Panosteitis is commonly referred to as “growing pains” and the problem is especially common in large breed puppies. During periods when their long bones grow very rapidly. This exact cause is not fully understood, but the disease normally goes away as the dog matures and the growth rate slows down.

The condition can however be very painful for the puppy, and contacting a veterinarian is recommended if you suspect that your dog is suffering from Panosteitis.

The condition, causes pain and leg lameness, and the problem will often shift from limb to limb.

The condition affects the long bones found in the hind and forelimbs of the dog, especially the ulna, femur, humerus, radius, and tibia.

Panosteitis affects puppies between the ages of 5 and 12 months. It can,causes the marrow cavities of the long bones to become inflamed.  Some experts have suggested that the problem is ultimately caused by a virus, and distemper might be related to Panosteitis.

Panosteitis might also be linked to an improper diet, metabolic problems, or even some sort of immunologic disease. Much more research is necessary before anyone can know for sure exactly why some dogs develop Panosteitis. 

Clinical Presentation

  • Affects the shaft of long bones.
  • Top of the ulna (front limb)
  • Lower part of humerus bone (front limb)
  • Central radius bone (front limb)
  • Central femur bone (thigh bone)
  • Upper end of tibia bone (hind limb)
  • Lameness is frequently of sudden onset
  • May be mild to severe
  • Lameness usually lasts 2 to 3 weeks.
  • The lameness may have a recurrent pattern
  • The lameness may shift from one limb to another
  • The affected bone is painful to touch
  • Some dogs can show signs of Fever, Tonsillitis and Elevated white blood cell count


  • Unknown
  • Potentially an unidentified viral infection


  • Self-limiting disease that has a spontaneous recovery
  • Repeated bouts of this disease are about one month apart
  • Problem usually does not recur after 12 to 18 months of age
  • Treatment is supportive
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • If the pet is systemically ill, then intravenous fluid therapy may be needed for rehydration