We have all heard of growing pains. Some of us remember them from when were kids. I specifically remember sitting in school and having aching legs. I grew like 3 inches in a summer. Many kids like myself go through this same thing, but what about dogs? Do puppies have growing pains, or is it just us humans that experience this painful issue.
The answer is “yes” puppies or dogs can suffer from aches and pains when they grow, but by many, they aren’t called “growing pains“. Even though, that is exactly what they are.
Puppies grow up very fast, and larger dog breeds even faster. It is nothing to see a puppy grow from a 5 lb puppy up to a 50 lb dog in 3-4 mos. Just think about growing that fast, it makes sense that our dogs would at times be a bit stiff and even sore.
Growing dogs, don’t reach their full skeletal maturity until around 18 mos, but it can vary from dog to dog. In the legs are one of the main areas that your dog may experience aches and pains. Your dog may show stiffness or limping, and even have trouble getting around. Shifting from one leg to another can also be a sign of a sore leg or stiffness.
In most cases these limited bouts of pain, are usually outgrown by your dog and don’t last long. They literally can be gone from one day to the next.
This is something to monitor and keep an eye on. Just like any other ailment of issue that your puppy may have, could also be something of a much more serious nature.
Although growing pains, isn’t widely considered a real thing for dogs, many dogs do have issues when they grow very quickly. When your dog really seems to be struggling and continuing to have mobility issues that affect their everyday life, than that is the time that you need to get a professional opinion.
When to be concerned
When it comes to puppies, if something lasts longer than normal, you would want to seek medical attention from a Vet. There is a serious condition, that can look like simple growing pains or stiffness but is actually a condition is called “Panosteitis”.
Panosteitis is a serious orthopedic issue that affects puppies as early as 2 mos old. Significantly more common in large breed dogs. Breeds that it can more predominately affect are:
- Great Danes
- German Shepherds
Along with these large breeds, it can also affect smaller breeds like Miniature Schnauzer. This condition affects puppies causing lameness and stiffness in their joints. It has even been documented in dogs and puppies from the young age of 2 mos old, all the way to 5 years old.
There are theories by the medical community of the reasons why dogs can get this condition, but none are proven to be true. Many believe it could be genetics, nutritional agents, infections and of course simply breed specific.
Some symptoms that you should watch for are:
- Leg lameness that continues on
- No appetite
The tough part of these symptoms is that they can come and go. One day your dog may seem fine, and the next day, they are limping. This makes it very tough for dog parents to figure out when to seek medical attention.
The good news is that this condition is one that your dog will outgrow without any long term affects to their health. If you are at all concerned about your dog, it is always a good idea to make sure that you consult your Vet. We certainly do not want our dogs to suffer with a serious health issue, because we think we know what it is.
Like I said above if your dog is experiencing growing pains, check with your Vet to ensure you get the proper diagnosis. You just never know what the real issues is until you speak to the professionals.
Your dog could have panosteitis, a fracture, an infection or just simply a sprain. Before knowing how your dog needs to be treated, you need to know what the issue is.
For growing pains, depending on the severity of your dog’s issues, you would be given a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. A medication like this will help lessen the inflammation on the membrane that covers the bones giving your dog some relief. You may not need to administer the medication daily, the condition can be just to help with flare-ups that occur intermittently.
Usually by 18-24 mos, your dog will outgrow any of these issues.
Like many conditions, our dogs can get relief from over the counter supplements. There are some very easy ways to help give your dog comfort if they are suffering with aches and pains. Just like us, if we are stiff and sore, it dramatically affects our quality of life.
Treating dogs or puppies with growing pains will allow them more mobility and comfort until the flare up passes. You can easily put it on top of their food or give it to them in a treat.
Things like: Cosequin or Glucosomine are great options when it comes to naturally treating your dog’s joint pain. Much like humans, they include things like Magnese, Essential fatty acids, Omega’s, Fish Oil, Hemp and CBD.
It has never been so easy to give your dog a supplement. They come in chews, liquid form and even included right in certain dog foods. CBD and Hemp have really been one of the new ways to give you dog comfort for many issues including joint issues.
Nobody wants to see their dog suffering in pain and limping around. We can easily give them a chew to make them feel better, what is the harm in that. Sometimes providing quick relief for your dog without a prescription is needed.
What is it about dog puppies that experience growing pains, that is so different than children. Although many children go through growing pains, the way in which it affects their everyday life is not the same.
Children do not limp or become so stiff they don’t want to move. They are far more likely to have it affect them at nighttime when they are trying to sleep.
Puppies that experience severe growing pains can be affected at all times of the day. Even so much so, that they literally refuse to move.
The overall thought on do puppies have growing pains, the answer is…..it depends on who you talk to. Much of the dog medical community believes this issue to be a bit of a mystery.
When it comes to growing puppies, especially in large breeds, watch closely and monitor your pup. Watch to see if they start experiencing any issues while they are growing.
For me personally, I would opt to try an over the counter dog chew treat, to start. That way I can see if my dog responses positively with lessening their symptoms. Yes as always visit a Vet if any issues with your dog persist, but sometimes just an easy home fix can do the trick.