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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Wandering Lameness (Panosteitis)

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Condition Overview

Panosteitis is a disease of large, rapidly growing puppies between 5 and 12 months of age. The disease has been described in German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Irish Setters, St. Bernards, Airedale Terriers, Basset Hounds, Miniature Schnauzers, and other breeds.

Symptoms

A characteristic sign is the tendency for pain and lameness to shift from one limb to another over the course of several weeks or months. That is why this disease is sometimes called wandering leg lameness. Pressure over the shaft of an affected bone elicits pain.

Causes

The cause is unknown, but an inherited polygenic trait (more than one gene is responsible) is suspected. Males are affected 4 times more often than females.

Diagnosis

Suspect this disease if your puppy exhibits intermittent lameness in one or more legs that in unrelated to trauma. X-rays show a characteristic picture of increased density in the affected long bone. Panosteitis must be distinguished from other causes of lameness in growing puppies, including osteochondrosis, elbow dysplasia, and hip dysplasia.

Treatment

The disease is self-limiting, but lameness may persist for several months. Symptoms usually disappear by the time the dog is 20 months old. Analgesics prescribed by your veterinarian can be given to relieve pain. If the dog is severely affected, restrict exercise.

Prevention

Information needed.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian for more information regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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