My Puppy has “Pano”

Thanks hdcutehuskypuppieswallpaper for the photo!

Panosteitis that is.

I have a brand new puppy!!  And, the reason he came to me is because he has pano, and a fairly bad case of it I am afraid.  The breeder got him back because he is in a significant amount of pain right now.

What is puppy panosteitis or pano?  For those of you who have never had a puppy with pano or those of you who have a limping puppy let me explain.

This, by the way, is my second puppy with pano, so I am old hat at it now.

The first time I had a puppy with pano, I thought he was going to die or that somehow despite my keeping a diligent eye on him, that he had broken a bone.

It was 930 at night when we rushed to the ER clinic, me with tears in my eyes and him screaming and putting no weight on his back leg.

I was horrified!  And then relieved that it was not a broken bone.

Panosteitis

My New Demon!

My New Demon!

Panosteitis is a short lived and painful condition characterized by lameness, limping and pain that affects the long bones in young dogs usually between the ages of 5 -18 months (my baby is 5 months).

It can occur in any breed but is most common in medium to large breed dogs.

Inflammation causes pain which can affect one or more of the dog’s legs making it hard to move around.

It is very much like “growing pains” that many children have.

Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Limping
  • Complete lameness or an inability or willingness to put any weight on the leg/s.
  • Depression
  • Anorexia 

It is important if your dog has any of the symptoms to go to your vet! Only your vet can diagnose a problem!

Diagnosis

Most young dogs or puppies are presented due to lameness and x-rays are administered.

Joint pain can last from days to months and range from mild to severe.

Most often the inflammation that causes the pain can be treated using medication.

Limited activity can also help your dog’s pain.

Prevention

Thanks to 1ms for the photo

Thanks to 1ms for the photo

Most websites say there is no way to prevent panosteitis.

Some claim that diets high in protein can, however, make symptoms worse because they promote quicker growth.

Always ask your veterinarian what is best when dealing with any disease or symptom when it comes to your best friend and companion!

At my house, we are chewing a lot of bones, crate training and just hanging out.

I can’t even really get into training him right now because his pain is often bad.

But I know with love and kindness and regular rechecks with my vet, that this condition will soon pass and this little guy will become a phenomenal dog!

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Comments

  1. Suzanne says:

    For months this is what my vet said was wrong with my German Shepherd Puppy. When she was 1 yr and 3 months old I took her to a board certified Orthopedic vet. She was diagnosed with fragmented medial coronoid process. He felt that she was too old for surgery to help. It would only be a temporary relief for her. That at 6 months of age it would have given her a longer life. We are heartbroken by this news. Her life span will be shortened. He said we can expect her to become very lame by the time she is 5 yrs old. We are currently treating her with gulcosomen daily. Carprofen when she has bad days. I wish we would have insisted on xrays from the begining. Told the breeder about it and her response was I’d never heard of this and do you want another pup. We have over a year invested in this dog and she is just a great dog . So sad.

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    Minette Reply:

    My old Malinois had this problem. Surgery is still effective for older dog. I would seek a second opinion at a veterinary school nearby.

    My boy never really had problems. He limped a little but was not painful very often. I was going to get the surgery done for him when he was 3 but because he didn’t limp often it was recommended that I wait.

    I would definitely recommend a second opinion and find out more on surgery, which isn’t perfect, but may give her a better quality of life if she is in pain.

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    Dave Reply:

    If your puppy limps (4-12mos) run don’t walk to the vet. My Collie also had medial coronoid process and our vet thought it was Pano when he was 7 to 8 months old. Took xrays and the vet didn’t see anything unusual. Treated him with pain meds. Another month gone by and the dog limped even more and laid down all the time. Back to the vet for more xrays and again the vet didn’t see anything. Requested he send the xrays to a specialist and right away that vet said he could see signs of elbow dysplasia.To the specialist and more xrays and an exam later the Collie was diagnoised with dysplasia in both elbows but the one we could tell he was limping on was much worse than the other. Had surgery done($3600) and basically it is to try and alleviate the pain and to halt the progression of arthritis. At 10 months old you could see the osteoarthritis on the xrays which is a result of the dysplasia. The vet told me to contact the breeder as it is genetic and the breeder should contact every owner of a litter mate. Talked to the breeder and she stated there was nothing wrong with the parents and that only 3% of Collies get dysplasia. I told her that the vet said she needed to alert every owner of the litter before they became too old for surgery if they had the same symptoms. She wouldn’t contact the other owners and to appease me offered to give me another puppy. Told her we were so attached to the pup that there was no question about the surgery but I would never want another one of her pups and she needed to stop her breeding program. To date it’s been 7 weeks of sleepless nights because the pup has to be confined in an 8 sq. ft. area to restrict movement until he completely mends so he wants out of jail all the time which means barking, whimpering or crying until he get your full attention.

