Oscar, our almost 8 month old lab, has been experiencing what we think are growing pains or what we have learned is called panostetits. Over the past month or so he has been limping slightly on his front legs - sometimes it's his right front leg and sometimes his left. The limping seems to come and go although over the past week and a half it has been pretty consistent and seems to have gotten worse. We've been encouraging Oscar to take it easy (only taking him for one short walk each day for the past few days as opposed to the good long walk in the morning and then and evening romp and walk at the park that he normally gets) but his symptoms don't seem to be improving. He's a pretty healthy pup - at a good weight, eats good healthy food and is active.
We're taking him to the vet tomorrow to make sure there's nothing else going on.
I'm curious as to what experience with this issue other pups and owners have had and if anyone would be willing to share those experiences.
Thanks in advance!
No walks. Strict crate rest. It could be Pano, or it could turn out to be something else. But you need to adhere to strict rest.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
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Misha had it and it took a looong time to go away. She had it in her left arm on both long bone (humerus mainly and shoulder, very little on the radius).
It is easily identifiable through X-ray because the marrow inside the bone changes its consistency and looks like "freckles". She started limping when she was 4 months old and didn´t stop until she was well over a year.
The process corrects by itself by the time the dog finishes growing. In many cases it shifts from one leg to the other. I Misha´s it was always the same arm, which always made me suspect elbow displasya or osteochondritis but the vet told me there was no single evidence of either, just the light pano.
She was prescribed Rymadil and it helped her a lot. I only medicated when she was limping. I know many people don´t like Rymadil but the truth in my case is that it really helped my previous lab and cocker during their elder years
No personal experience, but I can give a little more detail on the disease if you need it.
Panosteitis is a relatively common bone disorder in growing large and giant breed dogs. It usually occurs in males (80%), but what causes it and why it affects certain breeds more than others is unknown. It's most often seen in dogs from 5-12 months old, but it has been seen in dogs as old as 3 years. As you've seen with your boy, lameness may affect one or more legs, and may shift from limb to limb with time. The main differentiating/diagnostic factors are that the dog is lame, but otherwise healthy, and the radiographic changes that can be seen if your vet does X-rays. Some changes are seen in most dogs, but some dogs may have all the clinical signs and perfectly normal radiographs.
As far as treatment goes, Dani is right - strict rest! Activity can increase the pain, so you want to limit it. It won't really make the dog worse, medically, but he will hurt more. Your vet will probably want to give you some pain medications - Rimadyl has been mentioned and is a good drug for short term use. Some others that might be recommended are Deramaxx, Metacam, or Previcox. Another option to discuss with your vet is limiting the energy in Oscar's diet. It hasn't been proven, but there is some evidence to indicate that pano may be linked to excess nutritional energy (same as OCD in both dogs and horses). Since he's not going to be as active, it's a good idea to cut back the calories a little bit, anyway.
And above all, don't worry! Pano has an excellent prognosis. He WILL grow out of it, it will just take time and patience on your part.
Otis - the most trusting dog on Earth.
Yep, Abbey had it. Around the same age. It was normally one of her front legs that she was limping on but then randomly it would be one of the back legs.. At first it was only one of her front legs, so I thought she had hurt it playing around. I limited her exercise for a week and it didn't get better. I got worried and took her to the vet. The vet pushed on her bones slightly, which made Abbey squeal kind of, so it was kind of clear what the problem was. She prescribed a small amount of pain killers for Abbey, for I think a week or so and it went away on it's own, with no exercise for another week.
We took Oscar to the vet yesterday and the diagnosis is probable panosteitis. Our vet recommended limited leash walks for a week and 2 aspirin/day with food. We'll check in again with the vet in a week to give him an update on how Oscar is doing and we'll go from there.
Thanks to all of you for your feedback! Please wish us patience and Oscar mello-ness as we head into another week of limited exercise!!