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Panosteitis In Puppies and Dogs

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Panosteitis In Puppies and Dogs
 Panosteitis dog

Having a new puppy is a lot of work! They are usually energetic, have plenty of needs, and attention must be given as you both get to know each other. Puppies are a lot like little babies. If you notice something isn't quite right with your pup, you may want to take them to the vet right away. Pups do need veterinary visits for exams and required shots. Something out of the ordinary should be looked at as soon as possible.

A condition that many dogs encounter is panosteitis, aka "pano". It is also known as hypertrophic osteodystrophy disease. Pano is a disease that affects the bones of young pups up to 18 months old.

It can be diagnosed in dogs a few months of age up to five years old. Although, it is usually diagnosed in dogs as early as 2 months old, rarely will be diagnosed in older dogs. It is typically a disease in pups that affects both their hind and front legs. Canine Panosteitis is painful because it can cause inflammation and limping in dogs making it hard for them to move around.

Pet owners are often worried that their dog has a severe medical condition, this is common. Having a canine companion is a special experience as they become part of the family. At Innovet, we know how special furry friends are just as well as anyone. Many of us are proud dog and cat owners that adore our pets. Thinking that there is something wrong is not uncommon at all. It is important to get your pet in for a vet visit if you suspect that there is something really wrong. Sometimes, there may be nothing wrong at all! After all, sometimes pet owners get concerned over the slightest little episodes. Finding out nothing is wrong can be a great relief to dog parents and it is well worth the time and expense it requires to find out. If something does turn out to be wrong, at least you will know and receive a diagnosis as quickly as possible. This is always good for your canine companion as they have a better prognosis if a condition is found early. This is also true for dog owners who have pups with Panosteitis.

Breeds That Are Prone To Pano

These breeds are:

Panosteitis prone  are large breed dogs

Sometimes, it can affect other breeds as well. Usually, it is large breed dogs and pups that are prone to rapidly growing and developing this bone disorder.

Common Symptoms of Panosteitis

lameness and clinical signs of pano

The most common symptom of dog pano is inflammation. Inflammation in a puppy's legs will usually have accompanying pain, problems walking normally, and a limp. Most parents of dogs with pano will notice that their gait is a little wobbly.

Other symptoms of pano are lack of energy, anorexia, and weight loss. These can be accompanied with lack of interest in moving or going outdoors. They may also avoid going up stairs and steps. Bouts of pain and inflammation usually last for a couple of weeks as hard to resolve flare-ups can last much longer. Panosteitis also causes some puppies to have fevers and a high white blood cell count and they may also get tonsillitis as a result of the infection. After a bout of inflammation goes away, your pup will go back to normal and feel much better for a while.

It is possible that your pup will feel anxious or upset when they are going through weeks of inflammation as this can be painful. Staying nearby and giving them the impression you are around is a great way to keep them from feeling too anxious. Some smart tips are to give your dog a blanket or shirt with your scent and to give them a special toy that you know they really enjoy. This can help them if they are feeling lonely and uncomfortable when you are away. After all, most dog parents have to work so that they can pay bills! Giving them things like this will ensure that they know you will be back as soon as you can and allow them to have some comforts when you are away.

Small puppies and dogs with this disorder may also have some difficulty with hard tile floors. There are gripping socks, shoes, and other products that can help them with their grip on hard surfaces. Companies make these for dogs that have difficulty walking or an abnormal gait. Many pups with these affected bones do have an abnormal gait that is apparent to dog owners after some time. They may walk slowly, at an odd angle, or misstep, this is not unusual for canines that deal with pano. Pet parents can also try to add more non-slip carpets in areas that your pup commonly walks. For example, putting non-slip carpets near their food bowl and the places that they lie down would be good starting point.

Why Do Dogs Get Panosteitis?

At present, there is no definitively proven cause of pano but Scientists do have some theories on the matter. However, there is no proof in those theories. There are currently no known causes of panosteitis. Some veterinarians believe that it comes from genetics and/or nutrition. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent it and scientists have not been able to pinpoint the reason that it affects some dogs and not others.

