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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, for the past four months our girl (9 months old next week) has been getting a persistent limp. Our Vet gives us anti-inflamms but wants us now to bring her in for x-rays as she believes it might be elbow disease. She's tried a couple times to stretch out our girl's front legs but says there's resistance. We've been on holiday for a few weeks with my sister staying at our house to take care of her, and we've come back to find her limp even worse (we asked my sister to take it easy on her but since our pup is so high energy I'm guessing she exercised her quite a bit so she was more well behaved) so I'm quite concerned.

We're going to take her in to see the Vet at the end of the week and get x-rays but wanted to know if anyone else has experienced this sort of thing? I remember awhile ago seeing people mention something about pano and limping? what is that, and is it common in GSDs? our girl is from a breeder who has been in business 40+ years so I struggled with the idea of elbow disease but recently came across someone with a dog from our breeder who developed hip dysplasia, despite pedigree that shows top hip and elbow scores, so I know anything is possible. My partner is convinced it's her paw, but that doesn't explain why the vet had resistance when stretching our her legs.

Thanks for any info you can offer.
 

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my guy is 7 months and is limping badly. he had x-rays done which confirmed pano about 7 weeks ago. he was put on anti-inflammatory/painkiller meds for 2 weeks. limp went away but now it's back and he's limping very bad. I don't want to medicate again but if this keeps up I don't think I'll have an option.

my understanding of pano risk factors are:
- GSD
- juvenile
- front legs more often
- tall dogs

my guy is all of those so I wasn't surprised with his pano diagnosis. your girl is in the at risk age group and it sounds like its the front legs troubling her so it could be pano. good call on the x-ray.
 

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Thanks for the reply! I hate medicating our girl too, but it helps so what else can you do hey? hard to see them in pain :( I forgot to mention in my OP that I did mention the word 'pano' to my Vet as I had seen posts on this forum mentioning it, but she dismissed it saying it's rarer than elbow disease. If GSDs are prone to it though then that would explain why she dismissed it easily, as she stated once before that she hadn't treated many GSDs. Or perhaps she thought 'pano' referred to something else, not sure. I'm thinking I will print some info on it for her, though I'd hate to sound like I'm trying to educate her and possibly insult her.
 

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I would definitely print out the Pano description. I have a dog that was diagnosed with 'severe HD' at 6 months old(xray'd) and the vet had been practicing for over 30 yrs.
Xrays showed horrible positioning, but the hips were fine. My dog had Pano, vet never would admit to wrong diagnosis. You'd think after practicing for over 30 yrs, he'd see his share of Pano. I wonder how many other dogs he misdiagnosed in his career.

Don't worry about stepping on your vets ego when it comes to your dog, research as much as possible, that is what a responsible owner should do in everything regarding health, nutrition and training!
 

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Sounds similar to my boy around that age. He was xrayed and diagnosed with pano. It's pretty common in GSDs, mostly males to my understanding, but it can happen in females. Definitely print out info on pano and present it to your vet.
 

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usually after 4 mos though pano has moved to another limb
at least in our experiences it did
an elbow xray would not hurt but make sure whoever takes it can position her read it properly
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks guys! I happened to see the Vet last night, as poor Zelda had vomiting and the runs with bleeding :( seems her IBD has flared up again, the Vet thinks because of stress again (from us going away). So we have that to deal with as well as the limp! I did take some info on pano with me when we went, but the Vet still felt it was elbow disease over pano. She said she will be able to pick up on the x-ray if it is pano though, so that was good to know. I'd rather it be pano than elbow disease, as it would be even more stress on the poor dog having to travel from our rural town to the nearest city for surgery.

my boy diesel - regarding it switching legs, we can't pinpoint which front leg it is whenever she gets the limp. It's too difficult to tell so it could very well be jumping legs. We thought it was her right leg at the last visit but when the Vet stretched out her left leg that was the one causing her pain. So yeah, looks like x-rays are the only way to get our answer.
 

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I forgot to mention in my OP that I did mention the word 'pano' to my Vet as I had seen posts on this forum mentioning it, but she dismissed it saying it's rarer than elbow disease.
That has not been my experience. I can think of only a few GSDs who didn't have pano to some degree, and I can think of only a handful that had elbow disease.

Pano is very, very common.
Sheilah
 

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"I forgot to mention in my OP that I did mention the word 'pano' to my Vet as I had seen posts on this forum mentioning it, but she dismissed it saying it's rarer than elbow disease."

good heavens I hope not !

doesn't put much confidence in the vet.

x rays are a good idea --- see if your vet is able to do them digitally so that if you need or desire you can get opinions from experienced forum members.

If there is a doubt on your vets positioning or opinion you will get a recommendation to get a second professional opinion.
 

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I agree, if the vet isn't familiar with Pano occurring often in the breed, I'd be a bit wary of the vets diagnosis.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll see what I can do, I should be able to get a digital copy. One thing our Vet does often is seek second opinions so I'm positive she will make a diagnosis only after consulting with others. My mum's cat was bitten by a feral once and the Vet didn't recognize the bacteria it had left, so she essentially had a group of other Vets working from a distance to help her. So I like that she does that. I think being the only Vet out here (well, only decent one - we have a mobile Vet who is, IMO, dangerous) means she is often in contact with others in the city.

I don't have a huge amount of experience with GSDs, so I appreciate all the info from everyone. While I hate my pup being in pain or discomfort it would be a relief if it was pano so we can look at a management plan. She can't have her anti-inflamms because of her IBD flare-up so it's not going to be a fun week for her lol would it be alright to massage her legs? dunno if that would help
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi folks, just an update: she had her x-ray today (I accidentally fed her the other morning when she was supposed to go in, so we had to reschedule) and the vet has come back with a diagnosis. Apparently we were both right - she has mild pano, and she also has elbow disease. Double whammy. The Vet can't treat elbow disease obviously, and the people who can aren't up in our rural area. So it's difficult working out how to get her to the city, and when. She's coming to the city with us in 3 months time for a couple of weeks but she's booked in to stay with a trainer (who owns GSDs) because we have a baby on the way and want some help in addressing some of her behaviour issues. The next time we're down will be in 5 months time so I can have the baby, so there's that time too.

Anyone have any experience with elbow disease? the Vet said when we go down is "much of a muchness" but I don't know what that means lol we're going to pick her up later so I will talk more to her face to face anyway.
 

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Hi folks, just an update: she had her x-ray today (I accidentally fed her the other morning when she was supposed to go in, so we had to reschedule) and the vet has come back with a diagnosis. Apparently we were both right - she has mild pano, and she also has elbow disease. Double whammy. The Vet can't treat elbow disease obviously, and the people who can aren't up in our rural area. So it's difficult working out how to get her to the city, and when. She's coming to the city with us in 3 months time for a couple of weeks but she's booked in to stay with a trainer (who owns GSDs) because we have a baby on the way and want some help in addressing some of her behaviour issues. The next time we're down will be in 5 months time so I can have the baby, so there's that time too.

Anyone have any experience with elbow disease? the Vet said when we go down is "much of a muchness" but I don't know what that means lol we're going to pick her up later so I will talk more to her face to face anyway.
What is elbow disease?
 
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