Possible Cause of Limps in Dogs
- joint disease
- torn toenail
- kidney disease
- insect bite
Limping – What Is That?
The first thing you need to do when you notice your dog is limping is to figure out which leg is causing him pain. Is he holding one up completely? Or, does he seem to be favoring one side? Once you’ve determined which leg is injured, take a close look at it. Is there any swelling, redness, or heat? Any cuts or scrapes?
If your dog is only limping on one leg, it’s most likely due to an injury or infection. However, if he’s limping on all four legs, it could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as arthritis or kidney disease
Why Is My Dog Limping – Causes of Lameness and Limping in Dogs
Why is my dog limping? Here is a list of some of the most common causes of limping in dogs.
One of the most common reasons for limping is an injury or trauma. Dogs can injure themselves in a number of ways, including falling, being hit by a car, stepping on a thorn, or getting into a fight with another animal. Look for any scratches, cuts, or bruises on your dog’s leg.
If there is a wound, clean it with warm water and apply a sterile bandage. Do not try to remove any embedded objects, such as splinters or glass, as this could cause further damage. Call your veterinarian for advice, and keep your dog safe until it gets professional help.
Another common cause of limping is an infection. Infections can occur in any area of your dog’s body, but are often seen in the skin, ears, or nails. Dogs with infections may also have fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Unfortunately, cancer is usually a cause of limping in older dogs. Cancer can affect any bone or joint in your pup’s body, and often spreads quickly. Dogs with cancer may also have a loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue.
Osteoarthritis, Panosteitis & Other Joint Diseases
Arthritis is a common condition that affects dogs as they age. It occurs when the cartilage in the joints breaks down, causing pain and inflammation. Dogs with arthritis often have difficulty walking, climbing stairs, and getting up from a lying position.
Kidney disease is a serious condition that can lead to limping in dogs. Kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are not able to filter toxins from the blood properly. This can cause a build-up of toxins in the body, which can lead to organ damage. Dogs with kidney disease may also have a loss of appetite, weight loss, increased thirst, and increased urination.
Your dog may be limping because of an insect bite. Insect bites are often painful and can cause swelling, itching, and irritation. Make an appointment with a vet ASAP to determine if the bite is serious.
Why is my dog limping? He might have a broken or torn toenail. Torn nails often bleed and can be very sensitive to touch. They require immediate emergency vet care. Don’t try to trim the nail yourself!
Click here if you want to learn how to trim dog nails at home! Just remember to do that when they’re not hurting.
Muscle Strain or Sprain
Lastly, limping is also caused by a muscle or ligament strain or sprain. These can occur when your dog overexerts himself. Muscle strains and sprains are usually treated with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications.
Our Reader’s StoryMy dog, Tommy, once started suddenly limping during a walk. I was surprised because our walk was short, and he wasn’t even jumping. The culprit? Thistle. He stepped on some in high grass. I carried him home and put some ice on the paw. He was fine within an hour
Sudden Limping in Dogs – Is That Dangerous?
Sudden limping can be a sign of something serious, even when your pup is not in pain. For example, if your dog starts limping, and you notice that he’s not putting any weight on his leg, it could be a sign of a broken bone.
Sudden Limping vs. Gradual Onset Limping
- The two most common reasons behind sudden limps in dogs are injury and infection.
- Gradual limping more likely to be caused by arthritis or another chronic condition.
- Sudden limping doesn’t require an immediate visit to animal hospital if the dog seems fine.
- Gradual limping means the dog has been suffering ever since it started.
Veterinary Care: Diagnosing the Cause of Limping
What will the vet do with limping? They will ask about your dog’s medical history and symptoms. They will also perform a physical examination and may recommend X-rays or other diagnostic tests.
How to Treat a Limping Dog
The treatment for dog limping will depend on the underlying cause. If the limping is caused by an injury, the vet may recommend rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. If the limping is caused by arthritis, the vet may prescribe pain relief and joint supplements. Kidney disease and cancer are serious conditions that require a treatment plan planned by a specialist.
Preventing Dog Limping
How to prevent limps in dogs? Keep them at a healthy weight. Obesity puts extra strain on the joints, which can lead to arthritis and fractures. You should also provide your dog with plenty of exercise to keep his muscles and joints strong. If your dog is already showing signs of arthritis, regular physical therapy can help slow the progression of the disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should You Do If Your Dog Is Limping?
If your pup isn’t showing any obvious signs of harm and pain, it may be okay to wait a little while. If he’s still limping, take your dog to a vet.
Why Is My Dog Limping No Injury?
He might have strained his joints or muscles. If he still can’t seem to find relief after a couple days, it could be something more serious, like infection or inflammation.
Can a Dog Limp Heal On Its Own?
Yes, it is possible; usually in case of minor injuries.
Why is my dog limping? We hope you’ve found the answer! Let us know if your dog is okay in the comments!
Lucas Taylor is a veterinary assistant, freelance journalist and single dad who lives in the suburbs with his three pups: Ruby, Nala, and Woody. He has one cat named Pepper. When he’s not writing articles or working at the vet clinic, Lucas loves cooking French cuisine for himself and friends at home. One of Lucas’ favorite things to do is paddleboard with his son Noah and their canine companions. Pepper is the homebody of the bunch – she loves chilling on the couch.