The best thing that you can do is to pay attention and look for any signs or symptoms of anything being wrong. If your pup is one of the breeds that is susceptible to pano, then you will need to look out for the symptoms that we have gone over like limping, listlessness, and lameness in the long bones.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has “Growing Pains” or Panosteitis?

dogs with Pano affected bone
Just like children, some pups have pain when growing. However, many dogs that experience “growing pains” do indeed have panosteitis. As a matter of fact, many vets and pet parents call this bone disease “growing puppy pains” or pano in dogs for short.

The best way to know for sure if your pet has pano is to go to a vet. They can tell you if young dogs are experiencing normal pain when growing or if they have another issue. If your puppy isn't as energetic as they should be and is walking with a limp, it is definitely imperative to get them to a trusted vet. After all, they are the ones with the medical knowledge to help out your dog. The good news is that some dogs stop suffering from pano and the accompanied pain and inflammation when they have grown out of the puppy stage and are into the adult stage. Other dogs may have issues until several years later or for a lifetime. This is all dependent on how early it is caught and how severe of a case they have.

What Causes Pain and Inflammation With Panosteitis?

Pain and pressure builds up inside the bone of pups with Pano. This pain and pressure builds because the outside of the bone tissue is not expansive in nature. It develops a slightly higher density that isn't there by nature and that extra layer of thickness can result in pain in the affected bone. This extra density can be found in the x-rays of older dogs that had Pano as pups. It may also be the reason that some dogs suffer from some pain and inflammation when they are out of the puppy stage and into their adult years. Although, the pain and inflammation usually decreases as they grow out of the puppy growth stage. Dog parents often only have to manage the condition for a few months or so.

How Do I Get Panosteitis Diagnosed?

Getting this condition diagnosed is done through a veterinarian. A veterinarian has likely seen this condition at least a few times in their career, it is not an uncommon condition. They know what to look for and how to properly diagnose it. The best way to get pano in dogs diagnosed is to go to a trusted vet and tell them your concerns. A physical examination is usually the first step. Vets will feel around the dog's one leg to another to note if there is any discomfort or abnormalities. A dog may whimper a bit when a spot that is in pain is touched. This is usually how vets begin suspecting that your puppy may have Pano. They will likely get x-rays of your dog's leg to verify a suspected diagnosis. The x-rays truly tell the story of what is wrong with your dog's bones and they can tell if a suspected diagnosis is what the issue truly is. A vet will often see abnormal leg bones and signs of inflammation in the limbs of the canine on the x-ray that will confirm the diagnosis or point in a different direction. A definitive diagnosis can help tremendously as it allows the vet to begin a treatment plan right away. Not getting panosteitis diagnosed can result in permanent damage to the limbs and bones of a canine.

How Does Panosteitis Get Treated?

Many veterinarians will recommend lifestyle changes, diet changes, and perhaps a prescription to help manage the condition and pain control. This will vary on whether the veterinarian thinks that it is needed and what type of case your pup has. Anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed for pups with this condition. However, it is important to be careful and follow all instructions. Some dogs have side effects from anti-inflammatory medication and it will be necessary to keep an eye on them the first few times it is given in order to see if they are one of those that suffers from side effects. Side effects can be gastritis, ulcers, and stomach pain. If your pup is suffering from side effects, it will be important to notify their trusted vet. They will be able to let you know what the next steps should be.

The vet will typically recommend lifestyle changes in both diet and exercise. When your pup is having a flare-up, it is important that they rest more often and don't over exert themselves. Over exertion can be dangerous and cause their condition to worsen. Pet parents will have to take care to ensure their little puppies are not running rampant when they are suffering from inflammation and pain.

