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My 7-month old male, Wesley, is extremely active, and he's also quite large - already at 55 lbs. His father was huge.

Anyway, we were walking in the park about two weeks ago when he started limping in his right front leg. His head was bobbing up and down awkwardley, but he didn't seem to be in any pain. Eventually I took him to the vet.

Realize, I live in France where things are done somewhat differently, but the doctors are excellent. The vet checked him out thoroughly and said that he believes his bones are growing faster than his muscles and put him on a supplement called Fortiflex 525. I don't know if it's sold in the US or the UK, but I've spoken to other vets about it here and they swear on it. The vet also insisted that the dog was getting too large and I should reduce his food a bit, which I have done. I was also told to limit his physical activity for a while. He said he eventually wanted to take x-rays, but that it wasn't an emergency.

He seems to be doing much better, but I wanted to bounce this off of others in the forum. I still have him on puppy food (Royal Canine for large dogs).

Anyone have any suggestions or advice regarding this situation? I want to ensure that I am doing everything I possibly can. Thank you in advance....Richard
 

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Well, I don't know what Fortiflex is but if the dog has panosteitis (growing pains) then an anti inflammatory is a good idea, as long as exercise is being restricted so he doesn't overdo it because he is feeling better. Another breeder I know gives Glucosamine for pano. I haven't dealt with it in years, so I haven't tried that.

You might want to consider switching him to adult food, he is plenty old enough and sometimes puppy food can make them grow too fast.

You might notice the lameness shifting from leg to leg.
 

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One of our Bassets also began limping early on. After an operation to correct his knee, the vet recommended Glucosimine Chondrotin once every day. He was also diagnosed with panosteitis, and it helps out alot. Sometimes we let his pills slide, but when he begins limping again, we start him back on his pills (with a little peanut butter...of course) and within two days he is back to his self. Might want to try that. Also, if it doesn't seem to be working, I would suggest an anti-inflammatory. Our vet gives us Deramaxx.
 

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It is currently thought that large and giant breeds may sometimes develop skeletal problems if their growth isn't controlled as puppies. The thinking is that overnutrition (defined as too many calories) may result in muscle and soft tissue growth outstripping skeletal growth, with the immature skeletal system being unable to support this rapid growth. Panosteitis (pano) is one of several developmental diseases of the skeletal system that may be affected by a puppy's nutritional status, and it's a condition that affects Bassets.

It is felt that controlled growth, especially between 4-8 months, may reduce the occurrence of these conditions. Growth can be controlled by limiting overall caloric intake. Some people accomplish this by feeding regular puppy food until their Basset is 6 months old, and then switching it to adult food. Other people use dog food specifically formulated for large breed dogs, which contains a sufficient level of protein to support skeletal development and a comparatively reduced level of fat, to reduce caloric content. See Growing Pains: Successfully Raising the Large Breed Puppy.

Researching Fortiflex, it appears that the main (allegedly) active components are chondroitin sulfate and chitosan. Chondroitin sulfate is a large molecule, and there is some debate as to whether it's well-absorbed when taken orally. Most sources seem to quote figures of between 5-10%. Chitosan is marketed primarily as a weight loss supplement. (See Chitosan: A Critical Look.) It's hard to say whether this supplement will help your pup, but it probably won't hurt him.

Here are some links on panosteitis.

Panosteitis
Canine Panosteitis

[ January 01, 2004, 09:28 AM: Message edited by: Betsy Iole ]
 

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I would like to thank you all for your replies. It is so wonderful having this forum, it has given us such peace of mind!

Since he began the Fortiflex, his limping has ceased completely. It is important to note that we have also decreased his food and limited his physical activity. I am nervous about switching him to adult food if the vet is so against it. I will see how this works out in the interim.

I hope that we have this under control - we will surely monitor him much more closely. His follow-up vet appointment will be sometime this week.

Thanks again for all of your support!
raj
 

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Norton has been limping for the past few weeks as well. The vet examined his paw and didn't see anything wrong, and he's not whining or yelping, so he's not in pain. The vet thought maybe he just pulled a muscle or sprained it or something, and to wait and see. It could also be panosteitis, but I don't know, because it's always the same paw (with pano the lameness usually shifts from one paw to another), and he's not in pain.
After reading this thread, I had the thought of glucosamine and chondroitin in my mind as maybe something to try. Then yesterday, at the dog run, a complete stranger said to me, "Your basset seems to be limping - you should try giving him [name of supplement I forget]. It's a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin."
So with all those recommendations, I thought I'd give it a try! I went to my pet food store, and the owner said yes, it's great for promoting healthy cartilage and bone.
Ironically, when I got home, I saw a post from Betsy giving lots of scientific evidence that glucosamine is worthless and does nothing! But I already bought it, so we'll see. I'll let you know if it works! And if it does, I'll give you all a big "Thank you!" for suggesting it!
 

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Brittaney developed a limp this past weekend. She would not put any wieght on her back left foot and would limp to avoid putting pressure on it. We think she might have hurt it jumping off the chair (like she fell off it wrong or something).

She never complained and let me poke and prod around for a thorn or something like with no problem. Since it didn't get better, I took her to the vet on Monday. They did the same prodding, only a lot more aggresively. She took it all in stride and never once said a word.

Vet said it was either a sprained muscle (best case) or torn ACL (worst case). She gave me some Rimidal (sp?) which is an anti-inflammatory to try for one week to see if we couldn't rule out the sprain. After that, they would midly sedate her so they could really look at the leg and XRay it.

Well I am happy to say that after 3 days, the indications seem to be a strain. She is much better now and is almost back to putting full weight back on the leg.

We will now just watch her more carefully about getting on and off of her chair.
 
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