If your dog has just started limping, you might be worried about what to do about the problem. You might not be sure if your dog is in pain or you might wonder if you should have your vet look at the issue. Some dogs will not tell you clearly that they are in pain and you might not be sure if the limp is a sign of a bigger problem.
Dogs might limp for a variety of reasons. Sometimes limps are not a sign of serious issues, but it is unwise to assume that a limp is not a sign of something more serious. Limping can be caused by many things and you might need the help of a veterinarian to determine what has caused the limp.
Limping can be a sign of a bigger problem and your dog might need to see the vet to make sure that there is nothing more serious wrong with your pet.
Sudden Limping Versus Slow Onset
If your dog has started limping all of a sudden, this might be a sign of a serious injury. This is more concerning in some instances than limping that happens over the course of a few weeks. Trauma is usually the reason for this kind of sudden onset but gradual limping might also be the reason for alarm.
The age of your dog might be related to the reasons for the limp and your vet might have to look into age-related reasons for the problem. Limping in a young dog versus an old dog can require different treatment protocols.
Common Reasons That Dogs Limp
Limping can be caused by many different things. This can make diagnosis difficult for both you and your veterinarian. You might have to look into various different reasons for the limp before you find the right solution for your pet’s needs.
This is the most common reason for a dog to limp. If your dog has suffered a fall, run into another dog, or slipped when running, they might have caused an injury. These injuries can range from severe soft tissue damage and broken bones to small strains that will take a few weeks to heal completely.
Your vet will be able to advise about the best course of treatment for a traumatic injury. Sometimes surgery or a splint will be needed and sometimes just keeping your dog quiet for a few weeks will do the trick.
This is more common in older dogs and the limping behavior related to this condition can come on slowly over time. Arthritis is a progressive condition that worsens with advancing age and your pet might suddenly show symptoms or it might take years for them to display signs of this issue.
Arthritis is easy to treat and your vet can help you to handle this condition with ease. Older dogs do not have to give up their favorite activities just because they have developed some stiff joints due to arthritis.
A dog’s paw has many nerve endings and even a small injury can lead to a limp. Your dog’s paw can be hard to heal and your pet will limp until it has healed. You might have to apply antibiotic ointment and a wrap to the foot and keep your pet from licking the foot. If the injury has become infected, your dog might need antibiotics to help treat the foot.
Paw injuries take time to heal and you will have to be patient and apply daily care to the injury to make sure that it gets better.
Bone disease is not common but it is more common in large breeds than small breeds. There are many bone conditions that can cause a limp in the early stages and your vet can help you to look into these possible causes for your dog’s limp. There are also issues like bone cancers that can lead to a limp and your vet will be able to advise you about how to treat these conditions for the welfare of your pet.
Bone diseases are not common in younger dogs but they can happen. You will want to have your vet involved right away to make sure that the condition is identified early and treatment is begun. You should never ignore a limp for more than a few days.
How to Diagnose a Limp
Your vet will help you to diagnose your dog’s limp. They will want to see your dog moving around to see what the limp looks like. They will also probably take x—rays of your dog’s legs and feet to see if these images reveal the reason for your dog’s limp. Blood tests might also be needed.
Diagnosing a limp can take some time, so you should be patient with your vet and your dog during this process. Your vet will be able to help you to care for your dog after the diagnosis has been determined. Getting proper care for your pet is essential to treating a limp successfully.
Finding out Why Your Dog is Limping Requires a Visit to the Vet
It is always wise to make sure that you know why your dog is limping. You will want to take your dog to see the vet if they have been limping for more than a few days. Your vet will be able to help you to diagnose and treat the condition. There are many reasons that your pet might be limping and your veterinarian can help you to diagnose the condition and get your dog on the right treatment protocol.
Most limps are easily treated, but there are sometimes serious underlying conditions that will require additional treatment. Your vet will be able to help you to get your dog on the right treatment protocol so they can get back to running, jumping, and playing without pain. Taking your dog to see your vet will make sure that you get the right medication and treatment protocol in place as soon as possible.