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German Shepherd Panosteitis | Bone Disease & Disorders in Dogs | Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Panosteitis in German Shepherd dogs should be taken very seriously. While the disease is not a fatal one, it is nevertheless uncomfortable and painful for the German Shepherd dog suffering from the condition. The condition is characterized by an irritable inflammation of the bones, particularly the leg bones of the dog, and the exact cause of panosteitis has not yet been proven. Scientists have, however, have posited a number of potential causing factors for the disease, including bacteria, viruses, and dietary and exercise factors. None of these have provided us with conclusive evidence as to the origins of the onset of the disease.

Panosteitis is most common in younger dogs, but can also affect German Shepherds up to middle-age. Panosteitis in German Shepherd dogs exhibits itself in a number of ways. Firstly, lameness of a wide varieties of intensity may begin in the forelegs, gradually spreading to affect the hind legs as well. German Shepherd dogs might also show symptoms of depression, including lethargy, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Low-lever fevers and muscle atrophy may also be present in your German Shepherd dog. However, for a definitive diagnosis, an X-ray from your local veterinarian is recommended.

While panosteitis is not exactly curable, it is treatable. The disease is what is known as a “self-limiting” disease, meaning that eventually it runs its course and the dog is healed or cured. Thus, treatments for this disease tend to focus not on curing the underlying problem but rather managing the dog's pain during the period of time that he or she is suffering from panosteitis. A veterinarian may provide your German Shepherd dog with prescription medicines, including pain relieving drugs and anti-inflammatory medication. Also recommended is limiting your dog's exercise during the period that he or she is suffering from the disease.

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