Description Panosteitis literally means "inflammation of all bones". It is a debilitating disease which affects young dogs, and it can be distressing for the owner as well as the animal. Most animals will make a full recovery
Cause Canine panosteitis is actually a disease of the fat tissue in the bone marrow which causes secondary changes to the bone. The precise cause of the disease is unknown.
Breed Occurrence Canine panosteitis affects only large or giant breeds of dog. Males are more commonly affected than females, and in females it often occurs in association with the first oestrus. The average age at first presentation is 5 - 12 months. The age of onset is therefore similar to that of other common conditions eg osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD).
Signs The signs of panosteitis are sudden onset acute pain causing lameness which shifts from one leg to another. There is usually no history of trauma, and affected dogs are quite unwell, depressed and usually off their food. There is often acute pain when the affected bone(s) are pressed firmly.
Complications The main complication of panosteitis is the difficulty clinicians sometimes have in diagnosing the condition because the XRay changes can be quite subtle in the early stages.
Diagnosis The disease can be recognised on Xrays and occasionally it occurs at the same time as other diseases eg ununited anconeal process, OCD, hip dysplasia etc.
Treatment Treatment is needed for the symptoms ie anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers.
Prognosis In most individuals the condition is self-limiting, and even the changes seen on Xray return to normal after 70-90 days.