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Does Your Young Dog or Puppy Have Pain or Lameness?

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Pain and Lameness in Puppies or Young Dogs Need Speedy Attention

If your young dog or puppy experiences lameness, pain or discomfort in its legs or joints get prompt attention from your family's veterinarian.

A fever may accompany the pain or lameness.  Your puppy or young dog may seem lethargic and lack energy, enthusiasm or vitality.

These are important signs that your vet will need to know about.

Your dog's or puppy's bones could have interrupted or disturbed growth causing them this pain.  Getting a diagnosis early and following your veterinarian's treatment recommendations can help your pet cope with this disease.

Young puppies are expected to be full of life and energy.  They are enthusiastic about playtime, walks and exercise.  Puppies will often follow you wherever you go, can disrupt your nap or quiet time in their excitement to show you something new, and be always ready for playtime and fun.  When puppies and young dogs are lethargic and demonstrate pain and lameness in their legs, a visit must be made to your veterinarian promptly.

"A puppy that becomes acutely down and out with no specific signs causes extra concern because our expectation is that they are young, vibrant animals. There are two diseases that are only seen in puppies and young dogs that cause pain and lameness in multiple limbs and lethargy. They often have a fever and decreased appetite," advises veterinarian Christie Long.

Hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) usually affects puppies between 2 and 8 months old.  It is a developmental disease of the bone that occurs when blood supply to the bone's growth plates is disturbed.  This disturbance can impede production of bone, cause weakening and microscopic fractures.

Panosteitis is another condition that could be present in puppies and young does, suggests Dr. Long.  It typically occurs in large and medium-breed dogs that are younger than two.  "Hypertrophic osteodystropy produces similar signs in even younger dogs, but the pain is localized in the region at the end of those bones and the joint itself. These animals often have joints that are very warm to the touch and swollen," she indicates.  Dr. Long further shares that both diseases have been extensively studied.  Doctors are still looking for a specific cause and suspect that not feeding foods formulated specifically for large-breed dogs can be a contributing factor in patients with HOD.

Household breeds commonly affected by hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) include:  Saint Bernards, Doberman pinschers, German shepards, Weimaraners, Great Danes and Irish wolfhounds.  Hazel Gregory's Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy or a Blood Infection shares her experiences with the challenges of identifying HOD while eliminating blood infection in her Great Danes.

Pain and lethargy in your young dog or puppy should be taken seriously and treated promptly by a veterinarian.  Dehydration and serious complications can occur if treatment is delayed.  Be sure to visit your family veterinarian speedily.  During the visit with your family veterinarian, you'll be asked questions about your pet's current habits.  Your vet will ask about appetite and eating habits.  Other questions will include weight loss, fatigue, or lack of energy that you've noticed in your puppy.  Your vet will examine your puppy or young dog for fever, swelling and check for pain in the legs.  The doctor will determine if the discomfort or pain is severe and will pinpoint the location of pain in your dog's bones.  During your visit, your veterinarian will talk with you about treatment recommendations for your puppy or young dog.

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Testimonial

Don't take a good vet for granted, that's what I say. I currently live in another state and have taken my 10 year old dog to numerous vets over the years (California, Colorado, Vegas, and then some). Never have I ever received the attention and care I've gotten w/Dr. Hines. Within the past 3 months alone, my dog went to 3 different vets for a horrible and painful skin problem that broke out all over her body.

The first vet: I spent more time ponying up the $175 for the visit than the Dr. spent actually looking at my dog. He performed a woods lamp exam for ringworm. Even without Google or a veterinary degree, I could tell it wasn't ringworm. Thanks for taking my money.
Second vet: "Here's some spray, now here's your bill. Bring her back in two weeks so I can charge you another visit." No tests, nothing.
Between the two, I felt like I got nowhere. No definitive answer on why this affected my dog and the medication given wasn't even for a diagnosed condition. Just some general topical spray. I could have bought it at Petsmart and saved myself the time and money.
Recently, on a visit to Idaho, I planned ahead to bring my dog to the Rupert Animal Clinic. I asked the same questions, had the same concerns and now have different results. Dr. Hines gave me options on what route to take, ran appropriate tests and communicated with me every step of the way (even calling me personally when test results came in). My primary concern was cancer. Our dog is like our child- we'll pay the money if we can keep her healthy and safe. In the future, I've resolved to bring my dog to Rupert Animal Clinic on our annual trip for all of her exams. I know she won't be treated as a little cash cow to exploit an owner's love for pets.

Sung L.
Rupert, ID

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