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 Peteducation.com:
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??"|
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! :)