As pet parents, it is painful to see our puppy limping as we sense their pain, even when they are not crying.
Naturally, we browse the web for tips or treatment, which is why you found this article.
To know what to do, first, learn about the potential triggers behind their limping.
The web offers a variety of reasons why our hounds limp. The possible culprit could range from trauma, injury, broken body part to the bone, and joint diseases. If the cause is unknown, do not wait for days before you take them to the vet. It might get overwhelming, but it is possible to know your way around it and be in control of your dog’s situation.
In this article, we study the causes behind the limping problem of canines and what you can do for diagnosis, first aid, and proper treatment to lessen the pain to a minimum, the right way.
Limping in Dogs
It is hard when dogs are limping because they cannot directly tell us where or what has gone wrong.
It is why pet owners must be responsible and take immediate action once the lameness happens.
Limping is a common effect of an injury or disease. Dogs’ limping may gradually or suddenly occur, depending on the cause.
Injury or trauma is the usual trigger for sudden limping.
Causes of Limping
You need to know why your pet is limping to get the proper and appropriate treatment it needs.
Studies by veterinarians suggest that the most common causes of lameness in dogs may fall under any of the following categories:
1. Physical considerations;
- Broken leg
- Torn ligament
- A misstep could stick a sliver, burr, or splinter in your pooch’ paw pads or legs.
- Cuts in any part of the body
- Hip dysplasia: when the hip joint of the dog is out of place.
- A sprained ankle, which makes your pet uncomfortable to walk.
- Arthritis: you can observe these symptoms as early as when the dog is one year old.
- Claws are splitting: the dewclaws are prone to breaking and require immediate mending.
- Patellar luxation: it is a type of knee injury where the patella gets bent or swollen.
2. Static electricity
Dogs’ paws have soft tissues. When it steps on an active electrical current, the shock has a more prominent effect on its soft paws than on human feet.
Your pet may suffer limping with jerky movements due to the shock.
3. Other possible causes
- Your canine might be stung by an insect to which it is allergic. Insects like wasps could be an allergen for some dogs that once they get stung, they have difficulty breathing and experience other adverse reactions.
- It suffers from an inner infection that vomiting may signify. Beware of disease in dogs. Vomiting is one notable sign your pet has an infected part of the body other than the paw or leg where the limping is visible.
How to Address the Problem
Be alert and take the first step the first time you notice your dog limping.
You can perform your diagnosis in the first instance you notice the limping to see if it is a vet emergency or not.
It could be some of the physical considerations mentioned above as a sliver stuck in its paw pads.
Or it could also be an immune-related illness that no naked eye can observe.
- Check all paws, including their paw pads, hips, and legs. Rule out the affected part where your pet can feel the most pain by applying gentle pressure.
- If anything is stuck, remove it carefully.
- Rinse with saltwater.
- Protect the part with a soft dressing to prevent infection.
- If the problem is a split claw, go to a vet or pet groomer to clip the nails properly.
However, if the cause is nowhere in any body part, take your pup to the vet immediately for an accurate diagnosis.
It could be worse than just a cut or burr stuck in their paw pads.
Urgent Steps You Can Take
After your diagnosis, seek help from your trusted vet for a more appropriate medication plan. If it is not in excessive pain, you may lead-walk your dog for days until it recovers. Be mindful of its diet as it may lack appetite.
Veterinarians would prescribe general antibiotics and doses of enrofloxacin. But do not administer it yourself, have a vet check up your dog and apply the proper treatment specific to its problem.
For causes that may threaten your dog’s life, seek the vet’s expertise right away. They would run physical examinations and run overall tests to determine the cause and devise a unique treatment plan for your puppy. The following are possible necessary tests that are beyond your capability, to name a few:
- Joint fluid collection
- Blood testing — to check if an auto-immune disease like Lyme disease occurs.
- Biopsy — to detect the presence of cancer cells in your hound.
- Radiograph — to reveal any signs of skeletal problems like a joint issue or a damaged bone.
In the case of arthritis, vets typically prescribe joint supplements like chondroitin or glucosamine to minimize the pain and alleviate other symptoms.
For a broken nail, here are urgent steps you can do:
- Remove the nail gently to allow it to regrow. It would be best if you were gentle because the process may be painful for dogs, so sometimes vets sedate them during nail removal.
- A styptic pencil with a cauterizing agent can stop the bleeding.
- Disinfect the wound by dipping the paw in warm saline water.
- Protect the affected part with a sterile dressing and bandage.
- Observe it for possible swelling or infection.
Dogs limp because of various reasons that are apparent or not.
The limping in dogs may be sudden or gradual.
Maintain a vigilant attitude and act. If the situation calls for, seek help from the vets.
The limping could indicate something severe than a minor injury that only a complete examination and immediate treatment by the vet can solve the problem.