Goals of Treating Growing Pains
Panosteitis is a painful inflammatory condition that targets the rapidly growing long leg bones in young, larger-breed dogs. The primary goal of treating panosteitis is to manage the dog’s pain, so that it can engage in normal daily activities with as little discomfort as possible, until the condition resolves on its own.
During the acute stage of disease, dogs with panosteitis require rest, restricted activity and supportive care. They may be given one of a number of different non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain. Corticosteriods normally are not used to treat this disorder, as they cause immune system suppression. In especially severe cases, stronger pain medications, such as opioids, may be appropriate, together with short-term inpatient care, intravenous hydration and nutritional support. Of course, a veterinarian is in the best position to assess a given dog and recommend appropriate treatment protocols.
Fortunately, panosteitis almost always is self-limiting, which means that it normally resolves on its own without causing permanent disability. As long as the dog’s pain is managed, it should return to full unrestricted function in several weeks to months after onset of the condition.