My puppy is 3 and a half months old and is in a lot of pain. Although this is not all the time and usually she only whimpers occasionally there are times when she has a real hard time moving.
We took X-Rays of her hips and found nothing wrong and the vet just said it was growing pains.
I want to know if this is common for Rottweilers and how long it might last. Also please any advice on soothing her would be greatly appreciated.
Your poor baby, I’m sorry to hear that she’s having such a rough time. Growing pains do occur and when it’s more than a passing ‘twinge’ it’s usually considered to be a condition known as Panosteitis or ‘Pano’.
This is a bone disease, believed to be inflammatory and perhaps with a genetic component, which causes lameness, pain, limited mobility and so on. It generally doesn’t appear until a pup is around 6 months old, but can occur earlier. It occurs ‘spontaneously’ and there’s no proof that anything you do can prevent it in a pup who is predisposed – this includes many large breeds including Rotties and German Shepherds.
At this age X-rays are not very reliable in terms of detecting hip dysplasia or other problems as a pup is still growing and developing. It also isn’t likely to detect the subtle symptoms of Pano. The good news is that it’s usually ‘self-limiting’ in that it disappears by itself given time, often lasting somewhere between 2 and 6 months overall.
There isn’t a ‘cure’ for Pano as such, but treatment with anti-inflammatory medications/pain killers can help relieve a good deal of her discomfort. I’d recommend discussing this with your veterinarian as he may want to prescribe something for her. PNP Buffered Aspirin for Dogs can also be used and is gentle.
In severe cases, if there is swelling as well as inflammation, corticosteroids may be prescribed, but this isn’t very common.
Make sure you’re feeding a premium puppy food that’s specifically designed for large breed pups (see my Best Puppy Food page for more on this) as poorly balanced nutrition, or too little (or too much) of certain minerals and ingredients can make this condition worse. A Glucosamine/Chondroitin product and extra Vitamin C may help, but DON’T give any extra calcium. Take a look at
Only Natural Pet Glucosamine + Asta for Dogs and Pets or
Integrative Therapeutics MSM with Glucosamine Sulfate
Also I’d recommend making sure she gets plenty of rest and although she still needs her exercise, try to limit running on hard surfaces, don’t allow her to jump, and keep the exercise sessions gentle and low key.
I’ve never had a pup experience as much discomfort as your poor little girl, but I have had problems with intermittent lameness, stiffness and pain due to these ‘growing pains’. As long as your vet has ruled out anything major, just do whatever you can to help her feel comfortable and rest assured that she will grow out of this in time.
Best of luck, hope she’s doing much better soon.