Osteodystrophia Fibrosa (Causes, symptoms, and treatment)

Osteodystrophia Fibrosa is a general term for the diseases of bones. It occurs due to failure of normal development or abnormal metabolism of the mature bone. This disease most commonly occurs in horses and other equines. And it is called bran disease, big head or miller’s disease. This disease is also seen in other animals such as dogs, pigs, and cats. However, this condition is more prevalent in equines that are engaged in transportation, racing, because of poor management of a balanced diet.

Osteodystrophia Fibrosa
Osteodystrophia Fibrosa


  1. Ca, P & vitamin D deficiency
  2. Absolute deficiency
  3. Imbalance of Ca : P in the diet
  4. Deficiency of Ca/ P leads to
  5. Hypoplasia which causes rickets in young animal
  6. Atrophy resulting in Osteomalacia in adult ruminants
  7. Osteodystrophy fibrosis in adult pig & horses
  8. Persis is a condition in chicks, due to Osteodystrophy
  9. Inadequate nutrition
  10. Hypo & Hypervitaminosis A results in Osteodystrophic changes in cattle & swine
  11. Prolonged feeding of a High Ca diet in Bulls leads to Hypercalcitonism.
  12. Multiple vitamin & mineral deficiency results in Osteodystrophy in cattle
  13. Chemical agents eg. chronic lead poisoning, fluorine poisoning
  14. Inherited & congenital cause eg. Achondroplasia, chondrodystrophy & osteogenesis imperfecti.
  15. In Chronic Interstitial Nephritis, there is High P, So4.
  16. ‘Rubber Bone’ in dogs is a condition which is due to hyperactivity of parathyroid, resulting in
  17. demineralization (Fibrous Osteodystrophy).
  18. Deficiency of P in Horse → Big head or mandible disease

Clinical signs

  1. Lethargy
  2. Reluctance to walk
  3. Distortion and enlargement of bone
  4. Susceptibility to fracture
  5. Interference with gait & posture.

Diagnosis of Osteodystrophia Fibrosa

a. On the basis of the history of workload and dietary insufficiencies.

b. On the basis of clinical findings such as abnormal gait, reluctance to walk, lethargy

c. Laboratory diagnosis:

  1. Radiographic examination of the bones involved; widespread areas of rarefaction and cystic spaces in them may be seen

Treatment of Osteodystrophia Fibrosa

  1. Supplementation of Ca, P & vitamin D
  2. Vitamin D 10,000 I.U. /kg
  3. Di calcium Po4
  4. Adequate bedding