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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10161
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My four and a half month old bullmastiff is a happy,

Customer Question

my four and a half month old bullmastiff is a happy, rambunctious, active puppy, but he has a back leg that keeps becoming crippled. It is not broken , nor is there a sign of injury. It is not tender to the touch. It looks like it was sprained. But it seems to get fine and then one day he can barely walk. It is the same leg each time. We are in Africa and equipment is not advanced and veterinarians do not x-ray or anything. No one seems to know what this is. He has a ravenous appetite and is growing, though he remains skinny. I hope you can help. Thanks.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: yes. There seems to be no wound
JA: The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the dog's name?
Customer: the dog's name is Barnabas
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Barnabas?
Customer: He does not appear to be ill, but when the leg gets bad, he is a little less active and a little "down".
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I recently came online and see that your question about Barnabas hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

It sounds as if he may have a condition called Panosteitis based on your description of his behavior. This condition is essentially inflammation in the long bones of young, mostly large breed dogs. (

It's a shame that the vets can't or don't take x-rays where you live since this condition is easily diagnosed based on characteristic changes in the bone marrow.

This condition is also known as growing pains since most dogs will outgrow it with no long lasting consequences or issues.

Treatment is primarily controlling the pain associated with it. I typically dispense non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Previcoxx or Meloxicam although I'm not certain what drugs you have available there. I'll also dispense a specific anti-pain drug such as Tramadol or Gabapentin.

Some of the patients I've seen will only experience one episode while others will appear to improve but have relapses again in a few weeks or months. But, they will all outgrow the problem least that's been my experience.

I hope this helps although, again, my profuse apologies for the delayed reply. Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Deb