Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Getting Help With HOD - Form for Assistance

Getting Help with HOD

Diagnosing HOD can be very difficult and confusing because several underlying causes can actually "mimic" the symptoms of HOD.

  • Diet - too caloric dense or an imbalance in the diet

  • Blood infections - Septicemia

  • Vaccine reactions

  • Allergic reaction to certain antibiotics (the Sulfonamides or Cephalexin) see my article Guide to Recognizing Bone Diseases.

1. We need to get the dog on an appropriate diet. Check this website for a copy of the Blackwatch Puppy Feed Program. If this is a nutritionally caused problem, due to eating a poor quality food, or one that is too calorie dense for the puppy’s needs. If this is a nutritional problem once you change the diet to what I recommend you will start to see results within a few days of changing the diet. Generally a little steroids (dexamethsone) will help, provided the dog does not have an infection, so it is important for the vet to do a blood test to rule out infection. This is actually more important than an x-ray.

2. If you suspect your puppy has HOD or " HOD-like"symptoms (lameness in joints, hot swollen joints, fever, off feed, insist your vet run a blood test to rule out and infection called SEPTICEMIA, also known as SEPTIC ARTHRITIS. You do not want the vet to put your puppy on steroids, if there is infection present.

3. If your dog started exhibiting "HOD-like" symptoms (lameness in joints, hot swollen joints, fever, off feed) within 2-3 days of vaccines, it is possible you are seeing a vaccine reaction and not actual nutritional HOD. In this case we must detoxify the dogs body and hope there is no permanent damage. Nothing is a guarantee with vaccine reactions, but I suggest you contact Marina Zachiras 541-899-2080 on how to detoxify. Here is her website. or Inquiries@naturalrearing.comI also suggest the use of Nzymes to detoxify the body 877-816-6500 or

4. Lastly, if your dog has been on certain antibiotics 2-12 days before your puppy exhibited HOD like symptoms, then it is possible the dog is having an antibiotic reaction and not HOD. In this case, you need to tell you vet and (s)he will have you stop or switch the antibiotic and I have found shot of Dexamethsone is normally given, and within a couple of days the dog is back on track.Should I x-ray? Unfortunately x-rays will tell you nothing, other than there is inflammation in the growth plate. This happens regardless of the cause, be it nutritionally caused HOD, vaccine reactions, blood infection or allergic reactions to antibiotics. All of these cause inflammation in the growth plates and an elevated fever so an x-ray is of no use because most of this swelling is already visible without an xray.Before I can help you determine the underlying cause of your dogs problem, please send me the following information below, and then please go to my website and read a Guide to Recognizing Bone Diseases.

Send the following information to me at:

  • age, sex and breed of dog

  • approximate weight of dog

  • at what age did you get the dog

  • what shots have been given and at what ages.

  • has this dog had it's rabies shots?

  • at what age was the rabies given?

  • has the dog been on any antibiotics and what is the name?

  • if a Dane, is it cropped and approximately what age?

  • has a blood test been run?

  • did the blood test show infection

  • did they do x-rays ?

  • what is vet's diagnosis?

  • Did you get a second opinion?

  • How did you locate me?

I need complete information on diet:

What brand(s) of food has this dog been on since you got the dog? List all and when you switched to something else.

  • brand currently on and how long on this brand?

  • protein and fat content

  • amount the dog gets at each feeding

  • times a day the dog is fed

  • do you give any treats? If so what are they?

  • list all supplements

  • list any other foods that you are giving the dog (list everything please)

  • do you give vitamin C?

  • has the dog been sick at any time since you own it?

  • Anything else that might be helpful, nothing is to small to consider

    In the meantime,go read my Puppy Feed Program and Puppy Guidelines as well as a Guide to Recognizing Bone Diseases. Print this out and give to your vet. Once we determine the underlying cause of your problem, I will direct you and/or your vet on to other resource individuals that may be of assistance.

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