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Rooney has started up with a come-and-go limp on his right front leg, so off to the vet we went (only 6 months old, and he's already learned that the vet gives him treats - he begs like a fool). We suspected pano, and so did she, although she passed on the x-rays and gave us an anti-inflammatory on the logic that the films probably wouldn't show much anyway. That was fine, but her other big suggestion was to switch his food. He's on Canidae, which is what his breeder fed; his coat is lovely, but he's always had digestive issues - lots of soft poop, and terrible gas (we're thinking of loaning him to the CIA - his farts can kill at close range).

So this was our vet's suggestion: Purina Dog Chow. She says she knows it has a bad rep, but that it's not terrible, and may slow down some of his rapid growth and help with the pano and digestive issues. She assured me that it's what the orthopedic vets would say, but...Dog Chow? I think I'm freaked by everyone's reports of allergies, houndy odor, bad fillers, etc.. Should I just calm down and take her advice (at least in the short term - I'm sure I could switch him back as an adult)?

For all of you who had young dogs with pano, did your vets offer any nutrition advice? Is there a food that might have some of the same benefits, but be slightly better quality?
 

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For all of you who had young dogs with pano, did your vets offer any nutrition advice? Is there a food that might have some of the same benefits, but be slightly better quality?[/b]
First things first, If you do not trust the recommendations of your vet it may be time for a new one.

This is what is know about nutrional effect on bone growth etc and development of large breed puppies high protein is not a problem, high fat content is not a problem, nor is high carbohydrates. What is a problem is to many calories. The easiest way to control calories is to feed less. Rather than switching to a poorer quality food. Switching from a puppy formula to adult formula will also reduce the calories per cup of any given brand of dog food.

On could always switch to Dick Van Patton's Natural balance and get a highly rated pet food that is both lower in portein and fat and higher in carb than Pruina Dog Chow. This is to say, much about dog food pricing has nothing to do with actual nutrition and everything to do with marketing. There have been a lot more dog successfuly fed on purina dog chow than those high priced super premium brands.

There is no evidence that diet plays a role in pano so changing the feeding regimin is not likely to change the outcome nor if it were done earlier prevent the problem in the first place. There are many theories on the cause but in the end when they are put to the test of scientific scrutney the don't hold water.
On the filp side changing the diet is unlike to cause any harm either so as most physician are wanten to do nothing the change of diet is often trecommend


Panosteitis in Young Dogs
The cause of panosteitis is currently unknown. There have been many theories as to the cause of this disease. Originally, it was suspected that the disease was caused by a bacterial infection. However, several investigational studies failed to isolate any bacteria. In addition, the disease responds poorly to antibiotics, further suggesting a cause other than bacterial.

Other studies showed that if bone marrow from affected dogs was injected into the bones of healthy dogs, the healthy dogs would contract the disease. It has therefore been speculated that a virus may cause the disease. The high fever, tonsillitis, and altered white blood cell count would also go along with the viral theory. Another interesting twist to the viral theory is that panosteitis was first identified as a problem at the same time that modified live distemper vaccines became widely available on the market. Since wild distemper virus can be isolated from bone tissue, some researchers feel that there might be a link between distemper virus vaccine and panosteitis, however, more research in this area will need to be done before any serious speculations can be made.

Another theory is that panosteitis might have a genetic link. Because of the greatly increased incidence in certain breeds and families of dogs, it is very likely that there is a genetic component involved in this disease.

Lately, there have been some claims that nutrition, particularly protein and fat concentrations in the diet, may have an impact on the incidence of the disease. But here again, more research needs to be done to substantiate these claims. Most likely this is a multifactorial disease that has several different causes including viral, genetic, and possibly nutritional.[/b]
Canine panosteitis
genetic etiology would seem to be a factor since the German
shepherd breed is disproportionately represented (86 of 100 animals in one study).
One investigator has reared German shepherd pups and English pointer pups together
in the same pen, with only the German shepherds routinely manifesting the disease.
He postulates a genetic predisposition with stress induction.(U of Penn study)
Canine panosteitis is actually a disease of the fat tissue in the bone marrow
which causes secondary changes to the bone. The precise cause of the disease is
unknown(from Provet.co.uk).[/b]
Growing Pains: Successfully Raising the Large Breed Puppy
In the past, some diets were said to be “too hot” (ie, contained high levels of dietary protein) and promoted rapid growth rate predisposing large and giant breed dogs to skeletal problems. However, controlled research done in 1991 by Nap et al.,2 showed that protein was uninvolved. Great Dane puppies were fed identical diets except for the protein content from weaning for 18 weeks. These diets had a broad range of dietary protein compositions of 31.6%, 23.1% and 14.6%. This research demonstrated that skeletal development problems were NOT related to variations of the dietary protein content. Thus, protein in and of itself does not effect bone development or influence the incidence of developmental bone diseases.2,3 (The low-protein diet did have some problems keeping weight on the pups.)

Energy Density

However, research done by Hedhammer did find a nutritional factor that does influence the incidence of certain developmental bone diseases. This researcher investigated the issue of dietary energy intake (how many calories a puppy ate each day) by feeding either (1) as much as the puppy wanted to eat [ad libitum] or (2) a restricted amount of food [66% of the ad libitum amount]. This research was also done on Great Dane puppies which were fed until the puppies were 60 weeks of age (approximately 15 months old). He found that the puppies fed as much as they wanted (ad libitum) had a significantly higher incidence of skeletal abnormalities than those puppies who were fed a restricted amount of food (meal fed).4

Another researcher (Dammrich) in 1991 confirmed this fact by doing research on Great Dane puppies fed ad libitum or a restricted diet of 70-80% of the ad libitum fed puppies.5 His research was done from weaning until 6 months of age. He proved that puppies fed as much as they wanted had weaker bone and inadequate support of the joint cartilage. Thus, those puppies fed as much as they wanted had a significantly higher frequency of developmental bone diseases.5

Iams research has also shown that the number of dogs showing the radiographic changes of osteochondrosis and HOD increases as the number of calories consumed increases. In other words, pups that get too many calories grow fast and are more likely to have developmental bone problems.[/b]


As for specifics niether my vet nor ortho specialist recommend a diet change in any dog diagnosed with pano.
 
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