HOD in Dogs

Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy, or HOD Trouble in Dogs

HOD in Dogs

HOD is the abbreviation for Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy. It is just one of several developmental orthopedic diseases or issues affecting dogs in our modern times that are subject to man-made diets.  HOD refers to swollen joints in the dog, where the cause of the swollen joints is tied to irregular bone growth problems.

Causative Factors

There are four different situations where swollen joints in dogs may get diagnosed as, or ascribed to HOD. Incorrect or unbalanced nutrition is the normal causative factor in an actual case of HOD. This is where long bone development is out of balance. One result is the swollen, painful joints that can cause differing degrees of disability in the young dog.

Conditions that Mimic HOD

However, there are three other situations that can create the HOD-like symptoms and painful swollen joints. Those 3 include (1) septicemia, (2) reactions to vaccines, or (3) allergic reaction to antibiotics (various forms of fungi). Each of these issues can result in swollen joints with associated pain and immobility. These symptoms mimic an actual developmental form of HOD. This type of ailment is generally assumed to be a large or giant breed issue, though smaller dogs can also be affected.


The typical occurrence of HOD involves large/giant breed puppies between 3 – 6 months of age. This is the critical developmental period where they may be susceptible to possible growth irregularities. This is the time in which HOD is generally seen and is the result of fast, uneven growth patterns. Veterinarians see this developmental disease expressed in the joints. They begin becoming inflamed and swollen in the growth plates of the front and back legs. In the later stages of HOD, dogs are unable to walk or even stand without assistance.

Support for Dogs Susceptible to, or Troubled by HOD

Nzymes® Super-food protein is an ideal supplement to help support the nutritional needs of dogs with potential for such growth issues. Nzymes are perfect for dogs already displaying bone growth issues, or showing the painful-joints symptoms of HOD. We have seen dozens of cases where simple, daily supplementation can help the body turn things in the right direction and yield the necessary growth patterns required for a normal, happy, and healthy large-breed dog.  Years of study of the bone growth in large breed dogs have shown the effectiveness of the Nzymes® in the realm of promoting the body’s ability to stabilize growth related to shoulder and hip height, and balance. The use of Nzymes Antioxidant Treats or Granules, along with a change in diet and monitoring the amount being fed, can provide significant help with the challenge of reversing the growth-issues causing HOD in a young puppy.

Dog with HOD

Diet and HOD

HOD, as tied to Nutritional issues, deficiencies, or incorrect feed regimens, is most often caused by poor quality diets, or over supplementation and/or over consumption of calories versus the amount of exercise the puppy gets on a daily basis; in other words, intake vs. output. Studies by Linda Arndt, the Great-Dane-Lady, show that large-breed puppies are meant to be, and need to be lean during their first 2 years of growth, but are often over-fed and thus such problems develop. Feeding a Holistic or Super Premium level dog food of moderate protein, 22-24%, and moderate fat, 12-15%, with quality minerals, fed in moderate amounts, will also provide significant help in avoiding HOD issues in growing pups in the larger breed category.

Recommended Programs for HOD

For deeper information on preventing HOD, you can refer to the Blackwatch Feed Program for Large/Giant Breed Puppies and for correcting a HOD problem see the Blackwatch Feed Program for HOD Puppies and A Guide To Recognizing Bone Diseases at the Great Dane Lady website.

Product Choices Recommended for Dogs Troubled by HOD