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Hello!
I am new to the forum and I am reaching out to see if anyone has experience with an older GSD being diagnosed with Panosteitis? We rescued a GSD in May of last year. The shelter advised he was 2-4 years old; however our vet believes he is approximately 6 years old. He was heartworm positive but he has gone through the treatment and is now heartworm negative. This week he began limping and walking very lightly on his right front leg. The vet took x-rays today and had a radiologist review them. The consensus is Panosteitis. The vet advises it is uncommon in older GSDs but can happen - and put him on Vetprofen 75 mg/Trazadone 50 mg and advised to keep him quiet - and to return in 14 days. Does anyone have any experience with this condition? Thank you!
 

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At that age, no.. Mine had it but it was gone by 18 months. I’ve heard if it lasting until 2-2 1/2 but not age 6. Is it possible they are seeing old marking on the bones or that your dog is younger? Mine kept himself quiet. He learned to be happy lying on a cushion or the couch and I gave him toys and things to stay occupied.
 

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Well, if that's what the vet radiologist put in the report, then the shelter was surely right about the low end of the age range. You probably have a 2-ish year old, and not a 6 year old.

Aging a rescue dog is an art, not a science. Some vets are good at it, others just aren't -- some vets are pretty honest about it being a wild-eyed guess, and others act like they "know." I know shelter vets who are wrong about it 90% of the time (even sending me still-growing adolescents in rescue and calling them middle-aged, etc.). I know other vets who are really good at it. It's always tempting to rely on the condition of the teeth in a rescue dog to guess the age, but teeth are deceptive if the dog has had a rough life (chained and penned dogs sometimes chew on metal, grinding them down prematurely; outside, bored, young dogs sometimes chew on rocks making their teeth cracked and old-looking). Was the dog neutered before you got him? The shape of that anatomy sometimes is really useful in aging the dog (around 6, you'd see a dog's testicles hang much lower than in a 2 year old).

You won't have to wonder long -- around 7, there are natural changes to the eyes that usually occur (marbling of the iris, sparkly hardening of the lens, etc.) that any vet ophthomolgist will easily spot in an eye exam. (A generalist might not spot the changes as easily though.) I found out one of mine was about 2 years older than vets had guessed that way -- his eyes revealed a dog at least 7 when the rest of his body seemed younger.

As for dealing with pano, you just have to get the dog through it. A holistic vet years ago helped mine avoid needing pain meds with a big dose of fish oil, some vitamin C (ester-C), and a MSM/glucosamine/chondroitin combo pill (human-grade, must have all 3 she said...but I think it was the MSM doing the work now). I don't remember the milligrams of each as it was so long ago, but I do remember buying the msm/chondroitin/gluc supplement at Trader Joe's (now, I think I would use Dasuquin with MSM for dogs instead -- very good product). It took a week or two to load, but it did help quite a lot (and he no longer needed carprofen/vetprofen).
 

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Hello!
I am new to the forum and I am reaching out to see if anyone has experience with an older GSD being diagnosed with Panosteitis? We rescued a GSD in May of last year. The shelter advised he was 2-4 years old; however our vet believes he is approximately 6 years old. He was heartworm positive but he has gone through the treatment and is now heartworm negative. This week he began limping and walking very lightly on his right front leg. The vet took x-rays today and had a radiologist review them. The consensus is Panosteitis. The vet advises it is uncommon in older GSDs but can happen - and put him on Vetprofen 75 mg/Trazadone 50 mg and advised to keep him quiet - and to return in 14 days. Does anyone have any experience with this condition? Thank you!

DIET. Change the diet. The food you have been giving to your GSD may be causing inflammation, which is caused by the body's immune system reacting to something in the food that cannot be processed by the body. Body gets inflammation from such up-regulation of immune system and usually, the joints are susceptible to pain from such inflammation. 6 years is too old to have growth-related problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your responses and experience. The shelter vet aged him between 2-4 due to his teeth being in great condition; however, our vet placed him older due to quite a lot of gray around his muzzle. He has had diarrhea on and off a lot and so I do want to change his food as I am doing much more reading on this now. It’s quite confusing about what to try - can anyone point me in the right direction as to what to try first? He was eating Pedigree Large Breed at the shelter and we kept him on that before trying Blue Buffalo which did not work. I see Holistic Select Large Breed, Royal Canin and Victor mentioned a lot.
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Thank you for your help.
 

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gray around the muzzle has nothing to do with age. my boy started going gray before he turned 1
 

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Thank you for your responses and experience. The shelter vet aged him between 2-4 due to his teeth being in great condition; however, our vet placed him older due to quite a lot of gray around his muzzle. He has had diarrhea on and off a lot and so I do want to change his food as I am doing much more reading on this now. It’s quite confusing about what to try - can anyone point me in the right direction as to what to try first? He was eating Pedigree Large Breed at the shelter and we kept him on that before trying Blue Buffalo which did not work. I see Holistic Select Large Breed, Royal Canin and Victor mentioned a lot. View attachment 557215 Thank you for your help.
Blue Buffalo did not suit my GSD. Before we get into details, we need to understand that each dog may be unique in the way they may respond to different brands. I found that the Abound brand and the Rachel Ray brand work great for my dog. You may have to do your own little experiment with some of the brands. You can also try the Authority brand. Diarrhea is quiet common with GSDs. It goes away usually without any intervention. Rarely they need to be treated with antibiotics, but it is not unheard of. You can try a little bit of pepto bismol to calm their gut. But if the diarrhea persists, then it could be due to contaminated water or food source. The bowls need to be cleaned after every meal.
 

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although i agree that a greying muzzle isn’t an accurate indicator of age, the dog pictured appears to me, to be middle aged, 6ish... i’m gonna go with the vets guess on this one, at least for age. it is hard however, for me to sit with the pano diagnosis. even being rare but possible - i would think those instances would be reserved for cases of severely neglected and malnourished dogs that are playing “catch up” in adulthood once on better food, etc. i suppose the good thing is that most conditions (if they indeed misdiagnosed) would require the same treatment (pain management & rest). personally, before settling, i’d want to rule out tick diseases tho... given several of them are characterized by joint pain.
 

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Pano can last up to five years, but that is not that common and keep in mind that there is no magic cut off at five years of age.
 

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The picture isn't very clear to me, so I couldn't guess age, but I have had dogs with a grey muzzle at age 2.

As far as food goes, I would not recommend Royal Canin. I have fed Victor, Diamond Naturals / Kirkland, Fromm, and most people agree they are fairly OK foods. There are some more premium foods out there, but the price range just is too much for me personally. Once you choose a brand, I would try and find a good everyday formula, not something too rich, not too high in protein. Pedigree is not good at all, so it would be worthwhile switching if you can find something that works. I would also make sure you transition his food over slowly in smaller quantities whatever you choose.
 
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