Panosteitis is commonly referred to as “growing pains” and the problem is especially common in large breed puppies during periods when their long bones grow very rapidly. This exact cause of Panosteitis, sometimes called “Pano” is not fully understood, but the disease normally goes away as the dog matures and the growth rate slows down. Some lines may be more prone to this than others. The condition can however be very painful for the puppy, and contacting a veterinarian is recommended if you suspect that your dog is suffering from Panosteitis.
Panosteitis is sometimes called “wandering lameness” due to the fact that it can affect first one limb, then another, and so on. The first signs of Pano are often a slight lameness in one leg, progressing to a severe limp and possibly non-use of the affected leg. It may last for days to weeks, and may seem to resolve then recur in the same leg, or another one. Some dogs can exhibit lameness in more than one, or even all legs at the same time. Often Pano shows up in a foreleg first. Bouts of lameness can come and go, seemingly for months. Usually, rest and time are advised, although some vets may recommend the use of anti-inflammatory medicines as well. This is referred to as a “self-limiting condition” meaning that it generally resolves itself with no further consequences for the dog once it matures.
If you see the signs of lameness in your young dog, it is advisable to seek veterinary attention to ensure there is nothing more serious going on. Panosteitis symptoms can also be confused with other skeletal and/or muscle problems.