Pet Health And Care  >>  Questions Asked  >>  Dog Health

My dog is limping. What are the causes and treatments?

(June 10, 2010)

There are many possible causes for dog limping, and they depend on a number of factors .There are various variables which causes lameness in your pets such as age, weight, breed, and the type of injury that caused the lameness. Dogs may limp due to possible ligament or tendon damage. As a responsible owner, you must observe your dog’s activities and identify whether the injury is an emergency or not.

Lameness can be caused by abnormality of the skeleton, the muscles, or the nervous system. Benign lameness may be due to your dog sprained leg, bruises, strains, and other minor injuries. These sprains generally resolve themselves if not severe. You must also seek your vet’s advice if you see your dog limping for long or in pain. As a general rule, you must never give your dog aspirin or any other human medications until and unless directed by your veterinarian. This is because these drugs could be toxic and fatal as they are hard on a dog’s stomach and intestines.

If you notice any open wounds or bleeding, you must immediately take your dog to a vet as this may be due to fracture or blunt traumas. Dog limps are easily noticeable as your will notice a change in the walk and your dog may have intermittent and constant limping.

Here are a few things which if noticed in pets, must be immediately taken care of:

  • Check your dog’s paws for thorns. You must get them removed immediately with a proper applicator as they may cause an infection between your dog’s toes or foot pads. Apply medication to soothe the pain and heal the wound.
  • You may notice cuts on your dog’s paws which may be due to walking on sharp grass or if your dog gets bumped by a car. The cut footpads should be soaked in a warm solution of hydrogen peroxide for at least three times a day. You must ensure that the paws are kept dry to avoid bacterial growth.
  • Toenails could also be a reason behind dog limps. Overgrown nails may break off—this is painful and causes discomfort in dogs. Keep your dog’s nails short by clipping them at regular intervals.
  • Dog limps could also be due to a pulled muscle in the back, hip, shoulder, or leg that typically lasts for a day or two. If this is associated with swelling, you must use a warm compress with a heating pad that eases your dog’s ailment.
  • Back injuries can cause limping and an irregular gait. You may see the limp come and go if it is due to any back injury.
  • If the limping persists despite the medications given by your vet, it is recommended to get an x-ray or other diagnostic test done of the affected area to check for any dog joint problems or bone abnormalities. 
Submitted by N M on June 10, 2010 at 03:48


Read more questions in Dog Health
Log In Here
(User name is your email address)