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What Is Pano In German Shepherds

Intensity Of Welfare Impact

Panosteitis in the German Shepherd Dog – Panosteitis – Pano

During bouts of panosteitis, affected GSDs exhibit signs of significant limb pain. They react to having the affected bones touched. Shell stated that: excruciating pain frequently accompanies the disease. Affected dogs also often feel ill due to fever.

Medication given to relieve the pain can have significant side effects, such as intestinal irritation and the dogs welfare may be compromised through restriction of normal activity.

Are There Any Preventive Measures I Can Take To Prevent Panosteitis In My Large Breed Dog

Although there are potential links between diets containing excessive levels of dietary protein and/or calcium, it is contraindicated to feed large breed puppies with an adult dog food that contains lower levels of protein and calcium. The reason for this is that adult dog food also has lower calories or energy levels than puppy food. Rapidly growing puppies require higher levels of dietary energy to meet the needs of growth, and will need to eat more of a low-energy food to meet these requirements. Eating more of a low energy diet will result in a higher overall intake of protein and calcium.

A better option is to feed an affected dog a high quality diet that has been specifically formulated for use in large breed puppies or adolescents, and to restrict the quantity fed to keep the dog at a lean, healthy body weight. Do not allow your puppy to become overweight. Consult your veterinarian for further advice on the most appropriate nutrition for your dog.

Contributors: Tammy Hunter, DVM Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH

Recovery Of Growing Pains In Dogs

If your pet’s condition requires surgery then ensuring that the recovering patient has a calm and quiet environment to return home to will help speed healing, as will having appropriate food and water within reach of them. Dogs that are experiencing severe growing pains should not be forced into exercise, and a comfortable, warm bed to rest in will go a long way in easing sore bones and joints. All medications should be administered according to the veterinarians instructions. Canines of different breeds, genders, or overall physical condition may have differing needs.

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What Is Canine Panosteitis

Seeing your precious puppy suddenly limping can be a bit of a shock there can be several reasons this could be happening today we focus on one disease that can lead to lameness in growing dogs.

Canine Panosteitis, or Pano, is often referred to as growing pains for its similar symptoms to the human condition seen in children. Panosteitis refers to the transitory inflammation of the long bones of dogs. Lameness can occur abruptly, with no previous history of injury or excessive exercise.

Panosteitis is a disease of young, rapidly growing dogs. Affected dogs are usually between 5-14 months, but it can be seen in puppies as young as two months or as old as 18 months. Panosteitis is most commonly seen in the front legs of medium and large breed dogs, but any size dog can develop this condition in the front or hind legs.

Pano is painful and can affect one or multiple legs, which may affect mobility. Panosteitis can continue to affect dogs until two years of age when large dog breeds will have finished growing.

How Do I Get Panosteitis Diagnosed

Sprained, Pano, or something worse?

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.

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Causes Of Growing Pains In Dogs

These diseases are growth diseases, and the causes are still relatively poorly understood, although there are multiple circumstances that may have a factor in the development of the disorder. Some of the situations that may influence the development of these conditions include:

  • High calcium
  • Trauma
  • Genetics

Any dog can be afflicted with the growing pains of panosteitis, osteochondritis dissecans, or hypertrophic osteodystrophy, but large-breed and large-boned dogs are most often affected. It has a tendency to strike German Shepherd breed dogs more often than any other dog, and at more diverse ages. There are, however, several other breeds that are somewhat overrepresented when it comes to developing this painful condition. These can include breeds such as:

  • Airedale

Living And Management Of Canine Panosteitis

Dogs with panosteitis can live normal lives it is crucial to closely monitor your pet for signs of pain, reduce exercise, and use pain relief recommended by your veterinarian during flare-ups. Your puppy may require more regular vet visits and be closely monitored at home while affected.

Ensuring adequate nutrition and exercise is important throughout your pets life, especially when they are affected by panosteitis.

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Why Did My Dog Get Panosteitis

The precise cause of panosteitis is unknown. The most recent theory behind it is that it is caused by feeding a diet that is high in protein and calories to growing puppies. Excessive protein may cause edema in the bone, leading to increased pressure and a disruption of normal blood flow to the growing bones. Infection, metabolic disease, endocrine dysfunction, allergy, autoimmune mechanisms, parasitism, and genetic factors have been hypothesized.

How To Prevent Panosteitis

Dealing with Panosteitis in German Shepherds

There are still no preventive measures available. However, since genetic factors are said to influence it, breeders should take precautions to ensure the dogs they are breeding with are not carrying this condition.

Since large-breed puppies need adequate calcium and proteins in their regular diet to grow properly, it is important to make sure they do not get any more than the amount they actually need of these nutrients.

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German Shepherd Origin Wolf

There are many studies in genetics related to dog family which claimed that German Shepherd Dogs have descended from the lineage of wolves. Scientifically, domesticated dogs like GSD, foxes, jackals and wolves are actually belonged to Canidae family, so there is a higher chance that GSD genes may have originated from wolves.

Historically, the creator of the German Shepherd breed, Von Stephanitz, used the Thuringian breed which has a close resemblance of a gray wolf that has physical features such as curled tail, gray shaggy hair, and erected ears. It is the reason why most of the German Shepherd Dogs look like a wolf.

Despite of the fact that German Shepherds possessed a wolf-like appearance and characteristics, there are still many differences of which they could be compared.

How To Reduce The Risk Of Health Issues In Your German Shepherd Dog

Over 50 preventable diseases plague this breed. These hereditary diseases can be eradicated through ethical breeding

Sadly, more than 50 hereditary disorders affect German Shepherds and are preventable through responsible breeding.