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    Suzanne Reply:

    Dave,
    Your story is exactly like ours both legs are affected and osteoarthritis has set in. The glucosome seems to help a lot. She doesn’t seem to be in much pain normally. At times she will run too hard then she will limp for a day or so. She does lay around more than she used to but take her outside and all she wants to do is run. The left leg is worse than the right. The surgeon told me that he performed this surgery on a dog her age( 1 yr 3 mons)last year and it is already back to the presurgery lameness. I have had 3 different vets look at her xrays. The final say was a board certified surgeon. We are hoping she will prove them all wrong. This is just terrible.Prior to this experience I had never heard of this. I wish you and your collie well.

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    Dave Reply:

    Suzanne,
    We have two Collies and they are half brothers born on the same day. Their personalities are complete opposites. One is fine so far the other was not. The orthopedic surgeon we took our Collie to gave us three options none of them had a bright outlook. During the conversation of what to do my wife and I thought at 10 months old we were too late to have the surgery done. The surgeon actually told us that he was at an ideal age for the surgery. If the dog was 5 years old we would not be having the same conversation. The dog had to have the cartilage removed from the right elbow as the damage had torn it and created a large flap. That is why the limp was more noticeable on the right and there was more pain associated with it. Per the vet he is on daily doses of Glucosamine 1200 mg, Chondroitin 600mg and MSM 500mg. He is also receiving an Adequan injection once a week for the first eight weeks then it reduces to twice a month then once a month over a sixth month period to help rebuild cartilage in the joint. He also had gene therapy at the time of his surgery. They also had to cut his ulna in two and pin it to allow the bone to reach its proper length and the elbow to rotate back into the proper position. Dogs that acquire this tend to turn their feet in slightly and walk on the outside of their pad which causes pressure and keeps the Ulna from reaching its proper length. Monday he gets his pin out. I bet our vet would have the same conversation with you. If I had to do it again I would, as I can already see two months later he is not in as much pain. Our vet performed open incisions for his method of surgery and told us if we wanted to try arthroscopic surgery we needed to take him up to the vet school at the university in Oregon or to Davis in Calif. If I did it again I might opt for the arthroscopic which is less invasive. Our vet also recommended that we also try laser therapy and acupuncture to go along with everything else we are doing.

  2. Phyllis says:

    I just read your article on pano…I noticed at certain times our dog limps..and yelps a little..I ice it and he’s fine.. It started right around 5mos. thanks for the info…will keep watch..but I’m pretty sure it is “Growing Pains”.. had two boys who went through the same thing…thanks so much for added information…

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  3. Helen Bateman says:

    My dog, a 7-year old Maltese, began limping about 6 months ago. It comes and goes, and has been diagnosed as “luxating patella”. Do you have any information on this condition?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    This is a genetic condition that often requires surgery.

    It is similar to a large dog tearing their ACL

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  4. Barbara Gerhardt says:

    My schnauzer is now 20 months old. He began “picking” up his right rear foot for short periods of time at 18 months. These periods of time are select times. He can put all fours down and run like the wind or just walk and nose around. Seemingly it happens mostly when he has been lying down and then gets up. I have had him to our vet and she took exrays. She says it looks like he has degenerative arthritis. She prescribed dasuquin (glucosamine, chondroitin).

    Back when he was a small pup he would run heck bent on election up the deck stairs. A couple of times, he misstepped and practically fell up the stairs. I wonder if that could be the cause of his limp. I am entertaining the thought of a second opinion. Would love to discover that his problem could clear up by itself.

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  5. Dorothy Meelheim says:

    My 10 month old schnauzer started with the rr leg limp 3 months ago, vet examined and said MLP. Then he started having problems with both rear legs 3 weeks ago, now he is walking normal and seems to have no problem at all for the past 2 weeks or so????? I am watching and waiting. I was thinking it may be only the growing pains>>????

