them grow rapidly for market.
Definition of HOD:
HOD - (Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy)
Normally Affects the Large/Giant Breeds
Dogs Grow Too Fast
A Problem of Intake in Calories vs.. Output of Energy - too many calories consumed and/or unbalanced diet disrupted by supplementing
Age Range for Disease
10 weeks - 6 months ( worst time is 3 months - 6 months)
large knotty joints, toes turning in or out
large knotty joints, toes turning in or out reached top lines, pinched rear end assembly
fever (104-106), refusal to eat, jaws tender, swelling of joint, areas often hot to the touch, animals cry in pain, unable to get up, flat feet, bowing of the limbs, lack of mobility, depression, polyarthritis in all limbs.
Why Diagnosing HOD Can Be Very Confusing!!
Diagnosis of this disease, can be very confusing because the symptoms I have listed above are also the same symptoms that your puppy can have when having a response to the following diseases.
Post Vaccine Syndrome (Vaccine Reactions)
Allergic Reactions to Antibiotics
Sulfonamide Drugs ( Ditrim, TMZ, TMP/SDZ, Primor )
Keflex (Cefa-Tabs, Cephalexin)
Septicemia (Septic-arthritis) a "systemic" infection (blood poisoning)
These diseases "mimic" the same symptoms as HOD which is why so many puppies are misdiagnosed :
(fever, achy joints (polyarthritis) swelling of the joints, animals in pain, fever, lack of mobility, depression and anorexia.
Fact: A puppy may exhibit these symptoms due to one or more of the items listed above : diet, vaccines, antibiotic response or septicemia.
How To Determine Your Puppy has "True" HOD
True HOD is a nutritionally caused disease, so in order to determine the real source of the problem, we must go through a series of questions to determine the cause of the illness and how to correct the problem. By the time the Veterinarian sees the puppy it is usually in the advanced stages. Unless your veterinarian has delt with many large/giant breeds, they may not be sure how to handle this problem. You can give them a copy of this guideline and it will assist them in determining the cause for your puppies symptoms (see advance stages ).
When I receive phone calls from breeders/owners or veterinarians for guidance in this particular disease (HOD) we go through a series of questions.
STEP 1: DETERMINE IF DIET IS THE PROBLEM.
Diet - Are you feeding a moderate protein/moderate fat diet? (21%-24% max. protein and 12%-16%fat) this is considered moderate. If you are feeding a moderate calorie diet in moderate amounts, we know that is appropriate for the large breeds to grow slow and even.
NEVER FEED A LOW PROTEIN or NEVER FEED A HIGH PROTEIN FOOD.
One is not enough in calories for a growing animals and the other has too much calories and is to difficult for the owner to regulate the caloric intake. Using high quality moderate foods are best.
Amount to Feed - this is a general guideline for the giant breeds being fed a moderate food. If your puppy is consuming more daily then these recommendations they may be consuming more calories than the need daily and the results will be a HOD
2 months-2-4 cups per day
3 months-3-5 cups per day
4 months-4-6 cups per day
5 months-5-7 cups per day
6 months-6-8 cups per day
7 months-7-9 cups per day
8 months-8-10 cups per day
This is a general rule, based on moderate caloric foods and for animals that may be crated during part of their daily routine or less active during extreme weather conditions, heat and cold. Are You Supplementing? - if you are supplementing with vitamins,minerals, (calcium) and certain people foods such as rice, cottage cheese, eggs, meat, you might be throwing the balance off of your commercial food as well as adding unneeded calories.
NEVER SUPPLEMENT CALCIUM WITH COMMERCIAL FOODS OF TODAY.
"Many people believe more is better. Because of this misconception, people may add additional supplements like calcium which can be harmful, impair absorption of other important minerals, retard growth, and possible predispose a dog to bloat. No supplementation of calcium is needed when feeding a high quality prepared pet food" (Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, Textbook by Mark Morris 1998) This is not to say you should not use real "FOODS", but during these delicate growing stages, I recommend we go easy on only use fruits veggies and a little meat in moderation. ( Copies of the Blackwatch Feed Program for Adults and Puppies are available upon request.) using the above guidelines, if you determine the dog is being feed a balanced diet and not too many cups per day then we must look at other factors involved.
STEP 2: ALLERGIC REACTIONS TO ANTIBIOTICS
Sulfonimide Drugs (Ditrim, TMZ, TMP/SDZ, Primor)
Keflex (Cefa-Tabs, Cephalexin, C-Tabs)
It is not at all uncommon for reactions to happen days after the dog have been on the drug. In some animals within 24 hours you will notice something is wrong, with others it maybe up to 7-10 days on the therapy before you notice the symptoms of:
polyarthritis, lethargy, swelling in the joint areas, fever loss of appetite.(all the same symptoms as in the advanced stages of "true" HOD)
Course of Action:
If you determine the "HOD like" symptoms are due to an allergic reaction to antibiotics, stop the antibiotic, change to another if you have to and generally the animal is treated with Azium/Dexamethasone for 2-3 days. Until the swelling and aches go away. Discuss the course of action with your veterinarian. Once you rule out antibiotic reaction we go to step 3.
STEP 3: POST VACCINE SYNDROME : ADVERSE REACTIONS TO VACCINES
If you determine the "HOD like" symptoms are not due to diet, or antibiotics, then we must look at the cause as Post Vaccine Syndrome. Did your puppy have an inoculation within the past 7 days? Normally this response happens within 24-48 hours but can come on as late as a week or more past the date of inoculations. They symptoms are the same as in advanced stages of "true" HOD. Polyarthritis, lethargy, swelling of the joint area, fever and loss of appetite.
Course of Action:
We have found two things helpful in cleansing the system due to Post Vaccine Syndrome:
MSM - Nutritional Sulfur (800-937-1104)
dosage is 1/4 tsp.
up to 45# and 1/2tsp.
up to 90# daily increase according to weight.
THE FIRST WEEK DOUBLE THE DOSE, then use once a day.
BIOGUARD/DISMUTASE - (800-368-5057) An Antioxidant Enzyme, from a food source that is used to cleanse toxins from the body. I find it useful to prevent vaccine response, to help heal after a vaccine reaction and a must when putting animals under anesthetic. (for details on this product, see Blackwatch Feed Program)
Step 4: SEPTIC -ARTHRITIS : Could This Be Septicemia?
If you have ruled out diet, antibiotic reactions and vaccine response we must take a look at the possibility of an systemic bacterial infection. An infection could be from taping a joint(avoid this at all costs), a puncture wound, from unsterile ear cropping conditions, other surgery, a bite or a wound that has gone undetected.
Course of Action:
Rather than use an antibiotic that may not work properly, RUN A BLOOD CULTURE TO CHECK FOR A SYSTEMIC INFECTION AND FOR WHAT ANTIBIOTIC WILL WORK BEST ON THE INFECTION.
A Word Of Caution:
(Avoid the use of Chloramphenical, an antibiotic being touted all over the Internet as the cure all for "HOD-like" symptoms caused by Septicemia. If it is still even on the market. You have other options.) Although Chloramphenicl is effective in treating many conditions, it should be used in limited number of situations because it is so dangerous. It can cause irreversible depression of bone marrow which can result in death." (Worst Pills Best Pills by Wolfe MD, and Hope, PhD,1998) I believe there is a better course of action than using a drug that is not meant to be used on growing animals( humans). Our puppies are under enough stress from growth, ear cropping, worming, vaccines. Why would you want to compromise their immune systems any more. Discuss a better course of action with your veterinarian than using Chloramphenical.