New poster, and I am hoping someone can help me out. I am a first-time Lab owner with a yellow Lab, age 16 months. She has always been extremely active (aren't they all? :P), healthy, and all-around wonderful. Last week, she started limping on her left front leg after a day in a park (yes, there was vigorous exercise involved, but nothing more than she has done other times). The next day, she appeared to be fine, but I rested her just to be sure. The day after that, she started limping on her right front leg, which really had me baffled. It got worse for two days, and I called the vet clinic. I was able to get her in yesterday, and the vet we saw basically told me she has pain that's probably going to last for a couple of months and there was nothing we could do. He said it's probably related to a period of growth, which I thought to be strange since she is over a year old and likely pretty much done growing. Today, she has seemed to be stiff in both legs, and possibly even her back ones (though I can't quite tell if her back legs are actually stiff or if she is just walking funny because both of her front legs are bothering her). About an hour ago, she was laying on the floor, whimpering. I can't stand seeing animals suffer, especially my own, so I started looking things up online, since the vet had given me so little to go on. I came across a lot of info on panosteitis, and I am really thinking that this is possibly what she has (though the vet failed to give me a name for the condition).
I should also add that she was tested for lyme disease yesterday and that came up negative, so I know that isn't her problem.
1.) The vet didn't do x-rays; should I insist on having them done to be sure? (I have never before seen the vet whom we saw yesterday at the clinic, and I am wondering if I should try to see someone else. There are many wonderful doctors there that I have seen numerous times with various other animals; I think we just got the unlucky draw for a Saturday.)
2.) How common is it to have an onset of this condition at her age? Everything I have read talks about it starting in dogs much younger than mine, and usually male, so I am a little concerned.
3.) Any advice on how best to help my pooch to be comfortable? The poor thing just seems so miserable, and it breaks my heart to see and hear her constantly shifting positions, whimpering, etc.
Thanks in advance for any input . . . I am so glad I stumbled across this site while searching for info online so that I could hear from people who really know the breed!
Pano can be seen on an xray so if it makes you feel better, ask for one. She does seem to be a little old to be getting Pano though but I guess it's "possible." Maybe you'd feel better getting a 2nd opinion.
I know for Pano they tell you to rest the dog...no exercise at all. My vet also prescribed something for the pain but I can't remember the name now. It was about 14 yrs ago.
I was thinking the same thing as Lydia...Pano usually is in younger dogs....but if you'd like to know for sure...go back, get a different vet and request x-rays.
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I would insist on an xray. Do you have any ortho-vets where you live? I might consider going to one of them instead of your regular vet because they can read an xray better to decide what's wrong.
16 months is rather late for pano, but it could be something like one of the forms of elbow dysplasia. Best to find out as soon as possible. Maddy came down with ED at 14 months and had surgery and she is almost 5 now and doing really great.
Thanks to those of you who have responded to me!
I think I definitely would feel better if some x-rays were done. The vet the other day said they weren't indicated, since there was no swelling and no obvious places that caused pain during palpation. I believe he was only thinking in terms of a broken bone and not really considering any other options. ???
I have found many sources on pano online . . . The age of onset varies from source to source (it has ranged anywhere from 2-18 months, depending on the source), though most seem to indicate that it typically comes on somewhere between 5-8 months. This is why I was worried about his diagnosis; it kind of seems he just brushed it off as pano, even though I questioned him about her having "growing pains" (this is what he called it) at her age. All he said was that it isn't typical, but it is possible. Well, I need something a little more concrete than that!
One article I found (I didn't bookmark it, though, so I am having trouble locating it again) said that there is possibly a link between estrus and the onset of pano in female dogs. Anyone familiar with this subject? It is about time for her to come into her 2nd heat, so it got me to thinking a little bit about this as a possibility, though I realize that I am no vet and I need to have her checked out more thoroughly. (I just like to go to the doctor fully armed with appropriate info and questions, so I always do my own research first . . . I have found this to be necessary in my life and I have learned to always be prepared to advocate for myself, so I want to do the same for her.)
I am sure there must be ortho-vets in my area; I live in WNY, roughly equidistant to Buffalo and Rochester, and not all that far from Cornell University. With their vet med school, we usually have access to fairly cutting-edge studies and practices around here. I am just not sure how to go about finding one . . . should I just call my vet and ask them, and then should I just wait to have the specialist x-ray her instead of my vet? I have never had the need to take any pet to a specialist, so I am not sure how to find one.
Usually your vet can refer you to an orthopedic specialist. I agree with seeing an ortho specialist though as normal vets usually do not have the expertise to read xrays with regards to ED or Pano for that matter. Jazz was diagnosed with pano by her vet and I later found out it was ED.. completely missed by the vet. I would err on the side of safety and have it looked at.. Hope everything turns out ok..
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