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What is Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis)?

Young, rapidly growing large breed dogs are predisposed to bone inflammation. The bones most affected by this condition are the ulna, radius, humerus, femur and tibia, with the disease starting it’s progression in the forelegs. Characterised by sudden lameness, your dog may appear to be in pain and favor one or more legs. The pain can last from a few days to a few weeks. There can be lapses in the symptoms, even as much as a month or two. Treatment varies and can involve anti-inflammatories and pain relief.

In veterinary terms, bone inflammation is known as panosteitis. Young, large breed dogs are most often affected by the disease. Typically, the inflammation of one or more of the long bones in a young dog will occur spontaneously and intermittently up to the age of five years, but resolves most often around the age of 18 months, however, it is very curable and the prognosis is favorable. 

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Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) in Dogs

A dog with bone inflammation will present with acute lameness brought on suddenly. The lameness can range anywhere from mild to severe. As is the case with any lameness in your pet, do not delay in making an appointment with your veterinarian, in order to relieve your pet of pain, and to rule out any underlying factors that may be in place.

  • Fever
  • Pain upon palpation of limb
  • Weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Resistance to exercise

Types

 

The disease is also known as juvenile osteomyelitis (inflammation of bone), enostosis (bone lesion), eosinophilic (inflammatory) panosteitis, and canine panosteitis.

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Causes of Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) in Dogs

Studies show there are varying causes for bone inflammation. The lameness that your dog can exhibit can be caused by the following. 

  • Increasing pressure inside of the bone
  • Stimulation of pain receptors in the soft tissue lining of the diseased bone
  • Stress 
  • Lesions
  • Autoimmune components 
  • Rapid growth
  • High-protein, high-calcium diet
  • Infection
  • Change in bone density
  • Males are more prone
  • German Shepherds, Scottish Terriers, Great Danes, St. Bernards, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shorthaired Pointers, Irish Setters, Airedales, Samoyed, Doberman Pinschers, Miniature Schnauzers, and Basset Hounds are genetically predisposed.
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Diagnosis of Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) in Dogs

The veterinarian will take a medical history survey of your beloved pet when you arrive at the clinic. She will ask about his physical activity as of late and whether he shows any limitations. Panosteitis could be suspected if your dog exhibits pain when pressure is applied to the limb. 

The diagnosis could be reached after radiographs are done on the limbs, which typically will show an increase in the density of the affected bones. The radiographs might not show  evidence of the condition for up to ten days after lameness begins so repeat x-rays could be needed 2 weeks later to definitively confirm the diagnosis of panosteitis.The imaging results can look different from week to week as the episodes of lameness come and go. Radiographs are important as they can also rule out other conditions such as bone disease. Other disease processes like hip dysplasia and bursitis can accompany bone inflammation.

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Treatment of Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) in Dogs

Fortunately, this disease can resolve by the time your dog reaches the age of two years though cases have been known to last up to five years. In the meantime, your veterinarian will prescribe pain medication, anti-inflammatories and, if necessary, corticosteroids to treat severe pain.

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Recovery of Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) in Dogs

It is recommended to feed a dog who suffers from panosteitis a good quality diet which will help him to maintain a healthy weight. Vitamin C and Omega 3 supplements are a good idea, as is moderate exercise only, and limited exercise during episodes. Keep your veterinarian informed about the physical health of your dog. Consult the clinic immediately if the lameness becomes severe or does not relent as per the usual time frame.

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Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

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Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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grea

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three months

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Panosteitis

My puppy was diagnosed with panosteitis last Sunday and was prescribed vetprofin. He responded well and now seems to be having another episode where the vetprofin doesn't seem to be helping too much. Is there some way to help make him more comfortable? He is eating and drinking and using the bathroom regularly...even though I carry him to go.

Feb. 13, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Maureen M. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Hello, Sorry about that. My advise would be to talk to your vet to prescribe another anti-inflammatory drug or adjust the dosage. Good luck

Feb. 13, 2021

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Alfie

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Labrador Retriever

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9 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Pain
Limping

My Labrador, Alfie, is nearly 9 months old. At 7 months he started limping and crying severely on his front left leg. He had X-rays and CT scan - showed Panostetis and was treated with analgesia. He healed in about3 weeks and had no problems since, until today! He started limping very suddenly after we returned home for a walk and was making his dinner. But this time of his right front leg. I know growing pains can shift from leg to leg but with a 5/6 weeks gap, is that normal? I'm just worried that's all! Thank you

July 31, 2018

Alfie's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Dogs may have recurring episodes of panosteitis until around two years of age and almost any time interval between episodes; you need to ensure that the limping this time isn’t due to a small injury whilst out on a walk. Keep an eye on Alfie and follow up with your Veterinarian if there is no improvement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 1, 2018

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Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

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