Milo is a very handsome and, although only 9 months old, already very large White German Shepherd. His owners became concerned a couple of weeks ago when he started to limp on his front left leg. This steadily got worse and after a few days he was reluctant to bear any weight at all. Although he was still eating and keen to go for his walks, it was clear he was not happy.
Our vet Duncan carefully examined his front legs but could not find any swellings or any obvious signs of pain, so he booked Milo in for further investigation. Two days later we anaesthetised Milo and took X-rays which are shown below. These showed changes in his left radius and ulna bones. The inside of these bones, known as the medulla, were much more radio-opaque (whiter) than on the right fore-arm, as you can see from the photos. These changes are typical of a condition known as PANOSTEITIS.
Panosteitis is an inflammation of the limb bones and causes acute pain in the affected legs. It affects young growing dogs of larger breeds, and is especially prevalent in German Shepherds. Unfortunately nobody knows what causes it but, fortunately, it normally responds well to anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication. Although relapses can sometimes occur, there are no long term effects and once these dogs stop growing at about 1 year of age the condition usually resolves.
As expected, once he was on his medication, Milo was soon back to his normal self and enjoying lots of exercise and play.