Hypertrophic osteodystrophy (metaphyseal osteopathy) is an immune-mediated developmental disorder of young dogs characterized by malformations at the metaphyses of growing bones and associated immunodeficiency syndrome.
In the Weimeraner, the disease appears to affect functionality of the dog leukocyte antigen.
Affected dogs are usually young large-breeds with rapid growth rates and is unlikely to be related to overnutrition or vitamin C deficiency. Male puppies are 2.3 times more likely to develop the disease than are female puppies.
Dogs usually present with painful, swollen joints, reluctance to stand and pyrexia. In addition to bone pain, there are variable general signs including fever, lethargy, depression and loss of appetite.
The disease in some puppies is preceded with canine juvenile cellulitis. The onset of clinical signs has been reported as early as two months and relapses have occurred as late as 8 months, but not after growth plate closure.
Dogs that are suspected of having hypertrophic osteodystrophy should be monitored closely for evidence of septicemia, particularly Escherichia coli and the administration of prophylactic antibiotics may be advisable.
Radiographs usually show irregular lucent zones in the metaphysis of the proximal humerus, tibia or femur, parallel and adjacent to the physis.
Treatment is usually conservative, with correction of any nutritional deficiencies, exercise restriction and anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin.
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