Limping is a common sign of pain. Our Bartlett vets explain some of the causes of limping, what you can do to help your dog, and when to seek care from your vet.
Dogs, like people, can suffer from an array of health issues that lead to limping. Unfortunately for dogs, however, they aren't able to tell us what happened. As a concerned pet owner, that means you'll be left to figure out how to comfort your dog and the best way to help them.
SOME COMMON REASONS FOR LIMPING
- Something painful stuck in their paw
- Insect bite or sting
- Strains or tears (ligaments, tendons, muscles)
- Trauma, such as broken bones
- Infectious diseases, such as Lyme
- Inflammatory conditions
- Vascular conditions
IS IT AN EMERGENCY?
The following situations require emergency care for your dog. If it is after-hours, contact your nearest emergency veterinarian clinic for care.
- A broken limb (will be at an irregular angle)
- A dangling limb (this indicates dislocation)
- Any moderate to severe swelling
- Limbs that feel hot to the touch
- Limping in combination with a fever
WHAT YOU CAN DO
When you first notice any limping, try to rest your dog as best you can. You'll need to limit mobility, as any further strain can cause a more serious injury. Exercise should be put on hold until your dog has healed, and you should leash your pet to walk them outside for bathroom breaks as they may try to run if let out into the yard.
Alternating between heat and ice packs might reduce swelling and discomfort. Consult with your vet's office for recommendations on which to apply and when.
Check for bleeding. This will usually provide insight into whether your dog has suffered an injury, puncture, or bite.
In general, if the limp isn't severe, you can observe your dog's progress at home over 24-48 hours. In most cases, it's better to be safe than sorry, and scheduling an appointment with your vet may help both you and your dog to feel better. If the limp isn't resolving, is becoming worse, or is accompanied with whining or yelping, it's time to call your vet.
Ultimately, your veterinarian is best equipped to determine the cause and severity of your dog's pain. A thorough examination may include blood work, tick testing, and x-rays. Your dog's breed, history, age, and general health will be considered in the diagnosis, as well as the prescribed treatment plan.
Remember to never give any medication to your pets without consulting your vet first. Your vet will recommend any treatments you can do at home and will prescribe proper medication and dosage information for pain relief.
If your dog is in pain from limping, please contact our Bartlett veterinary clinic today to book an appointment.
Looking for a vet in Memphis?We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.
Related Articles View All
Yeast ear infections can be a real problem for dogs living in hot and humid climates, even for just a few brief summer months, but you may be able to help prevent your dog from developing a yeast ear infection. Our Bartlett vets explain how.
Itching, scratching, and licking are signs that your pooch has a skin condition known as dermatitis. Our Bartlett vets explain what could be causing your pup's skin problem and how you can help your pet to feel better.
Babesiosis is a disease seen in dogs that is spread by the bite of an infected tick. Once the Babesia organisms infect your pup they attack your pet's red blood cells causing anemia. Our Bartlett vets explain more...
Anaplasmosis is one of the many tick borne diseases that threaten the health of people, pets and other animals across the United States. Today our Bartlett vets explain the symptoms and treatments for Anaplasmosis in dogs.