However, the risk and severity of many health issues can be reduced with proper care.

Here are some critical steps you can take at home to reduce the risk of significant health issues in your GSD.

  • If you are considering purchasing a German Shepherd puppy but haven’t taken the leap yet, you can avoid many genetic issues by finding a responsible breeder and avoiding puppy mills.
  • Obesity contributes to many chronic health conditions, so maintaining a healthy weight is essential. If you’re unsure about your dog’s weight, check with your vet to see if they need to lose a few pounds.
  • Avoid heavy impact and overwork of the joints until your dog is fully grown. Large breeds mature more slowly than small dogs, and overworking their bones when they’re still growing can lead to major issues later in life.
  • Provide daily walks and exercise. They’re crucial not only for physical health but for mental health as well.
  • Provide socialization from a young age for good mental health.
  • Provide regular checkups so your vet can catch health issues early.
  • Feed a high-quality, species-appropriate diet.

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Symptoms Of Growing Pains In Dogs

The disorders that result in growing pains are typically restricted to dogs who are between the ages of three and twelve months, although in rare instances it can occur in puppies as young as two months and dogs as old as one or two. Females are less often afflicted than males, and their symptoms frequently occur around the time of their first heat.

  • Acute lameness
  • Weakness


Three of the most common disorders to cause growing pains in puppies and young dogs include:

German Shepherd Wolf Mix

Sprained, Pano, or something worse?

Is it really possible that a German Shepherd and a wolf be crossbred? There are actually breeders of wolfdogs or half wolf half German Shepherd but still they are subject to comply with State or local laws. These policies may be different depending on what area will it be bred. For instance, there are some areas which require standard caging for wolfdogs or other areas require licenses and vaccinations wherein this breed is classified as dog. Therefore, before adopting or purchasing one, it is necessary to review the laws of owning a wolfdog hybrid.

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Ununited Anconeal Process In Dogs

The anconeal process is a small projection of bone on the ulna, the longer of the two bones of the forearm. If the anconeal process does not fuse to the rest of the ulna correctly during growth, it causes a condition called ununited anconeal process . This problem appears to be hereditary mostly in large breeds. When this part of the ulna does not fuse, the elbow joint becomes unstable, causing lameness and pain. Treatment requires surgery. Some form of rehabilitation will improve your dog’s chances of making a full recovery from surgery and minimize lameness problems.

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.

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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.

How Is Panosteitis Treated

5 Things to Know Before Getting a German Shepherd!

There is no specific medication or treatment for panosteitis in dogs, but the pain can be managed with a combination of rest and anti-inflammatory medications. Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Rimadyl or Deramaxx as needed to control the painful periods of the disease.

Antibiotics are not indicated unless there is a concurrent infection. Steroids should not be used unless the pain is severe, and your veterinarian recommends this course of treatment.

Because of the potential long-term side effects of steroids, it is best to try other pain killers first. You might also opt to use natural anti-inflammatory supplements to prevent any unwanted side-effects.

One excellent natural anti-inflammatory product is Zesty Paws Turmeric Curcumin for Dogs. Many pet owners have reported that it has provided pain relief for a range of joint problems in their canine friends.

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Causes Of Panosteitis In Dogs

Panosteitis in dogs is similar to growing pains in people.

Because large-breed dogsespecially German Shepherdsare prone to it, there is a genetic component to this disease, but there is no identifiable gene mutation that causes it. Typically, it occurs between 6 months and 2 years of age, but you can sometimes see it in German Shepherds over 2 years of age.

The disease affects the mid-shaft of the long bones and causes production of bone inside of the marrow cavity. Luckily, it does not affect the bone marrows ability to produce blood cells, and there is no lasting injury to the bone marrow.

High-protein diets may predispose large-breed dogs to panosteitis, so it is important to feed your dog a high-quality, large-breed puppy food to help prevent it.

Signs And Symptoms Of Pano

The most common sign of pano is a lameness or limp that appears out of nowhere. The limp can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and the pain level ranges from mild to severe enough where your dog will not want to put weight on the leg at all. Additionally, the affected leg may become so sensitive that just touching it will cause discomfort for your dog.

Once an episode of pano has subsided, it usually returns about thirty days later. The inflammation may be in the same leg as before, or it may move around to a different leg.

Other symptoms may also accompany the onset of pano, such as fever, loss of appetite, or a high white blood cell count. Because these symptoms are often associated with several other types of illnesses that are not pano, its important to visit your veterinarian to make sure you are receiving the correct diagnosis.

If you suspect pano is an issue for your dog, your veterinarian will take some x-rays to help confirm that the pain your dog is experiencing is not being caused by a more serious issue. There are some other conditions that are similar to pano that may lead to further ailments down the line.

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What Are The Signs Of Pano In Dogs

The first sign of pano in dogs is usually limping. The limping tends to seemingly come out of nowhere with no obvious injury or incident that preceded the limping. The limping also seems to move around, meaning that the puppy with pano will limp on one leg, then limp on another leg.

The condition can be quite painful in the forelimbs, the hind limbs or both, and will cause limping and whining, says Amanda Forgeng, DVM, medical director of VCA Boulevard Animal Hospital in Newport News, Virginia. The most common bone affected is the ulna in the forelimb. On palpation of the long bones of the limbs, there will be significant pain. The final symptom that may be seen is muscle atrophy in the effected limbs.

Duration Of Welfare Impact

Sprained, Pano, or something worse?

The disease usually starts at between five and 18 months of age and is often recurrent. It regresses in most individuals once they reach sexual maturity at between 5-15 months, but some GSDs are affected until they are seven years of age . Individual bouts may last for weeks to months at a time .

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