Most dogs are usually very active, so it is not hard to notice when your dog has a limp. It could be an injury the dog sustained, or in some cases, there could be a severe medical condition causing the dog to limp.


These are some of the reasons your dog is limping:


1. Injury

Your dog may have sustained an injury, and that is why it has a limp. It could be a cut, scald, burn, or any kind of small injury. Check the toes and between the toes well to identify where the injury is. You might want to take the dog to the vet if it has a wound so that it can be treated before it gets infectious. An insect as well as a snake, or even a spider bite can be the cause of the injury, or maybe your dog was involved in a fight with another dog.


2. Backaches

This is most common with the long-bodied dog breeds. If your dog is having back problems, the pain will cause the dog to limp. This is because the spine of the dog is strained. If this problem is not treated early enough, it might cause the dog to have a permanent disability.


3. Diseases

Some diseases and congenital issues can cause your dog to have joint problems which will make the dog limp. Your dog could be suffering from bone cancer, arthritis, or Tick-borne diseases, so it is essential to consult a vet when your dog is sick for prompt treatment. You can also check for infections on the dog’s legs and paws or any other auto-immune diseases.


4. Deformed Limb

You might notice when the dog is still very young that the limb has an abnormality. You need to take it to the vet to see if something can be done. In some cases, you see that your dog’s leg is not growing straight. This should be checked as early as you spot it so that it can be corrected.


5. Dysplasia

Sometimes the hip has an abnormal formation in the joint. This is sometimes genetically related, and if not noticed and treated early, it can deteriorate and cause the dog to lose function in the hip joint. It usually starts when the dog is still very young.


6. Fracture

The dog might have a broken leg, and that is why it is limping. You might notice the dog in pain but may not be able to see the point that has a fracture. Therefore, you need to take it to the vet for an X-ray and appropriate treatment.


7. Old Age

When your dog starts getting old, the bones and its body grow weaker. They cannot be as active as they used to be and sometimes if they try to be active the body is strained, and they will limp over very small aches. Don’t be rough with the dog at this stage.


8. Grooming

Maintaining good grooming with dogs is essential. Your dog might have very long toenails, and this can be very uncomfortable to the dog. If the nail is also cut very short, it could also lead to the same problem.


What Should I Do When My Dog Is Limping?

There are a few things you can do once you notice that your dog is limping:

Try and check the legs and the paws you think has an issue. In some instances, the dog might just have a thorn or something pricking the paws which you can quickly remove.

If your dog has been bitten by something, you need to go to the vet because it might even be a venomous snake so don’t ignore.

Check if there is swelling anywhere on the dog. Try to move its limbs and see how it is reacting. If the dog is in pain, it will try to pull away from you. Let the dog rest if it is limping because of strain or old age.

Never give your dog human medicine even if it is in pain. Consult your vet for the best treatment for your dog.

This might come as a surprise, but some dogs will pretend and fake a limp to get your attention so always be keen and observe your dog well.

If you have a large dog, you can ask for help from someone to hold the dog while you slowly inspect it for injuries or sores.

In the case of broken limbs or fractures, you should not move the dog too much. Call or carefully take I to the vet.


Treatment Of A Limping Dog

The vet will examine your dog and will do the necessary tests. In some cases, an X-ray is needed. If the vet suspects that there might be an underlying problem, then your dog will need more tests.

Once the dog has been diagnosed and treatment commences, you should allow it to rest for some days or weeks so that the limping can go down and enhance healing.

Observe the dog while it is under medication so that you can determine it is improving or you might need another trip to the vet. Report any unexpected change to the vet so that he can know the progress of your dog and if the medication administered is working.

Follow the instructions you are given very well so that your dog can heal quickly and the problem is corrected. In some cases, your dog might need surgery depending on the cause of the limp.


Dos And Don’ts To A Limping Dog

Comfort the dog and speak calmly to it while going and also while waiting for the vet to attend to you. Do not panic.

Be careful when lifting an injured dog. Use a flat, firm object to transport the dog if you don’t have a stretcher.

Call the vet before you arrive if your dog’s injury is severe so that they are ready and waiting to attend to you immediately.

Approach the dog from the side it might bite.


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Always make sure you try to watch and examine your dog well even before going to the vet. Sometimes the dog has something stuck on its paw, and you can remove it. Try to maintain cleanliness and don’t strain your dog physically.