Secondary lung cancer is the disease most often associated with HO, and primary lung cancer and primary bone cancer with secondary spread to the lungs are also very commonly reported. Dogs that have had amputation for bone cancer have a predisposition to develop hypertrophic osteopathy.
In the United States of America (Eastern States mainly) animals infected with spirocercosis, and in other parts of the world as well as the USA animals infected with heartworm may develop hypertrophic osteopathy.
Large breeds of dog are most often presented to veterinarians with the disease. The Boxer is particularly over-represented in case reports - but this probably reflects the high occurrence of bone cancer and primary lung cancer in this breed. The German Shepherd dog is also reported frequently.
Radiographs of the chest will frequently identify the underlying disease process. If the primary disease process can be successfully treated (e.g. the excision of a space occupying lesion in the chest such as an abscess) the bony changes regress.
Otherwise treatment is palliative relying on the use of analgesics to relieve pain.
Updated October 2013