What is Pano? Panosteitis in Great Dane Puppies

3 mins read

Panosteitis is often abbreviated to just ‘Pano’, and if you have a Great Dane puppy it’s something you should be aware of.

Pano is a painful condition that happens in growing large and giant breed dogs. Many people call this ‘growing pains’, and it may cause lameness, limping, weight loss and even lethargy.

knuckling 13


See a veterinarian if your Great Dane puppy has any of the following symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Limping and lameness in one or more limbs, with this symptom often rotating between limbs over time
  • Tender limbs (puppy shows pain response when you touch or palpate the limb)
  • Notable lack of appetite or turning down even high-value foods and toppers
  • Weight loss (always alarming)
  • Lethargy.

Pano can happen in puppies of nearly any age, but is most commonly seen around 4-15 months.

With Great Dane puppies, it is also important to address other problems of the feet & ankles. All Dane owners should be aware of the signs of knuckling, joint swelling, flat feet and weak pasterns, hocks and hips.

Nutrition and proper exercise (free play on softer, varied terrain) are extremely important for growing Great Dane puppies. The lack of both may be contributing factors towards the incidence of Panosteitis.

This puppy below is knuckling and has panosteitis:

knuckling 6


A veterinarian may want to do x-rays, in particular to rule out more serious bone growth disorders that may present in a similar fashion (retained cartilage cores or HOD, for example).

The veterinary will feel the bones of your puppy and look for a pain response.

A radiograph of the affected bones may then show increased bone density, which can help to verify the diagnoses of Panosteitis.

X-rays may require that your puppy be sedated. Talk to your veterinarian; sedation should be avoided when possible and it’s important to thoughtfully weigh the pros and cons. 

The good news is that Pano (Panosteitis) is generally mild and self-limiting. Most dogs outgrow the condition and suffer no long-term effects.

This does NOT mean that you shouldn’t seek diagnosis and treatment! Panosteitis can be very painful for the puppy. Your veterinarian can prescribe anti-inflammatories and medications to help treat the condition..


If it is determined that your puppy has Pano, your veterinarian may prescribe the following:

  • Pain medications and anti-inflammatories
  • Exercise restrictions during painful flare-ups of the condition
  • Recommendations to avoid hard and slick surfaces
  • A change in diet
  • The addition of supplements such as Esther C, Green Lipped Mussel, Fish Oil and Probiotics.

We also believe that orthopedic support matters. 

Trim nails weekly so they never touch the ground.

Choose a proper orthopedic dog bed.

Make sure your dog has access to soft, varied terrain such as grass, sand and gravel.


As with many disorders and conditions seen in Great Danes, the exact cause is still unknown.

However, it is believed that there may be dietary, environmental and genetic components.

If your puppy is from a breeder, it is extremely important that they are aware so that they can address the issue from the ground up. Ideally, they shouldn’t be seeing this condition regularly pop up in their litters; if they do, that’s a sign that something is not right.

Choosing an appropriate food for your Great Dane puppy is also important. The correct balance of calcium and phosphorus really matter here. You can see our Great Dane puppy foods post below.

Do not overfeed your puppy and let him/her become heavy and overweight. Getting fat is not the same as filling out.

Puppies that are kept and walked largely on slick and hard surfaces (hardwood, tile, crate pans, cement, asphalt) may be more prone to pain and weakness, as these surfaces are hard on the joints. We recommend putting area rugs down and choosing grass, dirt and sand for walking when possible.

You can do everything correctly and still have a dog suffer from Pano.

Chat with your veterinarian and make sure that your dog isn’t needlessly suffering when pain medications can be prescribed.

Remember, most dogs outgrow this condition!

As above, here is a link to our Great Dane Puppy foods post. 
Have fun with your dog!

The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. We do our best to present the most up-to-date research, however it is up to the reader to make decisions regarding the health and well-being of their dog. We make no claims here to prevent or treat bloat, Panosteitis or any other condition related to Great Danes. Find a veterinarian with GIANT breed experience, and chat with them. 

Some of the products we list on our website contain affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, we may receive a small commission for referring you. We only recommend products that we truly believe in. This commission does not affect the price of the product and is used to fund our content and expenses related to operating this website. 

Hello Danes

Dane lover and believer in ethical breeding, training and rescue practices. Positive + Balanced trainer, owner of rescue dogs and dogs from breeders. Love the dog in front of you.

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