Taking care to give them a healthy diet and self limiting exercise will be imperative and part of a vet's plan. This is to keep your dog from becoming overweight. Overweight dogs have a much harder time when they have a condition that affects their legs and bones. It makes it harder for them to walk and run and even to get up and down from a lying position. The type of diet that your pup needs will also depend on what the vet recommends. Make sure to ask them what kind of dog food they should be eating and ask for recommendations of brands and types. What they eat and the vitamins and minerals that they consume will be of vital importance to their ongoing health and well-being. Even completely healthy puppies with zero medical issues can benefit from having the best vitamins and minerals in their diet. Adding supplements that are high quality and foods that are natural and full of essential fats, vitamins, and minerals can be great for puppies of all types. Of course, your vet may recommend a particular diet for your canine if they have a medical issue. Always go along with their recommendations for food choice as they have the knowledge and experience that only a veterinarian can.

How Do I Help My Dog With Panosteitis?

Make sure to follow the vet's instructions! They will give you a detailed treatment plan that you can follow. It can be hard not to play with a new puppy as much as you want, but you will have to learn not to. Pups with this bone disorder have to rest and relax much more than a normal pup. That doesn't mean they still can't be pet or held affectionately. Pet owners of pups with pano can hold them in their laps and pet them quite a bit and get that special bonding time. That is a great way to make up for the fact that you won't be playing with your furry friend as much as you normally would.

Pet parents should not forget that most pups will not have the inflammation and pain anymore once they are out of the puppy stage. Most of the time, adult dogs that had this condition as puppies go on to be as healthy as any other canine! You may look on it as a distant memory after several years and go on to forget that it ever happened. And the good news is, your dog will likely have no memory of it either. Maintaining their health and well-being as pups, following veterinary orders, and helping them to be as comfortable as possible will ensure the best prognosis that you can possibly expect.

CBD Oil To Help Dogs with Pano

CBD Oil for Panosteitis
Pups with panosteitis usually have inflammation and pain. The inflammation within the body is what causes the pain and discomfort in canines. There are ways to help manage this condition and a veterinarian's orders should certainly be followed to the letter for pain control. However, there are additional ways that you can help your canine that don't require added prescriptions that contain side effects. Natural alternatives are available that can really make life much easier for your pup dealing with the lameness of Panosteitis.


CBD For Dogs can be given to pups that have this bone disorder. CBD has been proven to be very effective with inflammation and with pain. CBD is a naturally occurring substance that comes from organic hemp extract and has no chemicals that could be harmful to your pet. It is a truly natural and organic supplement that can be safely given to your pet in the recommended doses that are based on their weight and other factors. Most makers will include dosing instructions on their website or on the bottle. It contains less than .3 % THC and that means it is completely safe and legal. There is zero chance that your canine will be high after taking CBD oil. The benefits are improved health, less pain, and less inflammation within the body. In fact, some pet parents report that their dogs are doing much better within a short period of time. No side effects have been reported with this product. Pet parents don't have to worry about side effects with this organic and all-natural supplement. Many pet parents choose to add the oil to their pets regular food or to their favorite treat for an easy application process and most canines don't notice any change in the way their foods taste and they go on about their day as normal!

Panosteitis in Dogs: Final Summary

Panosteitis in dogs is a disease that affects the bones in young puppies that are usually of large breeds. Symptoms are often limping, abnormal gait, and weakness in the legs. Many puppies will outgrow the condition and not have any symptoms of the disease once they have passed the puppy stage. Some puppies will suffer for only months and others may for a year or longer. Treatment options can help manage the condition very well and a veterinarian can assist in helping pet parents manage the condition to ensure that your pup is in as little pain and discomfort as possible. Puppy development pains don't last forever and many dogs go on to live a completely normal life span with no sign that they ever had the disease when they were puppies.


Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) in Dogs
Panosteitis in Dogs

Approved by:

Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade

Ivana Vukasinovic grew up in Serbia and attended the University of Belgrade where she received a degree in Veterinary medicine in 2012 and later completed surgical residency working mostly with livestock. Her first year of practice was split between busy small animal practice and emergency clinic, and after two more years of treating many different species of animals, she opened her own veterinary pharmacy where an interest in canine and feline nutrition emerged with an accent on fighting animal obesity. In her free time, she acts as a foster parent for stray animals before their adoption, likes to read SF books and making salted caramel cookies.


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The Innovet Team

Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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