Does Your Young Dog or Puppy Have Pain or Lameness?

Young puppies are expected to be full of life and energy. They are enthusiastic about playtime, walks and exercise. Puppies will often follow you wherever you go, can disrupt your nap or quiet time in their excitement to show you something new, and be always ready for playtime and fun. When puppies and young dogs are lethargic and demonstrate pain and lameness in their legs, a visit must be made to your veterinarian promptly.

"A puppy that becomes acutely down and out with no specific signs causes extra concern because our expectation is that they are young, vibrant animals. There are two diseases that are only seen in puppies and young dogs that cause pain and lameness in multiple limbs and lethargy. They often have a fever and decreased appetite," advises veterinarian Christie Long.

Hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) usually affects puppies between 2 and 8 months old. It is a developmental disease of the bone that occurs when blood supply to the bone's growth plates is disturbed. This disturbance can impede production of bone, cause weakening and microscopic fractures.

Panosteitis is another condition that could be present in puppies and young does, suggests Dr. Long. It typically occurs in large and medium-breed dogs that are younger than two. "Hypertrophic osteodystropy produces similar signs in even younger dogs, but the pain is localized in the region at the end of those bones and the joint itself. These animals often have joints that are very warm to the touch and swollen," she indicates. Dr. Long further shares that both diseases have been extensively studied. Doctors are still looking for a specific cause and suspect that not feeding foods formulated specifically for large-breed dogs can be a contributing factor in patients with HOD.

Household breeds commonly affected by hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) include: Saint Bernards, Doberman pinschers, German shepards, Weimaraners, Great Danes and Irish wolfhounds. Hazel Gregory's Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy or a Blood Infection shares her experiences with the challenges of identifying HOD while eliminating blood infection in her Great Danes.

Pain and lethargy in your young dog or puppy should be taken seriously and treated promptly by a veterinarian. Dehydration and serious complications can occur if treatment is delayed. Be sure to visit your family veterinarian speedily. During the visit with your family veterinarian, you'll be asked questions about your pet's current habits. Your vet will ask about appetite and eating habits. Other questions will include weight loss, fatigue, or lack of energy that you've noticed in your puppy. Your vet will examine your puppy or young dog for fever, swelling and check for pain in the legs. The doctor will determine if the discomfort or pain is severe and will pinpoint the location of pain in your dog's bones. During your visit, your veterinarian will talk with you about treatment recommendations for your puppy or young dog.

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  • "We have a new 8 week Boston Terrier that we took to Springfield Vet yesterday for the first time. Absolutely pleased with the service, attitudes and genuine care shown to our little boy. The whole team was so professional, but took time to talk to you and explain everything. Dr Cynthia Wiseman is so wonderful, she sat in the floor did Logan's exam and played with him. What bedside manners. I will continue to use them, I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a caring and professional vet."
    Roi W.
  • "We absolutely love this vet clinic and the staff! The facilities are modern and always clean. Everyone is always so friendly and genuinely care for you and your animal- they make you feel as if you are apart of their family.

    Our boy, Samson, is a Rottie (and quite the problem child). We are usually in the clinic almost every other month for something and they are always so helpful and show great care and love for our pup! We are very picky/protective puppy parents, so we were very grateful to have found both Dr. Cynthia and Dr. Heath shortly after getting Samson.

    We have definitely found our "home" in the vet world, and would highly recommend to anyone who is currently looking!"
    Machaelie H.
  • "I have taken my dog here since he was a puppy. The staff are so friendly and caring, a very clean place and they always get us in quickly. When we come in no one passes us without greeting my dog and I and they're never in a rush to get us out of there."
    ShealynR.
  • "We decided to start taking our new kitty here this past fall and we love it! He was not on his best behavior (to say the least) for his first appointment, and the staff was so patient and was still able to safely run his bloodwork and give him his vaccinations. Every service has been reasonably priced, and they did everything they possibly could to make sure that our little guy was off to a healthy start after we adopted him. What I love is that they really seem to focus on the small details, too, like trimming our cat's nails after remembering that I had expressed interest in doing so at a previous appointment, or supplementing his flea treatment with something to safely speed up the process. We will definitely keep coming here as long as we live in Springfield!"
    Megan J.
  • "I have been taking my dog to SVC since 2012 and when I adopted my cat in 2015. I have never had a bad experience. We have seen Drs. Heath & Cynthia Wiseman and I love them both. Always professional, always take their time when looking my pets over, asking questions, and answering mine."
    Katherine P.
  • "We’ve been taking our Moose there for a few years now. After swallowing a toy when he was a puppy, getting fixed, having surgery on his eyelids a couple times, and most recently having a breed specific illness; I can I say I would recommend everyone to go here. They’ve taken the best care of our boy time and time again and went above and beyond."
    Ashley J.
  • "We’ve been taking our Moose there for a few years now. After swallowing a toy when he was a puppy, getting fixed, having surgery on his eyelids a couple times, and most recently having a breed specific illness; I can I say I would recommend everyone to go here. They’ve taken the best care of our boy time and time again and went above and beyond."
    Ashley J.
  • "Pleasant staff.,very informative. Great environment for your pets, including own room for cats to play so as they aren't stressed out."
    Cheryl K.
  • "Dr. Cynthia Wiseman has helped my little Shiba dog with chronic hip problems tremendously with consistent acupuncture therapy! So thankful for this practice and the high quality of care they offer my pets!"
    Lacey M.