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Panosteitis is also referred to as growing pains and wondering leg lameness. Pano is charachterized by shifting leg lameness; one leg will heal, then another may be affected. There are no long-term ill-effects from Pano.
Pano is associated with large breed dogs and usually occurs in dogs 5-12 months of age, although it has been found in dogs as old as 5 years. There are many factors that have been associated with Pano; diet, viral diseases, autoimmune problems, hyperestrogen, and vascular problems, but no one knows exactly what causes it.
Currently treatment consists of reduction of the percentage of protein in the dogs diet, and pain management through the use of buffered aspirin, Ascriptin, or Rimadyl, and in severe cases, steroids.
Like many problems, Pano may be difficult to diagnose. The dark patches may not appear on xrays. The lameness may not shift to another leg. It can be extremely frustrating with many bouts of radiographs. Assuming that the limping is caused by Pano can help delay diagnosis of more severe problems. Never assume that limping is caused by Pano without having it properly diagnosed.
Typically larger breeds get Pano, however some smaller breeds, such as the Miniature Schnauzer, also get Pano as well.