Breed Predisposition to Panosteitis

Panosteitis is an acquired inflammatory condition of unknown origin affecting the long bones of large and giant breeds of dogs. The condition affects male dogs more frequently than females. This condition is often cyclic or recurrent, and animals typically have a history of a "shifting leg" lameness. Lameness may be accompanied by lethargy, loss of appetite, and fever. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs or corticosteroids are prescirbed by a veterinarian can be used when signs are present. Some experts believe that diets high in protein and calories should be avoided in young, growing dogs.

The advantages of knowing which breeds of dogs are at increased risk for panosteitis are evident. It can heighten awareness among breed club members, helping them make decisions about how to spend their foundation dollars, and it can lead to more emphasis being placed on methods to diagnose and genetically screen for the disease in that breed before animals are bred and genes are recycled to the gene pool.

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Breeds at Risk for Panosteitis

Afghan hound, American cocker spaniel, American Staffordshire terrier, Basset hound, Bernese mountain dog, Boxer, Bull terrier, Chesapeake Bay retriever, Chinese shar pei, Chow chow, Dalmatian, Doberman pinscher, English setter, English springer Giant schnauzerspaniel, German shepherd dog, German shorthaired pointer, Golden retriever, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Irish wolfhound, Labrador retriever, Mastiff, Neapolitan mastiff. Newfoundland, Rhodesian ridgeback, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Shih tzu, Weimaraner, West Highland white terrier, Mixed-breed dogs.


  1. Breed Susceptibility for Developmental Orthopedic Diseases in Dogs. Elizabeth LaFond, DVM, Diplomate ACVS, Gert J. Breur, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS and Connie C. Austin, MPH, PhD

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