Presenting signs and clinical outcome in dogs with metaphyseal osteopathy


The authors aimed to describe the presenting signs, concurrent conditions, treatment and outcome of dogs with metaphyseal osteopathy.  

Materials, methods  

This was a multi-center retrospective review of medical records from January 2009 to September 2018 at four referral centers to identify dogs with a radiographic diagnosis of metaphyseal osteopathy.  


Thirty-nine dogs were identified. The median age at onset was 14 weeks old (range was eight to 32 weeks old). There was a higher proportion of male dogs, one of 39 females were neutered and no male neutered dogs. Where information was available, median time from the most recent vaccination was 20 days (range was two to 144 days).  

The most commonly recorded clinical signs were pyrexia (34 of 39), lethargy (32 of 39), pain (30 of 39) and dogs being non-ambulatory (17 of 39). Thirty-five dogs required hospitalization for analgesia and supportive care, 19 of 39 were discharged on prednisolone, 18 of 39 were discharged on non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, two of 39 did not receive NSAIDs or prednisolone at any time point.  

The median duration of hospitalization for those admitted was 5 days (range was one to 21 days). Where follow-up was available, relapse occurred in eight of 25 cases before reaching skeletal maturity. At the time of metaphyseal osteopathy diagnosis, five of 39 cases had concurrent conditions. Where follow-up was available, four of 25 dogs developed future immune-mediated conditions.  

Clinical significance  

The authors conclude that metaphyseal osteopathy should be considered in non-ambulatory young dogs experiencing pain. Some dogs developed future immune-mediated conditions, which may support the hypothesis that metaphyseal osteopathy is an autoinflammatory bone disorder. Further studies with a larger cohort are required to determine the clinical significance of these findings.

Presenting signs and clinical outcome in dogs with metaphyseal osteopathy: 39 cases (2009-2018).” A L Robertson, et al. J Small Anim Pract. 2022 Sep 19. doi: 10.1111/jsap.13554.      

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