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  6. cecilia romero says:

    Bernard’s only 2 1/2 months old. Thanks for sharing this info on Pano. Ill now better what to do and what to look out for in the future.

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  7. sue says:

    I hate hearing all of the bad news from fur babies parents. UGH. SO sad. My baby had pano, when I took him to the vet he took many many xrays. He started telling me about Pano. I asked… so it’s basically growing pains in dogs. He said yes, I do remember those growing pains very well and there were many days I could barely function. I am 5’10” and have very long legs. My grand daughter is going through the same thing.

    I too though my guy was dying and was sure he must have cancer. Even my dog trainer told us to get him to the vet immediately! We did.

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  8. Margie says:

    Just a tip: every time you have chicken for dinner, keep the bones, freeze them if there aren’t enough to make a few jars of bone broth. Add to this, Great Lakes unflavored Gelatin (Collagen Joint Care) about 1 tsp per cup of broth. Add this to your dog’s food once or twice a day–depending on your feeding regimen…twice is best, but you may want to watch the amount of food as the dog ages. In the long run, this becomes much cheaper that the vets’ alternative, and works much, much better. It is also great for us seniors or anyone who has arthritis. It’s a nice warm cup of chicken broth with a little something very good for both you and your dog…you may have to look in a health food store for the gelatin, but it is well worth it! It pays for itself for sure!
    70 and walking well. Good luck with this…you won’t be sorry for the little extra effort. God Bless.

    [Reply]

  9. Janet says:

    Thanks for this informative article. My GSD Sadie is 8 months old. About 6 weeks ago she started limping on her left front leg. It was a very small limp so I thought she may have strained her leg somehow. ( I thought it was probably from digging the giant holes she’s so fond of ) That limp went away in a few days to be replaced by the very prominante limp she now displays in her right front leg. She’s on a non steroidal anti inflammatory now and sees her vet regularly. I’ve had dogs all my life and have never heard of this condition before. I’ve never had a dog with this problem. It’s very distressing to watch your puppy not feel completely well. She wants to run and play ball, which of course she’s not able to do at this time. When we chose the breeder we purchased our dog from, we were careful to make sure that at least for four generations both dames and sires were free from the genetic problems that GSD’s can sometimes have. They’re certifications were all in order so I was pretty sure that Sadie’s problem leg was hopefully nothing too serious. My vet is fairly certain that this was nothing more than growing pains. He has said that in the future we might want to take some X-rays but Sadie grew very quickly. She weighs 75 lbs now and is quite large. I believe this as well. Like I said, this article is very helpful so thank you for letting dog owners, even experienced dog owners, learn something new. I’m 65 so I guess you can teach an old dog something new. Thank you again, Janet

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Glad to be of help Janet!

    My former Pano guy is all good now; and you would never, ever know he once couldn’t walk!

    [Reply]

  10. Janet says:

    You have made my day with your last comment to me. I’ve been so worried for Sadie. She’s such a sweet girl and watching her limp, knowing she’s in pain is a true heartache for me. Letting me know your guy is well and having no problems is fantastic. I read all of your dog training secrets and pass them on to my daughter. She has Ava who is a sister and litter mate to Sadie. Your training tips are very helpful and you are a very knowledgeable person. Keep up the good work. Have a blessed week and thanks again, Janet

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  11. lynett says:

    We seem to be dealing with this with our 6 month old great pyr (male). We have a year old female that never had this problem. Our male is already 80 pounds and realm tall! He tends to limp on all legs! Our female pyr plays pretty rough with him too so I am sure that doesn’t help his growing pains. Our vet has us give him baby asprin and a benedryl. The benedryl basically to make him rest!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would regulate play until he has healed

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  12. lynett says:

    Yeah we are keeping him inside at night instead of coyote watching with our female. To make him not care is where benedryl works. He’s so darn cute but so big for his age quite awkward looking.

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  13. Rebecca says:

    My boy GSD, 13 months had a limp in his left front leg a month ago and was looked at by the vet (no xrays) and was diagnosed with pano. I gave him pain meds and glucosamine he got better. Two days ago it started back and much worse and in the back legs. Is there anything else I can do?? I hate seeing him this way:(

    Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would get x-rays especially if it is the back end. Pano most often affects the front, but hip and joint disease can begin to show in the back and it will let you know how to exercise him as he ages.

