Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Michigan, USA
Re: Breeding dogs with Pano
Pano is not genetic in the way we think of genetic health issues. There is no "pano gene" that determines if a dog will get pano or not. Pano doesn't work that way. Also, since it's self limiting, has no long term affects, and goes away on it's own in time, I wouldn't even consider it a health issue. More of a temporary annoyance.
Pano is something that can occur in any mammal when they go through huge growth spurts during adolescents. It is in fact very common in human teenagers, particularly boys. It is not limited to dogs or to GSDs.
Growth rates can be genetic, in the sense that they often run in families. Some families tend to grow faster, others slower, some in spurts, others in more gradual rates. It's the fast, spurty growers who are most likely to experience pano. So yes, it can run in families because family members tend to have similar sets of genes governing how quickly they grow during adolescents. But it doesn't run in families because there's some common "pano gene".
Genes can affect growth rate, so I guess in that sense one could say pano is genetic in a very round-about way. But that would be very misleading as when something is considered genetic that means there is a gene that directly causes it and that is not the case here. The only relationship between genes and pano would be how the genes affect the growth rate, which in turn can lead to pano. And of course there are many non-genetic factors, such as diet, that also affect growth rate and can make a pup more or less likely to get pano.
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