I have started noticing my 5 month old (German shepherd and mallinois mix) limping the other day and I thought, since it is not a painful or serious limp, that he might have just bruised it from playing rough with my 5 year old rotty. It has now been about 2 weeks and I have started to get concerned.
Background on Loki: He was rescued from a household that (as a 2 month old puppy) allowed him to eat cigarettes butts from their disgusting house. As soon as one of my buddies told me that they couldn't keep him I drove over and picked him up. He had diarrhea for the first two months that I have had him and is now having solid stools and is the happiest puppy ever. He is all up to date with his shots and has had a fecal test that came back negative. I have him on Blue Wilderness Large puppy mix (copper bag) and take him on hikes and runs almost every night.
Now since I have started researching about his limping I have concluded that he has all of the signs "pano" or puppy growing pains. It is not serious enough to cause pain yet but you can tell, when he is active, that he is favoring his left paw and gets discomforted to the point where he stops playing and just lays down.
First step: I have stopped running him
I was unaware that GSD's shouldn't be forced to run before the age of 18 months. Is this information accurate? Can i still hike with him? Have I caused long term damage already?
Second step: Take Loki off of puppy food.
Since he is on Blue wilderness Large breed puppy food currently, I have researched and people recommended switching him to an adult food (less protein). I was a Petsmart today comparing the bags and found that the "Wilderness" brand is extremely high on protein (puppy has 33% and adult has 30%). Seeing as the Blue "Life protection formula" (large breed puppy peach colored bag) has 28% protein and still keeps the DHA, calcium, and phosphorus needed for healthy puppy growth, I thought I would gradually switch him to that. Is that a smart idea? Should I switch to an adult food?
Other than that I would like to get him on a joint support vitamin, fish oils, gluscosomine, viatmin e/c, and Yucca Intensive. If you have any opinions on any of these and/or know of any good brands to stick with please write in the comments below.
Thank you for reading my long post
I look forward to hearing you opinions