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Ask the Veterinarian/Panosteitis pain management/nutrition help-Thanks in advance


Hello Jana and thanks in advance for your time/help. My 1 year old German Shepherd puppy just got diagnosed with Panosteitis, which showed up in his right rear leg. I was given an anti-inflammatory medication, but after researching it and seeing many horror stories about it I don't feel comfortable giving it to him. What is a supplement and/or food products I can give him that have anti-inflammatory properties? He has been eating "Taste of the Wild" "Pacific Stream Adult Formula" (Salmon/Sweet Potato/Whitefish based) as recommended by the vet earlier in his puppyhood due to allergies. Now after getting his diagnosis I've read on German Shepherd forums that this might have too much calcium and could have contributed to his problem. Can you offer any advice on what I should do? Thanks!

I don't know what kind of anti-inflammatory you were given,so I cannot comment on it at all. Most of the time, a short course of any type of NSAID won't hurt your dog. I mean the medication your vet prescribed, not the over-the-counter type. If it was steroids, those won't hurt him either in the short term. Panosteitis is very painful, and if the inflammation is reduced it helps with the pain tremendously. Don't use Dr. Google to look up horror stories that you have no way of validating are true.

So use the medication he gave you but you can add a fish oil capsule once a day as well to help with the inflammation. It might not do much but it won't hurt. I use Salmon oil myself for the same thing.

The second thing you need to do is get him on Hills Science Diet LARGE BREED puppy formula. This food was researched for years with studies conducted by Hills long before all these fad diets became popular. Hills knew there had to be a connection to calcium, joint and hip problems as well as growth rate issues of bones via diet so they did a three year study on hundreds of large breed puppies.  What they found was the basis of their large breed line of food for puppies and adults.

This food has the PROPER balance of calcium to phosphorous, which is the main culprit in the overall ratio to protein etc., in causing these kind of bone problems in fast growing large breeds.

I would get him a 30 lb. bag and start him on it slowly by transiting him over a seven day period. He won't stop growing for another two years (the last years is more internal than what you see) so this food will really help him lay down a good foundation for long term health.

In my research, and I have done a LOT of research on all the commercial brands of food, most every one of them that are on non-fixed formulations are way too high in calcium, phosphorous, protein and grains.

I have been feeding and recommending Science Diet and Hills foods for over 35 years and I can tell you that I have only seen pets get well on it and live much longer and healthier lives than the pets on commercial grocery store brands.

We are what we eat and so are out pets. Give him his course of medication and change over his diet and he will be back on course.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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