The Wondering Puppy Limp

A common problem in fast growing large breed puppies, including the Doberman, is Panosteitis. Panosteitis, or Pano is a type of growing pain. It is also sometimes called “wandering lameness.”

Panosteitis seems to have a genetic source as it is more prevalent in certain large breeds and certain lines. The disorder is only temporary, usually clearing up by 20 months of age, when the puppy’s growth in height is complete.

The main problem with Panosteitis is pain. This pain results from fast growth in the long bones of the legs and can be identified by applying pressure to the leg. This pressure will elicit an apparent pain response.

The puppy will suddenly go lame in one leg without injury as a cause. This leg will just as suddenly recover while another leg goes lame. This cycle often continues and in severe cases the puppy will avoid exercise altogether.

The main treatment for this painful disorder is limiting exercise and pain management treatments such as dog aspirin. Also, a dog experiencing Panosteitis may be suffering from poor diet or improper food. This puppy should be on an age specific premium food for large breed puppies, and should be kept from overeating in order to keep the puppy lean and prevent unneeded weight gain, which will aggravate the problem. Reducing food will also limit calcium and protein, which will help keep fast growth under control.

Puppies suffering from Panosteitis will recover on their own but the condition is painful. The puppy owner should discuss a pain management system to keep the puppy comfortable and able to move around. This puppy should also be examined by a veterinarian to rule out any other cause such as illness or injury.