Although limping in dogs is common, it doesn’t mean that it’s normal. It can be due to injuries or illnesses. Often, it’s an indicator of pain or loss of function, or sometimes both. No matter the case, it can be heartbreaking for dog owners to see their furry pals limping.
Limping is why most dog owners rush their pets to veterinary clinics. While it’s true that the problem is rarely an emergency case, the fact remains that veterinarians should see limping dogs without much delay. It’s better to deal with a health-related matter before it escalates into a more severe problem.
Different Solutions for Various Limping Causes
Because many things can cause dogs to limp, there are different ways to deal with the issue. It all depends on the essential cause or condition, and determining it is the first step that veterinarians, and not the dog owners, have to take.
In some cases, rest is all that’s necessary to manage the limping. However, there are also instances in which aggressive medical treatments are necessary, such as surgery. In cases where undergoing the knife is not an option, there are various solutions available. For instance, the use of a Dog Brace may help deal with the limping or keep it from worsening.
Various Things That Can Cause Dogs to Limp
Below, you will find some of the most common reasons for dog limping. The goal is not to encourage you to self-diagnose your canine friend. Again, identifying the cause of the limping is best left in the hands of a veterinarian.
- Just like human beings, dogs are also susceptible to developing arthritis as they get older. Sadly, this is a degenerative disease, which means that it’s bound to worsen over time. Consulting a veterinarian allows dog owners to learn some of the steps that they may take to slow down the progression of arthritis.
- Bone injuries. Young dogs especially are prone to having fractures, and it’s usually due to accidents. Treatment for a dog fracture varies, depending on its type. Most of the time, immobilizing the affected limb with the use of a Dog Brace is necessary for the proper healing of the bone as well as to avoid complications.
- Strains and sprains. In many instances, limping due to a strain or sprain can go away on its own after allowing the affected limb to rest and recover for a few days. However, there are cases in which more aggressive treatment approaches may be necessary. One such example is when there’s a cruciate ligament rupture or tear.
It’s important to note that there are many other possible reasons behind dog limping.
When Should I rush the dog to the Vet?
Earlier, it was mentioned that dog limping is not usually an emergency case. However, it’s an entirely different matter if any of the following accompanies it:
- Sudden inability or willingness to move
- Extreme pain (as evidenced by vocalizing or trembling)
- Apparent limb fracture
- Severe swelling or excessive bleeding of the affected limb
- Excessive vomiting
- Fever (temperature of more than 103.5°F or 39.72 °C)
Do you notice any of the above? See to it that you take your dog to an emergency veterinarian as soon as possible.