DireWolf Dog Health - Panosteitis


Panosteitis, or Pano as it is commonly called, is a disease which affects the long bones in growing young dogs, mostly of the larger breeds, but occasionally is seen in some smaller breeds as well.  German Shepherds are one of the breeds who are often presented with lameness and limb pain between 5 and 18 months of age, and many veterinarians diagnose Pano as it's cause.


The first signs of Pano are often a slight lameness in one leg, progressing to a severe limp and possibly non-use of the affected leg.  It may last for days to weeks, and may seem to resolve then recur in the same leg, or another one.  Some dogs can exhibit lameness in more than one, or even all legs at the same time. Often Pano shows up in a foreleg first.   Bouts of lameness can come and go, seemingly for months.   Some dogs suffer from Pano off and on until they are nearing 2 years of age or even beyond. 


Presenting symptoms include a history of acute sudden lameness not associated with any trauma. It is usually a large breed male dog between the ages of 6 to 18 months. There are periods of lameness lasting from 2 to 3 weeks and it may shift from leg to leg. The most commonly affected bones are the radius, ulna, humerus, femur, and tibia, though the foot and pelvic bones may also be involved. The dog may show a reluctance to walk or exercise. When the affected bones are squeezed, the dog reacts painfully. Occasionally, affected dogs will have a fever, tonsillitis, or an elevated white blood cell count.

DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito believes that panosteitis is a genetic disease caused by faster bone growth as compared to the marrow inside the bone.  This disparity between the marrow's growth and the bone's growth can cause tremendous pain in severe cases.  Both reported cases in the Alsatian breed have been extremely mild and lasted at most two weeks.  


If your puppy exhibits the above symptoms, please continue to feed a well-balanced diet with added vitamins and minerals.  You can add cottage cheese, eggs, meats, oils, etc.  We believe this will help build up the marrow of the bone to catch up with the bone itself.  We say this, because some veterinarians have prescribed a low protein diet in order to slow the growth of the bone.  We have experienced that this rationale is false and means more pain for your pup.  

If your puppy exhibits ANY symptoms of panosteitis,

please email us right away.



DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito feels that any animal is the sum total of its genes.  We take all health issues seriously.  Because panosteitis can be seen more heavily in certain dog breeds, we feel this is strong evidence that genetics plays a large role in its occurrence. 


Although painful, panosteitis does go away eventually on its own and is ultimately not harmful to your dog, nonetheless, we do not breed any dog who exhibits this disease.  


Dire Wolf Project - DireWolf Dogs - American Alsatian Dog
Aslan, DireWolf Dog