Bone Diseases in Growing Dogs
There are many causes of limping and lameness in young dogs. Most of these are relatively minor, however, there are some causes that are more serious, and if not treated promptly, may result in permanent lameness or lead to debilitating arthritis.
The larger breeds of dogs have several bone diseases that can occur during the period of rapid growth that happens up to two years of age.
One of the most common, Osteochondritis dissecans or osteochondrosis, is a defect of the smooth cartilage surface within one or more joints. It most commonly affects the shoulder, but the elbow, hip or knee may also be involved. In some cases, the defect is either a flap of cartilage or a crack in the cartilage on the end of the bone. In other cases, a piece of cartilage breaks off and floats freely in the joint (sometimes called a "joint mouse"). This causes pain, which varies from mild intermittent limping, to intense constant pain.
This disease is most frequently seen in the larger breeds such as Labradors, Retrievers, Rottweilers and German Shepherds but is not just confined to these breeds. It is often first seen between 7 and 12 months of age and factors like genetics and inappropriate nutrition seem to be the most influential ones. It is more frequently found in dogs receiving too much energy and calcium in the diet.
There is no substitute for a well-balanced commercial puppy or kitten diet.
You are welcome to discuss your puppy’s or kitten’s diet with any of our staff.