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  14. Rebecca says:

    Thank you. I had x-rays and he has a hip injury. No sign of dysplasia thank goodness. No surgery required. 6 weeks rest and pain meds. No more jumping for tennis balls:(

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  15. Margie says:

    PLEASE—AGAIN, TRY THE NATURAL CHICKEN BONE BROTH THEN MIX WITH GREAT LAKES NATURAL UNFLAVORED GELATIN–GOOD FOR EVERYONE, DOG OWNER, DOGS, AND NOT EXPENSIVE…SAVE EVERY CHICKEN BONE, FREEZE IF NECESSARY, THEN ONE DAY A WEEK BOIL IT ALL UP AND HAVE A WARM CUP OF HEARTWARMING NATURAL JOINT TREATMENT…PLEASE TRY IT! YOU WILL ALL LOVE IT WITH THIS COLD WEATHER COMING UP!! WOULD I LIE TO YOU AT AGE 70???

    [Reply]

  16. schatze says:

    My big boy is 2 today! He has a “floating shoulder” I guess displasia from birth.
    Couldn’t afford the $3,000 plus surgery, but he’s happy and playful ! I understand that he’ll be a 3 legged dog at some point, but am also glad he didn’t go thru the pain of surgery and rehab which I have gone thru . So Happy Birthday big boy {8.5 lbs}
    Love to all,…… have fun and lots of playing and please behave!

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  17. Cynthia Guzik says:

    My GSD, 7 months, is limping, mostly the left leg. Took her to the vet who took x-rays, then referred me to the ortho vet specialist. The vet specialist wants to do arthro on her front elbows. I sent the x-rays to the breeder….they say no way…it’s just pano. The breeder says she’ll grow out of it but I’m afraid if I wait too long, she will never recover if the breeder is wrong and the specialist is right. I have actually scheduled the surgery for January but now I’m torn about what I should do and who I should listen to. I took her for a short walk the other day and she literally had to lay down before we finished the walk.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Breeders are NOT vets. He or she is protecting her interests. Orthopedic vets know all about pano and if they think the dog needs more diagnositcs then they are the experts, that is what you are paying for.

    Vets aren’t in it for the money. They spend just as much time in medical school as human doctors… but they don’t make nearly as much.

    I had a dog with elbow issues the surgery would have been $3,000 per elbow. I brought 6,000 to his office and he said that surgery might actually make my dog worse since he didn’t limp very often. He could have had the money that day; he did the right thing.

    I have much more respect for vets than I do for someone who is breeding and trying to protect their interests or just don’t have the education.

    Do the consult, you can chose where you go and what you do from there!

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  18. My lab started to limp around 5 months off and on..then increased until he cried I took him in and they couldn’t see anytihing gave him som pain pills and he threw it up. I went to my Chiropractor and told him about my dog and he told me to give him fish oil tablets 2 in the morning and 2 at night..within 3 days he was feeling a hole lot better. within a week he was all better..no lim[ping or no pain. I am now giving him one table in the morning and one at night. He is doing great.

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  19. terry donajkowsk says:

    9 month old shiloh Shepherd right front paw limping took to vet xrays pain pills , then went away then 1 month later came back same foot back for more xrays and pain pills now the not so vet out of school says ocd crate rest 4 to 8 wks and send xrays to a ortho nothing really showed up on the 2sets of xrays 83# dog
    Could this be pano? Thanking in Advance Terry /Mi

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would let the orthopedist review the xrays, they are very good at what they do.

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  20. Laurie Parkhouse says:

    I have a 5 month old rottweiler pup (Apollo), who has a very bad limp in his right front leg. I know that he did not injure it and am beginning to think that he has pano. Will be taking him to the vet in the next week or two as my vet is on holidays. Does anyone know what is the best kind of kibble to feed a pup with this problem. I did have him on Acana Large Breed Puppy and I am worried it might be too high in protein at 34%. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    [Reply]

  21. Pam says:

    My American Bulldog 12weeks old was just diagnosed with Pano. He cant stand at all.its only been 5 days im giving him Rimadyl n Trimadol will this get better. I hate to hear him cry

    [Reply]

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