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204 — Vet Voice: Identifying, Treating Orthopedic Disorders | Pure Dog Talk

Veterinary Voice (4)

Identifying and Treating Orthopedic Disorders

Dr. Marty Greer, DVM walked us through the bewildering world of 10 syllable words and scary prognostics when it comes to the various orthopedic disorders than can affect our puppies.

OCD, HOD, pano, Legg-Perthes, premature ulnar growth plate closure, HD, patellar luxation, and more are all covered, along with potential infectious diseases that can cause lameness in young dogs. Greer goes through the differences in the diseases, symptoms and treatments for all of them. Primarily disorders of large, fast growing male dogs, a few affect small breed and achondroplastic dogs.


Panosteitis or Pano is a disorder in which pain is exhibited in shifting limbs.

“You’ll feel the legs and dogs exhibit pain where leg bones join,” Greer said. Pano won’t always show up on xray and it can be difficult to localize the pain. Cause – rapid growing puppy Treatment — non steroidal anti-inflamatory such as Meloxicam.


Osteochondritis Dissecans or OCD is cartilage that peels off, generally in the shoulder. It frequently occurs in both joints. It’s difficult to find on xray. This is a genetic disease with a database at OFA. If the cartilage doesn’t heal with crate rest, it can be treated with arthroscopic surgery.

“Most of these orthopedic problems, don’t let the puppies get too heavy or get too much nutrition,” Greer said. “Stick to the large breed puppy diets that are commercially available. Please don’t start feeding raw meat diets and unbalanced diets to these puppies because there are a huge number of nutritional problems we see with that.”


Hypertrophic osteodystrophy or HOD is an acute, sudden onset disorder that is extremely painful.

“They can be perfectly fine one night,” Greer said “and wake up with the ends of the bones above wrist/hock swollen, very painful, running a fever. It can be associated with recent vaccines.”


In Legg-Calve-Perthes small breed dogs are affected. The disease causes a loss of blood flow to the neck of the femur in the hip joint. Surgery is the treatment.

As in all instances, be sure to consult your veterinarian for specific recommendations.


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