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Penelope Glamour de Castro-Castalia
Panosteitis is the most common and certainly the most painful of the group of conditions that are usually called "growing pains" with the age of onset usually between 5 and 12 months. It affects a very high percentage of Bullmastiff puppies, probably as many as 75 to 80%, and in some extreme cases it has been reported in puppies dog young as 2 months of age.
To my best knowledge and experience, it usually appears in Bullmastiffs at the time of definitive teething and is associated with the period of maximum growth, between 6 and 9 months of age, when the puppy experiences many hormonal changes, particularly females who usually have their first heat by then.
I have often seen it associated, when extreme, to puppies that are fed with highly proteinic foods (those that claim to be specifically meant for giant breed puppies) of over 30 to 32% protein. I personally do not favour these types of diets and rather chose to feed my puppies with lower protein commercial foods, as I tend to believe that puppies must grow slowly like wolf cubs would.
Symptoms include pain in the long bones (humerus, ulna, radius, femur, and tibia) which manifests by a slight to severe lameness which can last from a few days to several weeks, affecting alternatively one limb or another. Some animals may be reluctant to move at all and suffer from high peaks of fever every now and then, very much like children when they too suffer their own growing sprouts.
During the growing pain periods, puppies will sometimes show reduced appetite and activity. The complete course of the disease is usually 2 to 3 months, but it can range from a week to 6 or 8 months.
The diagnosis of Panosteitis is made radiographically, by confirming the presence of the lesion that is suspected by physical examination.
Yet, this is one of the few conditions related to growing sprouts that needs no treatment, except occasionally. I personally insist that puppies are confined in small areas and their exercise periods restricted during the days they experience more pain and show lameness and I also suggest owners to supplement the diet with a specific chondro-protector available in Spain, which is called Condrovet® Taste that has proved to be very efficient in the control of the Panosteitis.
Other than this, not much else can be done. Patience is a must. And it is important to outline that this is indeed a typical condition that occurs in a high percentage of Bullmastiff puppies, sooner or later. Yet it is not a worrying problem.
(Original text written by Christina of Lima-Netto and Federico Baudin specifically for this web page and protected with Copyright. Not even whole can be reproduced not partially by any way, without Castro-Castalia's express assent in writing).
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