There are several reasons for dog leg injuries. Lameness is one of the first signs that your dog’s leg has been injured. If your dog’s hind leg has been severely injured he will lower his head when putting any pressure on that leg. Lameness can also be a sign of a more serious condition like bone cancer. Pain is another symptom to look out for. Dogs that yelp with sudden movement or have trouble jumping or getting up or do not want to exercise could be hurt. You could also examine your pet’s leg and gently move the joints. Swelling is another major sign of injury. This can occur in any part of the leg where the injury is located. The most obvious signs of injury are wounds and bleeding, but these are sometimes difficult to spot, especially if your dog has a thick coat of fur. Behavioral changes may be a less obvious sign of an injury.
The most common injury in a dog is a ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). This occurs when the front ligament in the knee cap is torn if the dog has been hit by a car or twisted his hind leg or suddenly turned when running. It is also more prevalent in obese dogs as the excess weight puts pressure on the knee. The ligament can heal on its own in less severe cases; otherwise, surgery is the best option. The Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) is located at the back of the knee and is not such a common injury to the hind leg. Treatment is the same as for the ACL.
Dogs can also suffer from sprains, broken bones and pulled muscles. It is usual for dogs to bruise or bump their legs but if your dog’s leg is dragging, it could be a sign of nerve damage. If one or both the hind legs are dragging, there could be possible injury to the sciatic nerve. If your dog has not been in an accident and suddenly starts dragging both hind legs, there is a possibility that he has ruptured a disk in his back.
It is important to identify the symptoms of the injury so that your pet can receive prompt medical attention. Leg injuries can be either mild and benign or severe and life threatening. Remember that some injuries may start off as mild ones and later develop into serious ones, if left untreated.
If your dog’s hind leg has been severely injured he will lower his head when putting any pressure on that leg. Lameness can also be a sign of a more serious condition like bone cancer. Pain is another symptom to look out for.