Dog Diseases – Limping (Pano)

Dog Diseases – Limping (Pano)

Limping in dogs can be caused by several problems associated with bones and bone growth. The most common is panosteitis or "pano." This is also referred to as growing pains and wandering leg lameness. Pano is characterized by shifting leg lameness; one leg will heal, then another may be affected. The good part is that there are no long-term ill-effects of pano.

Pano Facts
1. Pano is associated with large breed dogs.
2. It usually occurs in dogs 5 to 12 months of age, although it has been found in dogs as old as 5 years.
3. It most commonly affects males by a ratio of 4:1. Females are most often affected around their first heat.
4. The exact cause of Pano is not known - many factors have been associated with pano like - diet, viral diseases, autoimmune problems, hyperestrogen, and vascular problems

Pano is a process in which the fatty marrow inside the long bones degenerates and is replaced by bone cells. As the blood flow inside the bone becomes congested, the tissue covering the inside of the bone and the tissue covering the outside of the bone can also become involved. Eventually the new bone cells are reabsorbed, and the marrow is restored. This buildup of bone cells can sometimes be seen as darker patches on the bone in a radiograph.
The dog normally limps on the affected limb and only rarely holds the limb to prevent any weight from being placed on it. It is often easily diagnosed with an x-ray; the lesion shows as the dark patch on the bone. Pressure applied on the bone elicits a pain response.


A great number of treatments have been proposed and tried, but all have had very limited or extremely questionable success, and then only as partial palliatives; nothing has been conclusively shown to have a cause-and-effect relationship.

Since the cause is unknown, treatment is indicated and routinely prescribed only for the symptoms. Aspirin, sulfa compounds, other antibiotics, vitamin C and calcium supplements have been most commonly attempted. Of the analgesics and other medications tried, buffered aspirin (less irritating to the canine digestive tract) probably has the greatest effect and widest application in relieving some pain in some

Pano is a self-limiting disease affecting many of the long leg bones, predominately in large dogs between 5 and 18 months old. The cause is unknown, but high-protein diets may make symptoms worse or last longer. It is "self-limiting" and the afflicted dogs "outgrow" the disease.

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