As a pet lover, your dog's health is important to you. If you notice that your young, growing dog is suffering from leg pain or limping, you are naturally going to be concerned. Your vet may tell you that the condition your dog is suffering from is called Panosteitis (osteitis). Panosteitis may also be called pano or enostosis.
Panosteitis is a condition that occurs in the legs of adolescent dogs. It causes swelling and pain in the bones themselves. It may be referred to as bone inflammation. The dogs that suffer from panosteitis are normally medium to large breeds and somewhere between 5 months old and 18 months old in age.
The exact cause of panosteitis is unknown but several different theories exist to explain how this condition develops. It is commonly thought to be a side-effect of a young dog's growth, with pain developing as the bones of the leg transform from the legs of a small puppy to those of a large dog. It is also possible that there is a genetic or dietary component that could explain why some dogs develop the condition and others do not. High protein dog foods, in particular, have been pointed out as a possible contributing factor to a dog developing Panosteitis. The theory is that they cause too much protein to accumulate in your dog's bone marrow, causing swelling inside the bones.
If your young dog is suffering from panosteitis, you may notice that he is lame in one or more legs. He may be hesitant to engage in physical activities and lose interest in playing due to the pain. In some cases, your dog may develop a fever, stop eating or even develop muscle atrophy from disuse over time.
Panosteitis will go away on its own as your dog matures. The only true cure for panosteitis is time. In the meantime, your veterinarian can help you ease your dog's discomfort by prescribing anti-inflammatory medications and pain killers for your pet. In some cases, your dog may require additional treatment to combat muscle atrophy or to get him eating properly again.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.