Panosteitis Panosteitis is a spontaneously occurring lameness that usually occurs in large breed dogs. German Shepherds seems to be particularly predisposed to this condition. Due to this, it is possible that the disease may have genetic causes. Some veterinarians feel that this disease may be induced or worsened by stress. Affected dogs are usually in the 5 to 14 month age range and male dogs are more commonly infected than female dogs. The disease has been reported in dogs as young as 2 months and can occur in young mature dogs. The lameness tends to occur very suddenly, usually without a history of trauma or excessive exercise. In most cases one or the other front leg is affected first and then the problem tends to move around, making it appear that the lameness is shifting from leg to leg. There are often periods of improvement and worsening of the symptoms in a cyclic manner. This makes evaluation of treatment difficult since many dogs will spontaneously recover with or without treatment and then relapse. X-rays usually reveal that the bones have greater density than is normally found. If pressure is applied over the long bones, pain is usually present. The X-ray signs do not always match the clinical signs. In most cases, the worst pain lasts between one and two months but may persist in a cyclic nature for up to a year. In severe cases, corticosteroids may provide relief. Currently, a common rumor is that low protein, low calcium diets may prevent this condition. It should be noted that the energy level of low protein/calcium diets is often lower as well. If this is the case, a puppy will eat much more of the diet in order to meet its energy needs, resulting in higher total calcium consumption. It may be preferable to feed a puppy diet and restrict total quantity to keep the dog lean than to use a low protein/low calcium adult dog food. This condition is self limiting, meaning that it will eventually go away, with or without treatment. Pain control can go a long way towards helping your pet feel more comfortable and should be used, though.