By Jennifer Evans, DVM Large and giant breed dogs can have ‘growing pains’ in their leg bones when they are pups which can lead to pain and limping. The syndrome is called panosteitis and typically starts young when they are growing and stops when they are full grown. Occasionally it can last until 2 years of age or so. While there isn’t any ‘cure’, we control their pain with medications on and off during their flare ups until it the pain finally resolves. It can shift from leg to leg and come and go, but it does not cause any permanent problems.
We recently saw Dakota, an 11 week old Great Dane pup who started crying out when moving. More owners commonly notice limping or decreased activity. We took x-rays of her joints and legs to make sure our diagnosis of panosteitis was correct. Thankfully there did not appear to be any additional problems. Dakota is now on pain medication and should have a pretty normal, happy puppyhood!
It is very important that any pup that is showing pain or is limping be seen by a vet as soon as possible because there are many problems that can develop in their joints that if not addressed early on can lead to a lifetime of pain and problems.