September 1, 2012

Update on a Limping Puppy

I don't normally blog on the weekends, but we just got back from the vet, and I figured this was the easiest way to update everyone at once who loves little Senorita Rita. Don't worry - it's not scary news. But it does involve the words "bone disease."

As many of you know, Rita has been limping on off for about a month now. We'd been taking it easy on and off - skipping trips to the beach and foregoing our usual long walks - and then the limp would go away so we'd go back to normal.

This past Monday after a particularly crazed wrestling match at Fiesta Island, she started limping really badly. We took it easy all week (no walks on Tues or Wed, and only short trips around the block on Thur and Fri), and she seemed fine again. But then last night she was definitely limping again, seemingly for no reason. So, this morning we were off to the vet.

As a quick bit of background for those of you new(ish) to the blog... this whole blog started when our 15-mo-old puppy, Abby, started limping. She ended up having bone cancer, had to have her leg amputated, and we lost her 15 months later (this past January). So... limping 14 month old puppies where the limp keeps coming back are a little disturbing in our house, as you might imagine. But, we knew lightning like that couldn't strike twice so we weren't really too freaked out. (Really, I swear. Which is amazing, cuz you know by know that I'm a total worrywart, but really I figured it was nothing serious.)

So, the vet did some poking and prodding and she believes that Rita has panosteitis. A little scary to hear your new pup has a "bone disease". And the vet said she's seen some dogs on three legs because the pain can sometimes be so bad. Little alarm bells go off in my head when she says that of course (btw - this was not our usual vet, since our usual Dr. is not there on Saturdays, so she didn't know about Abby). I say, "Oh, man, we've had a 3-legged dog, so I hope that's not going to be the case." But then she quickly explained that she meant just hopping around on three - not, ya know, permanently on three. She said it's common in German Shepherd puppies (and a few other large breeds), in the 6-18 month range.

Here's a little blurb from

Panosteitis is a bone disease of dogs that is characterized by bone proliferation and remodeling. It is often painful and can last as long as 18 months, though more commonly it lasts from 2 to 5 months. It is characterized by lameness that often comes and goes and changes from leg to leg. It is a common problem in several large breeds and the cause is currently unknown. The treatment is symptomatic but the outcome is usually very good.  

"Take it easy?? Whaddya mean??"
She has to take it easy for 2 - 3 weeks. Ugh. She can't do anything for the next 5 days, and after that she can do short walks around the block. No jumping on/off the sofa, etc. We can give her benadryl to help keep her quiet, so that's good - because as soon as we got home from the vet she start racing around the backyard. So, she's had a benadryl already and it looks like it will be a quiet weekend at our house!

On top of that, she has to lose a few pounds! The vet said she is at the "high-end of normal," but with this disease she needs to be slim, so on top of no exercise we are going to have to limit her intake (I hope she's not reading this) so she can lose some weight.

She is going to be one bummed out puppy! Especially since we had planned to go to In-N-Out this weekend for a Flying Dutchman. I wonder if they make a "light" Dutchman...

Hope you all have a relaxing long weekend! We will - whether we want to or not! :)


  1. Oh Rita, Buster is with you on the diet. He understands the high end of normal (all though he was on the VERY HIGH end). I am glad it is not the dreaded C word though. Maybe you can put a carrot in the flying Dutchman and make it "healthy"?

  2. geesh rita - no running around, AND no treats...this sounds like a gulag to us!!!!

    the et crew

  3. Oh Rita....not the D word. Diets are mean. So glad to hear its temporary. The D word is soooo much better than the C word.

    Keep your eye on the prize. I'm sure there will be a Flying Dutchman when you are feeling better!!!

  4. So happy to hear it's "only" bone disease and not that nasty c-word. If you are looking to put her on a diet, Tosca lost about 15 and Zephyr lost about 8 lbs. on the "soup" I made when Rio was sick. (With fresh, you feed them just as much, but it's not as dense calorie-wise.)

    Hope you don't have as much trouble losing those lbs as I do!!!

  5. That must have been incredibly stressful for you, but so glad that it will all work out. Reading this I now may have a name for something that occurs with my own dog, so thanks!

    And a side note, I love that you included the link to the secret In-n-Out menu. When we were stationed in San Diego, I loved this place. Now that we are in Norfolk it seems like a far away dream.

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