Causes of Panosteitis (Growing Pains)
The cause of panosteitis in dogs is not known. Some experts believe that hereditary factors are involved, especially since the disease tends to occur along familial lines. Nutrition does not appear to be implicated, but allergies, metabolic disturbances, infection, immune system dysfunction, internal and external parasites and hormonal imbalances have been suggested as possible contributing causes. As an affected dog ages, the severity and frequency of bouts of lameness usually lessen, and the periods of remission between attacks typically last longer. Eventually, the disease runs its course. Most dogs suffer no lingering side effects from so-called “growing pains.”
There is no real way to prevent panosteitis in dogs, since the cause of the condition is not well understood.
Panosteitis is a primary differential in any young, rapidly growing large-boned dog with the acute onset of shifting limb lameness. Fortunately, this condition almost always resolves on its own, with time.